Inaugural ‘Digital First’ Day for Ireland
3rd August 2022
Ireland’s first ever ‘Digital First’ Day will take place on November 16th 2022 with the goal of putting the power of digital to work in communities across the country, by creating a national conversation about the benefits of digital growth to people, organisations and communities in towns and villages across Ireland.
Driven by a new collaboration, Digital Ireland Network , Ireland’s 262 ConnectedHubs will be encouraged to host seminars, meetups or workshops for their locality around the theme of the benefits of digital growth. The wider vision is to develop a national network of ‘Digital First Communities’ – a new approach to empowering rural localities to collaborate to use digital growth to attract investment, remote workers, home buyers, shoppers and visitors to their community, thus advancing sustainable regional development and quality of life.
Speaking about the initiative, Heather Humphreys, Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Rural and Community Development said “This is a vitally important initiative that brings together key components of a number of significant Government policies, not least my own Department’s National Social Enterprise Policy and Our Rural Future.
The role of digital development to support balanced regional development cannot be overstated. Central to this is the need to close the digital divide, both at an individual level and in collective terms.
Communities must be supported to leverage new technologies and new ways of doing things to ensure growth. This is why my department is driving forward the connectedhubs.ie platform and has invested more than €100m into the hub sector in recent years. There will be approximately 300 hubs on the connectedhubs.ie network by the end of this year and at least 400 in 2024. This is a national resource that has endless potential to support innovations such as Digital First Day.
I want vibrant, bustling towns and villages and this initiative will certainly contribute to that ambition.”
Hubs of all types and sizes, associations, groups or volunteers are all welcome to run an event on 16th November around the theme of the benefits of digital growth. A full pack will be provided to event hosts to support the success of their event including guides, marketing and digital activation resources. Applications to register your interest in holding an event is now open on www.digital-ireland.ie. The ‘Digital First’ Day initiative is part funded through the Department of Rural & Community Development ARISE fund.
Pictured (L-R): Gail Marshall, Susie Kelly and Corrinna Maguire in the Manor Hub in Leitrim, a member of the ConnectedHubs network.