Recap of 2015 and Positioning ITKAN for More Professional Opportunities in 2016!

Question: What do drones, 3D printing, The City of Chicago Technology Plan, Accessibility and Social Media for everyone, Robots for Humanity, Microsoft’s vision for the future of collaboration, the IBeam Pro, the Connect Chicago Challenge and the expanding Civic Tech movement have in common?

Answer: These were all topics canvassed by subject matter experts at our 2015 ITKAN monthly member meetings!

We’ve covered a lot of leading-edge topics this year. We’ve also taken advantage of tools like Skype for business and Office 365 to provide a rich experience for our members while being capable of pulling experts in from around the country.

ITKAN members watch a TED Talk featuring Henry Evans of Robots for Humanity. Evans sustained a massive stroke (CVA) leaving him with near complete paralysis other than modest head movements and limited gross motor movement of one hand. A former Silicon Valley CFO, Henry is now leading a global effort to capture robotic and drone technology that can enable people with severe disabilities and others to "travel the world" and visit cultural attractions. He sees no limit to the capacity of technology, coupled with human creativity, to create a rich and engaged life for all.
ITKAN members watch a TED Talk featuring Henry Evans of Robots for Humanity.

 ITKAN Advisory Team launches successful internship program!

Marriott Bridges students and instructor Kelly Pavich
Joshua Martinez, Jyrus Julian, Kelly Pavich, Orlando Herrera, Briangel Lopez – Marriott’s Bridges to Work

Launched in late 2014 with the express intent of establishing training-to-hire initiatives to support our members’ success, our Advisory Team successfully placed our initial interns with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) administrative headquarters. Working in tech support and development, both Chris Ludwig and Steve Luker have had a valuable opportunity to support ELCA’s mission, strengthen critical tech skills and add to their growing resumes.

In the coming year we will focus Advisory Team efforts on strengthening internship to hire opportunities for our members as well as defining and training to one or two specific curricula focused on in-demand skills. Our partnership with Abilitylinks, Marriott Bridges to Work, and RIC should continue to strengthen our pipeline of qualified members for internship consideration.

So mark your calendars for our first members’ meeting of 2016 – Thursday, January 14th! Microsoft Big Data Specialist Jake Rynar will present on the Internet of Things (IoT), and we’ll discuss some of the exciting opportunities to harness data to address human challenges as technology deepens connections to one another and the world around us.



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