New industry-wide forum platform, talk-mobility, launches

The IHE, along with respected industry marketing and public relations consultant, Helen Blood, has launched a new online industry-wide platform aimed at helping the highways and ITS sectors to develop through collaboration.

The portal, called talk-mobility, aims to use the ‘power of conversation’ to help those working across the entire supply chain on both the local and strategic networks, to come together as a community to share and support each other as well as to act as an umbrella platform feeding to and from other websites in the sector that provide useful insight and knowledge. It has been set up as a communication and information platform dedicated to the Highways/ITS community that further enables knowledge transfer, sharing of best practice and skillsets across the industry. Highways News will be supporting talk-mobility with a series of articles over the next few months.

Users will be able to discuss challenges and find solutions to problems they might be experiencing, share best practice and new ways of working as well as debate the latest guidance and technological advances, through active and regular engagements with the highways/ITS community.

Steve Spender, Chief Executive of the IHE said: “Right now after such a challenging time, it is vital that we continue to engage and communicate so it is a great time to launch an industry-wide online platform that will help encourage people to share new ideas, advice, concerns and views through a number of forums and groups. Everyone involved in this project has spent a lot of time and effort developing it and now it is time for it to realise its potential and I hope industry really embraces it as a tool that will help bring it together as a community in one place.”

Helen Blood said: “As an industry we need to have a simple and dedicated solution for sharing information, best practice and challenges, to support the delivery of effective transport network management today and in the future. talk-mobility was born out of the fact that there is no single source of information or knowledge exchange to ensure the industry benefits from the resources, technology and innovation currently available. We wanted to provide something that gave busy industry representatives easy access to valuable information in one place to encourage industry engagement at the right levels. Also, as skills and resources continue to diminish, we wanted to provide a useful online resource so that the industry can have a multi-way communication platform with other industry colleagues and experts.”

The concept, which is not for profit, is based on a ‘by the community, for the community’ approach and serves all those delivering services and schemes across highways networks with a neutral approach. It is a not-for-profit platform (so will feature no advertising) focussed on knowledge sharing and ‘filling the gap’ in terms of sharing knowledge and experience.

“We have engaged with industry to gauge a level of interest and the concept has been 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 have been asked if we can include a ‘find a specialist’ area and a ‘new products/marketplace’ section to help the community find information and colleagues simply and quickly,” added Ms Blood. The platform does not aim to compete with current industry websites which hold specific information and documentation for members or commercial websites that provide news and journalistic features.

talk-mobility will retain the essence of the ‘bulletin boards’ approach through a modern-day online environment with relevant industry forums supported by a wider knowledgebase and will include guest blogs and will be linked to all the main industry organisations. The forums will ideally be self-moderating as it is a community platform, however it will also be moderated, operated and maintained by independent freelancers, whilst being facilitated and owned by the IHE.

Visit the platform at www.talk-mobility.org

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