End of the Year Digital Steward Update: Viable Networks Workshops

As the year comes to an end, we at Resilient Communities would like to debrief on some of the work that we have been doing with our partners and their Digital Stewards. Our goal is to get them ready for the next phase of our project: construction of the networks!

In early March, the Stewards at Far Rockaway, Hunts Point, and Gowanus will begin the build-out of their networks! With Sheepshead Bay and East Harlem not far behind. In order to get the Stewards ready and make sure they have all the knowledge they need, we at Resilient Communities wanted to do some refresher workshops known as the Viable Networks Workshop Series.

The Viable Networks Workshops is training designed to get the Stewards ready to work alongside our tech partner SkyPackets and to prepare them to govern and sustain their networks well beyond installation. One of the main goals of the workshop is to give the Stewards a deeper understanding of the project’s big picture and how the WiFi network and the community work together to achieve resilience.

The list of the Viable Networks Workshops and their goals are below:

  • PNK

    • How to configure/deploy a portable network kit (PNK) using the training equipment on site

    • Explain what a local network is and how to use it

  • Small Business Needs Assessment

    • Understand what digital services the small businesses may need

    • Engage small businesses in wanting to participate in the network

    • Be able to create surveys to find out what are the needs of the community

    • Be able to talk or explain with an elevator pitch, what the project is in less than 2mins.

  • Content Creation

    • Create and manage social media accounts to explain their wireless project to people in the community.

    • Collect information in their community in order to shape networks to fit local needs and goals

    • Understand how community wireless networks play a part in connecting different community groups thus strengthening community resilience.

  • Network Governance

    • Create sustainability and resilience plans that utilize their community wireless network.

    • Use community organizing to develop social networks that strengthen bonds within each neighborhood.

    • Lead their neighborhoods in the creation of an emergency governance protocol.

  • Backup Battery Systems

    • Understand the different battery configurations and power consumption of their PNK

We are confident the Stewards will be prepared and ready to build their networks come 2018. 


Author:

Katherine Ortiz is a program associate at New America’s Resilient Communities program. In this role, she helps communities become more resilient by training them to build their own mesh network infrastructure.