Before starting PBDD, I spent thirty-two years as an engineer, developing system specifications and software for helping people communicate. A large part of my job involved asking “what if” questions:
- What if the value provided is out of range?
- What if a second component fails while we’re trying to handle a failure?
- What if a user starts filling out the form starting at the bottom?
In my work at PBDD, the questions have been more “how” focused:
- How can we help?
- How can we best present this information?
- How can we effectively encourage all the digital inclusion practitioners to share their training material?
In the context of helping to solve this last question, I’ve found myself wearing the engineer hat again. NDIA, in conjunction with IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services), has been working with Related Works, a New York B-Corp committed to socially responsible business practices, to develop a database with a process framework to add and locate digital inclusion material.
As an early participant in the effort, I’ve been learning, using, and breaking the early prototypes in an effort to help make them ready for rollout to a wider audience. The challenges, the joy, the frustration, and the feeling of accomplishment in contributing to a project are familiar emotions. But at a deeper level, it is so gratifying to be doing this for a project that can bring a great stride to promoting digital inclusion, rather than developing yet another system to make communication networks easier to manage.
Thank you NDIA for championing and coordinating this effort that has been on our minds since we started, and thank you to everyone in the digital inclusion community who is willing to share your work and feedback with the rest of us.
If you have material to share, which can be classes, process descriptions, documents on running your non-profit, I encourage you to comment on this post and we can help get you set up on adding your material.
— Barry Glicklich