Why A Digital Excellence Conference For Chicago

COMMUNITY MEDIA, site NEIGHBORHOOD TECHNOLOGY AND DIGITAL EXCELLENCE

Do you know these people?

Thom Clark. Michael Maranda. Lowry Taylor. Bruce Montgomery, skincare Nicol Turner Lee. Shaz Rasul. Vincent Caskill. Nichole Pinkard. Sandee Kastrul. Rose Mabwa.

Now, these may not be names you see every day in the paper, but to the foundation executives, non-profit agencies and city officials in the know, these are some of the people who make it happen in Chicago’s neighborhoods, bringing resources, training and capacity-building support to hundreds of Chicago non-profits and hundreds of thousands of local residents in every underserved community in Chicago.

CHICAGO: The Neighborhood Technology Leader.

Whether you know it or not, Chicago leads the way in neighborhood technology and digital inclusion activities, as the recent first-in-the-country broadband grants given to the city totalling over $21.7 million dollars proved conclusively. Yet who are the people who behind the scenes and out of the public spotlight for 20 years created more than 600 technology centers, 100 training programs, 300+ non-profit agencies and more? Who coined and popularized the terms “digital excellence, digital demonstration communities” that got the attention of federal officials?

On Friday, October 29, 2010, Meet The People Leading The Neighborhood Digital Excellence Movement!

Well, you can find out on Friday, October 29, 2010! Some of the most talented and creative people creating the innovative programs and initiatives on the neighborhood technology scene – the people who defined and coined the term “digital excellence” – are just some of the more than two dozen speakers and presenters, from both the local and national scene, that will be present on Friday, October 29, 2010, as the Chicago Digital Access Alliance Inc. presents the 1st Chicago Neighborhood Digital Excellence Conference and Technology Fair (DexCon2010).

HOSTED BY DEPAUL EGAN CENTER, 1 EAST JACKSON IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO

This unique first-of-its-kind in the country one-day conference will be held at the DePaul University Egan Center in downtown Chicago, 1 East Jackson Boulevard, Lower Level, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

A FULL DAY OF WORKSHOPS, A LUNCHEON, ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS AND A DIGITAL EXCELLENCE RECOGNITION RECEPTION

The day-long conference, focused on digital excellence activities, practitioners and learning opportunities, is expected to draw several hundred people from throughout metropolitan Chicago. Activities include morning workshops, a luncheon with a nationally-known keynote speaker, afternoon discussion sessions and a digital excellence roadshow recognition reception honoring digital excellence practitioners and advocates from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the lower level.

WHO WILL BE AT THE CONFERENCE? AND WHY SHOULD YOU BE?

We expect 200 individuals, 50 non-profits, representatives from 25 foundations and people from around the Midwest to be in attendance at the conference. WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US.

THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE

All the conference details are contained here. Check here and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed #DexCon2010 @cdaadigital for all the details. And you can officially register for the conference here via Paypal and Google Checkout.

Keep checking here for details on the conference and all the activities of the Chicago Digital Access Alliance Inc. – Neighborhoods Connected, Citizens Empowered(tm)

On October 30, purchase following upon the Digital Excellence Conference convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance, we are holding a working session to establish an organization and network in service to the field encompassing Community Technology, Community Media and Community Networking, addressing and inviting all who have gathered to remediate Digital and Social Divides under banners of Literacy, Access, Inclusion, Excellence and Justice.

We believe that a new way of working together is emerging and that our message to our communities is more pertinent than ever, and that we are stronger when we establish resources in common and share solutions freely across the network.

This is not a relaunch.  It is something more profound.  We honor the heritage of our field by finding a way forward, one suited to our present situation, one that builds upon what we have learned.

We have much experience in this community, and we are clearly ready to refactor, rebuild and reboot the movement and the network.  We will determine the functions, services and capacities we need and desire for the field, and we will coordinate efforts to bring them online in a manner that serves the field as a whole, building upon capacities already under development when possible and operating from a perspective of shared, open stewardship.

We’re looking to grow our field, and to demonstrate it’s relevance to every facet of community and civic life.  Many are engaged in the work and have not found us, their peer-community.  We’re looking to establish a way for them to find us as we found each other, and for all to find a way to take up a meaningful share of the work.

We would love for all who wish to come to be there.  This is an open call to everyone serving our field.   You are invited to join the working meeting on October 30, or to step up in any way that may support this effort.  (All are likewise invited to attend the Digital Excellence Conference, October 29.)

Many have already expressed support for this endeavor, but not all are able to attend.  For some, the obstacle is scheduling, for others there are fiscal constraints.  Perhaps we can find creative ways to address the latter.

There will be several channels for involvement leading up to and following the meeting.  

First among them is a discussion list:  http://groups.google.com/group/rebuild-reboot All who wish to attend or otherwise support the work should subscribe and participate.  Please signify on that list whether you plan to join us for the meeting or if you can support this effort in some other way.

Please also spread the word on this meeting and the conference.  Tell us who you think should be there.  Better yet, tell them.

Michael Maranda
Rebuild-Reboot Committee
On October 30, remedy following upon the Digital Excellence Conference convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance, cure we are holding a working session to establish an organization and network in service to the field encompassing Community Technology, Community Media and Community Networking, addressing and inviting all who have gathered to remediate Digital and Social Divides under banners of Literacy, Access, Inclusion, Excellence and Justice.

We believe that a new way of working together is emerging and that our message to our communities is more pertinent than ever, and that we are stronger when we establish resources in common and share solutions freely across the network.

This is not a relaunch.  It is something more profound.  We honor the heritage of our field by finding a way forward, one suited to our present situation, one that builds upon what we have learned.

We have much experience in this community, and we are clearly ready to refactor, rebuild and reboot the movement and the network.  We will determine the functions, services and capacities we need and desire for the field, and we will coordinate efforts to bring them online in a manner that serves the field as a whole, building upon capacities already under development when possible and operating from a perspective of shared, open stewardship.

We’re looking to grow our field, and to demonstrate it’s relevance to every facet of community and civic life.  Many are engaged in the work and have not found us, their peer-community.  We’re looking to establish a way for them to find us as we found each other, and for all to find a way to take up a meaningful share of the work.

We would love for all who wish to come to be there.  This is an open call to everyone serving our field.   You are invited to join the working meeting on October 30, or to step up in any way that may support this effort.  (All are likewise invited to attend the Digital Excellence Conference, October 29.)

Many have already expressed support for this endeavor, but not all are able to attend.  For some, the obstacle is scheduling, for others there are fiscal constraints.  Perhaps we can find creative ways to address the latter.

There will be several channels for involvement leading up to and following the meeting.  

First among them is a discussion list:  http://groups.google.com/group/rebuild-reboot All who wish to attend or otherwise support the work should subscribe and participate.  Please signify on that list whether you plan to join us for the meeting or if you can support this effort in some other way.

Please also spread the word on this meeting and the conference.  Tell us who you think should be there.  Better yet, tell them.

Michael Maranda
Rebuild-Reboot Committee

The 4th quarter of 2011 will be the busiest one of the year for the Chicago Digital Access Alliance (CDAA) with three major events on tap.

DEXCON FALL 2011

This year’s Dexcon(tm) Fall 2011, viagra sale which was scheduled for Friday and Saturday, food October 28-29, 2011, will now be moved to back to the original schedule for 2011 in 2012, which is a Spring Dexcon 2012 in May 2012 and our Dexcon Fall 2012 in October 2012. Of course next year will be a presidential election year so there will be lots of excitement around who will be President in January 2013. We may have a Digital Excellence Road Show Dinner event before the end of the year.

So look for the Chicago Neighborhood Digital Excellence Conference and Technology Fair, known as DexCon(tm), in the Spring and Fall of 2012. Locations to be announced, watch this page for more info.

PASTORS’ TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES BREAKFAST – WEST SIDE

Finally, The FaithTech Network, in partnership with the CDAA and hosted by Connected Living Inc. will present its West Side Pastors’ Technology Resources Breakfast, on Friday, November 4, 2011, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Wallace’s Catfish Corner, 2800 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60624. The Honorable Danny Davis, 7th Congressional District Congressman and Rev. Kirk Gayton, who is developing one of the West Side’s largest CTCs, will be among the featured speakers.

NEIGHBORHOOD TECHNOLOGY CONGRESS – WEST SIDE

Saturday, November 19, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the CDAA presents its Neighborhood Technology Congress – West Side at the Blessed Sacrament Youth Center, 3600 West Cermak Road. Workshops, discussions, a keynote address, exhibits, raffling of 10 refurbished computers and free refreshments round out the 4-hour event. ADMISSION IS FREE but seats are limited. For information, visit the Congress website at http://www.cdaatechcongress.org.

All three events are part of the CDAA’s five-year “Connecting Chicago Neighborhoods To Digital Excellence” campaign which focuses on bringing technology to neighborhoods and neighborhood residents to technology resources through linking community technology/public computing centers to digital skills building initiatives.

Want to know more? You can call us at 312-473-0373 or 312-912-9668.

 
September 2010 CDAA FlyerYou may ask the question: Why a digital excellence conference in Chicago and why should you attend?  Who are we who are presenting this conference and what relevance does the conference have for you? Our answer is: if you are a citizen of Chicago and if you care about Chicago’s future as a world-class digitally-empowered city, endocrinologist then our conference is one you should consider attending. Here’s why.

BRINGING TOGETHER THE NEIGHBORHOOD TECHNOLOGY EXPERTS

We organized the 1st Chicago Neighborhood Digital Excellence Conference And Technology Fair to bring together the people – tech activists, academics, government officials, non-profit staff members – who represent a movement to empower local community residents with access to today’s technology tools – computer hardware and software – and the skills to use those tools for job creation, information sharing and economic development. Our conference attendees are the grassroots experts whose often-times volunteer work every day with local residents empowers them with skills to use digital tools to improve their lives and create future opportunities.

IS THERE STILL A DIGITAL DIVIDE?

It may seem quaint now, the idea of a digital divide where technology tools were available and usable only by a relative few. But a digital divide still exists, based on income and knowledge now more than mere access to the tools themselves, as you’ll learn at the conference.

TECHNOLOGY FOR THE ELITE – AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE?

When many of us in the neighborhood technology movement joined it,  computers were expensive devices that only a few understood how to use. We wanted our kids and neighbors to have access to these machines because we could see a future where knowing how to use computers to access and process information would be critical to our ability to find and obtain a job, pay bills, and connect with services.

Now $50 cell phones pack the power of yesterday’s desktop PCs. Networked desktop computers and laptops are, according to some studies, in 98% of our public and catholic schools. If you want Internet access, say the critics of the notion of a digital divide, you can get it through wi-fi, phone dsl, local fiber-optics, cable or mobile broadband wimax. You can watch TV-quality video on devices ranging from a cell-phone to a 24″ touchscreen monitor.

So why are we still talking about a digital divide? Because the things we want to do with technology tools today are vastly different than what we could do even a decade ago, and the power to do those things – to broadcast streaming video, connect with each other through social networking sites, attend classes online, shop for life’s necessities or tap into government info services – require the kind of broadband access that eludes many of us based on income and availability.

Karen Mossberger’s report says in part that a significant percentage of Chicagoans – as high as 25% – are disconnected from the internet and broadband access and cite income – ability to pay – as the reason. The gaps persist and are higher in many low-income Chicago neighborhoods.

According to Frank Olasz with Lone Star Consulting, as a nation the United States is 22nd in the world in broadband access and adoption. And James Carlini of Carlini Associates has consistently criticized the lack of the kind of high-speed broaband infrastructure – 1 gigabit versus the 54mb to 100 mb we have now – that is commonly found in other countries around the world and is essential to our competitiveness in the new world marketplace and ability to create employment and wealth-building opportunities.

OUR CONFERENCE CONNECTS YOU WITH THE GRASS-ROOTS EXPERTS

In our six (6) morning workshops and afternoon roundtable sessions, we connect you with the experts – people like Denise Zaccardi, Sandee Kastrul, Rose Mabwa, Michael Maranda, Lowry Taylor, Licia Knight, Vincent McCaskill and many others – who are working everyday in communities on the front lines of the digital access movement, helping residents, non-profits and small businesses build their skills. You’ll meet some of the managers of the more than $21 million in federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program funding received by Chicago to provide training for 22,000 residents and hundreds of public computing centers and find out their plans for bringing those training resources to your communities.

THE CONFERENCE PROVIDES STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING A DIGITALLY-CONNECTED CITY

What kind of city do you want to live in? We’re in the second decade of the 21st century. What kind of life did you envision living in 2010? By most accounts, we’re in the third year of a world-wide economic recession that supposedly ended a year ago, but the effects of which are still rebounding through our everyday lives. Chicago as a city was in the running for the Olympics – but its infrastructure and use of digital tools and resources weren’t world-class.

At our conference, you’ll network, share with and learn from the grassroots experts who have a passion for building a connected Chicago, the kind of city the Chicago Digital Access Alliance envisioned when it partnered with the Mayor’s Committee To Eliminate The Digital Divide on the groundbreaking report, “The City That Networks: Transforming Community And Society Through Digital Excellence.”

We invite you to join us at our conference. To register, click here.

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