Civic News

College kids should join the community: Sharon Paley’s ‘One Big Idea’

This is Technically Baltimore’s weekly One Big Idea. We’d like to use this space to allow technologists, community organizers, activists and other thought leaders in Baltimore city propose one idea for making this city a better place to live and work.

Hack Baltimore's Sharon Paley was one of 10 named to the state council.

This is Technically Baltimore’s weekly One Big Idea. We’d like to use this space to allow technologists, community organizers, activists and other thought leaders in Baltimore city propose one idea for making this city a better place to live and work.
You probably know Sharon Paley from her work with gb.tc, where she’s one-quarter of a team that organizes such events as Groundwork, Geeks on a Train and Tech Night, not to mention the weekly podcast she co-hosts with Andrew Hazlett.
She brings us this week’s One Big Idea: get college and university students involved in Baltimore and, at the same time, let them help out solving some of city’s biggest problems.

Rarely, Paley said in her video, do you meet people living in Baltimore who first came to the city for college or university. That needs to change, she said, and something akin to a business plan competition could be the trick:

  1. Have area college students meet with community leaders and stakeholders.
  2. Assemble students into teams to work on creating ideas, plans or companies that focus on problems ailing the city, like vacant housing or stormwater runoff.
  3. Students then pitch those ideas to potential funders, mentors and stakeholders.

Ultimately, said Paley, “having a bright idea isn’t enough.” The goal is to get students to “build something great” — something that might compel them to stick around Charm City.
Sharon Paley’s One Big Idea:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHgM_aEqWyg&w=550&h=413]

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Companies: gb.tc
People: Sharon Paley
Projects: Tech Night
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