Minneapolis CIO calls for coordinated digital inclusion measures

by Peter Elwell

Local technology, non-profit and government sectors have made Minnesota a hotbed for digital inclusion initiatives. The annual Digital Inclusion Forum hosted by the Technology Literacy Collaborative (TLC) on November 3rd, 2011 will pull together technology professionals, social agencies, business leaders and policy makers to explore digital inclusion initiatives in Minnesota and share collaborative ideas.

It is without question that we are in a technology-based society where digital literacy skills are essential for citizens to fully participate in economic, civic, educational, and social activities.  In other words, the well-being and prosperity of our state is now proportionate to the degree of our collective digital wherewithal.

“Digital inclusion is a component of the City of Minneapolis’ technology vision.  Our residents and businesses need to be equipped to effectively compete with others around the world—to be smarter, more creative, more knowledgeable, and more innovative. Leveraging technology is a necessary ingredient of success,” said Minneapolis CIO Otto Doll.

Area community computer labs, libraries, and non- profits are finding creative ways for all members of our community to develop technology literacy skills with various efficacy.

“Minneapolis city government is in a unique position to serve in a coordinating role—to help identify the width and depth of the digital divides within the city and show where our current efforts meet or fall short of closing the divide. To be more effective we, as a city and a region, need coordinated efforts across the multitude of programs, organizations and initiatives,” Doll added.

Sessions during the Digital Inclusion Forum will gather leaders in public
technology services to discuss their work in integrating technology into
community centers and youth programs, securing funding for public technology, and conducting research to document the impact of digital literacy programs.

The forum will also highlight digital inclusion policy issues such as the NorthStar Digital Literacy Standards.

The Technology Literacy Collaborative (TLC) is a Minnesota based network of digital inclusion supporters committed to sharing best practices, advocating for technology and digital literacy skills and access, and promoting collaborative efforts.

The Digital Inclusion Forum will be held Thursday, November 3rd from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Minnesota Department of Education, Conference Center B (1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville, MN). Parking is free.

The event is open to anyone interested in learning more about digital literacy and digital inclusion efforts in Minnesota. However, due to space limitations, registration is limited to the first 100 attendees.