A UC2B-Community Informatics Day of Discovery

Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm
501 E. Daniel Street, Room 126, Champaign, Illinois

Sponsored by the iSchool and Urbana Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B)
with support from US Ignite
Free to all, registration encouraged, any questions to katewill@illinois.edu

Press release

This event was livestreamed.  Video and slides are linked below.

From 2008 to 2013, Champaign-Urbana built high speed internet across the area, and it continues to roll out.  The federal-local project was named UC2B.  Listening to local activists, UC2B also established a Community Benefit Fund to overcome digital disparities and discuss progress annually with the public.  The fund is now completing one year of grantmaking.  April 27 is the report-out.

This event takes place in a context.  We need a small amount of money to make a big impact.  And we need to know how community-wide digital literacy work intersects with the current policy drive for “smart communities” driven by “big data.” (For instance see the Boston Smart City Platform.)

Speakers include leaders in digital literacy work–funded by UC2B and others–and leaders in smart communities and big data. Each will address two questions, helped by a responsive audience of policy-makers and activists, scholars and students, and interested others:

1. What exciting digital equity or smart city work is going on?
2. Where would you like all this to go?

Join us!  The event is free and registration is encouraged.


Continental breakfast

Opening session: Why are we here?  The example of Seattle  session as video
Mike Smeltzer, chair of UC2B  slides as pdf
Paul Hixson, outgoing chair of the UC2B Community Benefit Fund
Keynote: David Keyes, Digital Equity Manager, City of Seattle  slides as pdf
Q and A

Break and snacks

Panel 1  session as video
Janice Mitchell, Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center  slides as pdf
Donna Pittman, Director, Champaign Public Library
Mark Toalson, Information Technologies Director, City of Champaign
Ajaita Saini and Mackenzie Kirkham of the winning student team from the recent civic challenge HackIllinois
Kate Williams (chair), iSchool, University of Illinois


Panel 2  session as video
Marlon Mitchell, Founder, First Followers Prisoner ReEntry
Jacob Johnston, Age-Friendly Program Coordinator, Urbana Park District & Clark Lindsey Village
Alice Delage, Program Manager and Community Liaison, Midwest Big Data Hub, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois  slides as pdf
Kandace Turner (chair), Assistant Director for Economic Development and Innovation, University of Illinois

Break and snacks

Panel 3  session as video
Zoë Foote, Immigrant Services Coordinator, University YMCA
Amanda Standerfer, Director of Development and Promotion, Urbana Free Library
Sanford Hess, IT Director, City of Urbana
Abdul Alkalimat (chair), African American Studies / iSchool (emeritus), University of Illinois

Closing session: Reflections on the day / Key takeaways  session as video
David Keyes and Mike Smeltzer


This event is free and open to all interested parties. Registration helps with planning edibles.