Here’s another speaker bio for the upcoming Minnesota Broadband conference…
A native of Minnesota, Bernadine Joselyn spent the fifteen years of her professional life in Soviet (and then post-Soviet) Affairs. With a Master’s Degree in International Security Policy from Columbia University, she was appointed to the US Diplomatic Service, where after an initial tour in New Delhi India she served in a series of assignments in Moscow and Washington DC focused on the US-Soviet-Russian relationship. After the collapse of the Soviet Union she left the diplomatic corps to work on international academic and cultural exchange programs with the former Soviet States, and subsequently as the Director of the Moscow Office of the Eurasia Foundation, where she oversaw a $5 million annual grant program. In 2000 Bernadine returned to Minnesota to complete a second Masters Degree in Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. Since 2001 she has directed Blandin Foundation’s Public Policy and Engagement program where she leads efforts to facilitate the building of knowledge and catalyze informed and effective action around issues and opportunities that align with the foundation’s mission of strengthening rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids Area.What aspects of broadband are on your mind these days? (Or what info do you hope to impart at the conference?)
Blandin Foundation’s Broadband Initiative has three key goals:
- to increase public awareness and understanding of the importance of broadband to community economic vitality
- to increase the use of broadband
- to increase public and private investments in broadband access and utilization
This conference is all about helping community leaders become better aware of, and better equipped to take advantage of, tools, skills and resources that can help them achieve their community’s technology goals. One of the key messages I hope folks will take away is that local leadership matters and they can make a difference. As we are fond of saying at Blandin, “leadership is something you have to do yourself, but can’t do alone.” Our conference planning team has worked hard to bring to St. Cloud visionaries and practitioners from New England, Utah, Sweden and from across Minnesota, to share what they’re doing to make the many benefits of broadband available to their communities.
What are you hoping to learn at the conference?
As blog readers who have checked out the conference agenda know, the Foundation has teamed up with Minnesota’s Sesquicentennial Commission to offer a special November 7 session on Minnesota’s future that focuses on broadband access and advantages. Bill Coleman has planned an innovative scenario exercise that will involve participants in considering a wide range of perspectives, from incumbent service providers to customers and community leaders. I am particularly excited about the opportunity this exercise will offer to explore ways to partner with the telecommunications industry to help communities make their broadband visions come true.