It would be easy to think of Chicago solely as a tech/startup city, or even that all tech and social good means is that more non-profits should use software...but you would be wrong - dead wrong.
In fact, one of city's hidden treasures - a group dedicated to fostering collaboration and communication between the tech fields and the communities that require their help - is a group that I happen to lead, and that I cordially invite you to join - is Chicago Net Tuesday.
It's actually the Chicago branch of Netsquared, which is itself part of Tech Soup - simply put, Net Tuesday is a global initiative to (in their words) "make it easy, meaningful, and fun for people and organizations to get the information, visibility and support they need to accelerate the impact of social-benefit projects." Our group straddles every form of tech and every kind of social good organization. I've had people remark that they don't know what our group is about, but it's simple:
Put a group of like-minded people from a variety of fields, inform them about what's happening in tech and social good, and see where it goes. Or in simpler terms, open stewardship.
We handle a diverse array of concerns - we have helped the Community Male Empowerment Project get set up online (and will be featuring them in October); we've discussed online wikis; we've had David Eads from Free Geek Chicago present at Pumping Station One. In short, we meet at a variety of Chicago neighborhoods discussing a variety of subjects.
I'm glad to say that next Tuesday's meeting is going to be a sit-down discussion of social ventures. You are more than welcome to RSVP at our Meetup site - we're holding it at Overflow Coffee, and is a casual sit-down conversation.
As it should be - after all, collaboration never comes with conferences or meetings - it comes with conversations. As all good non-profits and techies know.
But now, for more self-promotional content: I'm holding a Sherlock Holmes-themed social media training on September 10th. I'm more than willing to read your comments below, and you can connect with me via Linked In (just mention Chicago Now in your referral note) and the contact form on my web site.
As always, thanks for reading!