Knight Blog

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

eMerge Americas tech and innovation event returns to showcase Miami’s entrepreneurial spirit

Dec. 16, 2014, 9 a.m., Posted by Xavier Gonzalez

Xavier Gonzalez is executive director of eMerge Americas, the movement behind a technology event hosted by the Technology Foundation of the Americas, that is scheduled for May 1-5 across South Florida. Knight Foundation is a founding funder of the event. 

In 2012, Knight Foundation widened its work in Miami to focus on entrepreneurs. eMerge Americas, which was a budding idea from Manuel D. Medina, chairman and CEO of Medina Capital, had a similar hope: to make Miami a center for innovation and technology. In 2014 those overlapping visions assembled a thriving community of entrepreneurs and disruptors at the first eMerge Americas event in May.

Now, Knight and eMerge Americas are embarking on a three-year partnership to grow this vision into a movement that draws international attention to Miami. The 2014 gathering set the bar for what a movement could accomplish: 6,000 attendees, 400 participating companies, 150 speakers, and 115 startups showcased.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch uses Videolicious to help increase audience

Dec. 15, 2014, 6 a.m., Posted by Matt Singer

View the original video at

Matt Singer is CEO of Videolicious, a Knight Foundation investment through its venture capital initiative, the Knight Enterprise Fund. This is part four of five in a series exploring ways journalists are using Videolicious to enhance storytelling. Videolicious is available for iOS.

What do community expertise, Plexiglas, and an iPhone mean for the future of newsroom video? The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has combined these ingredients to create a hyperefficient video-creation engine that’s driving audience growth and increasing sponsorship revenue.

Because video is so important to its audience, the Post-Dispatch has pursued innovative video types and created them in multiple ways. “There’s not just one particular type of video that readers like to look at,” says Post-Dispatch Video Director Gary Hairlson.  Hairlson compares the paper’s offerings to a “video buffet” featuring everything from short journalist videos created in the field to more complex video series built in the newsroom and associated with the paper’s weekly Go! Magazine.

Erik Howard brings the corner and the community together in unlikely ways through The Alley Project

Dec. 12, 2014, 5:54 p.m., Posted by Nicole Rupersburg

Photo of Erik Howard by Marvin Shaouni.

This article is cross-posted with permission from Creative Exchange.

To read the abundance of news coverage coming out of Detroit over the last few years heralding the downtrodden city as a hotbed of creativity and innovation, attracting young creatives and start-up entrepreneurs from all over the country – the Detroit-is-what-you-make-of-it, "blank slate" narrative – one might be tempted to think that there was no such social activism or creative energy there prior to, say, 2009.
But while there have been innumerable socially-minded projects and organizations taking root in recent years, there are just as many that started planting their seeds years, decades even, before there was any promise that they might come to fruition.
Young Nation is one such organization, and it has grown organically since photographer and youth advocate Erik Howard and his collaborators started discussing an idea for a neighborhood-based group in 1999.