The Indigenous Digital Excellence Summit and Social Innovation

Indigenous Digital Excellence Agenda logo

The Indigenous Digital Excellence Summit, taking place at the end of June, is the culmination of academic research, face-to-face consultations and the six-week online collaboration that has been coordinated by the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.

I’m excited to have been invited to participate as one of four non-Indigenous facilitators at the summit and you will see me contributing to the #IndigenousDX conversation over the next few weeks.

As part of the first week of online collaboration before the event, I was asked to briefly explain what Indigenous Digital Excellence means to me – this is what I said:

“Indigenous Digital Excellence means to me setting a goal for genuine social innovation, where digital technology is used to solve challenges that affect the Indigenous community that were previously thought too hard because of different constraints or simply old attitudes. As part of this, the vision for Indigenous Digital Excellence should also embrace the idea of “program or be programmed” – this means people in the Indigenous community will be the programmers of Indigenous Digital Excellence themselves.”

Focusing on the social innovation part, my job as a facilitator at the Indigenous Digital Excellence Summit is not to create solutions but I hope I can influence and guide the participants towards ideas that are innovative, sustainable and meaningful so that they ultimately improve Indigenous wellbeing on their own terms.

Empathy is the first step in this process. In the same way I ask people in government to have empathy for the complex needs of different people in the community (e.g. “What Do Citizens Want?” from GovCamp Australia in 2011), I’ll be encouraging the participants at the summit to think about Indigenous Digital Excellence in the same way – that is, through empathy for the different needs of young Indigenous people across Australia.

Through this process I also hope we will discover ideas that are not only beneficial to the the Indigenous community, but could also help us tackle issues in the broader Australian community in new ways too. As my co-facilitator, Luke Pearson, said the other night on Twitter:

You can find more ideas about what Indigenous Digital Excellence means to different people on the IDEA site.