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    Francisco D’Elia sees the effects of climate change every day in Miami Beach, where the city is installing pumps and raising streets to mitigate the effects of sea level rise.Now D’Elia, a geographic information systems analyst in the city’s Public Works Department, is taking his big ideas for addressing climate change to Silicon Valley as the winner of Singularity University’s 2017 Miami Global Impact Challenge.
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    Watch the 2017 Personal Democracy Forum live stream.Over the past few months we’ve seen a surge in civic activism in communities across America. From the history-making women’s march to the march for science, ordinary people have begun to get more involved in attempting to shape the policies and decisions that affect their lives. This year, Knight Foundation is sponsoring the Personal Democracy Forum as it explores how we can strengthen our democratic institutions and civic life.This annual conference will bring together civic leaders, technologists, journalists, and others to discuss society’s most pressing issues. Speakers such as New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, net neutrality expert Tim Wu, and other civic leaders will take to the stage this year. Broad topic areas being explored include civic technology, ideas and provocations, media Innovation, and grassroots and digital organizing. 
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    Josie Goytisolo is founder and CEO of CODeLLA, a technology entrepreneurship and coding immersion program for Latina girls ages 8-12. Today, Knight Foundation is announcing $100,000 in new support for CODeLLA over two years. We created CODeLLA in December 2013 to bridge the skills and opportunity gap experienced by underserved Latina middle school girls in our Miami community. Now, with new support from Knight Foundation, we’re looking forward to expanding our work and providing more girls with a foundational knowledge of coding, developing their ability to think critically and helping them work collaboratively to build apps and businesses that solve problems in their communities. CODeLLA’s third cohort—our eight-week summer immersive coding and entrepreneurship camp—starts at Centro Mater, a best practice community center in Little Havana on June 12.
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    Dave Blaszkiewicz is president and CEO of Invest Detroit, a leading source of private-sector financing to support economic and community development in Detroit and a partner in the Reimagining the Civic Commons national initiative.With Invest Detroit’s 20-year history of economic development, we’ve learned that sustainable revitalization is based on two key pillars: leverage and leadership. Leverage is created by focusing the toolkits of collaborative partners on development strategies; and leadership is moving the process forward while being aligned with community partners and objectives. In Detroit, this premise is well represented by initiatives where the public, private and philanthropic sectors have worked together to provide the leadership and support which today is driving momentum in Greater Downtown.  
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    Michele Reese is the marketing director for HistoryMiami Museum, a multiple winner of the Knight Arts Challenge. Hurricane Andrew. It struck South Florida 25 years ago this summer, and I can remember it like it was yesterday, especially watching meteorologist Bryan Norcross on television telling us to prepare for the worst.I was 11. It was my first hurricane, and I had no idea what to expect. As the night grew dark, the rain started, and the winds began to howl. Sheets of plywood started flying off my home, windows were opening, and I remember my parents using their strength to keep them shut. When the hurricane passed and I walked outside, I realized just how lucky we were. Our house survived, but I knew South Florida had changed forever. In the aftermath of the storm, though, one thing stood firm, the resilience of our community.
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    The Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum is a classroom like no other. Some of the lessons come wrapped as popcorn-worthy entertainment in exhibits, laser light shows and planetarium events; others are part of  educational programs for both students and teachers, such as the Upward Bound Math and Science Center, which focuses on science, technology and marine science.Leah Melber, Ph.D., the museum’s newly appointed Knight Vice President of Education, is the key person in the future development of the museum’s education programs. The position is funded by Knight Foundation.
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    Ryan O’Connor is interim executive director for 8 80 Cities, a nonprofit dedicated to making cities more livable.Twenty creative urbanists will join the 2017 Emerging City Champions fellowship program, an initiative of 8 80 Cities funded by Knight Foundation. Now in its third year, the program empowers young leaders to experiment with new solutions to urgent challenges in their cities.Champions will receive $5,000 in funding to implement an innovative project to enhance public spaces, mobility or civic engagement in their city over the next 12 months.
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    Knight Foundation has made significant investments in vibrant public spaces and places that can bring people in communities together. So it was hard not to take notice last summer when image and after image popped up on our Twitter feeds showing crowds of people—around the world—swarming public places at all hours. As we quickly learned, they were playing Pokémon GO, a location-based, augmented-reality game made by the Silicon Valley firm Niantic, Inc.The premise of the game is simple—find and catch as many Pokémon (cute, cartoonish creatures) as you can. But the technology underneath may presage an important new phase of our digital future.
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    Miami is a city that continually evolves, never content to rest on its achievements and consistently pushing through in times of adversity. Much like the city it calls home, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science stands ready to embark on the next stage of its evolution—one that has been in progress for over 67 years. And the question stands: What does this new museum mean for Miami? It’s an important one to explore, to be sure.We’re at a crucial cultural and technological threshold in Miami. When Frost Science opens its doors in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on May 8, it is our hope that this new campus will serve the community as a resource for education and discovery, with a focus on learning opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. It was designed by Grimshaw Architects to maximize these opportunities at every turn and corner.
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    Shin-pei Tsay is the executive director of Gehl Institute. Today, Gehl Institute is releasing “A Mayor’s Guide to Public Life,” with Knight Foundation support. In today’s social climate, caring for each other in our collective spaces is no easy task. Public discourse about life-sustaining issues—jobs, housing, schools, clean air and water— too often devolves into partisan infighting and strained social ties. Many wonder how our communities will work across differences to achieve a common vision. “A Mayor’s Guide to Public Life” provides a framework.With their broad local authority, mayors have a unique ability to strengthen social connections forged in public space. They can provide a quality experience in public spaces and foster a lively civic life among local residents. From the small-town engine that is Akron, Ohio, to the thriving historic city of Philadelphia, public spaces are a platform on which mayors can shore up the social connections intrinsic to any solution.How do mayors foster public life? Gehl Institute interviewed several pioneering mayors, then took the mayors’ testimonials and analyzed them against designers’ and practitioners’ experiences of executing projects in public spaces.
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    Last week over 150 people gathered at New York Public Library to participate in the NetGain conference, an initiative supported by five foundations (Ford, MacArthur, Knight, Open Society Foundations, and Mozilla) to explore the challenges and opportunities of the digital age. Foundation presidents as well as civic and industry leaders gathered to discuss the opportunities and risks associated with the expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.  The panels addressed issues of privacy, security, and equity in IoT, topics that have been the focus of foundation grants made in support of the NetGain initiative. At the event, Knight announced $1.2 million in support of IoT planning grants to six cities: Akron, Ohio; Boston, Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia, and San Jose, California.Several themes emerged throughout the day.
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    This post is third in a series about a gathering of library directors Knight Foundation convened in Miami Feb. 11-12, 2017, as part of its continuing work with libraries. Knight Foundation also recently released a report “Developing Clarity: Innovating in Library Systems,” and announced a package of funding to support innovation in libraries. Brian Bannon opened with a succinct and pointed question:“How many people have done library renovation in the last five years?” he asked. “And in the last two years?”As hands shot up on the afternoon of the second day of Knight Foundation’s library directors’ meeting, on Feb. 12, the mini-panel “Libraries as a Civic Space” got off to a fast start, with Bannon, commissioner and CEO of the Chicago Public Library, and Marie Ostergaard, head of community engagement, partnerships and communication for Dokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark.“That’s a lot of people,” Bannon said, looking out over the group of 40 directors. “How many people have one coming up on some level in the next two years?”
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    The Internet of Things (IoT) describes a connected world in which humans, machines and infrastructure are in constant communication with each other. As we move towards a reality in which vast amounts of data are being collected and transmitted about the world around us, how will this shape cities and public life? What are the implications for privacy and security? What are the possibilities and risks presented by this new technology?On April 21, we will convene foundation presidents and civic and industry leaders to discuss the emerging field of IoT. Through a series of thought-provoking panel discussions, we will explore public interest issues surrounding the IoT, including topics such as: How should we be thinking about public education and consumer advocacy? And how are cities thinking of leveraging sensor-based technology to improve services?