Ci’s mission is to accelerate an inclusive digital society that is citizen-centric, trusted and inclusive, and our work with communities intersects with all our other programmes and priorities.

Our Digital Communities Programme works at different levels, from digital connectivity, skills and inclusion, through engagement with rich media local content to developing citizen interaction, with the vision that through digital activity a physical community will become stronger.

The programme empowers the communities in which we work by setting wide agendas for inclusive, digital engagement, building on a very practical vision of ‘digital activity’ being of direct public good to individuals, families, groups and community stakeholders.

We are building exemplar digital-ready communities that are ‘living laboratories’ for test-beds for other Ci programmes and our Members to enhance their work within connected and digitally aware communities. The communities in which we work are also a source of real-life information, providing specific examples of digital challenges or best practice to influence wider debate, policy and Thought Leadership consultations.

In many discussions around the Digital Society the citizen is often not the prime focus, lagging behind the technology, apps, efficiency, cost-savings and transformation and Ci’s Digital Communities Programme works to shift this balance and place the individual back at the centre of the debate to understand the benefits and challenges of ‘digital’ in their lives.

The programme’s digital engagement is led by our local community digital television channels, supported by online radio, live streaming of community events, social media platforms and a wide range of physical networks and workshops. Our rich content channels provide community-specific content to engage and interact with citizens digitally and are providing a model with national relevance, as the UK’s local, digital community media develops.

Engagement is also built through specific community digital projects supporting local democracy, community organisations, health, well-being and social care, education across the ages, building clusters of local businesses and incubating digital start-ups. We work to expand the community’s digital reach, identity and influence by listening and reacting to people’s needs and use our digital platforms to hear their voices and to tell the stories of their community.

We also run a rolling programme of Creative and Digital Media Apprentices, who work within the community, producing digital content and focusing community-inspired digital activity.

The first and flagship initiative of our Digital Communities Programme is Digital Corsham and for more information about our work in communities, please email collaborate@corshaminstitute.org.