A newly funded ‘apps and maps’ studio at Temple University could be another part of the ‘connective tissue’ between early stage ideas from novice entrepreneurs and sales worthy or impact-driven ideas, I told WHYY reporter Maiken Scott last week for her story on the news.
In the world of radio, there were a few versions, and I don’t have the full version with my audio included, but below hear two of the audio pieces: one from Maiken and my audio clip that was played following the host’s intro.
Two hundred fifty students from the largely troubled neighborhoods of North Philadelphia will receive full, four-year scholarships to neighobring Temple University, my alma mater, during the next decade, as the Inquirer reported.
It’s a generous effort from a major urban research university often called on for more outreach in its surrounding communities. Good things, warm stories and, surely, great public relations will come as a result. Of a student population numbering nearly 30,000, 250 may seem small, but it’s always worth valuing.
“[Temple] should have given full-day preschool from birth and full-day kindergarten to 250 neighboring kids and intensive parental training to 250 neighborhood new parents 18 years ago. That would have been more effective and ultimately cheaper.” – Dan Pohlig
Temple, of course, is a university, so offering those scholarships have precedence there. This is a fine act, but there are bigger issues and more interesting approaches to take on.
Read the story here or download the PDF here, on page 24.
An earlier nut graf: Innovation has been seen as strictly in the purview of tiny, agile startups, taking an idea and bringing it to market. But as the speed of new technologies continues to quicken, the need for large businesses to help bring products to market becomes even greater. So big corporations are not only playing a remarkably underplayed role in innovation, they are also innovating in how they change the world altogether.
Give it a read and then check some of the extras from my interviews that didn’t make it into the piece.
In short, nearly 100 Temple students from six different schools were broken into cross-disciplinary teams and given a week to conceive of plans to grow opportunity along the beleaguered North Broad Street corridor in Philadelphia. Community members, leaders and other thinkers on the subject were brought in, student teams were encouraged to take to the streets and employ what they already knew.
Do news organizations have responsibility for their outcome?
That became the final and, I think, as yet unanswered close to a discussion I led during the final session of the third national BarCamp NewsInnovation, held Saturday April 30 at Temple University and rounding out the inaugural Philly Tech Week. [See past BCNI write ups here.]
Overall I felt this BCNI, with some 150 attendees from startup shops and some serious brands, featured more sessions that embodied that unconference spirit in being less presentation and more dialogue, something I don’t think I felt in the past. I was also interested to see the true step forward past social media and other tools and into sustainability, which I find to be a far more important place to be.
To that end and coming off Philly Tech Week, without preparation, I proposed a session in the day’s final hour: “A conversation on news as a convener.”
Here’s something completely unoriginal: you’re going to get flat-ass rejected, crushing whatever self-indulgent perspective you have on yourself, and then you will go some place magical and it will change you.
In 2003, I was an involved and eager high school senior who struggled to focus and was a lot more interested in creative side projects than studying or school work. I thought it made me unique and valuable. Turns out, it just made me a shitty student.
I grew up in rural northwest New Jersey, where the population was made up mostly of either generational residents or the extended foam of the New York City white flight wave. My parents were the latter and my family all lived in or around the 67th ward.
I wanted to go to college in a big city, without following the footsteps of my classmates or returning to ancestral roots, so I applied to colleges and universities throughout the Eastern Seaboard. I am wildly involved, have decent grades and, come on, I’m a total hoot, I thought, these freakin’ schools are going to be fighting over me.
Until the very thin envelopes from universities started to come in.
The support helps bolster existing coverage and allows me to strengthen relationships with new and previously only tenuous sources. Read all about our goals and expectations on the Technically Philly post here.
Those outputs show our work will extend beyond traditional coverage, but, to start, that has been a large part. I’ll update more here on the reporting that I am doing.
The William Penn Foundation is technically funding the nonprofit Institute, which, in serving as our fiduciary agent, is contracting out for-profit Technically Media Inc.’s Technically Philly news site. …Did ya get all that?
Universities should host the newsrooms of their neighborhoods, towns and counties. If a university has a journalism department, college media and audience, this seems like a foregone conclusion.
Picture Temple University. It is a big, diverse, robust, public research university with a clutch of respected professional schools and an expansive undergraduate population that has been slowly and controversially expanding into at least four different, distinct, overwhelmingly black neighborhoods around it.
When you drive south on I-95 east of Philadelphia at night, look off to your right while only the tallest skyscrapers are yet in view a few miles in the distance, the blur of bright lights made of a dozen square blocks and a cluster of high-rise buildings among a swath of stout two story row homes is the university’s main campus.