Broadband 2020: Open Space Ideation – queues up a cool session for tomorrow (Oct 28)

Planning the 2020 broadband conference was a challenge because COVID has made everything a challenge. But a challenge isn’t always bad and we’re learning that there are some advantages to moving online. (For example we have Tom Friedman keynoting on Thursday!)

Another advantage? We get to remodel Open Space in the online world. In the real world structure, people in the room decide what they want to talk about in small groups based on ideation and democracy. Over simplified – I suggest a topic and you can join me if it sounds interesting or join another table. And you might join me for a minute and move on. The interest and wisdom are in the room. Makes for great conversations.

Well with this online platform we have been able to modify that structure a bit. Today we met and brainstormed ideas. Tomorrow, we’ll re-present the topics and invite people to decide which sessions happen and which they will attend. But with advance warning, the planners have been able to look at the topics and reach out to people to join us based on their expertise or interest in these topics. It’s meta- approach to helping get the wisdom in the rooms when location is no longer a barrier.

Below are the proposed topics. There will be two rounds of sessions/conversations. Again people will democratically (via poll) decide which sessions happen. There will likely be room for new topics in the second round. Please join us – it’s free, it’s easy and there’s room for your voice at the virtual table! (Register/join here!)

  1. How do we get to symmetrical service?
  2. How to remove the barrier of affordability?
  3. What are the implications for MN on the abandonment of copper networks?
  4. What is the role of broadband in mental health/healthcare delivery?
  5. What are our ideas for more effective legislative engagement and rural advocacy?
  6. Should we treat broadband as a public and/or private utility?
  7. How do we find common ground to move the state forward on broadband?
  8. What are “Digital Navigators” and how can I get one?
  9. What should MN’s speed goals be?
  10. What is the definition of a good broadband map? How do we go about creating them?

From today:

This entry was posted in Blandin Broadband Summit 2020 by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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