Announcing the June Connect Chicago Meetup: Empowering Girls Through Technology

At the next Connect Chicago Meetup, we’ll have a roundtable discussion led by a panel of trainers and nonprofit representatives that work every day to leverage tech training to improve the lives of girls and young women across Chicago.

Special guests that will share their work and help us discuss this topic:

• David Lane, YWCA Chicago

• Asia Roberson, Digital Youth Divas

Here’s the event information:

Event: Roundtable Discussion: Empowering Girls Through Technology

Where: The Literacenter — 641 West Lake St. (read more about Literacenter here)

When: Friday, June 9th from 11am to 1pm

RSVP here.

Come join the conversation and help fuel an equitable tech ecosystem in Chicago. Meet and network with computer trainers, nonprofit professionals, technologists, community advocates, and fellow residents who care about digital inclusion in Chicago. Please RSVP on Meetup so we can get an accurate count for lunch. Thank you!

The Connect Chicago Meetup is a monthly gathering of computer trainers, nonprofit professionals, and fellow residents who care about the digital lives of Chicagoans. In 2017, Meetups will be held downtown and some events (called Community Technology Forums) will be held at community learning & nonprofit sites across the city. Email me at dlinn@cct.org with any questions, concerns or ideas for future Connect Chicago Meetups.

 

Documentation from the Community Technology Forum at Greater Southwest Development Corporation

We’ve compiled the public notes and pictures from the April 22nd Community Technology Forum at the Greater Southwest Development Corporation (GSDC). This public-facing documentation will be followed up with a more detailed report from our partners at DePaul University who are presently analyzing and organizing the ideas generated by residents.

Community Technology Forums are participatory design sessions facilitated by Sheena Erete and Jessa Dickinson from the College of Computing and Digital Media at the DePaul University, hosted by leading local technology changemakers like GSDC, supported by Connect Chicago and Smart Chicago, and fueled by resident voices. So many conversations about technology happen in the Loop everyday — we’re pleased to work with so many people and partners to ensure that community-directed conversations about technology are elevated as well.

Pictures from the event are posted on the Smart Chicago Flickr account.

GSDC Community Technology Forum

Here is an agenda from the event:

We’ve compiled some of the documentation from the event in this Google Folder, a subfolder of the larger Connect Chicago Meetup Folder which houses even more resources and material from digital inclusion events. You can see some of the community maps and handouts we used at the Community Technology Forum in that Google Folder.

We also partnered with the City Bureau Documenters Program to capture public-facing notes from the day including broader themes, ideas, and discussion topics. City Bureau strives to “bring journalists and communities together in a collaborative spirit to produce responsible media coverage and encourage civic participation.” Our Documenter, Corli, took the notes below:

I was personally inspired by this work, excited to see how future Community Technology Forums in other neighborhoods will be similar or different. The more I have the privilege of co-organizing and attending sessions like the Community Technology Forum and the Array of Things Civic Engagement Events, the more I realize the value residents can bring to public technology planning processes. Technology and technology resources — whether they are public computer centers, wireless networks, or environmental sensors — can be deployed for residents and with residents’ input.

Read more about Community Technology Forums here.

To get regular digital inclusion updates, events, and news delivered to your inbox, fill out this form: bit.ly/joinconnectchi.

Announcing the April Connect Chicago Meetup: Digital Inclusion Asset Mapping

At the next Connect Chicago Meetup we will break into working groups to co-build a better shared inventory of public digital inclusion resources and assets. Unlike other Meetups, there will be no featured speaker. Instead, the focus will be on networking, problem solving, and group collaboration, much like what’s been done in our Connect Chicago working groups

Event: Digital Inclusion Asset Mapping

Where: The Chicago Community Trust

When: Friday, April 28th from 11am to 1pm

RSVP at this link.

Connent Chicago members are invited to join one of three breakout working groups to map out:

  • WiFi & public computing resources — This group will strategize ways to improve + expand + evangelize information about free place-based resources for digital inclusion. Here is an existing inventory to build on. 
  • Local Digital Inclusion Programs — This group will brainstorm all of the great work they know of in our network. They can strategize which types of partners should get more involved in local digital inclusion work & partnerships. One potential starting place can be this existing inventory.
  • Training Resources — This group will compile free online curriculum and digital learning platforms to be shared widely with Chicago’s digital inclusion community. They can build on and identify gaps in this existing collection.

Come join the conversation and co-build digital inclusion content to help fuel an equitable tech ecosystem in Chicago. Meet and network with computer trainers, nonprofit professionals, technologists, community advocates, and fellow residents who care about digital inclusion in Chicago. Please RSVP so we can get an accurate count for lunch. Thank you!

The Connect Chicago Meetup is a monthly gathering of computer trainers, nonprofit professionals, and fellow residents who care about the digital lives of Chicagoans. In 2017, Meetups will be held downtown and some events (called Community Technology Forums) will be held at community learning & nonprofit sites across the city. Email me with any questions, concerns or ideas for future Connect Chicago Meetups: dlinn@cct.org

Announcing the May 20th Community Technology Forum at Windsor Park Evangelical Lutheran Church

The second Community Technology Forum, an event hosted in partnership with the Windsor Park Lutheran Evangelical Church, Leave No Veteran Behind, Cambium Networks, DePaul University, the South Shore Planning Coalition, the Southeast Side Block Club Alliance, and Connect Chicago, will be on Saturday, May 20th. Our local partners for this event have previously collaborated to set up a community wireless network based out of Windsor Park Lutheran Evangelical Church.

Event: Community Technology Forum hosted at the Windsor Park Evangelical Lutheran Church

Date: Saturday, May 20, 2017

Time: 1pm — 4pm

Location: 2619 E 76th St.

Lunch will be served.

The Community Technology Forums are participatory design sessions aimed at understanding hyperlocal digital equity ideas, assets, and needs. Hosted in partnership with nonprofits and community anchor institutions in Chicago’s neighborhoods, these sessions will give residents an opportunity to articulate a vision for technology in their community. The forums will be facilitated by Professor Sheena Erete, Jessa Dickinson, and other community design experts at DePaul University.

For all interested in spreading the word and putting this event information on emails and websites (please do!), copy and share the write-up below:

You’re Invited to a Community Technology Forum at the Windsor Park Lutheran Church!

When: Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 1pm – 4pm

Where: 2619 E 76th St.

What: Join community members and local advocates for a civic conversation about the technology in your neighborhood. What do you love about your community and what is working well? ¿Qué te gusta de tu comunidad? What technology resources do you use a lot and appreciate? ¿Qué recursos tecnológicos utiliza mucho y aprecia? You’re invited to share your ideas and help design solutions that leverage what works to improve what doesn’t. This Community Technology Forum is hosted at the Windsor Park Lutheran Church in partnership with DePaul University, Leave No Veteran Behind, Cambium Networks, the South Shore Planning Coalition, the Southeast Side Block Club Alliance, the Smart Chicago Collaborative & Connect Chicago. Lunch will be provided! Sign up for more information and RSVP at bit.ly/chitechforum2.

Here is the flyer for this meeting:

If you are interested in attending the May 20th Community Technology Forum in South Shore or would like to receive more information, please fill out this form also embedded below:

 

Fill out my online form.

Announcing the April 22nd Community Technology Forum at Greater Southwest Development Corporation

The first Community Technology Forum, an event hosted in partnership with the Greater Southwest Development Corporation (GSDC), DePaul University, and Connect Chicago, will be on Saturday, April 22nd. GSDC, our local partner for this event, produces the Tech Thursdays workshop series and has been a featured speaker at Connect Chicago Meetups.

Event: Community Technology Forum hosted at the Greater Southwest Development Corporation

Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017

Time: 10am — 1pm

Location: 2601 W 63rd St.

A light breakfast will be served at the beginning of the event and lunch will be served toward the end of the event.

The Community Technology Forums are participatory design sessions aimed at understanding hyperlocal digital equity ideas, assets, and needs. Hosted in partnership with nonprofits and community anchor institutions in Chicago’s neighborhoods, these sessions will give residents an opportunity to articulate a vision for technology in their community. The forums will be facilitated by Professor Sheena Erete, Jessa Dickinson, and other community design experts at DePaul University.

Spread the word!

For all interested in spreading the word and putting this event information on emails and websites (please do!), copy and share the write-up below:

You’re Invited to a Community Technology Forum at the Greater Southwest Development Corporation!

When: Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10am – 1pm

Where: 2601 W 63rd St.

What: Join community members and local advocates for a civic conversation about the technology in your neighborhood. What do you love about your community and what is working well? ¿Qué te gusta de tu comunidad? What technology resources do you use a lot and appreciate? ¿Qué recursos tecnológicos utiliza mucho y aprecia? You’re invited to share your ideas and help design solutions that leverage what works to improve what doesn’t. This Community Technology Forum is hosted at the Greater Southwest Development Corporation in partnership with DePaul University, the Smart Chicago Collaborative & Connect Chicago. Breakfast & lunch will be provided! Sign up for more information and RSVP at bit.ly/chitechforum1.

Here is the flyer for this meeting:

If you are interested in attending the April 22nd Community Technology Forum or would like to receive more information, please fill out this form also embedded below:
Fill out my online form.

Community Technology Forums: Objectives & Model

In partnership with DePaul University and various Connect Chicago Meetup partners, Connect Chicago will be engaging directly with residents through Community Technology Forums.

The Community Technology Forums are participatory design sessions aimed at understanding hyperlocal digital equity needs, assets, and ideas. Hosted in partnership with nonprofits and community anchor institutions in Chicago’s neighborhoods, these sessions will give residents an opportunity to articulate a vision for technology in their community. We hope the ideas and needs identified by residents in these sessions inform future work and community investments.

Community Technology Forum Objectives

There are several objectives to these Forums:

  • Understand what residents see as the main challenges or gaps for their community/neighborhood when it comes to technology, Internet access, and training
  • Discover in what ways, both big and small, people would like to see technology improve their daily lives and the quality of life in their communities
  • Find out how people have participated in conversations about technology in their communities in the past, and how they would like to in the future

About the Community Technology Forums

The forums will look like a guided community brainstorming meetings. They will be facilitated by Professor Sheena Erete, Jessa Dickinson, and other community design experts at DePaul University. The Forums will include introductions/icebreakers and about 2-3 interactive group activities for attendees. We will release session schedules for each Forum.

The Forums will amplify hyperlocal opinions and ideas about technology. We recognize that there are many nonprofit and anchor institutions already leading the way in community technology resources and training. Their work is featured at Connect Chicago Meetups and the whole ecosystem benefits from their lessons. By partnering with these institutions as hosts, we hope to not only shine a light on their leadership, but also utilize their position in the community to recruit residents and capture local perspectives.

The Forums will be welcoming & inclusive. All will be welcome at these events, including walk-in participants. Food will be provided and we will schedule the timing of the event in consultation with our nonprofit or community anchor institution host who knows best about the scheduling preferences of their patrons and their community.

The Forums will be well documented. The messages and lessons from each Community Technology Forum will be synthesized and circulated after the events. As with other Smart Chicago engagement events, the work will be shared broadly. We will also be open about meta lessons — what went well, what could be improved, etc. —  for others interested in adapting the work.

Check back on the Smart Chicago blog as Community Technology Forum events are announced. If you are interested in getting involved, volunteering, or hosting a Community Technology Forum later in 2016, please email Program Analyst Denise Linn at dlinn@cct.org.