Citizen Dashboard mockup coming…

My wife Lisa and I have been working on an annotated, self documenting Citizen Dashboard which will replace this website in time for next week’s keynote in Amsterdam.

I’m creating 18-20 short little videos (longer than Vines, shorter than typical YouTubes) to explain our
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company, our project, DLAs (digital lifestyle aggregator) and 15 Jobs which our efforts will help create. Wish me luck!

Grand Conference – Amsterdam Nov. 5th, 2013

After taking nearly a year off from 100% working on this project, I’m not preparing for a keynote presentation at the Grand Conference in Amsterdam on Nov. 5th, 2013.

I’m planning on producing (with help from my wife Lisa) a mockup of a typical Citizen Dashboard – which will be embedded and annotated with callouts, dialogs and videos explaining the various jobs created, the various features of the Citizen Dashboard and on overview of the entire Digital City project.

This – in addition to the :20 PPT – will be the ‘updating’ of the Digital City project.

Bare minimum Digital City Training spec

Lets say there was one, super hero, white knight who rode in on a green bagel and declared “we are going to start building this puppy – right now!”

Then what would that bare bones spec – look like?

Gap between traditional computer training and programming lessons

Our Digital City Educational Methodology is designed to fill the gap between traditional computer skills training (which is available at Community Colleges,training centers and most school systems) with the currently hot sector of training people to become programmers.

This huge gap is where most workers will end up in the future.  They will NOT be programmers (despite my friend Doug Rushkoff’s leadership in the notion of ‘Programmed or be Programmed’) but that doesn’t mean that these folks won’t be sitting in front of on-line machines, doing their daily tasks which puts food on their tables and keeps a roof over their heads.

The workforce of tomorrow will need these ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’ skill sets that train workers to exist in a culture of project-based activities and freelance working conditions.  This is the reality of tomorrow and that’s what Digital City Mechanics is focused on.

Here’s the Day One set of training videos – which is the beginning of our Educational Methodology curriculum.

Digital City [“insert your city or region here”]

The Digital City ["insert your city or region here"] pilot project would create and maintain a series of “New Economy Apprenticeships” which would lead to a “digital economy ecosystem” in ["insert your city or region here"].  This pilot project would implement a new kind of workforce training methodology which would tie intermediate and advanced training to new economy apprenticeships, project participation and job creation.

Interns would be put to work on one-off and on-going projects, which would be paid for by local “socially conscious” sponsorships.  Entrepreneurial activities, an on-line marketplace and a video business directory would all help support and nurture this “ecosystem effect.”  The measurable results of the pilot project would be to prove that by breaking down the silos and connecting various government and business efforts together – an integrated ecosystem effect can be kickstarted which would lead to a sustainable engine that creates on-line jobs.  This ecosystem would sit on top of an open software platform and become a on-going means of on-line job creation.

The focus of the pilot would be on creating on-line jobs and teaching trainees the skills necessary to exist in a global marketplace of project based on-line workers.  Individuals entrepreneurism, rather than company based – will be the emphasis of this project.  The ["insert your city or region here"] training system would pick up where beginning computer skills classes leave off; placing trainees and interns into active projects, paired up with professionals and college educated workers.

These project teams would then produce work-for-hire sponsored projects, ranging from mobile and PC based content to educational software, visualizations and simulations.  Sponsored viral marketing campaigns (via custom produced games and apps) would focus on Barbados history, culture and people.  On-line startups and entrepreneurial activities would be supported by the pilot project, as well as a wide range of community engagement.  By directly showing community members and organizations the benefits and rewards possible by utilizing on-line social media based tools, marketing campaigns and blogging – we hope to build trust in these local communities and bridge the disconnect between government/business and citizens.

The ["insert your city or region here"] pilot project would fund one year of training, internships and an underlying open software ‘platform.’  This software ‘portal’ would enable training to happen in a classroom, or virtually anywhere in ["insert your city or region here"] – with  an Internet connection and PC/laptop.  Flexible training techniques, experiential learning and extensive usage of multimedia (videos, photos and interactive games or mobile applications) would be combined together into an integrated approach to job creation.

The software platform would feature assignments, curriculum, an on-line marketplace and business directory and real-time video help desk – which would be manned by professionals, interns and volunteers.  On-going programs, one-off projects and web services would be offered to a wide range of trainees – ranging from youth, ‘Baby Boomers’ and Moms returning to work to re-entry and welfare populations.  Returning vets and currently  under-employed workers would also participate – but only those who are the “best and brightest” – willing to make the entrepreneurial sacrifice of sweat equity – to learn a new way of doing business.

Volunteerism, mentoring and community engagement would all be taught as an effective means of job creation.  Community newsletters and media channels would be produced and utilized to provide interns real-world skills which could be applied to a wide range of online marketing techniques and professions. The idea is to get the “Haves” to help the “Have Nots.”

The ultimate goal of the DCB Pilot project to have individual and community organizations reap the benefits of on-line technology (beyond what is possible by simply using MS Office.)  The synergistic effect of combining education, business and government efforts together will create a cyber workforce (made up of both individuals and companies) ready to do business around the world – virtually via the Internet.

Digital City Jamaica

Digital City Mechanics is closing on our first major deployment where we’ll be implementing our educational methodology, running programs, producing projects and offering services to Jamaicans.  This effort will also strive to connect Jamaicans to their diaspora around the world.  Details to follow.

PolymerOhio program

PolymerOhio has contracted with Digital City Mechanics to develop multimedia case studies using an intern team that is trained by Digital City Mechanics.  These case studies will support PolymerOhio’s Polymer Portal which provides affordable access to expensive modeling and simulation applications and training in their use.

Connecting the dots at the CONTACT conference

I’ll be speaking at the CONTACT conference in NYC this week. My theme will be “connecting the dots.”  Everyone at the conference will be well intentioned, super intelligent activists, thinkers and doers.

“So what can I say – which will make a difference?”

1.  We’re all still operating in silos – in our own unique worlds and networks.

2. By inter-connecting between each other, yes knowledge can be shared, but also money can be used more efficiently.  Share space, help each other create web sites and viral campaigns, support each other’s efforts.

3. Utilize government money more efficiently.  Get this money “on track”.  OUT in-efficiency.  It’s your duty as a tax paying citizen to do so.

4. Work with community organizations to show them the value and benefits of on-line technology.

5.  Remember – jobs today are not 40 hr a week, they’re freelance, on-line and virtual.  JOBS is the #1 issue in society today!

6.  Do as Steve Jobs suggested “connect the dots”, “love what you do”, and “make sure to make THIS life count, stick to your instincts and gut”

In four minutes.

Digital City – Tampa

I’ve just returned from an amazing trip to Tampa and the Tampa Bay area.  I presented to an overflow crowd of entrepreneurs, government officials and community leaders, I was interviewed several times and I met with the Mayor of Tampa.

Things are looking great for the launch of our program down there – soon!

Tampa has a rich history, plenty of diversity and immigrant population, potential investors – who wish to help out their communities – and LOTS of industry who can potentially sponsor programs and projects.  These are all the ingredients necessary for a successful creation of a “digital economy ecosystem.”

Every Digital City needs a champion and in our case that person is Marv Scaff.  I’ve known Marv for over 20 years and he’s a co-founder of a local business accelerator (which is part of the TechStars network) “GazelleLabs”.  I had the pleasure of meeting all the Gazelle portfolio companies yesterday and I was amazed how GOOD the ideas were!  Now its all about execution!

Marv is the epitome of a serial entrepreneur and brings with him a Rolodex that goes from Brad Feld and the TechStars network to California, NYC, Texas and everywhere in-between.  Most importantly Marv has been tracking our progress with the “Digital City project” and he knows that Tampa would be an ideal place for a pilot project.  Finding folks willing to sponsor large-scale on-line multimedia projects is key and the subject matter (financial services, cigars, call centers, fishing, retirement living) are all ripe for the picking down in Tampa.

The best part is that I met a gazelle investor and guess what?  His wife is from Cleveland!

Tampa has an area called “YBor City” which reminds me of New Orleans, Key West or Savannah.  This is where we’re hoping to open up a “Digital Bureau” and start “building our digital city.”

Big up and shutout to David Glass, Linda Olsen, Alex Sink and Joe Dubois for helping to put together the event.  And special thanks for Marv for getting me down there – in the first place!

Steve Jobs R.I.P.

A great man passed away this week.  Here’s his keynote address to the Stanford class of 2005:

Three main walk always:

- connect the dots – think ahead of what’s possible and don’t shirk back

- love what you do

- you only live once, stay true to your heart and instincts

“Hessler St Fair”

Digital City Mechanics is helping with the tech for the Hessler St Fair – May 21-22, 2011. We helped create Hessler.org and we’ll be doing live webcasting during the show on that site.  We’ve also got a ‘porch’ to hang out at – and show people what we’ve been up to and we’ve got a collection of Community Organizations we’ve been involved with – with their own table as well.

Here is a ‘pyramid of workers’ poster we’ll be displaying on our “porch”: