After I returned from a month-long backpacking adventure, I learned that the Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) launched the new Ctrl + Alt + CLE group. Although I missed the first meeting on September 6, 2018, #CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Tech & Digital Equity, it dealt with a topic that I am very interested in, so I knew I should make it a point to attend future meetings. Fortunately, I was able to attend the second #CtrlAltCLE meeting, and a special #CtrlAltCLE blockchain training for nonprofits/government.
Both of the events I attended took place at DigitalC MidTown Tech Hive (@DigitalC_org - @MidTownTechHive), which is a "creative space to cowork, root companies, hold events, and take technology skill building classes." I first visited in April 2018, and wrote about Cleveland's "new tech-centric space" in my Front International blog post.
In this blog post, I will share:
Some of the background information from the Launch of Ctrl + Alt + CLE.
Information about the two #CtrlAltCLE meetings I attended on the topics of Digital Equity and Blockchain for Social Good.
- Funding opportunities announced for Digital Equity and Blockchain for Social Good.
I am also including information about Lynda.com classes that relate to the work of #CtrlAltCLE. The classes are available FREE with your library card!
Ctrl + Alt + CLE is part of the Cleveland Foundation's larger Digital Excellence Initiative, which seeks to make the Cleveland area a leader in digital innovation and access by investing in five areas:
Launched in 2018, Ctrl + Alt + CLE is a collaborative effort to provide resources and opportunities for individuals and organizations to find innovative solutions to community needs through the use of data and technology.
Ctrl + Alt + CLE offers special events, access to co-working space at the DigitalC MidTown Tech Hive, hands-on data and skills training, and challenge grants. By providing these resources, Ctrl + Alt + CLE aims to convene and empower those working in our region’s data, tech and civic ecosystem to improve the quality of life in our region through innovation.
On the first Thursday of each month, Ctrl + Alt + CLE hosts free events focused on various topics related to civic tech and digital inclusion. These Ctrl + Alt + CLE Convenes events are free to attend and open to the public.
The Digital Excellence Initiative web page is a good place to visit to learn more, since it is being updated as major new initiatives are announced. Also, be sure to follow #CtrlAltCLE on social media for news and updates!
If additional information is needed about the Digital Excellence Initiative, you can contact:
Program Director, Economic & Workforce Development
Administrative Assistant: Debbie Slocum 216.615.7586
The first meeting I attended was a panel discussion focusing on digital equity and inclusion. I tweeted and retweeted as @sos_jr, sharing information about the meeting, and mentioning some of the partner organizations involved:
Join us 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4 for the next #CtrlAltCLE Convenes @DigitalC_org MidTown Tech Hive! This month's event will feature a panel discussion on digital equity & inclusion. Details & registration via: https://t.co/6lIUlQkvbC. pic.twitter.com/YBfEikH6fM— Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) September 26, 2018
I RSVP's to go to @DigitalC_org's @MidTownTechHive for the @CleveFoundation's "#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Digital Equity & Inclusion" to discuss data, civic tech & digital inclusion.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) October 4, 2018
Thur 10/4 is a panel discussion focusing on digital equity and inclusion.https://t.co/yQ0ybYr2wE pic.twitter.com/R56cmditQG
I visited @MidTownTechHive at @DigitalC_org before it had its official opening for a @FrontTriennial lecture: https://t.co/HxPZB5d2GY— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) October 4, 2018
Good to be back for to here @CleveFoundationâ€™s â€œ#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Digital Equity & Inclusionâ€ panelists. https://t.co/QrKlbKHnWG pic.twitter.com/jVfQYIRD5u
Hey, @ClevelandCAP, you were mentioned as a great resource to bring #technology to people of #Cleveland by @CleveFoundationâ€™s â€œ#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Digital Equity & Inclusionâ€ panel!!https://t.co/erLVvO4rcP— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) October 4, 2018
We also hear about @PCsforPeople resources:https://t.co/aTv1nHQPnZ pic.twitter.com/xkeeexEZVs
Hear from @CleveFoundationâ€™s â€œ#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Digital Equity & Inclusionâ€ panelists how @CuyahogaHousing is working with @DigitalC_org to bring Internet to seniors and others in CMHA housing.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) October 4, 2018
Good night Twitterverse. ðŸ’¤— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) October 5, 2018
I had a most interesting and enjoyable evening at a @CleveFoundation sponsored meeting at @MidTownTechHive which I then followed with a great play at the @BeckCenter.
Iâ€™m looking forward to more fun activities on Friday and this weekend. pic.twitter.com/f3xEEl0Pk0
Initiative will provide for free library internet hotspot lending programs; PCs for People also expanding to Cleveland to provide low-cost computers, support and repair services
RELEASE DATE: 10.9.2018
CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors today announced $488,000 in grants that encourage digital inclusion in Cuyahoga County. The initiative will establish free library hotspot lending programs and a PCs for People location in Cleveland, while providing education, advocacy and awareness support to residents to engage with technology. Recognizing the importance of ensuring all members of the community have equitable access to the digital future, Huntington National Bank is contributing an additional $50,000 to the effort.
Read the details of all the components of this multifaceted strategy in the full press release here.
It was really exciting to read how the Cleveland Foundation was moving forward on this project so soon after learning more about this topic at the #CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Digital Equity & Inclusion panel discussion.
Cleveland Foundation, PCs for People, close digital divide by providing computers, internet access
Posted October 9, 2018 by Marcia Pledger, The Plain Dealer (@MarciaPledger - @ThePlainDealer - @ClevelandDotCom)
Here are the @sos_jr tweets and retweets that I shared with information about this new program:
#DigitalDivide #DigitalInclusion— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) October 9, 2018
All you need is a @CuyahogaLib or @Cleveland_PL #library card!
Great report @HomaBashWEWS about news from @leon_clevefdn of @CleveFoundation!
People can learn more at #CtrlAltCLE meeting at @DigitalC_org @MidTownTechHive https://t.co/EVCT4FAhvY
@HomaBashWEWS, great that @CuyahogaHousing locations are involved with #DigitalInclusion work https://t.co/0MwDyynM7U— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) October 9, 2018
Also great @PCsforPeople will be joining work done by #Clevelandâ€™s @ClevelandCAP in providing #computers! https://t.co/tJGlz9rZPN
Proud to be a part of this important program! https://t.co/JDaxgEykgr— Cuyahoga Library (@CuyahogaLib) October 9, 2018
We're thrilled to announce $488,000 in grants aimed @ reducing the digital divide in #Cleveland! Partnering w/ @Cleveland_PL, @CuyahogaLib, @PCsforPeople, @CuyahogaHousing, @CHNhousing & @Huntington_Bank to increase access to internet, computers & support: https://t.co/hjPXsPg14v pic.twitter.com/7fw5nVJpJw— Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) October 9, 2018
@JarrydHuntley, I know you are interested in the #CtrlAltCLE mtg at @MidTownTechHive that I attended, so check out @HomaBashWEWSâ€™s report about the @CleveFoundationâ€™s #DigitalInclusion work w/ @Cleveland_PL @CuyahogaLib @CuyahogaHousinghttps://t.co/m4V7pud33f#DigitalDivide— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) October 10, 2018
Thank you, @CleveFoundation, for your leadership and generosity in this effort. Bridging the digital divide is critical to building equitable communities. We are proud to partner with @Cleveland_PL, @CuyahogaLib, @PCsforPeople, @CuyahogaHousing & @Huntington_Bank. https://t.co/SDRAfV3JyZ— CHN Housing Partners (@CHNhousing) October 9, 2018
The Cleveland Foundation announced today a $488,000 grant to fund a new program that attempts to close the digital divide in Northeast Ohio.https://t.co/3M5JjWf3fa— LWVGreaterCleveland (@LWVGrCleveland) October 9, 2018
I highly recommend watching this video from Homa Bash's article, since it gives a good overview of this new program:
Homa Bash's article also included a National Digital Inclusion Alliance - NDIA (@NetInclusion) interactive map, which I have embedded in this blog post. See more in Informing Strategic Investment in Digital Equity: Interactive Maps on the NDIA website here.
The second meeting I attended with my son, Mike, was on a especially timely topic -- blockchain:
Join us Thursday, November 1st for #CtrlAltCLE Convenes, a monthly series of gatherings at the Digital C MidTown Tech Hive presented as part of the Cleveland Foundation’s Ctrl + Alt + CLE collaborative. The Nov. 1st convening will be a discussion focusing on ways nonprofits and local government agencies can use blockchain to help address issues facing their organizations and the people they serve. This convening is in support of our Blockchain for Social Good Challenge. As always, this gathering is free and open to the public.
The Cleveland Foundation's Chief of Digital Innovation & Chief Information Officer Leon Wilson (@Leon_CleveFdn) and Digital Innovation Fellow Joshua Edmonds (@JoshEdmonds216) hosted the meeting. Leon Wilson presented an excellent introduction to blockchain.
I used my @sos_jr Twitter account to share my notes during the meeting. I particularly recommend opening and viewing the videos in the tweets below to to learn some of the basics about blockchain. I want to commend Leon Wilson for how he used these videos -- he paused the videos multiple times to provide resources beyond what was in the videos, and answered questions from attendees. I highly recommend attending #CtrlAltCLE meetings, since the information shared by presenters and attendees goes way beyond what you could learn just watching these videos alone.
Nov. 1 is the next #CtrlAltCLE Convenes event @DigitalC_org @MidTownCleInc Tech Hive! Join us to discuss how how nonprofits & government agencies can use #blockchain to help the people they serve & learn about the Blockchain for Social Good Challenge: https://t.co/HXXExPKEE6. pic.twitter.com/7sd6gwekpg— Cleveland Foundation (@CleveFoundation) October 30, 2018
Come on out greater Cleveland nonprofit and govt agencies this Thurs and learn how to participate in the Cleveland Blockchain for Social Good Challenge @BlocklandCLE #CtrlAltCLE https://t.co/0SakhL8Yl3— Leon Wilson (@leon_clevefdn) October 31, 2018
How can nonprofits and govâ€™t agencies benefit from blockchain? Definitely a question Iâ€™d love to know the answer to! ;) And now you can... https://t.co/jgSBYSh5ao— (((JillMZimon))) (@JillMillerZimon) October 31, 2018
Talking #Blockchain in #Cleveland at @DigitalC_orgâ€™s @MidTownTechHive at the â€œ#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Blockchain for Social Goodâ€ meeting sponsored by the @CleveFoundation.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 1, 2018
Welcomed by @JoshEdmonds216 and @leon_clevefdn from the Cleveland #Foundation. https://t.co/eGtVAcK7Nh pic.twitter.com/w6AQek7IjD
At â€œ#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Blockchain for Social Good,â€ @leon_clevefdn says he likes Scope-A-Thons. Spend time identify concept & get support to find the right #Blockchain solution.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 1, 2018
Will be a contest for #nonprofits or city government for social good at @BlocklandCLE conference. pic.twitter.com/8flyTGd2WI
Use code to create cryptographic hash to represent content. Digital signature.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 1, 2018
Programmable code that is secure and is time stamped.
Distributed content that canâ€™t undo.
At â€œ#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: #Blockchain for Social Goodâ€ with @leon_clevefdn of @CleveFoundation. pic.twitter.com/iX97FFHJMN
Video: â€œHow does a blockchain work - Simply Explainedâ€— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 1, 2018
Via @leon_clevefdn at @CleveFoundationâ€™s â€œ#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: #Blockchain for Social Goodâ€ meeting. https://t.co/eGtVAcK7Nh
Thank you @leon_clevefdn for your #CtrlAltCLE #Blockchain talk at @MidTownTechHive— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 2, 2018
It was great that you took the time to not just show the videos, but stopped them to add additional info & detailed examples.
Thanks also for talking time after the meeting to answer my questions pic.twitter.com/lfTzF4QRlj
At #Cleveland "#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: #Blockchain for Social Goodâ€ in @DigitalC_orgâ€™s @MidTownTechHive, I heard @leon_clevefdn mention @ethereum.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 6, 2018
I recommend attending #CtrlAltCLE mtgs sponsored by @CleveFoundation.
cc: @JoshEdmonds216 @BlocklandCLE https://t.co/PeakmwnpHt
Ethereum: the World Computer https://t.co/o6m9YCCSJ2— Ethereum (@ethereum) September 7, 2015
Cleveland Foundation Funding Announced - Blockchain for Social Good Challenge
The Challenge welcomes nonprofit leaders, public sector leaders, collegiate and professional innovators interested in addressing local social challenges via the use of blockchain-driven solutions.
The Challenge is open to teams of 4 individuals or less who are at least 18 years of age.
The deadline to submit a concept is Thursday, November 29, 2018.
1st Place Winner: $7,500 || 2nd Place Winner: $2,500
For more information contact: Blockchain4SG@clevefdn.org
At the Thursday, November 1, 2018, #CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Blockchain for Social Good meeting, I also learned about the Blockchain for Social Good Challenge prize money. Follow @CleveFoundation on Twitter to watch for more information to be posted on their website.
Here are the fact sheets I was given at the meetings. I also recommend reading more details in this article:
- ChainNinja and the Cleveland Foundation Announce Blockchain Grant Challenge
Updated September 24, 2018 - Newswire.com (@inewswire)
The prize winners and details about the additional support provided for the winners' projects will be announced at the Blockland Cleveland (@BlocklandCLE) Solutions Conference on December 1-4, 2018. The Cleveland Foundation's Leon Wilson will be joined by Catherine Tkachyk (@CHtkachyk), who is the chief innovation and performance officer of the Cuyahoga County Office of Innovation and Performance (@CuyahogaCounty) to present Blockchain Use & Community Centered Design at the Local Public and Social Sector Levels.
Nonprofits and government agencies who are interested should email Blockchain4SG@clevefdn.org to learn more!
#Cleveland area #nonprofits, be sure to learn about @CleveFoundationâ€™s #CtrlAltCLE project and the â€œ#Blockchain For Social Good Challengeâ€ at the @BlockchanCLE conference for $ prizes and also support from @ChainNinja.— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 2, 2018
Contact @JoshEdmonds216 & @leon_clevefdn for details! pic.twitter.com/1oxN9klFIG
#Cleveland #nonprofits, learn more in article I found with @CleveFoundationâ€˜s @leon_clevefdn talking about working with @ChainNinja: https://t.co/mNeuK8vPSG— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 2, 2018
cc: @JoshEdmonds216 @BlocklandCLE
Cleveland Twitterverse, please retweet this and share #Blockchain Challenge Grant info pic.twitter.com/5NZXyagE2h
Lynda.com Business and Technology Classes -- FREE with Library Card!
While it was not mentioned at the two #CtrlAltCLE Convenes meetings I attended, I thought it would be appropriate to mention how our local libraries offer FREE online technology and business classes through Lynda.com (@Lynda).
In my blog post My 7th Cleveland GiveCamp - Free Tech Solutions for Nonprofits in 2016, I wrote the following:
It was shared at Cleveland GiveCamp that the Lynda.com (@lynda) online learning platform for business, software, technology, and creative skills is now available for free through local libraries! This can be very useful for the nonprofits' leaders/volunteers wanting Lynda.com WordPress classes to assist them in managing their new websites.
I have been taking Lynda.com classes for years, so I think it is great that anyone with a library card can further their education through these local libraries:
On November 1, 2018, I now learned via a Euclid Public Library @EuclidLibrary tweet that Ohio Public Library Information Network - OPLIN (@OPLIN) and the Ohio Library Council (@OhioLibraryCncl) have come together to offer FREE Lynda.com (@Lynda) at all Ohio public libraries.
See the following resources:
It is clear how this library resource addresses the issues brought up at the first #CtrlAltCLE meeting I attended regarding digital equity and inclusion, but I was most interested to do a search for "blockchain" on Lynda.com. I found listed one beginner class and 13 intermediate level blockchain classes.
See the video in these tweets about how our libraries are working to address the workforce skills gap by offering FREE business and technology classes:
Great news from @EuclidLibrary about @OhioLibraryCncl & @OPLIN offering FREE @Lynda #tech & #business classes at more #Ohio #libraries!!— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 1, 2018
Good people in the Ohio Twitterverse, please share @EuclidLibrary's video tweet!
Tell others about FREE #education with your #library card. https://t.co/NdAkiZyRO6
The EPL is pleased to offer library card holders free access to https://t.co/262BKjfltX. If you would like to improve your professional or personal skills, https://t.co/262BKjfltX is the place to go. The online site has 5,000+ courses. https://t.co/zmNNIa0b2B #OurEuclid pic.twitter.com/C4tm999qzv— Euclid Library (@EuclidLibrary) November 1, 2018
.@EuclidLibrary @OhioLibraryCncl @OPLIN, last weekend I was telling @HackCleveland's #Fix216 attendees at @MidTownTechHive about the FREE #Lynda tech classes at our #library: @CuyahogaLib @Cleveland_PL @AkronLibraryhttps://t.co/75ITFei2aT— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - sosAssociates.com (@sos_jr) November 1, 2018
cc: @CleveFoundation @ClevePubLibFdn
#EverybodyShouldGet informed about @LinkedIn's skill learning platform from Rep. Rick Carfagna and @westervlibrary Director, Erin Francoeur. @lynda available for Ohio public library card holders thru the @OhioLibraryCncl and @OPLIN https://t.co/bZ81zdkICG— Ohio BEMC (@OhioBEMC) October 23, 2018
Did you see? Beginning Sept. 1, online courses from @Lynda will be available free to Ohioans with a valid library card. The @OhioLibraryCncl and @OPLIN are partnering with @LinkedIn to provide this first-of-its-kind collaboration.— OH Dept of Education (@OHEducation) July 25, 2018
Learn more https://t.co/tgiL79BDLq #OhioEd pic.twitter.com/UZ4hgvM5sB
With my experience running the Web Development Special Interest Group - WebSIGCleveland.org for ten years, I know firsthand the value of attending tech meetups. Thank you, Leon Wilson (@Leon_CleveFdn) and Joshua Edmonds (@JoshEdmonds216), for starting Ctrl + Alt + CLE to bring Cleveland area talent together to address the issue of digital equity. It is a subject that I find very interesting.
I look forward to seeing how this group evolves to address important issues in our community at future meetings. I highly recommed you attend, and be the first to know about what is happening in the area of digital inclusion in our community!
Be sure to watch for #CtrlAltCLE announcements on social media for news, updates, and meeting information. After attending some meetings, please share with others what you learned using the #CtrlAltCLE hashtag.