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VIEWdigital co-founder Brian Pelan entered the Dragon’s Den today at the Dunadry Hotel at a conference organised  by Social Enterprise NI. Brian was one of five individuals, trying to secure a £1,500 award before the panel of judges – Colin Jess (Ulster Bank); Karen Lynch (Belu Water) and Phelim Sharvin (UCIT). The winner was Cavanstone, a social enterprise based in Dromore. The conference, which was well attended, was hosted by UTV’s Paul Clark.

By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor Amidst the grandeur of the Harbour Office in Belfast, Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, gave a social justice lecture last night (Monday, October 19) about combating poverty. The event was organised by the Law Centre (NI). Ms Unwin delivered a polished performance in which she touched upon many of the key factors surrounding poverty in the UK and the need to change it. Shortly after her talk ended, I posed some questions to her around the issue of poverty and why is it still with us in the 21st century?. “I think…

VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy, left, who spoke at a workshop at yesterday’s Digital DNA conference in Titanic, Belfast, with Stephen Gray from NICVA and head of digital content at MacMillian Cancer, Amanda Neylon. The workshop, aimed at the third sector, explored the various digital technologies which have proven a track record in assisting organisations in the community/voluntary/charity sector to become more efficient, responsive and effective in achieving their objectives.

Third sector organisations are still leading the way when it comes to best-practice leadership and service provision, according to the head of the umbrella group for voluntary, community and social enterprise chiefs in Northern Ireland. Speaking at the launch of the CO3 leadership awards – Celebrating Champions 2016 – Nora Smith, Chief Executive of CO3, said that third sector leaders are at the forefront of delivering vital services and providing a voice for those in most need. Ms Smith said: “This is despite ongoing financial pressures including reduced overall funding and delayed processing of existing funding. In an era of austerity, more is expected from…

How can charities, community groups and other not for profit organisations best embrace and harness the full potential benefits that digital platforms, tools and content offer? We asked digital communications specialist Harry Reid to share his 10 top tips 1,  Become informed – The core of ‘the digital thing’ is developing a sensibility about what each of the range of digital tools, when well deployed, can achieve. Make informed choices about which combination best serves your organisation’s aims. 2,  Operate strategically – Consider which digital channels you have the resources, particularly in staff or volunteers’ time, to exploit well. Don’t,…

By Sophie Mullen A founder partner of Go ON UK – the UK’s Digital Skills Alliance – Lloyds Bank UK has spelt out the ‘state of digital’ in Northern Ireland but it’s latest Business Digital Index makes grim reading. While Northern Ireland in many respects is becoming a leader in its own right in the digital sector, with technology giants making their home here, sadly the opposite seems to be true, according to this year’s Digital Skills Index, looking at SMEs and charities across the UK. It would be easy to mistake Northern Ireland as a digitally skilled nation. Belfast…

By Una Murphy: Images: Kevin Cooper, Photoline NUJ What can a former depressed, homeless, long haired drug dealer tell you about leadership? Paul Schmitz, now sporting a sharp hair cut, beard and natty smart bow tie, has the ear of US President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle. He is no longer a rebellious kid selling drugs to feed his addiction but the Chief Executive of Leading Inside Out and author of ‘Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up’. Mr Schmitz had come to Belfast to speak about building leadership ‘muscle’. It is not good enough, he said, to…

With innovation charity Nesta predicting that crowdfunding could be worth £4.7 billion to UK charities in 2016 and statutory funding stalling or being cut, digital communications consultant Harry Reid examines if it can be a potential lifesaving part of a voluntary organisation’s funding efforts Indiegogo sounded to me like a really bad Eurovision act the first time I came across the moniker about five years ago. Yet rather than a nul points scoring group of Norwegian would-be hipsters, checking it out online I discovered it was something called a crowdfunding platform that had been launched in 2008. Back…

By Barry Adams, Guest editor for VIEW’s Community Goes Digital issue Digital has become the buzzword of this decade. Everything has to be digital, and we all have to become digitally empowered citizens. Few people ever stop to think about what all this digital malarkey actually means. We’re so caught up in the hype surrounding digital technologies, we can’t see the wood from the trees. This is especially true in the community and voluntary sector. “We have to go digital!” some poor board member proclaims, having read an alarmist article in a publication about how lagging behind in digital is…

By Brian Pelan, editor, VIEW It felt like one of the many European cites as Belfast came out to celebrate Culture Night. Hundreds of people ambled through the city with one thought on their minds – to party, enjoy the music and dance the night away. Musicians and artists were out in force on a night when they truly own the city. As darkness fell and it was time to make my way home, I overheard one young woman saying to her friend: “Why can’t it be like this every month?” Amen to that.

By Una Murphy HEALTH, happiness, well being and empowerment are the potential social impact benefits to the community from the growth of social enterprises, a Social Enterprise Means Business With Purpose master class in Belfast has heard. Speakers Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council, Alan Herron, a PlayBoard NI director and Stephen McGarry a manager with Gauge NI addressed the ‘Social Impact Equation’ They were asked by VIEWdigital community media to share one thing they felt social enterprises could make a difference. Ms Wylie said skills development and getting people into jobs was one of the main areas…

The Bounce Arts Festival got off to a bouncy start today at Belfast City Hall thanks to to artist Simon Jones and his big bouncy castle that makes sounds when you jump on it. The Bounce festival takes place from today until September 6  with a mix of music, theatre, comedy, circus, poetry, photography and dance from some of the UK and Ireland’s top disabled and deaf artists. Chris Ledger, Director of the Arts and Disability Forum said the aim of the festival was to showcase the very best work around, all produced by artists who are disabled or deaf. She added:…

Castle Coole, in County Fermanagh is set to be showcased on the big screen as Miss Julie, starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain hits movie houses across the UK from September 4. Filmed solely at National Trust locations in Fermanagh, the movie is based on August Strindberg’s play, and adapted for screen by Liv Ullmann. It stars an award winning cast including Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar), Colin Farrell (True Detective, In Bruges) and Samantha Morton (Control, Minority Report). Miss Julie was filmed in 2013 at the National Trust’s Castle Coole which is widely recognised as one of Ireland’s…

 By Una Murphy, co-founder VIEWdigital At VIEWdigital community media we believe in ‘good stories well  told’. We are passionate about unearthing human stories that contribute to enlighten the public on critical social issues. Through bespoke training we harness individuals’ potentials to tell their own stories in a compelling manner. VIEWdigital was co-founded by two journalists: Una Murphy and Brian Pelan. We publish VIEW digital social affairs magazine on VIEWdigital http://viewdigital.org online news site and distribute printed copies of VIEW magazine free to libraries in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. VIEWdigital also hosts training by seasoned digital and…

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