Increase digital inclusion in your community through a a unique multi-sector effort that brings together nonprofits, government, businesses, and academics. Spend Thursday, June 15th from 10:00-11:00 am with the Co-Chairs of the SF Tech Council. As part of the American Society’s webinar series, Anne Hinton, David Lindeman and Scott Mauvais will present an overview of the Tech Council, including its background, purpose, initiatives and upcoming plans. You can register here.
At the May 17th Tech Council meeting, members, guests and supporters gathered to explore strategic initiatives for
the Council over the next couple of years. Here are the meeting’s highlights:
Planning Ahead. Meeting participants discussed a multi-stakeholder Connectivity “+” (Plus) Campaign to advocate for and expand the availability of technology training, education, equipment and support for seniors and people with disabilities. In addition to addressing gaps and identifying innovative ideas in these areas, the discussion facilitated by Diane Krantz included the potential to strengthen the City’s aim to promote universal connectivity in San Francisco. Tech Council members will address project goals, challenges, design, outcomes, partners, leadership, and funding during June.
People + Moore’s Law + The Cloud. The meeting’s featured speaker was Gretchen Addi, formerly of IDEO and now a consultant and Designer-in-Residence at Aging2.0. Gretchen’s thought-provoking topic focused on the disconnect between the potential of technology to positively impact the lives of older adults and the culture lag in promoting and adopting technology by both businesses and consumers.
Digital Inclusion Week. Tech Council meeting participants celebrated SF Public Library’s amazing and successful Digital Inclusion Week! Over 1,500 people participated in the week’s events, attending 57 programs at 20 locations – the main library, branches and partner organizations. Twenty-two organizations staffed display tables at the Tech Expo. The library is looking forward to Digital Inclusion Week 2018!
And more … In other meeting activities, the Tech Council:
- Elected new member Kyra Geithman, Digital Content Manager with the SF Chamber of Commerce.
- Reviewed the presentation made by Nicole Bohn, Director of the Mayor’s Office on Disability, at the 5/4/17 Access & Learning Workgroup meeting. Nicole’s presentation, Technology and People with Disabilities: Resources, Rewards and Realities in San Francisco, provided a comprehensive overview of issues related to technology for people with disabilities. Following the presentation, the Workgroup discussed what the Tech Council can do to support the technology needs of people with disabilities. A panel on technology and disability is being planned for the July 19 Tech Council meeting.
The next full Tech Council is Wednesday, July 19th. Contact Tech Council Consultant, Susan Poor (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information.
Chris McCarthy, VP of Strategy & Innovation at HopeLab and Executive Director of the Innovation & Learning Network, gave a great presentation on Kaiser Permanente’s work on aging in place innovation. To build an aging-in-place ecosystem, their findings highlighted the need to collaborate, create a community vision, eliminate silos, and become business savvy. Critical elements of Kaiser’s discovery process were human-centered design, incorporating a focus on social determinants of health, and understanding the barriers to aging in place – which usually are not medical.
Thinking about the future, the Council reviewed the 2016 Member Survey, helped identify concrete ideas for the Curry Senior Center and George Davis Center Discovery Projects, identified potential Tech Council speakers, and participated in a discussion led by Co-Chair Scott Mauvais on strategic initiatives the Tech Council is considering. More strategy discussion to come in May!
Access & Learning Workgroup Co-Chair Cathy Spensley reported on the Workgroup’s 4/6 meeting, which focused on challenges and barriers to digital access, training, equipment and tech support in public/nonprofit housing. At the 4/6 meeting, Mike Zaugg, Director of the DAAS Office on the Aging and Paulo Salta, DAAS Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Analyst, provided an update on SF Connected. Helen Hale, Director of Residential and Community Services, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, discussed how to improve and expand internet access at Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) sites. The Workgroup will continue to discuss this topic at its May meeting.
Wenwen Shi, Digital Inclusion Fellow at the SF Public Library, provided an update on Digital Inclusion Week, May 8-13. More than 50 programs are scheduled throughout the City! All DIW activities are FREE with lots of activities for older adults and people with disabilities, including movie screenings, hands-on classes, panel discussions, a tech expo, a week-long Learning for Action game and raffle and digital device give-aways. Be sure to check out the schedule and encourage people you know to attend!
NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, May 17, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Twitter’s Neighborhood Nest, 95 Hayes St. between Polk and Larkin. Wine and cheese reception to follow from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Two new reports from the Pew Research Center provide insights into the digital divide for disabled and low-income Americans. Both reports – Disabled Americans are less likely to use technology and Digital divide persists even as lower-income American make gains in tech adoption – can be found on the Pew Research Center website through the links in this post.
The SF Tech Council: A Unique Multi-Stakeholder Approach To Digital Inclusion
San Francisco Tech Council Co-Chairs Anne Hinton, David Lindeman and Scott Mauvais delivered a thought-provoking overview of the SF Tech Council. They positioned its importance in the context of global aging trends, the importance of technology for older adults and people with disabilities and the growth of San Francisco’s aging population. They highlighted the Council’s four focus areas – access and learning, isolation, health and diversity – and emphasized how critical the Tech Council’s multi-sector, collaborative model is in solving digital divide problems that impact seniors and people with disabilities in the United States and other countries. Anne, David and Scott stressed the Council’s imperative to draw from its members’ vast range of connections, talent and knowledge. In its first two years, the Tech Council has worked diligently to understand and bring resources to community-based efforts utilizing technology to improve the lives of neighborhood residents.
Tech Council supporter Amber Carroll, Director of Senior Center Without Walls in San Francisco, commented that “the beautiful thing” about the Tech Council is that with so many stakeholders at the table, the Council can be a launching pad for new ideas, connections and initiatives. Co-Chair Anne Hinton concurred, saying that she has deep knowledge of many issues and is glad to know people to go to with questions; “I know there is a possibility that somebody knows something to help solve problems.”
Moving forward, the Tech Council will focus on achieving greater impact, developing more collaborative initiatives, recruiting additional members, securing diverse funding to achieve sustainability, and working to replicate the model throughout the country.
The Tech Council meetings are open and the next one is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 from 4:00 to 6:00 followed by a networking reception at 825 Howard Street, home of the Independent Living Resource Center.