Announcing

US-Russian Civic Networking Workshop

Knoxville, Tennessee

December 14 - 18, 1998

 

Featuring presentations by and participation with

 

Russian Civic Networking Program

(with representatives from the Russian cities of

Moscow, Chelyabinsk, Sergiev Posad and Samara)

 

Knoxville-Oak Ridge Regional Network (KORRnet)

 

and

 

Mr. Doug Schuler, Seattle, Washington

US Community Networking Activist and author of several

books and articles about community networking

 

We are very pleased to announce -- and to invite your participation in -- the first US-Russian workshop on civic networking to be held in Knoxville, Tennessee from Monday, December 14 through Friday, December 18, 1998 at the University of Tennessee Conference Center (Room 400A).

This event is sponsored by the US-Russian "Friends and Partners" program, active for nearly five years promoting US-Russian collaboration and exchange using new information and communications technologies -- and is made possible by the generous financial support of the Eurasia Foundation.

We feel this will be an interesting (perhaps inspiring) series of sessions in which Russian and American community networking enthusiasts can discuss the challenges and opportunities of developing civic networks in these two countries. We are particularly anxious to share the experiences of the local KORRnet civic network as an excellent example of a healthy, growing US-based community network. We are very pleased to have Mr. Doug Schuler joining us, one of the principal community networking activists in the US, who has published extensively on the topic and who is becoming more involved in community networking initiatives throughout the world. Perhaps no one has as extensive a background, experience and expertise on this subject as Mr. Schuler.

Finally, we are pleased to have some true pioneers from the three Russian cities of Chelyabinsk, Samara and Sergiev Posad who have just begun developing the first community networks in Russia and who are eager to share their own experience and insight into the challenges of community networking and community development.

We are structuring the sessions and presentations to expose our new Russian partners to as many of the issues involved in the development and management of community networks as possible. The experience of the East Tennessee community developing KORRnet will hopefully prove helpful for their new efforts to develop community networks in Russia. The opportunity for our local community to share its experience, to participate in discussions with the Russian visitors and, to learn of the experience and insight of Mr. Schuler, should provide a very important and exciting opportunity for KORRnet to evaluate its history, current progress and future plans.

All of the sessions for the week long workshop are open (we ask only that you notify us in advance if you wish to participate in the meals). The current agenda for the week follows:

Monday, December 14, 1998

8:30

Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole and Tom Garritano

Welcome, Opening Remarks, and Introduction to the Russian Civic Networking Workshop.

10:00

From Chelyabinsk:
  • Dmitry Latukhin
  • Konstantin Chuguev

    From Sergiev Posad:
  • Victor Nemov
  • Oleg Starkov

    From Samara:
  • Sergey Agapov
  • Nickolay Saptsin
  • Developing Civic Networks in Chelyabinsk, Samara, Sergiev Posad, Russia. A brief introduction to the three pioneering cities will be made. In addition, the participants will share their experiences, beginning with the initial proposal submission in 1997 to the current stages of planning and the future implementation of these networks.

    11:00

    Tom Garritano

    Introduction to KORRnet: Overview, Organization, and Governance Structure. A broad based discussion of the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Regional Network and the internal structuring that enables its success.

    12:30

    Lunch

    1:30

    Sonya Slutskaya

    Historical Roots and Modern Potential for Community Networking in Russia. The research concerning the XIX century civic society in Russia shows that the model of the community which contains different types of public organizations working together was developed in Russia in XIX century. This model was traditional for different regions in Russia. The understanding of his pre-revolutionary model might be very important for developing a Russian model for community networking.

    3:00

    Benjamin Bates

    Building a Better Net for a Better World: The Role of Community Networks. There is a Global Information Infrastructure emerging, driven by a wide variety of technological, economic, political, and social forces. As the network develops and becomes more central, it has the potential to transform society for good or for ill. Social theory suggests that the social infrastructure of information systems can help shape social and cultural impacts. This talk will discuss how community networks, by their inherent structure and purpose, promote positive social impacts.

    4:00

    Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole

    Organizational and Technical Issues of the Russian Civic Networking Project.Steps being taken to address these issues of developing and maintaining the three civic networks will be discussed along with how these may differ from similar projects in the United States.

     

    Tuesday, December 15, 1998

    8:00

    Natasha Bulashova

    Opening Remarks; Introduction to Doug Schuler.

    8:30

    Doug Schuler

    The Seattle Community Network: A Case Study The Seattle Community Network (SCN) is a public access computer network that provides a wide range of Internet services. SCN has over 13,000 registered users. Unlike commercial services, SCN is based on a strong set of principles and a solid policy statement. Currently SCN is 100% volunteer-driven, it has no paid staff. Additionally, it has received no major grants from business, government, or foundations. How is SCN organized? What does SCN offer? What is its future? Doug Schuler

    11:00

    Margot Emery

    Where is the "Community" in Community Networking? Many people, including users themselves, tend to perceive community networks simply as alternative Internet service providers. They are much more than that, and their most important contributions arguably lie in creating local or regionally focused content on the web and in engaging diverse individuals and organizations in an ongoing dialogue about regional needs and interests. This talk will discuss community networks' role in strengthening community ties, in both virtual and actual space. Strategies that network leaders can use to increase understanding of the networks' mission and goals will also be explored.

    12:00

    Lunch

    1:00

    Doug Schuler and Sonya Slutskaya

    Community and Civic Society: What are they and why are they important? The terms "community" and "civic society" are both ambiguous and provocative. It's clear that both terms describe something that is important for people all over the world and that they exist, to at least to some degree, in nearly all societies. At the same time many people including academics, social critics, activists, journalists, and politicians believe that these ideas are threatened and that they need active support. What do the terms mean and what can people do to strengthen them? This subject will be approached not only from a community activists perspective but also as it pertains to Russian citizens.

    2:00

    Doug Schuler

    Where is the Community Network Movement Going? Many community networks now exist in North America; Europe, too, is beginning to see new public systems. Do these systems, numbering in the hundreds, constitute a growing movement for public systems or are they just a transient fad that is destined for extinction? In this session we will take a look at a variety of systems around the world as well as organizations, institutions, networks and other resources that could help play a role.

    3:00

    Dave Hake

    AUDEM: A Different Kind of "Community Network" in Central/Eastern Europe. The Alliance of Universities for Democracy (AUDEM) is a consortium of over 1000 universities, 70 percent of which are located in Central and Eastern Europe and the states of the former Soviet Union. AUDEM is a volunteer association supporting development of East-East and East-West networks "to enhance the role of education in promoting democratic institutions, economic development, and common moral and social values." The organization just held its ninth annual Conference in Nitra, Slovakia attended by about 190 delegates from seventy universities in fourteen countries.

    4:00

    Doug Schuler

    Towards Sustainability: Exploring Options for Long-Lived Institutions. The question of what can community networks do to ensure their long-term survival is probably the most important question for us to ask. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an obvious best answer to that question. In this session we will explore a wide-range of possibilities and discuss advantages and disadvantages of each.

     

    Wednesday, December 16, 1998

    8:00

    Doug Schuler and Tom Garritano

    Community Network Governance, Policy, By-Laws.

    9:30

    Jon Gustin

    Community Outreach and Organization.

    10:30

    Patricia Watson and Janet Drumheller

    Public Access Issues from a Library Perspective. Making a community network available to the general public requires: hardware, software, and furniture; multiple safe places within the community open a wide variety of hours; knowledgeable individuals to help, teach and guide the user; and policies governing the use of the equipment and software. This session will address the initial steps and challenges of providing KORRnet access through the public libraries of Knox County. At the conclusion of discussion, participants will walk across the street to visit Lawson McGhee Library, main library of the Knox County Public Library System, to see the KORRnet facilities available for the public.

    12:00

    Lunch

    1:00

    Ed Bryson

    KORRnet User Advisory Committee. This session will cover the committee's responsibility and overall purpose in the operation of the community network.

    3:30

    Carol Larsen and Jennifer Newcome

    Community Network Training Program. This session will demonstrate how KORRnet provides public access and training for residents of East Tennessee who are beginners. KORRnet caters to those who have never used a community network or the World Wide Web with training on the use of email, and surfing the Web using KORRnet's text-based menus. Carol Larsen and Jennifer Newcome

    4:30

    Steve Sharp

    Covenant Health's Partnership with KORRnet. This partnership provides health information via the Internet to the citizens and health professionals in rural counties bordering Knox County. This collaboration, currently with Loudon, Morgan, Roane, and Sevier Counties, will provide a web page for their Health Improvement Councils, act as a link to local health resources, government and other agencies, and act as a filter to narrow topical Internet searches . You can see a template that we are developing for the web sites at http://www.korrnet.org/chic/templates/chics/index.html.

     

    Thursday, December 17, 1998

    8:00

    David Zlotchenko,
    Mur Muchane, Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole

    Technical Morning: Issues in KORRnet Server Maintenance. Tour of KORRnet Administrative Offices. Current and future technical issues including networking, hardware, perating systems, general and custom software, user availability and tolerance will be discussed.

    10:30

    Joe Gipson, Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole

    Tour of Telecommunications and Network Services Facilities.

    12:00

    Lunch

    1:00

    Carol Larsen

    Assisting the Community and Non-Profit Organizations on the Web. This session will cover the process of day-to-day support: email, phone calls, getting accounts set up for nonprofit organizations, PPP accounts (who needs them, who doesn't, how they are approved), web-publishing support, and an overview of some sites already on KORRnet. Also, examples of basic html coding, viewing html source documents, and suggestions for using web publishing software will be given.

    2:00

    Gretchen Whitney

    Students and Community Networks: Learning Partnerships. This session will cover the relationships that schools of information sciences have with community networks.

    3:00

    Sonya Slutskaya

    Open Forum on Promotional Activities. This session will cover the promotion of civic networks within communities.

    3:30

    Ed Bryson

    Cooperation and Competition with Commercial ISPs and Tour of Esper Systems. The advantages of commercial Internet Service Providers and community networks working jointly instead as adversaries will be discussed along with the solutions to the problems that may arise.

     

    Friday, December 18, 1998

    8:00

    Jon Gustin

    Fund Raising and Sustainability Issues. The necessary and often difficult issue of sustaining community networks and the ways in which to insure their continuation will be discussed.

    9:30

    Patricia Hooper, Barbara Monty and Craig Shields

    CHIPS. In partnership with Computers for Homebound and Isolated Persons (CHIPS, a local nonprofit group, http://www.korrnet.org/chips/), KORRnet will provide computers, Internet connections, and mentoring to senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers. A $525,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce will help KORRnet and CHIPS to serve homebound individuals in the East Tennessee region. The three-year project, funded by the Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Program (TIIAP), begins in December 1998.

    10:00

    Madeline Rogero

    Community Partnerships: Local Government Involvement in KORRnet.

    12:00
    (Working Lunch)

    Homer Fisher

    Community Networking from a University Perspective.

    12:30

    Chris Kedzie

    General Observations from the Ford Foundation.

    1:00

    John Stewart

    Community Networking: Relevance to Democracy Building in Tbilisi, Georgia.

    1:30

    Ken Luckman

    Oak Ridge, Tennessee - Obninsk, Russia Sister City Program: A Possible Partnership with the RCNP.

    2:00

    Rob Cronin and Aaron Lamar

    IREX's Internet Access and Training Programs in Former Soviet Republics.

    3:00

    From Chelyabinsk:
  • Dmitry Latukhin
  • Konstantin Chuguev

    From Sergiev Posad:
  • Victor Nemov
  • Oleg Starkov

    From Samara:
  • Sergey Agapov
  • Nickolay Saptsin
  • Civic Networking in Russian Communities: Impressions from the Workshop and Future Plans.

    4:30

    Chris Kedzie, Rob Cronin, Aaron Lamar, Tom Garritano, and the Russian Civic Networking Program Team

    Roundtable Discussions and Concluding Remarks.

    A few words about the Russian Civic Networking Program…

    The Russian Civic Networking Program (RCNP) is a direct outgrowth of two local activities &endash; the KORRnet community network and the US-Russian "Friends and Partners" program, developed jointly by the University of Tennessee and the Pushchino Biological Center. The "Friends and Partners Foundation" in Moscow and the University of Tennessee Center for International Networking Initiatives have been working for two years to develop the Russian Civic Networking Program, with the very generous support of the Ford Foundation. An initial planning grant from the Ford Foundation enabled a study into the potential for civic networking in Russian communities as well as the selection of the three communities as initial civic networks. A subsequent implementation grant from the Ford Foundation to the Friends and Partners Foundation has enabled the funding of equipment and central operations for civic networks in Chelyabinsk, Sergiev Posad and Samara. The University of Tennessee recently received a grant from the Eurasia Foundation to sponsor this two week visit by the RCNP participants (including the one week workshop in Knoxville).

    Additional information on The Russian Civic Networking Program can be found on the Internet at the following addresses (in US and Russia):

    US site: http://www.friends-partners.org/civnet/index.html

    Russian site: http://alice.ibpm.serpukhov.su/civnet/index.html

    Additional information about KORRnet can be found at:

    http://www.korrnet.org/

    Finally, the US-Russian Friends and Partners Program is represented on the Internet (in US and Russia) at:

    US site: http://www.friends-partners.org/friends/

    Russian site: http://www.friends-partners.ru/friends/