Connecting Rural Communities: Small Town Solutions

Virtual Conference

Presented by: Finger Lakes Digital Inclusion Coalition 

Friday, April 23rd, 2021 

9:30am-2:30pm

**Recordings Available Here**

           Are you a digital inclusion advocate in your community? 

           Are you interested in learning more about initiatives to bridge the digital divide across the rural areas of New York state? 

           Join us on April 23rd, for the Connecting Rural Communities: Small Town Solutions Virtual Conference, presented by the Finger Lakes Digital Inclusion                    Coalition.   

         Our keynote speaker, Dave Wolff, will kick off the event by sharing how Adk Action has worked to significantly improve access to high-speed internet in the Adirondacks. Following that, we will move into a panel discussion focusing on how local organizations can provide devices and digital literacy programs to those in need in their area. We will close out the conference by shining the spotlight on efforts to expand opportunities to unserved and underserved residents, businesses, and communities. All of the sessions will empower you to roll up your sleeves and (continue to) take action toward digital equity in the Finger Lakes.

Conference Agenda & Session Descriptions

9:30-9:45am            Welcome

                                   Stacey Martin – Coordinator, Finger Lakes Digital Inclusion Coalition

9:45-11:00am          Keynote: Dave Wolff – Chair of Broadband Committee, Adk Action

                                   Adk Action is a non-profit focused on addressing unmet needs, promoting vibrant communities, and preserving the character of the Adirondacks. Their Broadband-For-All project recognizes that internet access is critical to all areas of modern life, and is working to ensure that no one in their region slips through the cracks. Learn about the work that Dave Wolff and Adk Action’s Broadband Committee have been doing which includes hosting an open monthly conference call to discuss the status of Broadband access in the North Country and using a GIS program to plot unserved addresses against current build-out plans, identifying households still in need.  

11:15am-12:30pm Completing the Connection: Devices & Digital Literacy

                                  Panelists: Frank Sykes – Director, Livonia Public Library

                                  Alicia Ward – Lab Technology Coordinator, SUNY ATTAIN Lab

                                  Christine Carr-Barmasse – CEO, Mission: Ignite

Digital inclusion is a process that involves not just home connectivity, but devices and digital literacy, too. In this panel discussion, our speakers will share information on programs they are implementing to offer tools and training for those with internet access. Hear about initiatives to lend free devices, one-on-one tech tutoring, refurbishing programs, and more. 

1:00-2:15pm          Hometown Highlights: Community Success Stories

                                 Panelists: Jessica Dymond – Director, Daniel Pierce Library

                                 Oliver Miller – Director of Business Development, Trace Cyber Solutions 

                                 Nicole Manapol – Community Development Specialist, SUNY Geneseo Center for Integrative Learning

This panel shines the spotlight on digital inclusion projects serving rural areas across the state, right now. How can volunteers get involved with digital inclusion advocacy in their community? And how can local institutions partner with individuals, groups, and businesses? Explore how residents can initiate change in their communities.

2:15-2:30pm          Closing Remarks

                                 Lynn Thurston – Board President, Finger Lakes Digital Inclusion Coalition

Questions? Contact Stacey Martin, FLDIC Coordinator, at smartin@pls-net.org