Summary: the Centre for Ageing Better has reponded positively to a Twitter discussion about the lack of reference to digital technology in its strategy. Sending a blog post in draft helped.
Last week a consultation paper emerged from the Centre for Ageing Better, which has a £50 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund. The paper had no mention of digital technology, and the omission sparked discussion on Twitter.
Shirley Ayres made some particularly congent points, as you can from this Storify.
I thought that the strategy paper, and the way consultation was being handled, raised a lot of issues, so I started on a rather provocative blog post. But I held back on posting, and instead sent a draft to the Centre, and to BIG.
I then blogged a piece with resources about Why #AgeingBetter funders and policy makers should embrace digital technology, hoping this would be a more helpful way to start a conversation.
I'm really pleased I did that, because the interim chief executive of the Centre, Greg Wilkinson, responded to my draft with a very helpful email picking up key issues, inviting input, and promising a more open process. Greg has since followed up with an invitation to meet, when I hope Shirley, I, and a couple of others engaged in discussion so far can help move things forward.
Rather than extract the issues in a blog post I've now put everything together on our wiki: my initial draft, Greg's response, and some further thoughts.
My first idea on what next, which you'll find there, included reference back to an earlier post about BIG's Ageing Better programme (which also lacks digital innovation) and the need to develop their online community platform. That is currently in test mode. Earlier post:
... where I concluded
>I don't think anything so substantial (as a full exploration) is needed to get things started. Nor do I think online exchanges should be in the lead. Maybe something like a David Gurteen Knowledge Cafe? If the Treasury can [host a discussion on How can we more actively share knowledge](http://socialreporter.com/?p=2763), BIG could host its own. David has even [produced a tip sheet on how to run a Cafe yourself](http://www.gurteen.com/gurteen/gurteen.nsf/id/knowledge-cafe-tip-sheet) - though I know it will be best if he facilitates.
The Centre has offices in the same building as BIG, and the digitally-savvy innovation agency NESTA, so maybe they could host an event that brings together people from those organisations and others keen to promote digital innovation in Ageing Better.
I'll return to this before meeting Greg - but what do you think is the best way to engage? It seems a really welcome opportunity.