ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity: Communities


ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity

A Call for Proposals from NC Communities

DUE: Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 5:00 p.m. EST

How are communities across the state working together today to leverage the technological opportunities of tomorrow?

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at North Carolina State University is seeking applications from NC “communities” that are actively working to best leverage high speed broadband for economic growth and community improvement. Selected communities will join IEI’s ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity community cohort.

Communities selected for the cohort will benefit from:

  • A platform to talk about their initiative at the February 10, 2020 ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh, NC. Five complimentary forum tickets will be available to each community team. 
  • A peer learning network to share with–and learn from–communities across the state,
  • Free capacity building activities during cohort meetings, including storytelling, training on dialogue across difference and more. Two strategic planning sessions will also be available and will take place in your local community, and
  • Increased visibility and potential for greater financial support of a community’s reconnection efforts. 

While there is no fee for participating in the cohort, communities are asked to cover travel expenses for their community team to attend five meetings over two years. Some travel scholarships may be available.

Capacity-building activities will be provided at no cost and include:

  • Sharing your story: Local teams will learn how to tell the story of their community’s initiative to build community support. One person from each local team will present their community initiative at the February 10, 2020 Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh. Storytelling sessions will take place with the full cohort, followed by two virtual technical assistance sessions with the Forum presenter.
  • Dialogue across difference: Communities will gain understanding in effective communication that can lead to better problem-solving and/or more effective government. Participants will gain skills in talking and working across racial, economic, and political divides. This session will take place with the full cohort, with the potential for more in-depth training with a broader group of local community members. Skills will be practiced at subsequent cohort meetings.
  • Strategic planning or coaching: Depending on a community’s unique needs, each local team will have access to strategic planning facilitation or coaching support. These sessions will take place in the local community and are optional. 
  • Increasing community capacity: Additional capacity building will be provided based on community need. For example, communities can learn how to develop community capacity by utilizing service year corps members to build capacity and address critical challenges. 

Who Can Apply: Specific to this cohort, a “community” refers to an organization or partnership located in a region, county, city, town, or neighborhood. These can include, but are not limited to, entities of local government, educational institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations, and faith communities. While virtual initiatives will be considered, preference will be given to virtual efforts with ties to a specific geographic place.  

To be considered for the cohort, each group should identify a diverse local team of 4-5 representatives from the community to participate in a series of cross-community capacity-building meetings over the course of two years.

Applications are due no later than Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. EST and should be emailed in a single PDF to Molly Sheehan, IEI’s AmeriCorps VISTA, at