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There are many things I love about Boulder. One of them is the powerful sense of community that exists. Talking about this is fine, but examples are better. Here’s one:
On the first Tuesday of every month is the Boulder New Tech Meetup. It’s one of the largest regular tech meetups in the world and is orchestrated by a bunch of folks, most notably Robert Reich of OneRiot who is the founder and ringleader. Given my travel, I can’t make it regularly but I try to go a couple of times a year. Each time is fascinating – I’ve always learned something, met some interesting folks, and had fun.
Last week Robert and the NewTech gang decided to do something different. They lined up multiple non-profit organizations who presented New Tech style, but with a twist. Once all of the groups were finished on the podium (they each got two minutes instead of the typical five minutes to present) they split up into rooms all over the CU Wolf Law Building (where the New Tech Meetup is held) and started hacking. The tech community helped the non-profits on tech issues ranging from web design to social media help, database support to graphic design, and everything in-between.
Robert sent me a list of the non-profits that presented. They follow and include several that Amy and I support philanthropically:
- Colorado Nonprofit Development Center presented by Kamela Maktabi
- Food Bank of the Rockies presented by Janie Gianotsos
- Cool Girls Science and Art Club presented by Mary Golden
- Boulder International Fringe Festival presented by Alana Eve Burman
- I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County presented by Lisa McAlister
- The WILD Foundation presented by Emily Loose
- Denver Curling Club presented by Alyssa Rossnagel
- Boulder Community Computers presented by Eric Jackson
- Ashoka’s Youth Venture presented by Matt Nathan
- The “I Love U Guys” Foundation presented by John-Michael Keyes
- Blue Sky Bridge Child Advocacy Center presented by Judy Toran Cousin
- Leave No Trace presented by Dana Watts
Here are the stats of what happened:
- 300 people showed up to listen to the non-profits present
- 200 people stuck around for dinner
- 130 people stayed around and directly helped the different non-profits hack
It’s pretty amazing what can happen when you put a bunch of smart techies in a room. Boulder – I love you and miss you. And, if you are in a NewTech Meetup in another city, I challenge you to help out some non-profits!