Diageo Ireland formed a partnership with The Digital Hub to ensure that the educational and community aspects of the project became a reality. A learning initiative called the Diageo Liberties Learning Initiative (DLLI) was created to ensure that the local community had the skills and opportunity to avail of the emerging digital landscape. It delivered over 25 programmes involving more than 7,000 participants.
The Digital Hub is managed by the Digital Hub Development Agency, an Irish state agency set up in 2003. The Digital Hub Development Agency runs The Digital Hub and implements its enterprise and campus development strategy. It also facilitates and contributes to urban regeneration in the Liberties area and pilots projects that are vital to the ongoing development of the digital sector in Ireland.
Invited to become one of The Digital Hub’s first facilitators in 2004, I quickly realised the challenge to make education entertaining to the local Dublin 8 adults and children. Whether this was in the form of redesign learning programmes for empowering the voice, or how to digitally tell a story, or understanding the power of sound. Being a part of The Digital Hubs’ Learning team meant getting creative with education and meeting the participants where they were at.
Engaging the local Dublin 8 community with a project that will empower and develop the minds of youths and adults became our primary goal. Working with Paul Dune we developed a unique learning programme that entailed teaching people from the surrounding area the skills to create their own radio shows giving them the power of voicing. The challenge was connected to people having a negative perception of education historically. This led us to design a course that was fun, exciting, and participant-led. It also resulted in students who were passionate and driven from the outset. The learning that was gained from this process led to repeated use of these techniques with other future community projects.
Working as part of the Digital Hub Learning team we developed training programmes over a wide range of digital technologies and tools. From Claymation to Sound and Digital Storytelling. All of ours programs were hands-on and were developed in collaboration with the community and its needs. The concept was simple to provide people from the local communities with the skills that empowered them to one day run their own digital business within the Digital Hub cluster. Numerous students went on to further study in Third Level Education and work with a range of digital businesses in the community.
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