More than 200 citizens of Chattanooga showed up at the Chattanooga Public Library in early February to be the change-agents they've been waiting for during the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund kickoff, a $150,000 pilot fund launched on The 4th Floor by Mozilla, The National Science Foundation and U.S. Ignite.
The new fund hopes to help us all discover how the super powerful internet technology available today in Chattanooga can enhance learning and workforce development in the future, taking its limitless potential far beyond our city limits. In fact, the same funding is being launched in Kansas City this week for a total of $300K between the two gig cities. Individual projects in both locations could receive up to $30G in the next few months to help develop, experiment and implement the very best ideas.
“Gigabit networks have the potential to change how we live, work, learn and interact on the web, much like the switch from dial-up to broadband did,” Mark Surman, executive director of Mozilla, said in a statement last week. “The educators, developers, students and other inventive thinkers in these leading gigabit economies have a unique opportunity to help shape the web of the future, in ways that can help us all know more, do more and do better,” Surman said.
Now the application window for the Gigabit Community Fund’s Spring Pilot Period is open. For funding consideration, submissions must be received before midnight Friday, March 28. To receive funding, projects must integrate with a local organization’s service offerings in either Kansas City or Chattanooga. They need to have a measurable impact on citizens in these areas, and must demonstrate how emerging gigabit technologies are relevant in people’s everyday lives.
Project teams are forming now around several shared missions identified at the kickoff. You can put your passions and skills to work on one of these teams or submit your project directly. Either way, great ideas that help improve a local organization's education or workforce development goals for the gig are needed. There are plenty of ways to still jump in, even if you were unable to attend the kickoff:
- Sit in on Mozilla's open community conference call to participate in the continuing discussions, share your ideas, and ask questions.
- Catch up at the next monthly meet-up in Chattanooga.
- Register for CodeAcross, also happening on the 4th Floor, with Open Chattanooga and the Code for America Fellows on February 22.
- Apply online with your idea for digital learning & making, workforce development or connected learning.
Check the links below for more related sites, links to event pics, press coverage and more.
How great that a public library is right in the center of a city's most promising conversations about its own super-connected future.
It was especially sweet to have the fund's incredible launch team and partners in our innovation space on the 4th floor including Ben Moskowitz from Mozilla, Bill Wallace from U.S. Ignite, Erwin Gianchandani from the National Science Foundation, Dennis Bega with the U.S. Dept. Of Education, Mark Berman with GENI project, David Wade with EPB and Leah Giliam with Mozilla's NYC Hive Learning Network. What an honor to hear Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke boast to this impressive panel and the entire packed house in his opening remarks about the library's recent recognition in National Journal as the best example of what the library of the future looks like.