We are creating a new vision of the future and a program to mobilize all sectors of our community towards realizing that vision. The vision is to utilize the power of information technology to create a more inclusive and just community, overcoming past inequalities and making full use of information storage and access and all the diverse kinds of information that are currently available.
Our community can do this because we have the University of Illinois, a world class institution that has been at the cutting edge of technological innovation. On and off campus, Champaign-Urbana has the brainpower needed to help our community achieve whatever it can set as our goals. Building mass support for an Information City coupled with university faculty and students is a winning formula.
C-U as an information city is a next step based on 50 years of public computing innovation in our community. In the 1960s and 1970s PLATO led the nation. In 2009 UC2B became part of a national program to bring broadband computing to underserved communities in the US. It was unique in defining the institutions to get service to include not just schools, hospitals and libraries but also shelters, churches, senior residences, and all kinds of social service agencies. It was also unique for the Community Benefit Fund it established.
Info City CU is founded on the UC2B Community Benefit Fund resolution that was passed by UC2B and now carried forward in the new stage of providing broadband to the entire community. This was UC2B’s decision to help fund ending the digital divide. The way forward is to transform our community into an information city. Ths means:
- Connectivity: affordable broadband
- Computers: recycled and updated
- Public computing: open and functioning labs
- Cybernavigators: supporting people at public computing sites
- Community help desk: an IT department for the community
- Cyberspace: online content of, by, and for the community
- Annual community meeting: to keep it all on track and transparent
Everyone is welcome to be part of this. You can sign your name or your organization as a supporter and partner. You can come to meetings and help shape policy. And you can get to work and help build the structures and relationships that bring the information city concept into reality.
To stay in touch email us at [email protected]
Heartland Maker Fest
Info City CU, represented by Chris Hamb, was an official maker at the 2014 Heartland Maker Fest in Urbana on October 18, 2014.
What they do:
A collaborative, grass-roots effort of community and campus to look at the scene of technology and the community. This is a resource-rich area, but not everyone in the community benefits from these resources. Infocity wants to identify and fill in the gaps with the help of volunteers and grants. There should be something free going on every day for people to improve their tech skills.
Info City CU also works on the cuwiki, because in Hamb’s words, “if you aren’t on the web, you don’t exist,” so via cuwiki they are providing a web presence for some local organizations.
Info City CU was established fall 2014.
Best kept secret:
The intellectual capacity and resource capital of the group.