On Monday I went along to the hearings of submissions to the Dunedin Digital Strategy. It was very formal...just like the USA congressional hearings you see on the TV so I think a number of us found it intimidating at first. Having said that, I enjoyed talking to my submission and listening to other points of view throughout the morning.
The highlight of the morning was hearing the common threads such as ensuring no-one is disadvantaged by lack of access and supporting a community approach to projects and processes. I really enjoyed hearing from people in the community who I have never met but have the same philosophy, including a representative of the Dunedin rates payers who talked about encouraging people to use free software such as Linux and Open Office.
The other thing that struck me was how much the Digital Strategy opened up wider issues. For example, Sam Mann talked about eParticipation and how the Digital Strategy encourages us to think about how opening up the processes of the Dunedin City Council. The morning really emphasised for me how being 'digital' isn't just about Internet access but is about a way of being...living...educating...doing business...
I was especially challenged by Richard Hutchings (not sure if that is his name) who talked about the electro-magnetic radiation emitted by wireless Internet that has a health impact on people. I have no idea if there is anything in what Richard says, but it did bring home to me that for everything I am enthusiastic about, there will be someone else who does not agree. I'll be interested to see how the DCC manages this particular issue.
The other highlight of the morning was being introduced to white chocolate Tim-Tams at morning tea...yummy!
The question is now...if, how, when and where the Strategy will be taken up and how much the up-coming local elections will impact on that uptake.