I’m honored to say that I’ve joined the The Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) for the city of Seattle.
CTTAB has the responsibility to study and make recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council on issues including cable franchising, municipal networking, technology access, and others.
As part of the process I had to go have my nomination to the Advisory Board approved by the Energy and Technology Committee of the City Council today. They told me to be prepared to talk for a couple of minutes. What actually ended up happening was that Committee Chair Jean Godden and Vice Chair David Della asked a couple of questions about my background and what I thought about providing equitable access to technology for all citizens (you can watch the video (requires RealPlayer) if you’re really interested – that part of the meeting starts at about 27 minutes into the video).
What I had prepared to say is, I think, more interesting than what I ended up talking about, so here it is:
I am honored to have an opportunity to serve on the CTTAB.
It will surprise nobody in this room to say that the future grows out of the conversations of the present, or to observe that those conversations are increasingly taking place in ways that we could not have imagined a couple of decades ago, in venues that are enabled by the telecommunications and technology infrastructure that is the very subject matter of this Advisory Board.
The innovative technologies that empower those conversations (such as email, instant messaging, blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual immersive environments, etc) did not grow out of any grand government or corporate scheme, but are the product of thousands of individual innovators – engineers and academics, business people and students, people with ideas and the will to make them happen. It’s important that those of us who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about technology participate in the conversation and work to ensure that those innovations that enhance connections between humans continue to be nurtured and encouraged, and that the environment for individuals to innovate be allowed to flourish.
Thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to working with you on the CTTAB.