Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Biotechnology Conference Draws attention to new careers. Will inner city kids be part of this industry?

Last week Chicago hosted a Biotechnology conference where leading scientists from around the world gathered to network and share ideas. At the same time Time magazine and Bill Gates and the Oprah show were focusing public attention on the high school drop out crisis in America.

What's the connection? If America wants to have a lead in the biotechnology industry, more kids need to choose this as a career. If we want to keep more kids in school we need to connect them with mentors who can build aspirations and provide support. We need to create a pipeline to careers and one end of the plumbing needs to be reaching elementary school kids in inner city neighborhoods all over America.

This is a simple concept, but a complicated idea. Thus, I cannot explain it all in this blog. However, we can provide a forum for people to gather and learn, if we can use the internet effectively to support social networking, and networking for a purpose.

Today (April 19) and tomorrow, Tech Soup ( is hosting an on-line discussion of social networking concepts and applications.

During May and June, the Tutor/Mentor Connection will host a variety of on-line and face to face forums intended to build a network of business, philanthropy, colleges, non profits and educators who work together to build a pipeline to all careers, including biotechnology. You can read about these at

I encourage you to participate and to encourage others to join in. As we learn to learn and network on-line, and build social networks of purpose, we can innovate ways to create pipelines to careers, and this will be a big step toward reducing the drop out crisis in America.

No comments: