Dr. Jiska Engelbert chaired session on digital inclusion organised by the CDO Office Rotterdam

On 12 October our strategic director and Vital Cities and Citizens theme lead ‘Smart Cities and Communities' dr. Jiska Engelbert chaired the second meeting on how to create a platform focussed on digital participation organised by the CDO Office Rotterdam. The goal of the meeting was to bring together the different parties and organisations - formal and informal, small and big, all working on digital inclusion in Rotterdam - to discuss how to organise fruitful collaboration in the future - with one another and the municipality.

We kicked off the afternoon with an introduction by Salim Elfassi, project lead at Stichting KOCO Rotterdam, our host for the day. Afterwards, Arjan Meurs (CDO Office Rotterdam) and Faouzi Achbar, councillor in Rotterdam with the portfolio digital inclusion, briefly discussed why digital inclusion is an important priority for the municipality and the role civil society organisations play in making digital inclusion possible. Ömer Hünkar Ilik (Tea Time), Eva-Mirre Dam (Wijkplatform Carnisse, CDO Office Rotterdam) and dr. Maria Schiller (Remapping Rotterdam, Vital Cities and Citizens) shared inspiring examples of how digital inclusion in the city can be organised and how networks can be utilised or created to do so. Participants then discussed in small groups the ideal way(s) of working together, what is needed for collaboration - from one another, from the municipality and from the councillor - and what they can bring to the collaboration.

What has become clear from the meeting - and the group photo - is that there are many people and organisations working on digital inclusion in the city and this meeting was a great second step to work out how to do that better together. To be continued!

Thanks to everyone who participated and facilitated the discussion today, and special thanks to Cindy Breaux and Jacqueline Gomes-Santana Andrade for organising.