The vision is for ‘talk-mobility’ to bring our community together to share and support one another and to act as an umbrella platform feeding from and to websites provided by industry bodies and private sector organisations.
The idea for an online collaborative platform for the highways and ITS industry is a concept I had been developing in my head and discussing with my team when I was working in-house. Going self-employed gave me the opportunity to put my plans into play. I approached the IHE, thanks to an introduction by a long-standing client and IHE member, looking for support to realise the idea. As a key organisation supporting the highways industry, they saw the potential for such a platform and here we are!
To our new web-based communications platform dedicated to the Highways/ITS community. The ‘talk-mobility’ concept is based on a ‘by the community, for the community’ approach and is here to serve all those delivering services and schemes across highways networks. It is a not-for-profit platform (i.e. no advertising) focussed on knowledge sharing and ‘filling the gap’ we currently see as industry members retire and take a lot of knowledge with them that has not been transferred to the ‘next generation’.
We engaged with industry to gauge a level of interest and the concept was very well received by DfT members, Local Authority highways teams and the private sector. The initial concept was based purely on a forum-based platform supported by guest blogs; however we were asked if we could include a ‘find a freelancer’ area and a ‘marketplace’ section to help the community find information and colleagues simply and quickly.
- Retaining the essence of the ‘bulletin boards’ approach through a modern-day online environment with relevant industry forums supported by a wider knowledgebase.
- An online ‘information exchange’ for the Highways/ITS community – Local Authorities, Highways England, DfT, industry bodies / groups and private sector.
- A neutral, not for profit solution delivered by industry for industry.
- A central source taking relevant input from, and providing links to, the multiple industry bodies / groups (i.e. DfT, IHE, CIHT, ICE, ADEPT, TTF, LGTAG, LCRIG, ARTSM, RSTA etc.), private sector and industry media.
- A multitude of organisations are providing a lot of information across several platforms which often creates too much ‘noise’ to quickly filter in limited available time.
- Skills and resources continue to diminish whilst the next generation also expects online availability of information and the ability to have multi-way communication with industry colleagues and experts.
- No ‘single source’ of information or knowledge exchange is current available to ensure the industry benefits from the resources, technology and innovation currently available.
- As an industry we need to have a simple and dedicated solution for sharing information, best practice and challenges to deliver effective transport network management today and in the future.
- An online forum with ‘bulletin’ boards and guest blogs (with a keyword search function).
- Individual user accounts.
- Fully moderated by ‘talk-mobility’ facilitators.
- Linked to industry bodies.
- Delivered, operated and maintained by the independent freelancers as facilitators of the forum which is owned by the IHE.
- Provides a communication and information platform dedicated to the Highways/ITS community that will further enable knowledge transfer, sharing of best practice and skillsets across the industry.
- Encourages industry engagement at the right level (not a commercial platform).
- Further support industry organisations through active and regular engagement with the Highways/ITS community.
For more information on how to get more involved you can contact Helen on 07896 560999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen has spent a majority of her career in the transport sector, initially working in-house for a large ITS organisation. She is passionate about transport, especially highways, and now runs her own business – H2H Marketing Services – a successful marketing and business development consultancy specialising in the transport and infrastructure sector.