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Telstra Foundation and National Centre of Indigenous Excellence support IDEA Summit in Sydney

Technology For Kids

Posted on July 3, 2013

3 min read

Last week we held the Indigenous Digital Excellence Agenda (IDEA) Summit at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern, Sydney. It was a resounding success with some fantastic outcomes I’d like to share with you.

We welcomed more than 30 emerging and established Indigenous leaders to collaborate on ideas that could create a nation where all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can thrive in the digital world.

Over the two days of the Summit, the co-designer participants heard from engaging and innovative speakers and workshopped ideas that could build the foundations for Indigenous Digital Excellence. The co-designers were bolstered by the news that the Telstra Foundation would be contributing $5 million over five years to support the NCIE and Indigenous Digital Excellence.

While many exciting ideas were developed and prototyped, five core ideas emerged from the Summit that the NCIE and the Telstra Foundation hope to take forward and incubate in some form through the Indigenous Digital Excellence Hub. The ideas include Indigenous apps, networks, search engines, marketplaces and cultural enterprises that facilitate resource redistribution and sharing, economic independence, family connections, device donations, genuine Indigenous content discovery, digital learning and intergenerational cultural strengthening.

I believe the Summit, on all accounts, delivered on what it set out to achieve. Collectively, the participants and facilitators unlocked their group genius, developed socially innovative ideas and laid the foundations for the movement for Indigenous Digital Excellence.

We look forward to continuing to work with both the Telstra Foundation and the participants to co-create a National Indigenous Digital Excellence Strategy, build the movement, and further develop the ideas as part of the Indigenous Digital Excellence Hub, to be built at the NCIE in the coming year. The nation should be optimistic about the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the digital world.

The IDEAS:

  • ‘IDEA Global’, is an online Indigenous marketplace for ideas, projects, events, skills and resources. The IDEA Global App seeks to cross national boundaries and connect with Indigenous people from around the globe.
  • ‘Kinship Indigenous Network’ or ‘KIN’ aims to reconnect Indigenous people to their families by providing an online network to appropriately store information about individuals and their family relationships. The core idea is to assist Indigenous people in finding their relatives through the assistance of digital technology.
  • Playfully called ‘Doris’ the third idea is an Indigenous search engine that helps people find authentic Indigenous content and perspectives in innovative ways. Envisaged as a browser extension, the search engine would use filters and approval processes developed by Indigenous people and maintained though community legitimacy.
  • Blaxess, aims to connect Indigenous people without digital devices to people keen to donate used devices. Beyond the transfer and reuse of digital devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets, Blaxess aims to develop a digital literacy program that supports the people receiving the devices and their communities.
  • Blackfella Enterprises, is an initiative aiming to commercialise traditional cultural knowledge in a sensitive and appropriate way that ensures ownership and benefits flow to Indigenous communities. Through new digital social enterprises, elders and young people can work together to revitalise and strengthen culture and bring economic independence. Customary medicine, benefiting from traditional knowledge developed over thousands of years, was used as an example for a potential traditional product that could be sold online.

Submissions and ideas for the National Indigenous Digital Excellence Strategy are welcome through social media and the IDEA website.

[L-R] Jason Glanville (NCIE, CEO), Jackie Coates (Telstra Foundation, National Manager), Sally Scales (delegate), Benjamin Gertz (delegate), Peter Dawson (delegate) and Marleena McIntosh (delegate).