Tech Month Chicago Public Awards Program Event Oct. 1st, 2017

Sun Oct 1st, 2017 6:30pm – 9:00pm
House of the Apocalypse1908 S Halsted St #1f, Chicago, IL 60608, USA map 

Tech Month Chicago celebrates Technology Awareness Month every September.

We are giving Techie Award Ribbons to those who have been nominated by the event coordinators who put events on our Tech Month Chicago calendar and as well to those who have attended three or more events on our public calendar in September 2017.

Please come to this event to receive your Techie Award Ribbon.

We look forward to seeing you!

RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/TechMonthChicago/events/243555886/

Please call or text 312-259-0610 when you arrive or if you get lost. Thank you!

Tech Month Chicago Frequently Asked Questions

Who?

Tech Month Chicago was founded by Melanie Adcock in 2014 and is in it’s second year. The audience for Tech Month Chicago is the general public as well as the local Chicagoland Technology industry.

What?

Tech Month Chicago has proclaimed the month of September to be Technology Awareness Month for the Chicagoland area. There is an events calendar of tech events that are open to the general public for the month of September on the techmonthchicago.com website. These events are created and hosted by local community organizers and are promoted in a show of solidarity for Technology Awareness Month. Anyone who attends 3 or more events on this calendar will get a Techie Award after September. You can find more details on that here on our website.

Where?

Tech Month Chicago events are anywhere and everywhere throughout the Chicagoland area. They are in restaurants, tech venues, galleries, co-working spaces, coffee houses, innovation spaces, and at tech company offices. These events can take place in all neighborhoods at different times. Check our calendar for more details.

When?

Tech Month Chicago’s events calendar is for the month of September only. Though there are many tech events taking place throughout the year in Chicago, we promote events during the month of September to the general public as part of a public outreach awareness campaign. Events on our calendar take place at various times throughout the month and at times there may be more than one event going on at once.

Why?

Several reasons:

  1. Firstly, who in Chicago doesn’t love it when there is something to be proud of in our fine city? We wanted to make the general public aware of the vibrant technology ecosystem that exists in the Chicagoland area.
  2. Secondly, let’s face it- tech jobs pay well, and who doesn’t want a better job? It can be very intimidating to make that career shift, and a lot of the time it’s all about who you know. We wanted to make that process less scary and more accessible to people.
  3. Thirdly, there has been much written in the media about the technology industry’s diversity problem. By celebrating diversity, increasing access and awareness about Chicago’s local tech ecosystem, we are doing our part to elevate the solutions, not the problem.
  4. And finally, an awareness month for technology in Chicago is a great idea who’s time has come. We need this in our city, so we made it happen.

How?

How can you get involved? You can put an event on our calendar, donate your venue for Chicago area tech events, and you can attend events. We are always open to meeting with people who would like to give us feedback or volunteer as well.

More questions?

Please feel free to contact Tech Month Chicago at melanie@techmonthchicago.com or via phone at 312-259-0610.

Tech Month Chicago Rolls Out Public Awards Program for Chicago Citizens

Tech Month Chicago didn’t want to limit ourselves to just being a calendar for Technology Awareness Month. We wanted to do something more this year to help engage Chicago citizens to celebrate Technology Awareness Month in September.

Our partner, SPR Consulting, helped us design a selfie bubble. It’s a fun tool we came up with for you to use to let us know you’ve attended a tech event on our calendar. If you attend 3 or more events listed on our Awareness Month Calendar, and use the Selfie Bubble, you will earn a Techie Award Ribbon. Yes- you, your friends, classmates, parents, and anyone will get a Techie Award Ribbon this year for attending 3 or more events on our calendar and documenting your attendance.

Here’s the process: 

Go to a tech event on our calendar, take a selfie with the selfie bubble, upload your selfie to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #TMC2017. Go to three or more events and do this, and we will give you a Techie Award Ribbon.

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Additional Ideas: 

Our Public Awards Program is still in it’s beginning phases. We are open to other ideas and want to accommodate as many interested people as possible. If you have a classroom of students or other group and have a great idea for how to use these ribbons, please contact us. We’re interested in working with you! If you are disabled, do not have the means to upload photos, or have other mitigating circumstances that would prevent you from getting a ribbon via our process above, please contact us and we will do everything in our power to work with you.

Photos and your Privacy: 

As a tech related company, Tech Month Chicago cares very much about privacy issues, especially those of children and young adults under the age of 18. If you are too young to have a social media account, you can have your parent or guardian post photos on your behalf to participate in our awards program. If you do not want to post a photo, but still want to participate in our program, contact us, and we will make accommodations for you or your classroom. For more information about this topic, please refer to Tech Month Chicago’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service documents.

About Tech Month Chicago:

Tech Month Chicago is a month of technology awareness for the Chicagoland area showcasing the depth and diversity of our local tech culture featuring community events in technology, engineering, math, and science in Chicago and the surrounding area during the month of September.

This series of gatherings, educational activities, parties, and other events seeks to engage new audiences for technology in the Chicago area. Unlike many tech industry focused events, Tech Month Chicago is geared toward all city residents from senior citizens, kids, parents, and all people of the city of Chicago to share how technology shapes our culture and encourage participation from those outside the industry.

Events range from coding for kids to educational forums and invention showcases, startup pitches, tech activities for families, companies opening their doors to the public, job training, meetups, and festive tech celebrations. Presenters include tech organizations, large scale technology related companies based in Chicago, non-profit organizations, schools, tech experts, education groups, and other organizations throughout the city.

Questions, thoughts, or comments? Please contact us and we will be happy to speak with you!

Tech Month Chicago Social Channels:

Twitter: @techmonth

Facebook: @techmonth

Instagram: Tech Month Chicago

Snapchat: techmonthchi

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/TechMonthChicago

Tech Month Chicago Launches Public Outreach Campaign for Chicago Citizens

Tech Month Chicago is a month of technology awareness for the Chicagoland area showcasing the depth and diversity of our local tech culture featuring community events in technology, engineering, math, and science in Chicago and the surrounding area during the month of September.

In order to gain citywide attention for their events calendar Tech Month Chicago has engaged an extensive list of local Chicago media outlets to help get the word out. Print and digital ads as well as audio underwriting can be found for Tech Month Chicago in The Chicago Reader, DNAinfo, Lumpen Radio, The Lumpen Times, New City, South Side Weekly, Streetwise, andTime Out Chicago!

Tech Month Chicago decided to focus on the non-techie focused outlets to help spread the word to the Chicago area citizens at large regarding the vibrant local tech culture. President of Tech Month Chicago, Melanie Adcock, stated:

“The tech industry itself is a very small audience compared to all of Chicago’s citizens. We wanted to reach that larger audience and share with them what is happening in the technology industry in their own back yard. You don’t have to go to Silicon Valley to see great tech experts in action and become part of the scene.”

In their second year, Tech Month Chicago will promote a series of gatherings, educational activities, parties, and other events seeking to engage new audiences for technology in the Chicago area. Unlike many tech industry focused events, Tech Month Chicago is geared toward all city residents from senior citizens, kids, parents, and all people of the city of Chicago to share how technology shapes our culture and encourage participation from those outside the industry.

Events range from coding for kids to educational forums and invention showcases, startup pitches, tech activities for families, companies opening their doors to the public, job training, meetups, and festive tech celebrations. Presenters include tech organizations, large scale technology related companies based in Chicago, non-profit organizations, schools, tech experts, education groups, and other organizations throughout the city.

Their main partners this year are SPR Consulting and Lumpen Radio.

To date, twelve venues have donated their spaces for Tech Month Chicago events:

Tech Month Chicago will have a fun program in place featuring selfie bubbles and participation ribbons for all Chicago citizens who participate and attend events during Technology Awareness Month in the month of September.

If you have questions about how to participate in Tech Month Chicago please contact Melanie Adcock via email at melanie@techmonthchicago.com or by phone at 312-259-0610.

Tech Month Chicago is taking 2017 Event Submissions through September

Submit an Event

The second annual Tech Month Chicago will take place September 1 – 30, 2017.

Tech Month Chicago declares the month of September 2017 as Technology Awareness Month, a month for Chicagoland to celebrate technology, and our city’s diverse genius in technology innovation, business, and education.

Here is some more context around what we’re doing this year:

  • Our website is: www.techmonthchicago.com
  • Tech Month Chicago #TMC2017 is a one month event calendar in September that promotes all of Chicago’s tech events to the public at large for a Technology Awareness Month across the Chicagoland area.
  • It’s geared toward families, kids, and the non-techies out there.
  • We will have a great deal of advertising out there in late August and September to help get the word out to the city. We will be advertising in places like DNAinfo, The Chicago Reader, New City, Time Out Chicago, SouthSide Weekly, Streetwise, and the Lumpen Times.
  • If people attend more than three tech events during the month, they will get a participation certificate and some other cool stuff.
  • We will be encouraging civic engagement and tech education throughout the city as well and working with companies, schools, venues, event coordinators, and more.

Submit an Event

Tech Month Chicago prioritizes events and projects that:

  • are free and open to the public
  • are geared toward the non-techie or people outside of the tech industry
  • increase public access to and participation in technology-related tools, gadgets, knowledge and ideas – especially among underrepresented populations
  • involve every demographic in the city from senior citizens, teens, business people, companies, organizations to any and all interested participants
  • encourage collaboration between neighborhoods, schools, genres and anything else

Submit an Event

EVENT TYPES:

Submissions will be accepted for the following event categories:

  • Tech Events for kids and families
  • Company Open Houses
  • Educational Outreach and Job Training
  • Tech Expert presentations and panels
  • Networking, parties, festivals
  • Demonstrations of Technology
  • Audio such as Radio and Podcasts
  • Virtual such as Webinars and Hangouts
  • We are open to your creative ideas as well

Submit an Event

EVENT SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Anyone can submit an event for Tech Month Chicago. We want to be as inclusive as possible as we believe that technology should belong to everyone. Tech Month Chicago seeks to engage all city residents to participate and attend events through promotion of our calendar. We imagine events like coding for kids, celebrations, maker tutorials, technology related music and art events, professional networking, job training, and more.

We also suggest that you adopt a “code of ethics” at your event, to make all people feel welcome and safe. Here’s an excellent template to get started: geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Policy

Submit an Event

WHEN SUBMITTING YOUR EVENT:

Please make sure to tell us your name, number, email, and social media accounts.

Submit an Event

EVENT PROMOTION:

All events submitted prior to September 1, 2017 will be promoted in a robust marketing campaign and public outreach effort including online and social media. Event coordinators will be invited to meet for an information session whereupon they will be given additional materials to distribute and help promote their events.

Submit an Event

NEED AN EVENT SPACE FOR YOUR SEPTEMBER #TMC2017 TECH EVENT?

For those needing a space to host tech events this September, the following sponsors have generously donated their space (subject to availability for dates and times) to help celebrate Technology Awareness Month this September. Please contact them directly for booking info and space availability in September 2017:

National Able Network

567 W. Lake Street, Suite 1150

Chicago, Illinois 60661

Contact Person: Wok Barry

Contact Info: jbarry@nationalable.org • 312.858.0830

Website: nationalable.org

Additional Details: They would love to host a hackathon and any other events they can.

Clique Studios

410 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 801

Chicago, IL 60605

Contact Person: Brent Williams

Contact Info: bwilliams@cliquestudios.com • 312-279-9329

Website: cliquestudios.com

Coalition Impact

405 West Superior Street

Chicago, IL 60654

Contact Person: Andrew Ettenhofer

Contact Info: andrew@coalitionspace.com • 312-757-5905

Website: coalitionspace.com

Fin Tank

333 S. Wabash Ave.

Chicago, IL 60604

Contact Person: George Vukotich

Contact Info: george@fintank.org • 708-259-3686

Website: http://fintank.org

House of the Apocalypse

1908 S. Halsted Street #1F

Chicago, IL 60608

Contact Person: Melanie Adcock

Contact Info: melanie@techmonthchicago.com • 312-259-0610

Additional Details: Small space holds 30-50 people

Metis

1033 West Van Buren, 3rd Floor

Chicago, IL 60607

Contact person: Nathan Vermeiren

Contact Info: nathan@thisismetis.com • 646-780-0191

Website: thisismetis.com

Northeastern Illinois University (Center for College Access and Success)

770 N Halsted St #420

Chicago, IL 60642

Contact Person: Meghan Hausman

Contact Info: c-hausman@neiu.edu • 262-424-8136

Website: neiu.edu

Roosevelt University- Chicago and Schaumburg Locations

Chicago Campus:

430 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Schaumburg Campus:

1400 N. Roosevelt Blvd, Schaumburg, IL 60173

Contact Person: Eric Wierzbicki

Contact Info: ewierzbicki@roosevelt.edu • (312) 341-2406

Website: https://www.roosevelt.edu/

Submit an Event

HELPFUL REMINDERS: 

You can hold your event for Tech Month Chicago anywhere. It is not limited to the above locations. It can be at another tech venue, business, coffee house, restaurant, night club, and more. The above locations are offering to host free of charge, so that’s a huge bonus, but again your Tech Month Chicago 2017 events can take place anywhere throughout Chicagoland.

Submit an Event

It is free to post events to the Tech Month Chicago calendar.

Click here to post your event!

Questions? Need Help? Want to Donate your venue? Please contact Melanie Adcock at 312-259-0610 or melanie@techmonthchicago.com

Tech Month Chicago Returns September 2017

Tech Month Chicago will be returning in September of 2017. The month long calendar of events will feature all co-working spaces, innovation spaces, think tanks, shared offices, libraries, companies, cultural spots, and any place where tech events are happening all over Chicago.

We are in the process of updating our website and will soon be announcing how to submit events to the calendar.

Last year we advertised in the CTA subway, and this year we plan to get the word out to the public via several well known publications and media outlets.

We look forward to sharing Chicago’s vibrant technology innovation culture with all of Chicago’s citizens. Events will include fun, educational events for kids and families, job training for adults, networking, lectures, parties, company open houses, scavenger hunts, industry meetups, parties, podcasts, radio broadcasts, and webinars.

Need tech? This September we’ve got you covered.

Questions? Please contact Melanie Adcock at 312-259-0610 or melanie@techmonthchicago.com

Tech Month Chicago 2016: Humble Beginnings, Big Plans

Tech Month Chicago started out as an idea, and in June 2016 we realized that idea in the first month ever in the city of Chicago to honor our diverse technology culture and ecosystem while sharing it with all Chicagoans.

To put in perspective how we feel about accomplishing our launch, in the beginning, when we first started, it felt like a small child throwing stones at a large tank, like in the picture shown here.

Boy with tank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why did it feel that way, you ask?

The tank in the photo, to us, represents all of the obstacles and challenges we faced and problems we wanted to solve. Those problems include lack of diversity in the tech industry and the tech industry’s lack of advocacy and outreach to the public. On a local level we also wanted to provide a solution for what we view as draining Chicago politics that consolidate prestige and power into a few select venues downtown resulting in exclusion of aspiring technology entrepreneurs and tech venues in other neighborhoods.

Despite these overwhelming problems, we had passion, courage, and conviction, like the little boy throwing stones at the tank. We felt we had to take action, and to us, trying was better than doing nothing. It was not always easy. People ignored us.People called us up to ask why we needed to exist, while still others arrogantly asked us what our “value prop” was. In case you had to ask, the status quo in tech is alive and well in Chicago. We had the courage to try to put a dent in it.

Lots of boys with tank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What gave us our courage? The community.

There was an outpouring of support from grassroots tech event coordinators around the city who all listed their events on our calendar. As well, ten tech and business venues donated their spaces for free to people who wanted to hold events for Tech Month Chicago in June. In a strong show of solidarity unseen before in the Chicago tech industry, over 100 event coordinators and venues, all of whom normally operate independently, came together for one month and supported our platform to help Chicago learn about technology. We all found courage to step up and make real change because suddenly we weren’t alone anymore.

We are proud of everyone who participated in Tech Month Chicago this year and look forward to doing even more next year.

Our proudest moments were the tech companies who presented seminars to segments of the public, members of the tech community who had the opportunity to step up and give a presentation for the first time, industry focused events that opened themselves up to curious non-techies, the events that helped children, and events that helped the economically challenged. We’ll write more about these in the months to come. We are so grateful to all of the organizations and venues who participated this year!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Melanie Adcock, President of Tech Month Chicago

This is intended to be a community platform, so tell us how you feel about the state of Chicago’s tech industry? E-mail us at info@techmonthchicago.com. Let us know, and we might feature you in a future blog post!

The photos in this blog post were digitally altered to remove any reference to any particular nationality, belief system, or conflict. Our intention with using this image is to illustrate a more general metaphor of helplessness when one endeavors to solve an overwhelming problem. Also if anyone gets inspired to throw rocks at military vehicles from reading this blog post, please don’t because we’re sure it’s probably illegal. 🙂

The Story Behind Tech Month Chicago

As the Tech Month Chicago website launch draws closer, I’d like to share a few things about how this concept came about and the story behind the idea.

The idea for Tech Month Chicago emerged from a combination of my own career progression and things going on locally in Chicago. Ever since, the concept has rapidly grown from an idea into a group of people meaningfully executing its potential.

At the start of my professional journey twenty years ago I had no clue I would end up a tech professional. I was studying to become an artist and museum curator. My whole life was about creating, displaying, selling, and teaching art. Back then I spent a great deal of my time calling people to coordinate art events and make things happen. Friends of mine at the college where I was teaching design saw what I was doing and told me I could call people for a living in the business world and I could, maybe, they said, make some good money. Soon after that, a leg injury left me without a teaching job, and I needed work. Too klutzy to be a waitress in college, I had done a lot of part time telemarketing jobs and considered myself an energetic chatterbox on the phone, but it never occurred to me that it could be of value to anyone. When I realized the business world had a need for what I could do, I quickly found myself working at a tech start up. I enthusiastically stayed in the office late every night mastering how to use intricate, captivating software and got good at selling it. Now I am a polished industry professional and my career direction is with technology. It’s a path I never expected, but one I’m grateful to be on.

Melanie at a tech eventI entered the tech world armed with creative problem solving skills honed in design school, but felt like an outsider. Too often, I was always the only woman, the oldest person, the only person who didn’t go to business school, etc. I saw a lot of structural and ethical problems in some places where I worked because they lacked diversity, but felt powerless to do anything about it. My mind was busy selling software, but my heart was a busy making taking notes on how people were treated. Ultimately, the saying that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience is true for me. For as machine like as the tech industry can seem, we are– after all– human. As a spiritual being having a human experience, I wanted to make a difference in unfair situations I saw in the tech industry where people were excluded or made to feel like outsiders.

In the years to follow the press blew up about the lack of women and minorities in technology and it was like they were all telling my story. It turns out there were many tech industry professionals who felt like outsiders who had stories, backgrounds, and experiences similar to and also different from mine. I read their stories, listened, and saw a problem that needed a solution. As the issue of diversity in the technology industry heated up as a national conversation, I saw additional issues on a local level. Chicago, my home and city that I love, seemed to have a chip on its shoulder when it came to technology. Chicago isn’t Silicon Valley or New York, and it’s easy to get demotivated here because of that. Further, many tech industry related conferences happening in Chicago were geared only toward those already in the industry and didn’t include the city residents at large. My heart was still taking notes and looking for ways to address these topics.

Still a fan of the arts, for years I had paid careful attention to the city of Chicago’s involvement with Chicago Artist Month, a month long celebration of independently produced art events throughout the city that were promoted together in one big collective calendar. Chicago Artist Month is a successful cultural and civic initiative that has been going on for more than 20 years put on by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. I have always respected and admired how this organization considers, includes, and brings together diverse groups of people to celebrate and appreciate art. I thought to myself, what if there could be something similar for technology in Chicago? A month of events for technology where all groups and interests that comprise technology on a local level can be celebrated and the whole city can be included in appreciating technology, just like the Chicago Artist Month event appreciates the arts?

Initial conversations with friends and colleagues in both the tech industry and at the Department of Cultural Affairs were encouraging. The idea has gotten a ton of support from organizations like Blue 1647 and i.c. stars and Tech Month Chicago is now a 501C3 organization with its own identity and mission. We are a strong, growing group of concerned, passionate technology professionals who love Chicago and create cultural engagement to help elevate the local tech industry as a whole. We aim to facilitate and promote a month of independently produced technology events throughout Chicago in June 2016 and our goal is to do it every year thereafter. With love, compassion, and feeling we present this idea to the technology industry professionals of Chicago and to all Chicago residents.

Tech Month Chicago is going to make great things happen for our city, and in my next post I’ll spell out some specifics on what we’d like to do and how we’d like to do it. In future posts we will also have others share their personal stories as well. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy navigating our new site.