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Connect Chicago Project Roadmap

A guide to getting involved with collaborative digital inclusion work in Chicago. This content can also be found on Github. Note that anyone can insert comments into this Google document!

Contact info:

Project Lead: Denise Linn

Email: dlinn@cct.org

Twitter: @DKLinn

GitHub: deniselinn

Skype: denise.linn

Jump to a section:

Project Mission & Summary

Project Milestones

How to Contribute

Participation Guidelines

Getting Started

How to contribute in person

How to contribute online

Project Mission & Summary

Connect Chicago is a citywide digital inclusion initiative. We work with nonprofit partners, advocates, and community members to identify gaps in access & training resources across the city so we can cobuild & support solutions to fill those gaps. Despite Chicago's promising tech economy, gaps persist. About 1 in 5 Chicago households still lack access to the Internet.

In 2017, we're scanning our ecosystem, centralizing our existing assets and identifying community-driven digital inclusion ideas/solutions. To do this, we have Meetups and neighborhood participatory design sessions for in-person collaboration. We’re also trying to strengthen our online collaboration as well!

Connect Chicago is pleased to participate as a Mozilla Global Sprint 2017 project. Given that increasing quality online and offline collaboration is a current priority, we embrace this experience as a Mozilla Global Sprint Project to apply “working open” habits and principles to our ongoing digital inclusion collaborations in Chicago. If you want to learn more about our efforts to marry national/local digital inclusion work with open leadership principles, read this blog post on Smart Chicago!

OK, let’s de-jargonize some of this:

We like the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s definition of Digital Inclusion:

Digital Inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This includes 5 elements: 1) affordable, robust broadband internet service; 2) internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user; 3) access to digital literacy training; 4) quality technical support; and 5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration. Digital Inclusion must evolve as technology advances. Digital Inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional and structural barriers to access and use technology.

We like Mozilla’s definition of “working open”:

 A way of working in which (1) a community of people collaborate to make or build something amazing and (2) any product or knowledge that the community of collaborators creates is shared widely and freely with the public on the world wide web.

Project Milestones

This section lists our  milestones for increasing collaboration & co-building in local digital inclusion work. See the project’s Canvas here.

  1. Launch in person collaboration event(s) to engage more people with digital inclusion work in Chicago & crowdsource information collection re: digital inclusion assets & needs
  1. [Done] Milestone: Plan + host a collaborative Connect Chicago Meetup event
  1. April 28, 2017 Digital Inclusion Asset Mapping 
  1. Milestone: Plan + host a participatory community events with various partners
  1. [Done]  April 22, 2017 at Greater Southwest Development Corporation
  1. Pictures 
  2. Notes 
  1. [Done] May 20, 2017 at Windsor Park Lutheran Church
  1. Pictures
  2. Notes
  1. Launch online collaborations to engage more people with digital inclusion work in Chicago & crowdsource information collection re: digital inclusion assets & needs
  1. [Done} Milestone: Research different online feedback loops/participation tools to use: forms, annotation tools, social media; choose channels/platforms most usable and useful to our collaborators (digital inclusion advocates)
  2. [Done] Milestone: Choose one or a combination of tools to catalyze online engagement and ask for input from Chicago residents & advocates on the digital inclusion need, priorities, assets, ideas
  1. Collaboration channels: Slack, Google docs, GitHub
  2. Centralized onboarding: bit.ly/joinconnectchi
  1. [Done] Milestone: Prepare collaboration channels (Google docs, GitHub, Slack) with issues/questions/project needs
  2. [Done] Milestone: Launch & advertise how people can get involved in Mozilla Sprint 2017
  1. Blog post on Smart Chicago
  2. Interview on Medium
  1. Gather feedback, improve
  1. Keep asking how they want to get involved and engage in co-building digital inclusion solutions offline and online
  2. Share feedback, react

How to Contribute

Thanks for your interest in Connect Chicago. We hope that you'll consider helping us with our digital inclusion work! This section is guide for contributing questions, ideas, and content to Connect Chicago during the Mozilla Global Sprint 2017 and beyond.

Participation Guidelines

This project adheres to a code of conduct. By participating online or offline, you are expected to uphold this code. Please report unacceptable behavior to dlinn@cct.org.

If you see anything missing from the linked code of conduct above, please insert a comment in this Google doc and we can work on co-building another code of conduct.

Getting Started

To get started, we recommend you fill out this form so we can keep in touch and point you to the collaboration channels you're most comfortable using. Our main channels for sharing & co-working are in-person meetings, Google docs, and Slack.

How to contribute in person

Local contributors can join us in person during Meetups and neighborhood participatory design sessions.

In-person community building is not only essential, but it’s also accessible for the most number of contributors. Contributors who can bring some of the most value to this work and digital inclusion ideas in general are not on typical “working open” platforms like GitHub or even Google docs.

How to contribute online

Online contributions are very welcome! We’ll be especially seeking online contributions during the Mozilla Global Sprint 2017. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible contribute ideas, content, and questions to Connect Chicago online.

In addition to Slack, there are two ways to contribute to Connect Chicago work online during the Sprint:

  1. Google Docs (primary platform for collaboration) - contributors can insert text and comments into this Collaboration Hub Document while chatting with other contributors.
  2. GitHub - contributors can respond to “issues” (you’ll find the same ones on the Google doc) or create their own.

Why two ways of contributing? Since this particular collaborative work isn’t technical and so many of our contributors are not on GitHub, we wanted to make sure there was a home base for collaboration that was familiar to our existing collaboration community. That being said, if people would like to participate on GitHub or learn how to use GitHub, here is information about how to set up a free GitHub account and sign in. Here are some instructions for how to use GitHub.