Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Building Public Attention and Support

At this week's #ChiHackNight gathering at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago students from the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago presented information about a Million Neighborhoods project which you can view at this link.

Below is a Tweet from @miurbanchicago that was shared during their presentation. Great use of live Twitter!
Below is a screen shot from the Million Neighborhoods site showing all the areas of the world which they have mapped thus far. You can zoom in to the neighborhood level for many major cities (this will be slower on older computers).

Million Neighborhoods Project
I had seen this site a few months ago and reached out to make a connection, and also encouraged them to present at ChiHackNight.  As I listened to this presentation last night my two questions were,

1) how will they teach people to tell stories, over and over, to draw viewers to the map from each of the cities that are featured; and 

2) how will they help people in these areas get enough computer power to easily zoom in and out of the map platform.  It worked great at the ChiHackNight session, hosted at the Braintree headquarters in Chicago. It's much slower for me using my old PC in my home.

Interns spend time learning about CC
and Tutor/Mentor Connection

I led a two part Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection non-profit in Chicago between 1993 and 2011 and have continued to lead the Tutor/Mentor Connection since 2011 via the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.  

While we had college interns often between 1994 and 2005 we did not have them consistently writing blog articles or creating videos and visualizations to show what they were learning until 2006 when our first intern from Hong Kong joined us. We continued that practice every year until 2015.

See intern work - click here

I created this graphic in 2018 to highlight the work of interns from South Korea, India and Hong Kong, which largely consisted of creating visualizations and videos. They were all encouraged to use a blog on the Tutor/Mentor Connection site and this Intern blog launched by Michael Tam in 2006 to reflect on the work they were doing and what they were learning.

However, I've not given as much attention to the work done between 2007 and 2011 by four Public Interest Program Fellows from Northwestern University.

Northwestern University Public Interest Program - click here

We began the fellowship partnership in 2007 and for the next four years we had one NU graduate work full time at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection each year, helping us operate our youth program and helping us support other programs in Chicago via the Tutor/Mentor Connection and the bi-annual conferences that we hosted.

Each one was encouraged to write a blog on a regular basis, reflecting on what they were learning and sharing our vision and strategies.  At this link you can find four articles that highlight some of the writing that each of these NU alumni did.  I encourage you to read each of these, then go to their individual blogs and read more.

We also had interns from other universities work with us during this timeframe and you can see a full list, with links to some of their work at this link.

The important message is that they did this on a regular basis, week after week.  That's what I've been doing, too. I've been writing articles on this blog almost every week since 2005. That's a model for what I've asked interns and my staff at Cabrini Connections to do.

Share what you learn
This  graphic visualizes this strategy.  As interns get to know the Tutor/Mentor Connection, they are sharing what they learn via their blogs, videos and visualizations with people who read their blogs, usually friends, family and others in their network, with the goal that some of those will become informed, and then share the ideas with even more people.

This is the answer to Question 1 that I posed to the Mansueto Institute.  To build greater attention enlist student and volunteer bloggers and social media partners to be "story tellers" and "sense-makers". The Mansueto Institute is part of a powerful university, which means many students could be taking a role, learning about the Mansueto Institute data and platform and then sharing that information with others.

They also could be teaching youth at high schools and colleges in every city that they are mapping to take the same role.

Network Building 

This is also part of the answer to Question 2.  If we consistently  share what we're learning, and some people in our networks share what they learn with people they know, we eventually can reach one or two people with wealth, power, talent and/or influence to do things we can't do because of our own limited capacity.

In this case improving internet access in high poverty areas of the world is an essential step in opening doors to all the knowledge that is available on the Internet, including the maps on the Mansueto Institute web site.

I've applied this strategy to helping expand the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute's visibility. It applies in many sectors.  It's even being applied by Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Twitter, as volunteers tell others about his ideas.

If you're at a university, high school or youth serving organization and want my help thinking through these ideas just reach out to me on one of these social media platforms.

If you want to help fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC please visit this link to make a contribution.

1 comment:

Dogtrax said...

Thanks for sharing the map ... I'll check it out ..