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Digital Inclusion Conference to explore empowerment

National Digital Inclusion Conference 2009

Leading lights from the world of digital inclusion are being invited to take their places at the fourth national Digital Inclusion Conference - 27 to 28 April 2009.

The Conference, hosted by Civic Agenda in association with UK online centres and DC10 Plus, has become the place for those with an interest in digital inclusion to meet, mingle and masticate over the latest in policy developments, technological advances, and ground level best practice.

Last year, one of the highlights was a speech from Secretary of State for Wales, Paul Murphy MP, who attended the event as one of his first official engagements as the new Minister for Digital Inclusion. He will return as a keynote speaker for 2009.

He says: "The 2008 Conference was a helpful way for me to get to grips with some of the complex issues and innovative work going on in and around digital inclusion. I made a promise in my speech to produce a plan for real action on this front, and I'm delighted to say Delivering Digital Inclusion, An Action Plan for Consultation was launched last October. At this year's conference I'll be there to update delegates on the consultation around that plan, and I hope to bring with me another new appointee to learn from you all - the Digital Inclusion Champion who will help drive this agenda forwards.

"I strongly believe digital inclusion has a key role to play in helping us bolster British business and support British citizens through the economic downturn, and I'm looking forward once again to hearing the input and opinions of other conference speakers and attendees."

Also back for 2009 is conference chair Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive at the RSA. He adds: "At last year's Digital Inclusion Conference, public, private and third sector representatives examined the issue of the final third - those adults in the UK left out of the technological revolution. We heard ideas, opinions, hopes for the future and pledges for action. This year its time to find out how far we've come, who's done what, how, why - and if not why not. As the Minister says, the last nine months have seen significant changes in our economy, resonating through society, industry and government. The landscape for digital inclusion has changed, and we need to be changing with it. If you're rising to meet that challenge, or you want to know who is, this is the place to be."

Helen Milner is Managing Director at UK online centres. She continues: "Alongside the backdrop of credit crunch and the publication of the pivotal Digital Inclusion Action Plan, this year we've also seen other major digital developments. These include Lord Carter's appointment and Digital Britain report, Jim Knight's Home Access Taskforce, and the prominent role of digital skills and considerations in John Denham's Informal Learning consultation, Hazel Blears' Empowerment paper and Tom Watson's plans for transformational government. In short, there is much for us to discuss, and accordingly we've extended the Conference over two days."

DC10 Plus' National Director Stephen Dodson adds: "The theme on the table for 2009 is Empowerment through technology, and we're hoping not just to catch up on the last twelve months but to shape thinking for the next twelve. We want reflect the changes in how technology itself is being used by getting delegates to produce their own content - not just passively receive information. As well as plenary sessions there will be several workshops discussing Health and Well Being, 21st Century Learning, Democracy and Community. Outputs will be amalgamated into a 'manifesto' for digital inclusion, to be presented to the new Digital Champion. If you've got something to say about digital inclusion, come along on 27 and 28 April and say it."

The 2009 Digital Inclusion Conference will take place at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, and you can book your place now by visiting <> .


For more information please contact Abi Stevens at or on 0778 666 0689

Notes to editors:

* Civic Agenda is a specialist conference development and organisation agency delivering public and social focussed conferences across the UK. Civic Agenda works with a range of partner organisations and draws on the expertise of sister organisations Civic Regeneration, Regenerate IT and Market Squared to support conferences that explore key areas of social, economic and community policy for an audience of the public, private and voluntary sector. For more information please visit <>

· DC10 Plus bullet - DC10plus aims to address social, economic, environmental and service delivery through the smart use of technology. It is a collaborative network of local authorities and their partners from industry, government, academe and third sectors. Dedicated to creating partnerships, sharing good practice, developing new initiatives and influencing policy the DC10plus vision is to be a network for change; helping local authorities and their service delivery partners to empower people and connect communities through technology and innovation. For more information please visit

* UK online centres provide millions of people with access to technology and support in using it. They offer free or low cost access to the internet and email, deliver online courses and encourage people to progress onto further learning. For more information please visit <> . UK online centres are managed by Ufi, the organisation also behind learndirect




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