Ch-ch-changes…so the song goes…

Our annual Digital Evolution conference was yesterday, it was so great to meet old friends and to make new ones. Working with a network full of inspiring, committed and expert people is so fulfilling, and us all getting together is an amazing experience. And it’s not just digital that’s evolving – yesterday I announced a new name and brand identity showing how Tinder Foundation and the UK online centres network are evolving too. Just in case you missed it, I announced a new name and logo for both and two sparkly new websites to accompany them: say hello to Good Things Foundation and the Online Centres Network.


The question that has occupied us for a very long time now, is ‘how can we make good things happen with digital technology?’ It used to be our strapline when we first became Tinder Foundation and ‘doing good things’ has always been at the heart of what we do. Whether that’s helping the 12.6 million people who lack basic digital skills in the UK to find work, become healthier or just to stay in touch with family and friends more easily. We like to think that these skills, to them, are ‘good things’.

As time has passed, the words ‘good things’ just seem to keep cropping up again and again. For the past six years we’ve focussed on bringing digital confidence to those who can most benefit from them – growing and nurturing the Online Centres Network, building the Learn My Way platform and supporting over 2 million people to take their first steps with digital.

The landscape we’ve been working in has been rapidly changing and we’re talking to more partners, and extending our work to focus, not just on digital skills and inclusion, but more broadly on the impact that technology can have on solving some of the challenges that disadvantaged people face in the UK today – and across the rest of the world.

We’ve grown and built our own skills and capacity. We can see the huge potential to address some of the key social inclusion challenges we face, seeking out the hardest to reach and leveraging digital tools to make good things happen for those who need it most.

Gradually, it became clear that we needed to find a new name to better reflect what we do and to bring the Online Centres Network even closer to us. When we sat down and had a good think about what our name could be, those two words that kept cropping up, cropped up again. And we knew we’d found what we’d been looking for. So we chose Good Things Foundation.

What our new name means

This new name reflects our strategy, our ambition to use digital to address some of the most pressing social challenges we’re facing, working together with partners to help make good things happen – to change the lives of millions of people.

Focussing on the future, we’ve rebadged and repositioned the UK online centres network, as the Online Centres Network, so we can focus on the huge impact that these grassroots organisations can have working together with each other, and with the communities that support them.

Of course, we’ll still be providing the same support as ever to the Online Centres Network, including accurate data and MI, high quality training, support and resources, and the chance to take part in national programmes, campaigns and initiatives that have a real impact. The new Online Centres website, will help us to do this even more effectively.

From talking to members of the network, and other partners who value them so highly, it’s become clear that being part of a network is the key element in what makes the Online Centres Network so successful – sharing ambitions and challenges, and working together to achieve a common aim.

It’s the good things we can achieve together that matter and at Good Things Foundation, working together will be key to what we can achieve.

Thinking back, it has been fun at times to break the ice with “No, not that Tinder” but the confusion hasn’t always helped us to connect with everyone in the right way. We’re really excited about our new name, new brands, and our new websites. If you haven’t had a chance to look yet, please do check them out.

Now let’s move forward and work together to make even more good things happen.

Halfway there (… now for the rest of the world)

I receive a newsletter straight to my inbox called ‘Internet World Stats News’. Every time there’s a change in the number of people worldwide accessing the internet, they send me an update. I find this helpful when I’m talking to people about the online population, especially seeing as Tinder Foundation is expanding our digital inclusion work to the international platform. The latest bulletin was particularly interesting, as we’ve reached a milestone – half of the world’s population are now online.

This is exciting news.

The record figure is quite astounding – there are now 3,675,824,813 internet users in the world, and that’s 50.1% of the world’s population. The below table, courtesy of Internet World Stats, shows exactly how many people are online and where.


Image courtesy of Internet World Stats

Unsurprisingly, we can see that the area with the lowest percentage of internet users compared to population, is the Africa region with just 28.7%. Africa is the second largest continent in the world in both size and population, with 54 countries. As part of the developing world, it’s no secret that Africa is one of the poorest places, and therefore would have a lot to gain from digital literacy.

Here at Tinder Foundation we would love to extend our reach to digitally excluded people around the world. 50.1% of the global population might now be online but that means there are still 49.9% who are still offline. These people will often be experiencing a number of significant social challenges. One thing we know that once the infrastructure is fixed it will be the most socially disadvantaged whose finances and whose basic digital skills will still keep them offline.

Our partnership work in Ireland, our pilot in the Philippines, and our new project in the disadvantaged communities in Western Sydney, with partner Leep NGO, have shown that working with organisations in the heart of their communities works and that Learn My Way can support people not just confined in our country.

We have a few thousand people finding Learn My Way and logging in from all over the world, with interesting spikes in Kashmir, Ontario, and California, that we don’t know the reasons for.

According to the Internet World Stats news we’re halfway there. You can call me a glass half empty kind of person if you want, but reaching the other half of the world is where the real work begins.