Techies In Residence - Update

Techies In Residence - Update

09 June 2015

Techies in Residence has reached its first milestone with the close of the open call for problems and opportunities from the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise Sector. We chatted with CultueTECH’s Connor Doherty for a quick update on the numbers and what’s been going on so far....

As the open call closes a total of 36 applications were received. These organisations span the width and breadth of Northern Ireland and also cover a multitude of problems.

Without going into too much detail about what exactly has been received, we noticed a few distinct trends from the applications, and the challenges that they were looking to cover.

Data

How can organisations collect data that is relevant directly to that organisation and how can it be understood, analysed and consumed in a way that can be presented to funders, and also be used to benefit their users and community?

This is important to organisations as they want to be able deliver the best services possible as well as track the impact that they make.

Organisational Change

Many organisations that applied were keen to hold their hands up and mention that they need lots of development to streamline their services and help modernise.

By updating their back end and modernising there, they feel that they can help make front line improvements.

Engagement

One thing that came through was a feeling of disconnect and a “digital divide", especially regarding younger people. Groups realise that directly appealing to people’s love of new mediums, they feel that they’re falling behind in delivering their services using this, yet want to explore new ways of doing it.

These are all keywords that jump out from reading the proposals, but don’t delve into any of the problems that are being proposed.

In terms of organisations,applications have been received from some of the largest umbrella organisations in the VCSE Sector in Northern Ireland as well as small community groups and charities that are doing really important work with some of the most marginalised and impressionable groups.

In fact, we’ve also had a lot of speculative ideas from organisations, that offer challenges that would test our potential techies.

There seems to be no shortage of challenges that our techies will be set over the course of the residencies, and we’re really keen to see the idea generation process, and also the solution that come out of the processes.

What Happens Now?

Well, the groups are being whittled down, and we’ll be selecting 6 of the projects to go forward for the In Residence part of the programme, which will kick off with a 2 day bootcamp at the CultureTECH festival in September.

Before that we’ll be refining the briefs and the advisory board will be giving their expertise to make the proposals ship shape and ready.

The advisory board have also been having conversations with sources of techies. Without giving too much away, the programme has been well received by a range of tech employers, who are keen to test their employees out on projects outside their comfort zone.

As well as looking for proposals, we’ve been talking up the Techies in Residence programme across Europe, looking for partner organisations to help lend their expertise.

We’ve been chatting to organisations such as NPC, Nominet Trust, Hashtag Charityand others.

The next update that we’ll be sharing will be the chosen organisations, and in the office we’re kicking around ideas on what to do with the runners up, as there’s some excellent proposals, more than we can take on due to capacity.

Look forward to announcing this and any other Techies in Residence news that we have to share.

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