Helen Milner, Chief Executive at Online Centres Foundation and Managing Director at UK Online Centres, looks forward to the upcoming Social Digital Symposium hoping for collaborative gains.

UK Online Centres logoIn advance of the research symposium we’re hosting next week with the LSE Media Policy Project, I thought I’d take the chance to share with you my thoughts about the digital skills landscape and what I’m hoping we can gain from the symposium.

There are a lot of people who’ve got a stake in digital skills, as Ellen Helsper already mentioned in the blog she posted earlier this week. In a lot of ways, this is great. Every little helps when getting people online and so the more people that can help, the better!

The only downside is that we can sometimes get a bit caught up in doing our own thing and can forget to pop our heads up and remind everyone else just what, why and how effective what we’re doing is.

Here at UK Online Centres we’re pretty good at measuring the impact of the work we’re doing. In fact, measuring the social impact of the work we do in communities is something we’ll be really stepping up in the coming months.

We’re good at measuring our impact, because we know how important it is – to us, to our partners and most importantly to our funders. Most of the partners we work with are pretty good at measuring their impact too. But the issue for me, and what I’m hoping we can address at the symposium, is one of collaboration. In order to be sure of the real impact we’re having on influencing behaviour, we have to share our knowledge, expertise and findings so we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet.

The list of attendees for the symposium is pretty impressive, and I’m sure all of you attending will be really keen to share what you’ve been doing. I’m sure it will be a fantastic forum to bring together a like-minded group of people so we can all make sure we’re working to a similar goal. I can’t wait to see you there!

In the meantime, you can take a look at our research on our website here, or read more about what we’ve been up to recently on my blog.

This series is connected to The Social Digital Symposium that will take place on 22 March 2012 at the London School of Economics, from 10:30 am – 3:30pm, organised by the LSE Media Policy Project and UK Online Centres. For more information about the event, contact peter.farrell@ukonlinecentres.com.