Written by Julie Hentz
Who is the digital wizard behind iSMA’s popular Webinars and now Social Marketing Training Courses? It’s Dave Cutter of Wokingham, England, who for many years has made these valuable member features possible by contributing his time and technical expertise to supporting iSMA’s mission through a variety of channels.
Dave serves as Head of Digital Innovation at Hitch Marketing in Liverpool, England, where he just completed piloting an e-learning system and is beginning to shape an online platform to reach vulnerable young people in Liverpool and Wales for online sessions in lieu of face-to-face during this time of COVID. Other R&D projects are in the works as well.
“The real satisfaction from the work comes in seeing the impact it has on the target community.” While all the conceptualizing and production takes place behind the screen, for example the digital toolkit created to improve the lives of people living with Dementia, “it was actually the opportunity to watch their reactions to our specifically curated content that was so moving and heartfelt.”
It was at the University of Lincoln that Dave’s path toward digital social work began, where he earned a Masters in Digital and New Media in 2012. The timing of his studies and the global impact that digital channels were defining proved transformational. Entering University with a vision of generating apps, games and AR while the Arab Spring was showcasing the power of digital social channels to impact history… “it seemed absolutely incredible the way people were able to come together to create a real movement, with so much of it being co-ordinated via Twitter and other online platforms, without the existing establishments really having any handle on it… quite the shift in perspective! And then there was the negative and destructive power of digital channels becoming apparent…. the rise of troll farms and astroturfing, fake news, and a real lack of ‘online literacy’ in many people’s ability to distinguish between what is real and fake online.” All were significant learning experiences and motivating factors for Dave.
As COVID protocol defines our work life these days, Dave has been able to work from his home in Wokingham and enjoy the benefits that proximity to family and community bring during these challenging times. Of his work now, Dave says, “It’s my role to try and find ways that we can use new media and technology to improve people’s lives and wellbeing, utilizing emerging mediums to encourage behaviour change, and maybe make the world a little bit happier to live in.”
We at iSMA feel very lucky to have Dave’s digital expertise and motivation supporting our collective mission and it’s a real pleasure to work alongside him.
And Hedgehogs! Hedgehogs also make the world a better place! Dave says, “If you’re reading this from the UK, please remember to leave out a little bowl of water for your local hedgehogs!”