Telecentre.Europe Update, June 2008

Dear Colleagues!

You’re receiving this note because you attended telecentre-europe meeting in Riga (April 2008), its predecessor (Barcelona 2007) or expressed interest in joining this list.

This note is to update on progress toward formalizing telecentre-europe as a network of community-based telecentres in Europe interested in learning from each other to improve practice and advocating together to ensure that community-based telecentres are seen as an important civic asset. Read and learn more about the vision and mission on www.telecentre-europe.org and participate by joining our collaborative telecentre-europe network on telecentreeurope.ning.com

This is a long mail, but please read it carefully. Any and all comments, reactions and volunteer support are welcomed!

Background – What came out of Riga

For those of you who were able to come to Riga, you know that from that two-day meeting, there was great energy and enthusiasm for further developing our nascent network. Both leading up to the meeting and at the meeting, the idea of a network was validated, with focus on both Knowledge Sharing and Advocacy as two interest areas which bridge between projects and throughout Europe. By a somewhat loose but significant consensus, a Steering Committee was also endorsed to articulate some parameters and next steps between April and the end of June 2008.

Progress to date
The attached documents provide greater detail, but in essence the Steering Committee is recommending that:


- telecentre-europe operates as an informal network for the next 9-12 months. During that time, a minimum staff will be in place to pursue activities related to Knowledge Sharing and Advocacy that serve the membership. On-line and off-line efforts will be pursued. An annual meeting will be held to provide face to face networking and consideration of the network’s further direction.
Membership includes three levels – full, associate and supporting. Full members will be telecentres or telecentre networks. Associate and supporting members are either individuals or resource organizations. The Steering Committee wants to maintain as flat and open a network as is feasible. At some point, a membership fee will be instituted, primarily as a feedback mechanism (willingness to pay demonstrates value), but also to offset some costs. For more background information on the process please read our Recommedations document attached.
- Within the next year, telecentre-europe will explore various funding channels, both to share information with the network on what is available and to secure funding for its own operations.
The Steering Committee in place now will evolve to the Founding Board. Going forward, this board will be comprised of three members from Western European countries and three members from Central & Eastern Europe. Non-EU members are encouraged to join and participate in the network.
- Decisions making efforts for the network will strive for consensus and when necessary, follow voting procedures (TBD). Any initiative to share the “voice” of telecentres across Europe (eg, commenting on Commission communications re eInclusion) will allow room for comment from all members (minimum 7 days) and opportunity for any member to “opt out” of representation.
Activities for next 12 months – what’s in this for you?
- telecentre-europe will be working on a plan for representation at the Vienna eInclusion Summit, Nov 30-Dec 2, 2008. The goal of participation is to raise the profile and visibility of the telecentre movement and the important social and economic role community telecentres play in accomplishing eInclusion in Europe.

Additionally, telecentre-europe will work on a plan to accomplish Knowledge Sharing and Advocacy through both on-line and off-line events. telecentre-europe will work to create opportunities for exchange between staffs and sharing of best practices. A goal of at least one such activity per quarter will be pursued. The attached workplan provides a bit more detail on what we hope can be achieved over the next few months.

In the spring of 2009, building on the experience at both Barcelona 2007 and Riga 2008, the annual meeting will focus on operational and programmatic themes to help improve practice of providing ICT skills and services through community-based telecentres.

Please consult the attached workplan for more clarity on suggested upcoming activities and events.

Additional next steps
telecentre-europe is recruiting a part-time Program Manager to staff the network. Please see the job description for further details and information. Candidates are invited to send a letter of interest and Curriculum Vitae to: community@telecentre-europe.org, copied to gabi.barna@eos.ro by 14 July 2008. Interviews with interested applicants will be conducted via phone or teleconference during the week of 21 to 25 July.

The Steering Committtee will convene again in September to further refine organizational plans and with particular focus on planning for the Vienna eInclusion event.

To sum up…

The Steering Committee is very pleased with our progress to date, accomplished on a purely voluntary basis. We continue to see the potential and power of a network of community telecentres in Europe to impact in significant ways our communities and accomplish meaningful e-Inclusion. We hope that each of you reading this note will continue to share your energy and creativity through various channels to evolve the network further!

Looking forward to lots of interesting discussions via ning, and wishing you a great summer,

Gabi Barna

Recommendations summary GB.ppt

TE PM job opening - GBMM.doc

Telecentre-Europe Workplan 2008 GB.xls

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