Telecentre Leaders' Forum - Europe | day 2

...then it was Wednesday, and the TLF-Europe run its final day. It was time to take stock and firm up outcomes.

Overall, I was impressed with this event. A couple of weeks earlier, the taskforce was grapping with the agenda and nature of participants that would make the main objectives of the event come alive - knowledge sharing and consolidating the telecentre network.

By Wednesday afternoon (day 2), I could see momentum among participants; they wanted the network and wanted it big-time!!! A pre-event participant’s survey had already revealed "knowledge sharing" as top priority action telecentre practitioners wanted. Forget the statistical marginal of error that comes with polls and surveys - this was real. Knowledge sharing was re-echoes as "the" most important for the network.

There is a very close thread that runs through Europe. It's the European Union. Infact was participant put it more passionately: "...we are one community, one nation. Its critical that we share experiences and build a strong Europe..." This feeling was helped by full participation of Nick Batey from EU's ICT for Inclusion. Nick underlined the importance of e-inclusion and therefore telecentres to the prosperity of Europe. Probably you have already heard this line "...telecentres are a social investment" Yes, so have I. But Nick provided another dimension: "...telecentres are also an economic opportunity" Did you know that Europe could reap Euro 35-45 billion over the next 5 years by investing in efficient telecentre activities that drive e-inclusion. A good percentage of the population in Europe doesn't have access to ICT the EC reckons. The private sector is interested because of the potential to increase the quality of the market - and you know what next - more sales! Light story:

LIKTA is one of the leading e-inclusion programs in Latvia. In one of their centres, a senior citizen (78 years) was fascinated by his new skills...he could use the computer and search the net. He's no longer afraid of new technology therefore cuts a new personality among his peers. He announced that he was selling his car to buy a computer. Luckily before anyone could pay the price for the car, a company donated him a computer. He can now continue to enjoy the benefits of ICT and remain a proud car owner.

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