Local and regional approaches to Digital Education: Key Takeaways from the ALL DIGITAL – MEDIAWIJS joint conference

May 19, 2024

In the framework of the  ALL DIGITAL Weeks 2024 campaign ALL DIGITAL, in collaboration with Mediawijs organised a conference highlighting local and regional approaches to digital inclusion in Brussels, featuring perspectives from academic research and good practices from around Europe.

Digital inclusion remains one of the biggest challenges of the digital transformation. Considering the increasing digitalisation of essential services, the labour market and social and democratic participation, it is those parts of society which already face exclusion or are otherwise disadvantaged who risk being further disconnected and left behind the most.

In addition, there is a lot of attention on this year’s European elections, and on the EU’s regulatory power continuing to make great strides in the digital sector with the AI Act, the Digital Services Act, and the Digital Market Act. However, digital inclusion measures are ultimately implemented on the local and regional level, and in many parts of Europe local elections are taking place simultaneously with the European elections.

The event, attended by 91 participants from 20 countries, was opened by Altheo Valentini, the President of ALL DIGITAL, followed by Alenka Le Compte representing Mediawijs, and Gerardo Franco, Europe Philanthropies Lead at Microsoft who hosted the event at their Brussels Technology Centre.

ALL DIGITAL President, Altheo Valentini stressed that “We try to use the projects (where ALL DIGITAL is involved) as a cooperation opportunity to bring innovation to the digital education sector and also produce something that can be used at local level by our members as a follow up opportunity with a different target group”

Gerardo Franco : “We face two major challenges when bringing our regional / national strategies to local level, one of them is ensuring coherence and cohesiveness : as you translate from national or regional to local level, things might get lost along the way). The second one is ensuring we have efficiency and scalability of our initiatives”

The keynote lecture centred on a research project about “Localising digital inclusion policy: A comparative analysis of local policy responses to digital exclusion in Belgium, France, and Norway”, presented by Dr. Sarah Anrijs from MICT-UGent and Paola Verhaert from SMIT-VUB, who led the research. The report highlighted that ‘’the main challenges that local government face in working on digital inclusion :
• finding suitable and sufficient staff
• generate internal support
• inter-municipal cooperation
• private partnerships
• lack of finance”

Alenka Le Compte, Digital Inclusion Expert from Mediawijs followed by presenting her organisations work in supporting, local governments on digital inclusion in Flanders. She underlined that : “I strongly believe that the place where we need to support these people (i.e. people who have some lack of digital literacy) is at a local level, at local community center […] where they can ask their digital question and digital support. So it is up to us, (the digital inclusion expert or digital inclusion organization) to make sure that this local organizations getst all the tools and skills in order to support people”

The event continued with a panel of inspirational practices, and good practices from Belgium and Europe”. It consisted of Josie Vranken from District09, the IT partner for the city of Ghent, Flanders, Veronique de Leener from CABAN, the Collective of Digital Accessibility Actors in Brussels, representing Belgian perspectives. They were supplemented by further European examples with Liliana Arroyo, Director General for Digital Society with the Catalan government presenting the Catalan Digital Alliance, and Miomir Rajcevic, presenting the Media Education Centre, a non-for-profit NGO promoting information literacy in Belgrade, Serbia. The session was moderated by Norman Rohner, Policy Officer at All Digital.

The event was rounded out by a networking workshop and small group Q&A and discussion session with each small group facilitated by the individual speakers.

The Campaign

The ALL DIGITAL Weeks campaign is one of the major pan-European awareness raising campaigns on digital skills for inclusion, empowerment and employment. It is organised by ALL DIGITAL Network, and it has been running since 2010. Since then, the campaign has helped almost 1.5 million people to get online for the first time or enhance their digital skills.

The awareness-raising campaign is run at digital competence centres, libraries, community centres, schools and other venues across Europe. Every year it helps about 100,000 Europeans from 20+ European countries to learn and be inspired by what technology can do for them, focusing on the opportunities given by digital transformation and its effects. The campaign is co-funded by the European Commission.

Over the years, the campaign was supported by Microsoft, Liberty Global, Accenture, Telenet, Cisco, Mozilla Foundation, Certiport.

Get Involved

Are you part of an organization or institution committed to fostering digital skills for inclusion and empowerment? Are you organising an event, training or course on digital skills and education? Add your event to the events map and get the opportunity to have it featured in the national coordinator’s report and to win the ALL DIGITAL Weeks Award for Best event!






Info Box

ALL DIGITAL Weeks 2024 will run over 3 weeks from 13 May until 31 May 2024. The campaign will be endorsed by the European Commission, involve international and national partners, and participating organisations in different European countries. 





13 May to 31 May 2024

Events map active from March 2024

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