Postcards - or emails - from CTCNet conference, Chicago

When David Wilcox spoke at the 1999 CTCNet conference on the theme of 'What can we learn from the world' he invited each table of the lunchtime audience to write the email equivalent of a 'wish you were here' postcard to those who were not present. Above, a classic Chicago skyline which might grace any postcard, and notes. For the significance of the cow, see one of the messages. Those present were mainly working in community technology centres or community networks. Other reports and David's keynote here.

The request to each table

Please write a message: 'wish you were here because we can tell you about; we would like to hear about....

The messages

To: Bill and Hilary
cc: Tony Blair
Subject: Virus alert

CTCs are spreading like wildfire. There is no protection against this digital avalanche. It's a self propagating miracle. The impact on the lives of community members will be profoundly changing for ever! Needed: your support for $6 million spending to help explore the implications of this virus.

P.S. Don't forget to spread the word on this virus to everyone you know.

P.P.S. It's incurable.
To School district administrators; local government representatives; community members
From Diana

Message: Wish you were here... To see that there is more to economic development in Appalachia than part-time jobs in McDonald's... To see that there are places in the United States where people are moved from the world of welfare to the world of work through technology access... To see that with vision, commitment and follow through all things are possible

To: All CTCNets here present

From: Cristina Flechtenmacher, DSSA, Chicago,

Come and share your global community, so you can better define it. We are a throbbing circle in expansion. Soon we'll perceive ourselves as a sphere, teeming with life in a global society.

I propose that you think about a global community in a triangle of knowledge where abstracts (theories), mix with practical things (the business at hand), and the context (the trends in our world).

Upgrade yourself from the third to the fourth dimension - also called global society.
To: The town of Tryon
From: Mike Daharsh, Jeremy Neal, Trina Fisher

Message: wish you were here to see all this. To see people of different ages, race, and their ideas come together and discuss their issues that are like ours at home.

To National H?-H Council
From Edwin
Wish you were here! We're talking about the ways community development can provide access to technology and the different technologies that can be community development tools. I'm executed about the ideas we can integrate into the charting process.
To David
From A table near the back
Message: Wish you were here - at our table, that is...Because we are trebly not sure what you wanted us to do! We would like you to send us better instruction.
To Bill Gates
From CTCNet

Wish you were here in ChiCOWgo. We're Gettin' Wired!

See ya on the Net.

(At the time of the conference Chicago had a pubic arts displays of hundreds of cow sculpture by different artists... see picture one above)
To: you
From: us
Subject: The flight

Come fly with us! (At the start of the lunch the Rev. Al Sampson had given a blessing based on the metaphor of a flock of geese, who rotate leadership, aid the sick, and create additional uplift through their flight together).

We invite you to join our flock.. we promise to honk encouragingly and give you support to make your flight easier. We can help arrange travel schedules and safe landings.

We will develop a business plan that brings our reinvigorated community of interest, back to our physical places.

In return we want your enthusiasm and energy... wing power. We want your commitment, participation, ideas and - yes your willingness to lead and take responsibility. (Encouraging honk here!) It is a difficult journey but we assure you that the destination is well worth it.

Question: what is the destination. Answer: fulfilling potential is our destination.
To: Edward and Sophie (The Duke and Duchess of Wessex who were getting married at the time)
From: The Global Goose
Subject: The Digitally Deprived

(Written over a sketch of a covered wagon) 'Hitch' your Royal Wagon Train to the CTC Pioneers for Global Inclusive Cyber Citizenship. If you are not making connections - they're you.

Thanks a megabyte - the Global Goose.
To: The Greater Malden Community
From: MATV
Wish you were here so that you could see and hear all the great things we could help you do with our growing community - and how our collaboration can help the community thrive in economic and human terms.
To: Stan Pokras - Philadelphia
From New Visions
Wish you were here to feel the energy of everyone. We miss your presence and experience.
How do people build and share communities of interest electronically in the UK, and are they effective?
Wish you were here to hear David Wilcox's brilliant incisive remarks (hmmm..some irony here?)
To: Everyone who is doing this kind of work at CTCs and elsewhere
From: our table
Subject: Clear, cool water

Come and join us at the watering hole! We have found a sense of perspective in our work and a vision of what we can do. How can we support you?

We have been swimming here in the Hyatt Hotel for two days, taking deep breaths of relaxation and submerging in another pool of discussion. Our eyes are a bit bloodshot but our bodies and minds are stronger! We invite you to jump in with us - paddle around a bit and show us how you can swim through community technology centers.
cc: world list serve
Subject: What if....

..... you could synergize yourself with people who thought like you on common goals and vision of moving the whole race of humanity into the Information Technology Age, not just a selected few.

.... those people could join together and create a voice so strong it could be heard in the ears of those who need to listen.

.... you didn't have to vision it anymore.

Being part of CTCNet enables you to do the impossible. Can't wait to get back to help put it all together.
To: Corporate America
From: Emerging markets
Subject: you are invited to a newly trained work force within the fields of high technology

Come and contribute thoughts, ideas and goals pertaining to the technical divide we are facing here in America and around the world.

We offer strong leadership in the technical field and on the organization of communities. This leadership will offer the conviction to changes that need to be made promptly.

We want to hear your goals on developing and stimulating the new work force, into the corporate info structure.

Dear CEOs (technology firms)

I am at the CTCNet conference and wish you were here. Just think, next year you could sponsor a CTC participant to the conference and participate in creating community stakeholders for your community.

Bonnie Bracey
To: High tech companies
Subject: Opportunity - CTCNet
Wish you were here.... wishing for scholarships for community attenders... maybe a technology fair. Perhaps the exhibitors could contribute to scholarships.
To: All motivated people - CTC people
From: a CTCmember

If you have any ideas you want to see happen, get involved with CTC. It will put you wround people who get involved with their programs. They are willing to talk to you. If you need more motivation in your networkers... send all your people to the seminars and you will see the difference in them.

Having fun at CTC
See ya later.
Partnerships Online Home Page
Community networking game workshop at the Chicago conference