The Digital City ["insert your city or region here"] pilot project would create and maintain a series of “New Economy Apprenticeships” which would lead to a “digital economy ecosystem” in ["insert your city or region here"]. This pilot project would implement a new kind of workforce training methodology which would tie intermediate and advanced training to new economy apprenticeships, project participation and job creation.
Interns would be put to work on one-off and on-going projects, which would be paid for by local “socially conscious” sponsorships. Entrepreneurial activities, an on-line marketplace and a video business directory would all help support and nurture this “ecosystem effect.” The measurable results of the pilot project would be to prove that by breaking down the silos and connecting various government and business efforts together – an integrated ecosystem effect can be kickstarted which would lead to a sustainable engine that creates on-line jobs. This ecosystem would sit on top of an open software platform and become a on-going means of on-line job creation.
The focus of the pilot would be on creating on-line jobs and teaching trainees the skills necessary to exist in a global marketplace of project based on-line workers. Individuals entrepreneurism, rather than company based – will be the emphasis of this project. The ["insert your city or region here"] training system would pick up where beginning computer skills classes leave off; placing trainees and interns into active projects, paired up with professionals and college educated workers.
These project teams would then produce work-for-hire sponsored projects, ranging from mobile and PC based content to educational software, visualizations and simulations. Sponsored viral marketing campaigns (via custom produced games and apps) would focus on Barbados history, culture and people. On-line startups and entrepreneurial activities would be supported by the pilot project, as well as a wide range of community engagement. By directly showing community members and organizations the benefits and rewards possible by utilizing on-line social media based tools, marketing campaigns and blogging – we hope to build trust in these local communities and bridge the disconnect between government/business and citizens.
The ["insert your city or region here"] pilot project would fund one year of training, internships and an underlying open software ‘platform.’ This software ‘portal’ would enable training to happen in a classroom, or virtually anywhere in ["insert your city or region here"] – with an Internet connection and PC/laptop. Flexible training techniques, experiential learning and extensive usage of multimedia (videos, photos and interactive games or mobile applications) would be combined together into an integrated approach to job creation.
The software platform would feature assignments, curriculum, an on-line marketplace and business directory and real-time video help desk – which would be manned by professionals, interns and volunteers. On-going programs, one-off projects and web services would be offered to a wide range of trainees – ranging from youth, ‘Baby Boomers’ and Moms returning to work to re-entry and welfare populations. Returning vets and currently under-employed workers would also participate – but only those who are the “best and brightest” – willing to make the entrepreneurial sacrifice of sweat equity – to learn a new way of doing business.
Volunteerism, mentoring and community engagement would all be taught as an effective means of job creation. Community newsletters and media channels would be produced and utilized to provide interns real-world skills which could be applied to a wide range of online marketing techniques and professions. The idea is to get the “Haves” to help the “Have Nots.”
The ultimate goal of the DCB Pilot project to have individual and community organizations reap the benefits of on-line technology (beyond what is possible by simply using MS Office.) The synergistic effect of combining education, business and government efforts together will create a cyber workforce (made up of both individuals and companies) ready to do business around the world – virtually via the Internet.