Over this past holiday weekend, a few CCCF representatives attended the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Media Learning Seminar, where we learned about emerging trends and ways to better communicate with people in our community, and how to help them communicate with each other.
We work closely with the Knight Foundation, and have received grants from them that allowed us to better assess our county’s needs, and to work on projects that will bring needed high-speed Internet access, and a 211 non-emergency helpline to Centre Countians. Because Centre County is one of 26 Knight communities across the country, and the Centre County Community Foundation is a Knight Community Information Challenge grant-winner, Knight pays for a staff member and a board member to attend the annual Media Learning Seminar, at Knight Foundation headquarters in Miami.
The Media Learning Seminar is always a great place to get ideas for new and innovative projects, both from the very experienced and intelligent speakers, and from other community foundation administrators like ourselves.
Speakers included Amy Webb, CEO of Webbmedia Group, who talked about how to reap the benefits (and avoid the dangers) of new technology; Eli Pariser, Chairman of the Board of MoveOn.org and the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Filter Bubble, who talked about how the Internet is becoming more and more personalized, which can prevent people from experiencing diverse opinions and information; Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and a principal research scientist at MIT’s Media Lab, who talked about his Global Voices site, which showcases news and opinions from citizen media in over 150 nations and 30 languages; and many others interesting speakers.
There were also speakers from other community foundations, who talked about innovative projects they are doing in their communities, from helping people who are interested in environmental preservation, to improving early childhood education.
We learned a lot, and we’re excited to bring that information back to the Centre County community!