Platform for the Future: Community-Based Tech Groups to Highlight KEG Event

As reported yesterday, the second day of the Kinetic Enthusiasts Group (KEG) event will kick off a bit differently than in years past.

Previous KEG conferences have featured keynote speeches from prominent industry analysts like Jeff Kaplan and Forrester’s Eveline Oehrlich. But the Tuesday morning session at KEG 2015 will focus more on giving back than on giving advice.Mike Bollinger

In place of a traditional keynote address, this year’s session titled Platform for the Future will feature a panel of ambassadors from several tech-focused community groups starting the day off with an inspirational discussion of how their organizations are building bridges to underserved communities.

The panel will be moderated by Mike Bollinger, co-founder of Minnesota technology news site TECHdotMN and founder of mobile design & development firm Livefront. He will lead a wide-ranging discussion on the intersection of technology and community involvement with a panel Mark Malmbergincluding:

  • Mark Malmberg, Communications Director, The Nerdery, representing The Nerdery Overnight Web Challenge. At this annual event, held in the Twin Cities, Chicago and Kansas City, volunteer teams of web professionals spend 24 hours building websites, pro bono, for selected non-profit organizations. Or as they put it,  performing “nerdy deeds done dirt cheap.”
  • Jenna PedersonJenna Pederson, Twin Cities Geekettes Ambassador and Founder of 612 Software Foundry, representing Twin Cities Geekettes. The Geekettes are a community of women dedicated to helping aspiring and established female tech innovators. They believe “the more women get involved with tech design, development and leadership, the more successful and diverse our companies and products will be in the future. ” The group hosts talks, workshops and hackathons, as well as providing mentorship that pairs ambitious tech professionals and entrepreneurs with experienced role models.
  • Eric OinesEric Oines, Associate Director of Youth Development, representing the Project for Pride in Living (PPL) techspark! Project. techspark! is an innovative, open-source curriculum for teaching digital literacy and 21st century skills, focused on engaging middle- and high-school students from low-income households. Lessons range from basic skills development to exploring career paths. Working with TECHdotMN, Project for Pride in Living’s (PPL) Youth Development staff has been developing and refining techspark! over the past three years.
  • Abbey OttesonAbbey Otteson, Workplace Manager, representing Genesys Works. This organization’s mission is to enable economically disadvantaged high school students to enter and thrive in the economic mainstream by providing them the knowledge and work experience required to succeed as professionals. It seeks to build bridges between economically disadvantaged high school students, businesses seeking technology-proficient workers, and inner-city educators.

Participating on the panel will give these representatives of community organizations the opportunity to talk about their goals and activities with technology professionals from more than 30 large enterprises, service providers and government agencies from across the U.S. and Canada. The attendees will get a uniquely inspirational start to the day, along with learning about potential new resources and ideas for contributing to the future of IT.

Learn more about the KEG 2015 event here.

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