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And your point is? PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Brunnen   
Sunday, 01 February 2015 14:07


It’s not difficult to pour scorn on an idea – to not give much space for explanation.   Fresh ideas are, like children, going to take a while to be understood.  They need to be nurtured and encouraged – and not prematurely discounted.

We are all well aware of how debate can be stifled.  Tabloid headlines, instant judgments, knee-jerk reactions – originators of fresh thought need strong defences and determination to go out on stage again and face that wall of derision.  It’s small wonder that any survive for long enough to become (after several years) ‘an overnight star’ – the accolade that often reveals the stubborn durability of ignorance.

These thoughts resurfaced as we considered, once again, launching the Open Call for nominations in the 2015 Next Generation Digital Challenge Awards programme.   The world is awash with awards.  Every year we start out asking ourselves why we do it – and later, by the close of some grand presentation event, we know exactly. 

In our case it’s about nurturing digital endeavour and honouring those projects, teams and organisations that have dared to make a difference.  The differences they make are often achieved in the face of a host of difficulties – to gain funding, solve technical issues, find channels to market, and gather together the expertise.

We don’t offer lucrative prizes or heap praise on those who’ve already amassed massive numbers and market success.  You’ll not find us presenting a trophy to BigName CEO of the Year.  Far more likely we’ll celebrate some breakthrough initiative in bringing eHealth capabilities to housebound folk who’d look askance at digital thingies – or a local council using crowd funding to fuel local projects way beyond some distant government’s limited imagination.

There’s rarely any shortage of nominations.  Project leaders are often surprised to learn they have such fans out there – and already they feel like they are winners.  If then they get short-listed as finalists the heart rate quickens.  Then they get to set down, in their own time and for the benefit a judging panel, exactly what their point is – the nature of their Challenge, their Solution and finally their Achievement, and all on one side of A4 paper.

That simple process focuses the mind.  They must quietly explain, not in some open debate but in words carefully chosen to clearly articulate their project, how they’ve made progress.  By that time, and before the judging commences, they know they are already winners – and their submissions will end up as case studies. 

There can, of course, only be one outright winner in each awards category – only one can hold that trophy aloft – but that memento is but nothing compared to the greater success that comes from being able confidently to reply when someone looks down their nose and asks ‘and your point is?


For details of how to nominate digitally-enabled projects (in any field) please visit










Last Updated on Sunday, 01 February 2015 14:24

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