Community Networking Experts Down Under
Monday, 12th May 2003 at 1:05 pm
UK-US developers of a far reaching initiative called Making the Net Work which is specifically aimed at the Not for Profit sector are heading down under and kicking off with a public lecture in Melbourne this week (May 15th).
David Wilcox and Terry Grunwald are partners in the joint UK-US initiative which aims to help those who are planning to get their organisation or neighbourhood online, or who want to create local technology centres.
The pair is also interested in helping people build their own virtual teams and networks.
With the assistance of National Office of the Information Economy, NOIE, and RMIT University, Making the Net Work has reached some Australian organisations already.
US partner Terry Grunwald has helped many American Not for Profit organisations to integrate networked IT into their mainstream operations, in her role as Director of NCexChange. NCexChange is an American NFP organisation promoting and supporting the use of telecommunications by community based organisations and disadvantaged communities in North Carolina.
Jenelle Bonnor the Chief General Manager of NOIE says Grunwald now a world renowned expert on the benefits of IT for Not for Profit organisations and her insight will be invaluable to Australia’s Third Sector.
Bonnor says a detailed methodology for developing an online strategy for organisations, and adopting the technology is only the first step. The real challenge lies in the way we use the information and capacity that the technology will open up to further community development.
She adds that the technology is just another tool. If we haven’t used the telephone, facsimile, newsletters or meetings effectively, the Internet won’t solve our problems.
However, she says if we rise to the challenges provided by new technology and integrate it into core business activities, it could help transform our activities for the better.
The UK partners are David Wilcox and Drew Mackie.
David worked as a journalist and then as a consultant in community participation and partnership development. For the past five years he has explored how lessons learned from these fields can be applied to the community use of new media. During that time he developed and manages Partnerships Online.
Drew has worked with communities throughout the UK for the past 15 years putting together projects for physical and economic development. In some of this work he has used games to test policy or to give communities a glimpse of the possible future. He is working with David and Terry to apply these methods to the development of online communities.
David and Terry will present a Free Public Lecture on Community Networking in the US and UK on Thursday 15th May from 6-7pm at the Kaleide Theatre, 360 Swanston Street, RMIT University.
Please RSVP your attendance by Tuesday 13th May by contacting Cheryl Lewis–Fitzgerald on 03 9925 0631 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Making the Net Work go to www.makingthenetwork.org.