Flagship events for first Digital First Day unveiled
Several events set to take place next month as part of Ireland’s inaugural Digital First Day have been announced. The nationwide initiative, driven by a new collaboration, Digital Ireland Network was devised to highlight the potential of digital growth and social enterprise in attracting economic and social development in rural areas and to help tackle the urban/rural divide.
On 16 November, members of Ireland’s Connected Hubs network will host a programme of seminars, meetups and workshops around the theme of the benefits of digital growth to help communities to attract investment, remote workers, home buyers and visitors to their area, thus advancing sustainable regional development and quality of life.
Highlights include the official launch of the new Digital Ireland Network in Ennis, County Clare with an event entitled Reimaging Rural Ireland Through Digital, which will feature keynote speakers on digitalisation and rural regeneration through hubs, digitalisation, and the green agenda. Since its designation as Ireland’s first ‘information age town’ in the 90s Ennis has a history of driving digital and it is the centre point for the DigiClare network of 11 hubs across the county.
Reflecting its mission to promote the growth of indigenous companies, Kerry’s RDI Hub will stage Destination Growth – From local to global through the resources on your doorstep, an event which will bring together all the stakeholders in the region’s enterprise support ecosystem in an information day format.
Moving up the coast Digital First Day will see the first ever event held in the brand new Innovate Limerick Engine Collaboration Centre. Entitled Champions of Collaboration the event will reflect the new centre’s mission of encouraging collaboration between all sizes of companies, in particular through digital growth, to reach new customers and improve products or services. The event will reflect Innovate Limerick’s mission of working with the 19 ENGINE Hubs throughout the midwest and north Kerry to deepen the connection between the urban and the rural, the national and the international.
Throughout the Gaeltacht regions the opportunities that digital growth offers will be highlighted in Greasán Gteic ag cumasú fás digiteach (Gteic Network Enabling Digital Growth), a hybrid event being organised by Údarás na Gaeltachta and the gteic digital hub network. This event will outline the resources provided to the Gaeltacht regions by the 25 hubs in the gteic network.
Donegal workers, local businesses and social enterprises are invited to Unleash your Digital Creativity. Hosted by CoWork Plus Carndonagh and Spraoi’s Digital Creative Lab the event will showcase the digital resources available in Carndonagh, Inishowen including digitally manufactured products, vlogging and podcasting equipment. Moving inland, The Hive’s mission of supporting small business will be advanced through an event with Leitrim’s digital champions entitled Learn from Leitrim’s Leading Practitioners of Digital Growth.
Founding members of Digital Ireland Network will also stage events in support of the initiative. DigitalHQ clg will hold a seminar sharing insights on how they partnered with Dun Laoghaire Tidy Towns to map the built environment of the town to create Ireland’s first ‘placemaking audit’. An Cosán, Ireland’s largest provider of community education, will run seminars on how to join their digital champion initiative while .IE, the national registry for .ie domain names, will run a panel discussion where businesses will talk about their digital journey.
Separately, Microsoft Ireland Hackathon teams set about creating innovative ways to unlock staff volunteerism. It is anticipated that more than 50 staff will give of their time to help make a success of this national event.
Stephen Carolan, Enterprise Hubs project manager at Connected Hubs said: “We believe that the hub network across the country can act as a catalyst for communities to bring about the social change at scale envisioned in Our Rural Future. With almost 300 hubs now on board the platform and at least 400 in 2024, these hubs are perfectly positioned to drive digital growth, attracting economic and social development in communities in every part of Ireland. The Connected Hubs network is hosting a programme of seminars, meetups, and workshops, highlighting the role of our hub managers in the delivery of public and private services that can benefit every community.”