Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Black Tech Week celebrates innovators of color, highlights opportunities

Feb. 23, 2015, 11:46 a.m., Posted by Felecia Hatcher

Photo by Carolina Wilson.

Felecia Hatcher is co-founder of Code Fever and an organizer of Black Tech Week, which Knight Foundation supports to build Miami’s community of innovators and entrepreneurs, while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. 

Since announcing Black Tech Week I’ve fielded a lot of questions and the two that I’ve received over and over again are: “Why Black Tech Week?” and “Why Miami?” My answer is simple: “Why not!”

When I sat down with members of our steering committee and Derick Pearson, co-founder of Code Fever, to discuss the momentum in Miami and all the various conversations about diversity and inclusion in the tech space, we realized that we’d all attended many such conferences around the world but the time was ripe for an event like this in Miami. It’s time for an event that provides a collision point between tech, innovation and culture with a real focus on Miami as a conduit to the Caribbean and African Diaspora.  

Discovering the sounds of Detroit

Feb. 23, 2015, 9:58 a.m., Posted by Tod Machover

The Symphony in D project records sounds with the students of Detroit’s YouthVille.

A new, collaborative symphony, led by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Tod Machover of the MIT Media Lab and funded by Knight, is taking shape in the Motor City. Below, Machover, who is gathering sounds from the people of Detroit to shape the piece, writes about his work. A version of this post was originally published at

I recently returned from a trip to Detroit, my second in a month, and my third since we officially launched the Symphony in D project in late November. Besides exploring as many corners of the city as I can and sometimes soaking up impressions without any agenda—often the best way to find surprises—my goal right now is to meet people who would be interested in collaborating with me, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and my team at the MIT Media Lab to create this musical portrait of Detroit, past, present and future.

Global Impact Competition-Miami seeks big ideas for addressing sea level rise in South Florida

Feb. 23, 2015, 9 a.m., Posted by Regina Njima

Regina Njima is manager of the Global Impact Competitions and admissions for the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University. Photo by Michael Bolden on Flickr.

Attention Miami tech entrepreneurs: If you have an idea for addressing Miami’s global warming concerns -- the subject of recent conversation and debate -- here’s a competition you should enter.

Knight Foundation and Singularity University have teamed up to launch Global Impact Competition-Miami and ask the question: “How would you solve South Florida’s sea level rise challenge and improve the lives of millions of people in three to five years by using technology?” The two winners with the best ideas will receive full tuition to Singularity University’s 10-week Graduate Studies Program in Silicon Valley.  The competition is open to all U.S. residents.

Singularity University -- a unique educational organization headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, Calif. -- is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and empowering leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s greatest challenges, which Singularity University refers to as Global Grand Challenges: education, energy, environment, food, global health, poverty, security, space and water.