sarah

Meet

Celebrating World Water Day 2017

Water makes the world go ’round — but what happens to it on a day-to-day basis?

At this point, we are all aware that water conservation is an urgent need. Only 1 percent of the planet’s water supply is fresh water, and much of that is used for production purposes. Between 2000 and 2050, manufacturing is expected to increase its use of fresh water by 400 percent.

So how can we incorporate water conservation into our growing need to use more water?

Tech companies are using data to find the answers — Microsoft has partnered with Ecolab and Trucost to prioritize resourcefulness and sustainability through data analysis and smart financial modeling. Together, we’ve launched the Water Risk Monetizer in New York City, a water risk analysis and financial modeling tool that translates water scarcity risks into financial terms, and enables businesses to factor current and future water risks into decision making.

Through the dedication of growing technologies like IoT, machine learning, and other cloud-based technologies, we’re hoping to inspire others to use tech to minimize environmental impact and help us in our commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness.

Recently, our own Adam Hecktman joined West Monroe Partners to explore water quality and scarcity, as well as the impact industrialization has had on water conservation. As our supply of clean drinking water continues to dramatically diminish, our industry has a responsibility to seek solutions to water problems. Organizations like City Digital and Opti use smart sensors to address these issues, and we’re looking forward to learning about other projects at today’s World Water Day Summit.

Read Adam’s blog with West Monroe Partners here.

Read more about the Water Risk Monetizer on the Microsoft Green Blog.

A Letter to Dorri McWhorter (From Dorri McWhorter)

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to diversity and empowerment, we’re thrilled to celebrate Women’s History Month with our newest spotlight series. We’ve asked local women leaders to write a letter to their teenage and college-aged selves to recall a moment in time when they felt empowered by technology. Throughout the month of March, we’ll be spotlighting this series on our blog. We hope these stories uplift you and inspire you to #MakeWhatsNext.

Dear Dorri:

Being 17 years old is such an interesting time as you try to reconcile all that you know that you are to what people believe they want you to be! I’m so happy that you found the letter that you wrote when you were 11 years old. You know the one…your note to Santa. You wrote:

“Dear Santa, How are you? You’ll never believe what I want for X-mas. Just 3 simple things: 1) to make everyone alive today be ok; 2) To give me a little something like a picture of you to show people you are real. (if you have a picture with you now, please give me one) if possible; 3) This is a big one! What I want is for you to ask my parents if I could be there accountant for 1 month. It won’t cost them a thing! (well maybe a few $100.00s! ha-ha) I just know I could do it. They can trust me. I just know I can do it! Please ask them for me! If they say no. Please ask them to give me an explanation why or why not.  I could start January 1st, 1985. Please have them see me for more info. Thanks, Santa. Love your friend, Dorri McGee. PS I left you a sucker! Write back please.”

Wow, you were so naïve and hopeful then AND you still are!

Somehow you have managed to still hold on to the hope for a better world! I remember when you were a senior in high school and you were so involved in everything including cheerleading and Future Business Leader of America (FBLA). You were actually selected by your senior class as most likely to succeed and most school spirit (no, those things don’t typically go together)! You still work hard and play hard, but I know you are often misunderstood, as people think you’re way too nice and cheerful to have the deep reflective intellect you that you have. People actually think they are complimenting you when they say, “you don’t seem like an accountant,” when you just want them to appreciate all that you are!

I’m so glad that you were able to participate in the FBLA Work Program. Being able to spend half-days in a corporate finance department really solidified your love for business! I know you were so proud of the spreadsheets that you created for the finance team. You really took to all the computer applications that allowed you to do financial analysis but create graphs and charts. You were so proud and felt you really found a way to show how valuable you could be through your use of computers. You were even selected by your school to present at the annual Work Program luncheon your accomplishments! This was great as you were also selected to represent your school at Badger Girls State, where you participated in mock government and was elected State Treasurer! Not many other seventeen-year-olds at the time could reference your experience with computers!

I’m happy to say that you have been able to combine your business skills and desire to make the world a better place! You have recognized how valuable computer skills can be and have ensured that you support other youth to gain greater skills through your work at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, including TechGYRLS, which aims to encourage girls in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) and Developing Digital Diversity (3D), a program targeting STEAM and leadership training for boys and girls.

There is so much more to do and your experiences along the way have definitely prepared you! So go forth and show up boldly, my dear! I want you to always hold the words of author Marianne Williamson close to your heart. She says, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same” So with those words, Shine bright and dream bigger my darling!

With much love and appreciation,

Dorri

Dorri McWhorter became the CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago in March 2013. She has embarked upon a journey to transform the 140 year old social service agency to a 21st century social enterprise. Dorri is moving the agency into the digital age by re-launching the TechGYRLS program, which focuses on developing STEM awareness for girls ages 9 through 14 and introducing 3D: Developing Digital Diversity, which provides web and mobile application development training to adult women. Dorri was included in the inaugural list of “The Blue Network”, comprised of the top 100 innovators in Chicago, by Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation.  In Spring of 2015, the YWCA launched its own e-commerce site, YShop.org, which provides carefully curated goods and services from businesses that support the mission of the YWCA.  In 2016, McWhorter was recognized by Good City Chicago receiving its Innovative Leader Award.

A proven leader in the corporate and social change sectors, Dorri prides herself on being a socially-conscious business leader throughout her career.

Civic Chat — Networking Our Neighborhoods: Lauren Woods, Service Learning Coordinator, Chicago Public Schools

How do we get students to engage in service?

At Chicago Public Schools (CPS), high school students (freshman to senior year) are taking part in service learning that extends past the limitations of volunteerism. While a typical volunteer opportunity is standalone, students are taking part in long-term service relationships where they build relationships with local organizations and develop lasting commitments to service.

Shelley Stern Grach’s latest Civic Chat: Networking Our Neighborhoods spotlights CPS’ commitment to service learning with Lauren Woods, Service Learning Coordinator.

Watch Shelley’s chat with Lauren live on Advisor.tv.

A Letter to Michelle Larson (From Michelle Larson)

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to diversity and empowerment, we’re thrilled to celebrate Women’s History Month with our newest spotlight series. We’ve asked local women leaders to write a letter to their teenage and college-aged selves to recall a moment in time when they felt empowered by technology. Throughout the month of March, we’ll be spotlighting this series on our blog. We hope these stories uplift you and inspire you to #MakeWhatsNext.

A brief statement to my 20-something self

“Michelle, check your email.”

Reflections on a time I felt empowered by technology

Technology was never my thing. I grew up in Alaska, loving the outdoors, happy to bask in the natural beauty of pristine glaciers, majestic mountains and – my favorite – glistening northern lights.

I chose to go to college in Montana for two reasons; 1) not wanting to live in Fairbanks (think 50 below zero!) and 2) wanting to retain access to the rural, mountainous outdoors.  As a student, riding my bicycle ten miles to study on the banks of the Gallatin River was my idea of a perfect day. At the time, I didn’t own a computer, or a cell phone, and most had never heard of the Internet – including me.

No, I am not ancient.

Then, out of nowhere, ”Check your email,” he said.

Michelle and her husband.

This physics nerd I was dating kept talking about a great new tool the university had set up for each of us.

“Email? No thanks, I’m fine.”

Then, I overheard in the hallway that you could take a course to learn the language of a computer, and program the computer yourself.

“Sounds challenging and totally awesome,” this physics nerd said.

“Michelle, check your email.”

“No thanks, I’m fine.”

I enrolled in that programming course. “Hello, World!” changed my world.

“Michelle, check your email.”

Next, NASA asked the solar physics group in our department for help in utilizing a new public resource, called the Internet, to bring amazing satellite images and movies of the Sun into everyone’s home. “Sounds challenging and way cool. Sign me up!”

But first, I wanted to help people become familiar with the Sun and its motion in the sky. Using my new programming super powers – and a stack of excellent Nutshell books – I developed a website that taught anyone how to track the Sun to find true north, and then build a latitude-specific sundial to tell time. Within hours of putting my creation on the Internet, I heard from students in Australia; “Can you make a version for us in the Southern Hemisphere too?”

Hello, World! Indeed!

“Michelle, check your email.”

That moment, the moment I launched a sundial webpage and students on the other side of the planet responded, that was my technology-empowerment moment.

“Michelle, check your email.”

“Okay. What?! 800 new messages?”

That nerd boyfriend (now nerd husband) and his sneaky cohort of tech-savvy graduate student friends had been secretly sending me messages, every day, for months!

“I wonder if I’ll ever get this inbox down to zero?”

Michelle Larson discovered astronomy in her 20s, when she pointed a pair of binoculars at the Moon. The stunning details visible on its craggy surface were a complete surprise, and the experience left her eager to find out what other secrets the sky had to offer. Now, as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Michelle leads a talented team that helps people of all ages explore and discover our Universe.

Michelle enjoys making science approachable, often through connections to familiar, everyday items. Don’t be surprised if you end up speaking with her about rising cells of cream in your coffee, or her potato that looks like a comet. You may even find yourself exclaiming, like one young visitor did after looking through her telescope, “Hey! Saturn looks just like a Chevy symbol!”

Before joining the Adler in 2013, Michelle held positions in science education and administration at Utah State University, The Pennsylvania State University, the Montana Space Grant Consortium, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the University of California–Berkeley. She earned a PhD in physics from Montana State University, where she studied neutron stars and realized her passion for sharing science with the public. Michelle is a member of the American Astronomical Society and the American Physical Society; she also serves on several advisory boards.

Michelle lives just outside Chicago with her husband—who is also an astrophysicist—their daughter, and three cats.

Microsoft Technology Center to Open in Detroit

Microsoft is coming to Detroit!

Our Michigan Microsoft team, currently hosted in Southfield, is moving to a 40,000 square foot space at One Campus Martius, where Detroit will host its own Microsoft Technology Center (MTC). At our Microsoft Technology Centers (like our Chicago location), we offer interactive and immersive experiences surrounding Microsoft technologies and initiatives. Our MTCs drive customers, partners, and everyday people looking to use cloud technology to drive impact in their communities.

“We are excited to relocate and be part in the revitalization and the growing tech hub of Detroit,” said Tracy Galloway, General Manager of the Great Lakes region for Microsoft. “Our new location will be home to Detroit’s Microsoft Technology Center; where we provide world class technology solutions and innovation for our customers as well as a home for community outreach around STEM.”

As part of our growing involvement in Detroit, we’re looking forward to building new innovations and opportunities to engage with the people of Detroit. The Motor City has embraced innovation as part of its core values, and we’re thrilled to join the city to boost these initiatives.

The Microsoft Technology Center Detroit is expected to open in early 2018.

Learn more about the Microsoft Technology Center Detroit at our MTC hub.

Read the latest on our partnership via the Detroit Free Press.

A Letter to Hannah Thompson (From Hannah Thompson)

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to diversity and empowerment, we’re thrilled to celebrate Women’s History Month with our newest spotlight series. We’ve asked local women leaders to write a letter to their teenage and college-aged selves to recall a moment in time when they felt empowered by technology. Throughout the month of March, we’ll be spotlighting this series on our blog. We hope these stories uplift you and inspire you to #MakeWhatsNext.

Dear Hannah,

You are sixteen years old right now. Life is rough; you don’t have many friends. You are doing a great job going to teachers for moral support. You’re actually starting to prepare for your motivational speaking career by being on the high school speech team. Yes, you have a motivational speaking career starting your junior year of college. It’s amazing and your DynaVox stays crucial to you and how independent you are. It is truly your voice. It lets you take a public speaking course in college, join a sorority, and engage in Elmhurst College’s campus ministry. I guess that would be a spoiler alert that you end up at Elmhurst College!

There have been many moments in your life that you have felt empowered by technology. As one could probably guess, when people first meet you at any age they talk to you as if you have a cognitive disability. I know, it’s frustrating now and it’s still incredibly frustrating at 26. You can bet every time you break that stereotype, you feel so empowered and it’s because of technology. You can use your DynaVox and shatter that preconceived notion. That is technology empowering you at sixteen — and now as a young woman.

You make meaningful, lasting relationships in college. Due to assistive technology, you are a powerful voice on campus. You end up taking that persona and going out in the world and you have only begun to make a difference. At 26, you are changing the world just by being independent in your own community and you start working at Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region. Eventually, you end up as an advocate for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.

You are sixteen; focus on doing well on the ACT, speech team, and keeping your spirits up. You are brave, intelligent, and authentic. Keep being beautiful!

Love,

Hannah at 26 years old!

Hannah Thompson is a recent graduate from Elmhurst College with a B.A. in Communication. She is a motivational speaker encouraging people to do their impossible. Hannah has Cerebral Palsy and a movement disorder called Dystonia. The Cerebral Palsy affects her balance and her ability to walk and speak. She utilizes various assistive technology to improve her productivity and assure her success. She uses a DynaVox to communicate daily, and it has also played a critical role in support of her motivational speaking career. With the use of Intellikeys, Hannah accesses her laptop commands efficiently. Along with these critical tools, Hannah uses software such as WordQ and Kurzweil to assist her in succeeding in college and now in her career.

Recap — 23rd Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards

Chicago: a City of Neighborhoods. From Roseland to Rogers Park, we’re devoted to helping Chicago come together to grow as one. And there’s no better spotlight of that than the LISC Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA). Held annually, the CNDA recognizes neighborhood initiatives and achievement that promote stronger neighborhoods in the Chicago metropolitan area.

This year (like every year), we were thrilled to attend the 23rd Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards and celebrate the progress Chicago is making, neighborhood to neighborhood.

We’d like to congratulate the winners of this year’s CNDA, including standout awards:

Some highlights from the night (via Twitter):

 

Civic Tech in Chicago — March’s Top Events

The old saying goes, “In like a lion, out like a lamb” — but we see March as a lion roaring all the way through. Join us for these top events in civic tech this month:

March 2

mHUB Chicago Grand Opening
2:30pm-9:00pm
mHUB 965 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago

Come pay tribute to Chicago’s reigning manufacturing leaders and the visionaries, innovators, and entrepreneurs who will carry that legacy as a beacon for our city well into the future.

March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Chicago Women Developers Hack Night
6:00pm
1871 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor Chicago

This weekly event gives ladies a space to code together. Whether you’re just getting started, or are a veteran in the tech world, there’s a seat for you at the table. BYOL: Bring your own laptop!

You don’t have to be working on any project or learning anything new to come to Hack Night, it’s a great space to just hang out with other women who code.

March 4

Cook County Young Adult Civic Engagement Summit – Disrupters Conference
8:30am-4:00pm
Rainbow Push Coalition National Headquarters 930 East 50th Street, Chicago

In order to bring forth social impact development, the Commission will be hosting a Summit for Cook County young adults to engage in civic action. This summit is being organized by the Commission’s Social Innovation Human Capital Sub Committee on Young Adult Civic Engagement. The Human Capital Sub Committee are assembling young adults between the ages of 17-26 for the purpose of meeting to network and engage with other civic-minded individuals. The Human Capital Sub Committee will also use this forum to address major concerns of young adults such as; standards of public safety, social impact careers, meaningful workforce development, and educational experiences.

Open Data Day – DeKalb 2017
10:00am-3:00pm
Campus Life Building |  Northern Illinois University 545 Lucinda Ave. (Normal Rd.), DeKalb

Join community members, students, local leaders, and avid technologists as they come together to innovate and code during Open Data Day – DeKalb 2017. Northern Illinois University STEAM Works is proud to host its second Open Data Day in DeKalb.

Open Data Day – DeKalb 2017 will take place March 4th at NIU and coincides with International Open Data Day. The goal of Open Data Day is to inspire residents everywhere to get actively involved in their community.

Who should get involved? Anyone with a passion for social justice and desire to utilize open data and technology to solve wicked issues.

March 7, 14, 21, 28

Chi Hack Night
6:00pm-10:00pm
Braintree office 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 8th Floor, Chicago

The Chi Hack Night is a free, weekly event in Chicago to build, share and learn about civic tech and tools to create, support, or serve public good.

Join us every Tuesday from 6-10pm on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart to hear from interesting speakers, learn from each other and work on civic projects. Non-techies are very welcome!

March 8

Small Business Advisory Council Venture Pitch Session
6:00pm-9:00pm
mHUB Event Space 965 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago

Join us for an SBAC Venture Pitch Session, hosted by mHUB, where aspiring entrepreneurs and mid-sized businesses in growth mode will showcase their businesses. Three businesses will be selected to pitch in front of a prestigious panel of judges and receive feedback. This event includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, appetizers and networking followed by three pitches from startup companies out of the Chicagoland area.

Illinois Innovation Index: Press Event
1pm
University of Chicago Polsky Exchange North, 1452 E. 53rd St, 2nd floor, Chicago

The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) and our university partners cordially invite you to a press event on Wednesday, March 8th at 1PM, celebrating the release of our annual Illinois Innovation Index report, detailing the record growth of university startup creation, technology transfer and funding trends.

Tech Madness Bracket Reveal (ChicagoInno)
6:00pm-9:00pm
Chicago Sports Museum 835 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago

This March, Chicago Inno is bringing the tech community together for some healthy competition… bracket-style. The goal of Tech Madness is to generate awareness and excitement for the city’s top tech players, from the “favorites” (late-stage tech pillars) to the “diaper dandies” (seed round startups).

March 9

ITA Women in Tech Leadership Exchange (SOLD OUT)
5:30pm-8:00pm

​Join us for our first Women in Tech Leadership Exchange of 2017! This event is exclusively for women in technology positions or women at technology enabled companies that are director level or above.

March 10

Startup Weekend Chicago Maker Edition At mHUB
6:00pm-8:30pm
mHUB Event Space 965 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago

Startup Weekend Chicago is kicking off 2017 with Startup Weekend: Maker Edition! What does Maker Edition mean? Participants will pitch startup ideas that include the development of a physical product or software+ (delivery system). No, you don’t need to be a Maker to participate. Successful startups leverage a team of diverse skill sets including business, marketing, tech development, and design!

March 13

Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program Info Session
4:00pm-6:00pm
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School 211 South Laflin Street | Room 277, Chicago

Learn more about the FREE 7-week summer programs for current 10th-11th grade girls to learn 
coding and get exposure to tech jobs.

March 14

Opportunity Youth Summit
9:00am-1:00pm
Chicago Cultural Center 78 E. Washington St., Chicago

Join Mayor Emanuel and Thrive Chicago at the Opportunity Youth Summit on March 14, 2017 to drive collaborative action. Led by Thrive Chicago, a working group of nonprofits, foundations, city agencies, youth leaders, educators, and researchers developed citywide recommendations to connect out of school and out of work youth aged 16-24 to jobs and education.

March 16-17

Tech For Justice Hackathon+ Veterans
Hilton Chicago – Salon B 720 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Tech for Justice Hackathon+ Veterans will bring together Nonprofit Advocates, Legal Aid Organizations, Private Lawyers, Technologists, Students, Educators, Counselors, Activists, Businesses, Entrepreneurs, Public Housing Officials, State and City Representatives, Judges, and more, to come up with innovative and transparent solutions, supporting technologies, and plans for implementation with initiative collaborators and partners.

March 21

2017 AlphaLab Gear National Hardware Cup
12:00pm-5:00pm
mHUB Event Space 965 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago

The AlphaLab Gear National Hardware Cup is a pitch competition for early-stage hardware startups. We’re touring 7 cities around the US to find and highlight the most promising physical product startups in the nation. Winners in each city will receive $3k cash, a 1 year license to Solidworks, and other prizes, as well as a chance to win a $50,000 convertible-debt investment from Startbot VC at the National Finals in April.

March 22

World Water Day
12:00pm-4:30pm
West Monroe Partners 222 W. Adams St, 11th Floor, Chicago

To commemorate World Water Day 2017, West Monroe Partners will convene a diverse group of industry leaders to discuss the risks posed to businesses because of water scarcity, quality and flooding.

March 23

Women in Tech: Inclusive Workplaces
6:00pm-8:00pm
kCura 231 South La Salle Street, 8th Floor, Chicago

A panel of tech team leads and managers will discuss how they cultivated a working environment that’s friendly and inclusive to all genders.

March 24

Chicago Tech Happy
5:00pm-7:00pm
Tantrum 1023 South State Street, Chicago

Tech Happy is a monthly networking event for Chicago tech entrepreeurs, professionals, and influencers.

March 28

Cracking the Code on Diversity & Inclusion in Chicago Tech: #DandIThinkTank
5:30pm-7:30pm
1871 222 w Merchandise Mart Plaza Suite 1212, Chicago

Think Like A Startup :: Cracking the Code on Diversity and Inclusion in Chicago Tech, is a 90 minute “think tank” style workshop. #DandIThinkTank brings together startup founders, investors, tech executives, tech professionals, students, and other stakeholders in Chicago’s tech ecosystem for a CANDID working session.

Fireside Chat with Dan’l Lewin, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft
4:30pm-6:30pm
Polsky Exchange 1452 E 53rd St, Washington Park Classroom, Chicago

Please join the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for a Fireside Chat with Dan’l Lewin with Professor Mark Tebbe. In a career spanning over 30 years in Silicon Valley, Lewin helped launch the Macintosh into the higher education market at Apple Computer, co-founded NeXT with Steve Jobs, and joined Microsoft in 2001. As Corporate Vice President, Lewin leads Microsoft’s work in technology and civic engagement, including campaign technologies, environmental sustainability, policy-oriented academic outreach, and university relations. He will discuss his career path through a changing Silicon Valley, his thoughts on the technology industry’s strengths and weaknesses, and the relationship between the Civic Tech movement and today’s political climate.

Civic Chat — Networking Our Neighborhoods: Kathleen Murphy, Director of Communications, Forefront

It’s no secret that Microsoft Chicago loves Forefront. Our own Shelley Stern is on its board, and we’ve spotlighted Forefront on our blog, our social media channels, and more over the past few years. The organization, previously called Donors Forum, is Illinois’ only regional association for both nonprofits and foundations, where organizations that provide social impact can garner support through financial contributions, consultation, and outreach.

In Shelley Stern Grach’s latest Civic Chat: Networking Our Neighborhoods, she sits down with Kathleen Murphy, Forefront’s Director of Communications, to discuss Forefront’s growth. The two focus on IL Give, a campaign to increase individual giving to Illinois charitable organizations.

Watch Shelley’s chat with Kathleen live on Advisor.TV.

Round 2: CUTGroup Detroit

Back at it with one civic user test already under the belt, on February 2nd, the CUTGroup Detroit crew convened for another round of civic user testing with Detroit residents at Motor City’s premier business innovation hub, TechTown Detroit. Partnering with Detroit Ledger, a philanthropic organization that provides data about grants given to different Detroit organizations (particularly nonprofits), for our second go-around, the CUTGroup team proctored user tests built around the usability and functionality of the Detroit Ledger website. The goal of the testing was to determine the ease of use around locating information about Community Development Block Grants and to determine what changes can be implemented to improve the usability and functionality of the website.

After prepping our testing location with an array of snacks (warning: if you are attempting to lose weight, do not become a CUTGroup tester!) and setting up our testing stations, we launched our first series of tests at 4:00pm. The level of excitement to begin testing was off the charts for both proctors and for Detroit citizens! The first unit of testers contained a mix of familiar faces from our first CUTGroup test along with a few new faces. After signing in and loading up on snacks, our testers were assigned to one our five outstanding proctors listed below:

The biggest testing rush came during our 4:45pm time slot where we had five testers stationed with our proctors, testing the Detroit Ledger website, and providing insightful feedback. During this huge rush, I took a brief break from my administrative duties to shoot a brief video with my colleague and friend, Dmitri Pivtorak (Digital Strategist, Milo Detroit). After a few failed takes (not used to being in front of the camera) I channeled my inner Denzel Washington and we captured a solid video documenting our civic user testing experience.

After our 4:45pm rush, the testing slowed down for about 45 minutes before picking back up around 6:15pm. More new faces showed up for our tests and after the experience with the proctor, they were ecstatic about sharing CUTGroup Detroit with people in their community. One tester took about 20 fliers that she said she will share with her community group.

The second CUTGroup Detroit testing experience was a huge success! We had 75% tester attendance which was a huge surprise considering the blistering cold temperatures that night. We also had a total of five new CUTGroup Detroit testers who all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the testing experience. Our partners Jessica McInchak and Benjamin Chodoroff from the Detroit Ledger were ecstatic about the feedback gathered from the CUTGroup testing experience. Both expressed how the information obtained from the testers will go into directly improving their website and how CUTGroupDetroit gave them the platform to conduct the most user testing they have ever had on their website.

On behalf of the entire CUTGroup Detroit team, I would like to send a big thank you to all of the community testers that came out that night. Your persistence and passion for improving Detroit’s civic tech ecosystem is self-evident. The feedback you all provided is priceless and we appreciate your commitment to improving civic tech. We would also like to send a big thank you to all CUTGroup Detroit testers who are eagerly awaiting their opportunity to participate. CUTGroup Detroit is impossible without all of you. We appreciate your patience and hope to host you at one of the CUTGroup tests soon.

Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the Detroit Ledger. It was a pleasure working with your organization to plan a successful second CUTGroup Detroit test; we hope the feedback garnered from the test lead to an enhanced platform and ultimately enhancing civic technology in Detroit.