On this inaugural day, our simple gifts

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, sick early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, health cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, viagra 100mg but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this endeavor, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, sick early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, health cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, viagra 100mg but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this endeavor, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, gerontologist early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in the values of the cause and in working together

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, medical and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, physician and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, approved
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, medical and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, physician and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, approved
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, steroids the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, medications others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, buy and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, medical and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, physician and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, approved
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, steroids the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, medications others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, buy and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, tadalafil the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, website like this others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, information pills and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, medical and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, physician and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, approved
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, steroids the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, medications others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, buy and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, tadalafil the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, website like this others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, information pills and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, refractionist the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, medical and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, physician and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, approved
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, steroids the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, medications others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, buy and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, tadalafil the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, website like this others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, information pills and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, refractionist the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, visit the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, medical and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, physician and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, approved
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, steroids the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, medications others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, buy and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, tadalafil the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, website like this others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, information pills and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, refractionist the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, visit the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, viagra order the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, medical and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, physician and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, approved
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, steroids the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, medications others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, buy and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, tadalafil the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, website like this others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, information pills and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, refractionist the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, visit the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, viagra order the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, dosage the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, visit this site others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, medical and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, physician and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, approved
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, steroids the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, medications others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, buy and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, tadalafil the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, website like this others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, information pills and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, refractionist the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, visit the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, viagra order the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, dosage the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, visit this site others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, ascariasis the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, physician others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, disinfection and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, medical view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, neurologist cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, artificial but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, view early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, medical and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, physician and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, approved
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, steroids the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, medications others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, buy and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, tadalafil the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, website like this others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, information pills and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, refractionist the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy have had very limited goals and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, visit the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, viagra order the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, dosage the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, visit this site others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cites as being close to 20th in broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

I just participated in a great call with Kevin Werbach of the Obama FCC Transition team where numerous public interest constituencies provided input – all of which I strongly endorse. I joined the call on the basis of my experience as a digital divide and communications policy activist and advocate for the last 7 or 8 years through organizations such as CTCNet Chicago, ascariasis the Association For Community Networking and the Chicago Digital Access Alliance.

I’ve cleaned up the rough notes of my 3 minutes and I share them here as an “open note” to the transition team led by Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach. Much thanks to Nathaniel James for coordinating the call!

When Chicago was exploring options for vendor driven citywide wifi networks there was a prolonged public debate and discussion (some through hearings coordinated by Aldermen, physician others through hearings specific to the digital divide committee, disinfection and more still in public meetings convened by the Chicago Digital Access Alliance).

Grassroots groups looked closely at what had become a contemporary re-framing of the digital divide – namely, Digital Inclusion.

In Chicago, grassroots and civic leaders determined that Digital Inclusion did not offer a big enough vision and was potentially constraining and divisive. At the most benign level we saw the Digital Inclusion language as a means of obtaining the endorsement of disparate groups by favors rather than involving community in true holistic planning processes or giving community a mechanism for effective oversight of communication infrastructure initiatives. The FCC (and really, all institutions of Govt.) should support a policy agenda that encourages inclusive local planning processes and oversight.

In Chicago, we evolved a conceptual framework around Digital Excellence as a new model for transcending the digital divide.

I will not go into great depth on this, given time, and given the current limited scope of the FCC (and the purpose of this call) but I do wish to underscore our view that Media Literacy and Digital Literacy are deeply connected, and that the FCC should be connected to (and support interagency) efforts addressing this.

In a new model of participatory governance there should be outreach efforts of governance bodies such as the FCC to educate the public on it’s powers and the channels for citizens and communities to avail themselves of the resources and protections of the particular agency. This would go beyond public hearings convened in recent years by the FCC and would be a mandate for public education on the science and policy guiding the FCC. This would institute a sunshine palliative to past practices and reduce the perception of privileged access to decision makers.

It’s worth restating the basic point made by many: A big vision for dealing with the digital divide under a a new banner of digital excellence would require interagency collaboration and strong integration with citizen led efforts.

Programs like DOC-NTIA TOP (Technology Opportunities Program) – quietly killed several years back – must be revived, along with funding for a new generation of hybrid Community Technology Center/Community Media Center/Community Network (given the new era of convergence on Internet Protocol as media/communications platform). TOP’s successor should be redesigned to leverage the knowledge and experience gained in these social/technology experiments and there should be parallel institutional support for the replication of any powerful community innovations that emerge as opposed to the unfortunate past model of funding limited efforts at innovation then leaving that experience in a database or shelved in reports.

Digital media infuse all aspects of life but historically most investments in digital literacy and access have had very limited goals (and moreover limited success) and tended to segment digital from other dimensions of social and public life. Efforts to redress the digital divide should not be limited to remedial kindergarten concepts of the divide, they should start with a big vision … our vision is a world where the majority of the public are confident in the use of collaborative tools, are able to express themselves in media formats of their choice and that communities are creating new tools that suit their purposes.

That’s close to what I said … there were other points I would have liked to address, but my watch was focused on digital-divide/access sector. I tend to take a very broad view on the scope of “digital” as touching many aspects of our experience as members of the community. It’s something that penetrates every sphere of life and any public program or service needs to consider the digital dimension and social divides that intersect. The digital transformation of our culture and economy is still in process – businesses have more capacity to adapt, as they can pass costs on to their customers, but government and community groups have less freedom in that regard.

Though the US has been cited as being close to 20th in global broadband penetration, I don’t want to see a narrowly conceived national broadband policy emerge without a deeper community oriented, community driven commitment to the higher aspirations of Digital Excellence encapsulated above.

The public at large, communities and municipalities need space for experimentation with new models of dealing with the connectivity issues and the tools that will ride upon the new media infrastructure. We need means of getting to the Internet through channels not owned by major corporations. We need to eliminate the stranglehold on the last mile (better described as the first mile – since they’re our communities). We need to open up the spectrum – we should have seen an equivalent to Moore’s Law in efficient (and expanding) use of Spectrum were it not for a regulatory status quo based on narrow interests and outdated or junk science where spectrum is regarded and held as property rather than as an arbitrarily divisible medium (subject to technical advance). The Internet and the Airwaves should always belong to the public. They must be administered with a long term view informed by science and the public interest. To restate: we need room for experiment in civic technologies and processes – at all layers of the stack.

Information Infrastructure resources for communities, the public and government bodies at all levels of jurisdiction should be supported in a Civic Garden model where anyone anywhere may freely access and interact with resources in the .GOV, .EDU and .ORG top level domains.

The Internet is the new medium for local, national and global civic discourse and such interactions should be privileged under the same principles of civic necessity that justified support of print journalism and the postal service.

Community capacity in the deployment of networks, services, tools is essential to a free and democratic society. I join with Lauren Glenn-Davitian in a call for a rewrite of the 1934 Act that established what is now the FCC in light of the ongoing evolution of technology and our society, and in light of the vision we have for ourselves.

A brief note – as we are all called to the higher service of the nation and the world, viagra order called to employ our simple gifts and to embrace complexity with humility and generosity.

Much work is ahead of us, and it feels good to feel again a pride in our institutions, our values, the progress of our history, and in this our public and collective recommitting to hope and virtue.

The values and principles our 44th President has eloquently pronounced are ideals I have long espoused – and yet felt at times like a voice crying out in the wilderness.

How many of us have felt alone in our ideals and now are strengthened by this higher kinship, a fellowship of spirit common to the species?

The highlight of this ceremony is that we can laugh with joy together through the wit and wisdom of Rev. Lowery’s benediction.

2 Responses to “On this inaugural day, our simple gifts”

  1. paul t. horan says:

    Hi Michael,

    I love this post of yours = especially the ‘laughing together’ images …

    By the way, your ‘becoming good ancestors’ comments (as they emerged from within our brief conversations with Jean and several of the other good folks during last October’s OSN camp/unconference at S. F. State U. when we focused on ‘thrivability’, ‘what’s sustainable & what’s not?’, etc.) have served me, as well as various friends and colleagues with whom I’ve shared them, quite well = so “BIG FAT THANKS!!!” from all of us. U da man!

    Anyhow, I’m glad to be back in touch with you and look forward to the possibility of having some fun exploring mutual interests together. Here’s a not-too-brief, aimed-from-the-hip = as well as the heart and the head = sense of my take on potential, mutual interests we seem to be exploring and may wish to begin having more fun doing so together:

    As a particular example of my more general idealized images, let’s consider imagining young Students all around our globe, feeling enthused about learning how best to manage the challenges they’re inheriting. Since there’s just about no end to the level of detailed complexity gained by solely focusing on such management challenges, let’s consider balancing and perhaps even lightening our load by also focusing on young folks actually feeling enthused and to do so with comparable appreciation for complexity’s fuller dimensions.

    Assuming this game’s already afoot, I’d love to explore with you and other good folks how I/we may best support fun learning that’s both relevant to our tasks at hand and coherent enough to make the kinds of good ecosystem-sense for which these good folks several generations from now are quite likely to say something like, “Wow, thanks for these gifts!!!”

    Perhaps we can help produce such well-crafted and extra-special-value-adding contributions to our species’ emerging evolutionary guidance systems (Banathy) and the general design of gifts for future generations (Churchman) that will support and enable today’s youth to at least earn their keep by having more fun learning; especially fun learning about current events, both globally and locally, in their fullest complexity. Let’s equip these young folks with living support-systems so that they can then design their own appreciative (Vickers) human activity systems and complex adaptive systems to help clean-up, manage and prevent further eco-mess-making. Uy guh velt!

    How can we best have fun supporting young folks to experience as much fun as is humanly possible as we design and implement best-in-class appreciative, complex, adaptive, human activity systems? Let’s celebrate, fer cryin’ out loud!!!

    I’m by no means certain as to how we/I can best welcome such an imagined global human activity-system (such as one for learning how best to manage the extraordinarily complex global challenges today’s youth are inheriting) into greater existence, and yet I’m feeling enthused about the prospect of collaborating in new and fun and productive ways to help clean-up and roll-out the welcome mat. I’d love to converse with anyone who’s also feeling enthused about designing robust support-systems so that younger folks get to bring their best games ,,,

    I trust that makes sufficient sense, for starters …

    Ciao for now,

    paul

    P. S. – I empathize with your ‘voice in the wilderness’ feeling and still I wonder how future generations are feeling. Nonetheless, it’s quite heartening when we appreciate hearing and understanding and allowing ourselves to be inspired by our new Public-Servant-in-Chief’s closing line in his fresh and refreshing inauguration address when he serves as a good ancestor by lending them/us his voice :
    “… we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

  2. michael says:

    Thank you Paul – very nice to hear from you. I value very much the time shared at OSN Camp, and I am trying to push forward on the ideas we explored there. Your note was refreshing for me, as this evening I was again feeling a bit in the wilderness on advancing the solutions ecology.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.