Diageo: Bridging the Digital Divide

Business in the Community Ireland

Company Description:
Diageo is Ireland’s number one drinks business with an outstanding collection of beer, wine and spirit brands. Diageo Ireland directly employs more than 2,300 people in operations around Ireland including Dublin, Belfast, Bushmills, Dundalk, Kilkenny and Waterford. We also contribute significantly to approximately 15,000 other jobs and invest in excess of €500m annually on materials, supplies and wages. Exports of our world famous Guinness and Baileys brands exceed €750m per year.
Business Issue:
Diageo Ireland, parent company of Guinness, has a long association with the Liberties area of Dublin. The company’s citizenship programme aims to ensure an ongoing partnership and collaboration with the local community in the Liberties, focusing on support for building a knowledge-based society and addressing the ‘digital divide’.

Solution Applied:
• The Diageo Liberties Learning Initiative operates since summer 2002 through The Digital Hub, which aims to create a centre of excellence for innovation, creativity and research in the Liberties/Coombe area.
• The Diageo Liberties Learning Initiative is delivered through various programmes that provide the local community with access to digital technology at different levels, ranging from using digital music software to create music to the use of technology for enhanced storytelling.
• The Diageo Liberties Learning Initiative is open to 2,000 people in the Liberties. The programme is run through 16 local schools, and also collaborates with almost 160 community organisations in the locality.
• To date, Diageo Ireland has contributed a little under €3 million to the Diageo Liberties Learning Initiative. The programme is overseen and implemented by The Digital Hub in consultation with Diageo staff.

Company Benefits:
• Diageo Ireland’s involvement with The Digital Hub through the Diageo Liberties Learning Initiative has meant that the company has been able to continue its support for the community of the Liberties in a meaningful way.
• The reputation of Diageo Ireland has been significantly enhanced as a result of this engagement. This has been helped by the significant media coverage on TV, radio and both local and national print media.

Stakeholder Benefits:
“The impact of Digital Storytelling on the school has been considerable. The participating pupils have enthusiastically embraced the project. Their use of the technology involved has enriched their learning experience and provided them with an added medium through which to express themselves”. Patricia Slevin, Principal, Francis Street CBS.

Departments Involved:
External Affairs and Community Relations.

Solution Champion:
Jean Doyle, PR Manager, Diageo Ireland, jean.doyle@diageo.com