Q: When is a flash city hotel Not a flash city hotel?
A: When it’s hosting a ‘Connecting Up’ Conference and the people are the ‘having a go’ variety from the community, not-for-profit, volunteer sector from all around Oz? – with a sprinkling from?UK, US, South Africa, NZ.
I feel it and I have heard others say the same thing…..there’s a comfortable, warm, relaxed (unless it’s ‘chase funds to stay afloat time’) feeling when you walk into a Neighbourhood House. It must be the people – maybe they have a special ‘aura’. I?had the same feeling once I escaped the Hyatt’s opulent foyer and had descended the many marble steps into the basement/ballroom where CISA held its Connecting Up 06 Conference over Monday and Tuesday this week.
CISA is pronounced ‘kisser’ (not ‘caesar’ as I was doing) and stands for Community Information Strategies Australia. CISA started?this annual conference in 2004 as part of its CommunIT Project designed to support not-for-profits with reliable info and services to help them build their information communication technology (ICT) capacity.
CISA has developed strong ties with the community, government and business and their partnership?with Vectra Corporation won them a Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership Award last year.
The largely unrecognised fact – and how to spread the word about it?- that ICT can help communities and not-for-profits make programs more effective, bring new members and supporters and pack more punch with ‘decisionmakers’ was a common theme throughout the?conference.
Real world stats to this effect were provided by Nicola Thompson from the UK. Nicky, a speaker really on top of her subject, and an excellent communicator I found, is Head of the ICT Development Team at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in England www.ncvo-vol.org.uk. The government gave her team free rein to develop a coalition and business plan without imposing their thoughts, then funded it to the tune of $9 million AUS. Nicky says this meant the team could do its grassroots consultation and concentrate on the job NOT politics!
Check out what’s happening as plans meet the reality of implementation at http://www.ictconsortium.org.uk/.
More on this in relation to Australia and a NNIC (National Nonprofit ICT Coalition)?soon.
In Adelaide I met some inspiring bloggers/geeks, Mike Seyfang and Dave Wallace, and instead of forever ducking it,?I am?now really keen to get into ‘geekdom’. Blogging for a better world, that seems to be what it’s all about!
More about all this in another post soon!