SCI Convenes Civic Networking Lunch
On Friday, January 25th, SCI convened a group of leaders from the business, nonprofit, and educational sectors for a discussion of how we are using web technologies to increase civic engagement. This event was graciously hosted by the Museum of Science, and was in part a follow-up to our January 11th Brainstorming Session.
The event was scheduled for 12pm-2pm, but several of our guests stuck around until 3pm chatting with SCI staff and AmeriCorps members. There also seemed to be a general consensus among the group in continuing the conversation.
SCI Board Member Jamie Hollis and SCI Dorchester AmeriCorps member Carlotta Richardson provided introductory remarks, followed by a presentation on our history by SCI President David Crowley. Mike Sances, SCI Network Coordinator, demonstrated SCI's Community Portal website tool with help from SCI AmeriCorps members Joao Ramos and Andrew Gibson. See below for the slides, or click here to download a background paper on SCI's Civic Networking technology.
The presentation was then followed by a lively discussion that we hope will continue now that the event is past. Participants are encouraged to post a comment below. Key highlights of the discussion, from my point of view:
-Digital Divide: Many participants in our session felt strongly about addressing the Digital Divide. While it is outside of SCI's purview to take the lead on eliminating the divide by, there are ways we can adapt our technology so it is "technology-neutral"--e.g. cell phone access. One other point raised was that SCI's Civic Networking technology is a potential "killer app" that could accelerate the drive to eliminate the Digital Divide. Thus there is synergy between SCI’s efforts and those working on the Digital Divide.
-Metrics: How do we get hard numbers demonstrating the success of our programs? Not just raw session hits and site visits, but tracking how many people get involved "in the real world" as a result of our tools. So far we have anecdotal evidence suggesting that people do use these tools to get involved and to connect with services.
-Good Neighbors: One value of our tools is the ability for residents, especially newcomers, to seek out "Good Neighbors," defined by our group as someone you would call on about shoveling snow for an elderly relative on the other side of town; or seek advice on an honest auto mechanic.
See below for the PowerPoint presentation and a list of attendees.
Thank you to all who attended this event!
Nolan Bowie, Kennedy School of Government
Jamie Zigelbaum, Tangible Media Group, MIT Media Lab
Mark Tomizawa, One Good Egg
Brian Worobey, Museum of Science
Benton Ho, Independent Consultant formerly of IBM
Debra Socia, Lilla Frederick Pilot Middle School
Deborah Boisvert, Boston Area Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC)
Joshua Garfinkle, CIM Strategies, Inc.
Jane Feinberg, FrameWorks Institute
S. Tyrrell Donelan, IBM
David Crowley, SCI President
Jamie Hollis, SCI Board Member
Mike Sances, SCI Network Coordinator
Crystal Johnson, SCI Flagship Program Director
Joao Ramos, SCI Dorchester Outreach and Technology AmeriCorps Member
Carlotta Richardson, SCI Dorchester Outreach and Technology AmeriCorps Member
Andrew Gibson, SCI Woburn Outreach and Technology AmeriCorps Member
|January 25 SCI Civic Networking Strategy Lunch LHD.doc||58.5 KB|