Ireland to host a Digital First day

By: August 2, 2022
digital first day in ireland

Ireland’s first-ever ‘Digital First’ day will take place on November 16th 2022, to put the power of digital to work in communities across the country by creating a national conversation about the benefits of digital growth to people, organisations and communities in towns and villages across the country.

Driven by a new collaboration, Digital Ireland Network (www.digital-Ireland.ie), Ireland’s 262 ConnectedHubs will be encouraged to host seminars, meetups or workshops for their locality around the theme of the benefits of digital growth.

The broader vision is to develop a national network of ‘Digital First Communities’ – a new approach to empowering rural localities to collaborate to use digital growth to attract investment, remote workers, home buyers, shoppers and visitors to their community, thus advancing sustainable regional development and quality of life.

“This is a vitally important initiative. The role of digital development in supporting balanced regional development cannot be overstated. Central to this is the need to close the digital divide at an individual level and in collective terms. Communities must be supported to leverage new technologies and ways of doing things to ensure growth. This is why my department is driving forward the connected hubs. i.e. platform, and has invested more than €100m into the hub sector in recent years. There will be approximately 300 hubs on the connected hubs. i.e. network, by the end of this year and at least 400 in 2024,” says Heather Humphreys, Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Rural and Community Development.

Applications
Hubs of all types and sizes, associations, groups or volunteers are welcome to run an event on November 16th around the theme of the benefits of digital growth. A full pack will be provided to event hosts to support the success of their event, including guides, marketing and digital activation resources.

Applications to register your interest in holding are on www.digital-Ireland.ie. The ‘Digital First’ Day initiative is partly funded through the Department of Rural & Community Development ARISE fund.

“The pandemic has led to huge changes in the way we work and live. Research by the WDC has shown that people have moved in significant numbers to rural and regional areas. To sustain that, we must build on those changes and support individuals, communities and SMEs to meet the digital challenges and opportunities ahead,” says Tomás Ó’Síocháin, CEO Western Development Commission.

How to host an event on Digital First day
A dedicated website for the network has been created at www.digital-Ireland.ie where ConnectedHubs members, organisations and members of the public can register their interest in staging an event for ‘Digital First’ Day. The choice of event is up to the host; however, a range of topics will be supported through materials and resources by Digital Ireland Network, including:
* How to set up a ‘Digital first community’ in your locality.
* How to implement the digital growth mindset for small businesses.
* How to create a digital-enabled social enterprise to address your locality needs.
* Holding an open day for your hub.

The Digital Ireland Network
This initiative is being driven and promoted by the newly formed Digital Ireland Network, a network dedicated to ‘Reimagining Rural Ireland’. The network’s main objective is to establish ‘Digital-first communities’ in towns and villages across the country, mainly by creating a social enterprise as a critical mechanism to foster economic growth at the grassroots level. The founding organisations include ConnectedHubs.ie, DigitalHQ .IE, the Heritage Council, DLR County Council, the Western Development Commission, and Grow Remote.

Emma from Digital Times
- Passionate about new technology, new ideas and new adventures.

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