Monday, September 22, 2014

Expanding Network in Chicago

Last Thursday I attended the UIC Urban Forum in Chicago. As I listened to speakers many of the ideas resonated with me and I began building a list of follow ups. I encourage you to visit the web site to see the list of speakers, read the white papers, etc.

One of the panel members was NBA Hall of Fame Star Isiah Thomas, who grew up in Chicago. His comments were challenging. He said "This is about compassion, love and engagement, not a data issue." "When we start disinvestment in communities we take sports and play out of a community." "We're dancing around an issue of poverty and segregation." If you search #urbanforum on Twitter you can read some of what I heard.

Then on Friday and Saturday I attended the Chicago School of Data event hosted by the Smart Chicago Collaboration ver two days people talked about collecting, organizing, mapping and visualizing data, with the important focus of "how do we use this data?".

I was one of a minority of the 300-plus participants of the Urban Forum who was posting Tweets to my timeline as the conference took place, using hashtag #urbanforum.

The organizers of the Chicago School of Data event hired bloggers, social media experts, film makers, etc who were active throughout both days collecting interviews and posting Tweets under the hashtag #chidata. Here's a RivetNews radio interview.

As I attended the Urban Forum I wrote in my notes "Where do people meet to follow-up on the various ideas shared by panel members?" The organizers of the Chicago School of Data event answered part of this by posting meeting notes in this Google Drive space.

Both web sites include agendas with bios of speakers. The School of Data event included a roster of participants, with links to their organizations. This seems like a real effort to support connections among participants.

I hope in future events organizers will use maps to show participation, such as the maps I've created to show who has been attending Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences. In fact, I created a concept map to suggest how participants in events like these could be mapped to show what areas they focus on, not just who they are.

If we can get more of the people who attend these events into on-going conversation and brainstorming, and bring donors in to help fund our individual efforts so we have time to participate in collective efforts, we can unleash a tremendous amount of talent toward making Chicago's future bright for all of its residents.

I encourage you to bookmark this article. As the hosts of these events provide follow up information I'll post links on this article.

Recap posted 9/24 on Escaped Notice blog

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