Welcome from Bernadine Joselyn and MN County broadband profile highlights from Ann Treacy and special guests Kairos Alive! Spreading Joy Over the Internet!
And the welcome from Blandin Foundation’s Bernadine Joselyn in the program…
Thank you for joining us at Grand View Lodge in beautiful Nisswa for three days of engagement, learning and fun. The theme of this year’s fifteenth annual conference is Innovation, with a focus on what it means to put broadband to work for healthy, vibrant communities. Along the way we will celebrate the courage and vision of some early pioneers who have led the way in the Minnesota’s Journey to Border-to-Border Broadband.
When Blandin Foundation launched our broadband initiative in 2003, dial-up access to the Internet was the norm; 77 percent of rural Minnesotans had dial-up, while only 21 percent had broadband.
Our goals back then were to:
- Generate awareness among local, state and federal leaders about the need for action.
- Increase rural business and residential utilization of broadband capacity.
- Increase public and private investment in and utilization of rural broadband capacity.
Today, Minnesota can be proud of the progress we have made, but the digital divide still threatens equal opportunity for all, especially in rural.
At this conference, we will celebrate our shared broadband vision for Minnesota that has helped guide our work, and learn from some of the people and efforts helping make it a reality:
Everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.
Director of Public Policy & Engagement, Blandin Foundation
On behalf of the conference planning team