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quote and features


Vision

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quote and features


Vision

 

“Give me a place to stand, and a lever long enough,
and I will move the world.”
- Archimedes

 

 

Digital technologies are transforming our economy and reshaping our democracy, and the people who know how to make and use them are the unacknowledged legislators of our age. Our city abounds with digital expertise, from Silicon Alley with its thousands of start-ups and industry leaders, to city government itself, which has the most progressive open-data policies in the country. But there is a major gap between the techies and the rest of the city that mirrors the digital divide across America: the pathways to the digital economy don’t uplift many people from diverse communities. In turn, tech itself is often disconnected from the needs of the most disadvantaged in our society.

The good news is that many people and institutions are already working to address these problems. New York City is home to several top digital schools that teach how to code and design, collectively reaching tens of thousands of people a year, including immigrants, people with disabilities, seniors, and public school educators. Dozens of government agencies and non-profit organizations are hard at work modernizing their services. And a growing and mostly unseen army of digitally savvy civic entrepreneurs is creating hundreds of vibrant new organizations and platforms aimed at solving a host of critical public problems. 

It is time to bring these disparate forces together under one roof. E pluribus unum. When you give a diverse group of strivers, doers, teachers, leaders and decision-makers a place where they can learn, work and network side-by-side on a daily basis, magic happens. Serendipitous collaboration multiplies. Bottlenecks turn into brainstorms. Powerful partnerships result. Inclusive change happens. That is the vision of Civic Hall @ Union Square, a 21st century community center for all.

 

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features


Civic Hall @ Union Square will house five inter-related components:
1. Civic Hall Academy
2. Civic Hall Community Center
3. Civic Hall Conference Center
4. Civic Hall Labs
5. Civic Hall Tech Incubator

features


Civic Hall @ Union Square will house five inter-related components:
1. Civic Hall Academy
2. Civic Hall Community Center
3. Civic Hall Conference Center
4. Civic Hall Labs
5. Civic Hall Tech Incubator

1. Civic Hall Academy

Civic Hall Academy will include state-of-the-art facilities available to all our digital training partners for use on a time-share basis, along with a modern media center for video, audio, and virtual-reality production. Civic Hall Academy will house three learning centers: 

Digital Skills Training Center:
Where un- and under-employed New Yorkers are trained to be job-ready and connect them to jobs in the 21st century economy in partnership with the city’s largest and most successful workforce organizations including General Assembly, Per Scholas, FedCap, Code to Work and the Coalition for Queens.

Learning Center for the Public Interest:
A collaboration between Civic Hall and General Assembly to provide professional development to employees at local nonprofits and government agencies in basic digital skills from Social Media 101 to Data Analytics to Policy for the Sharing Economy.

Teacher Training Center:
CSNYC is Civic Hall’s partner in Computer Science for All (CS4All), the city’s 10 year, $80 million effort to train 5,000 local public school teachers to teach computer science. Civic Hall Academy will become a ‘center of excellence’ for this work, providing a space for teacher training as well as monthly teacher MeetUps

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2. Civic Hall Community Center

The beating heart of our collaboration engine, Civic Hall’s Community Center will expand from 8,000 to 20,000 square feet, with seating for up to 500, hosting daily public events, including convenings, workshops, demos, skill-shares, trainings, design charrettes, hackathons, book talks, film screenings and parties.


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3. Civic Hall Conference Center

To meet the growing demand for modern convening facilities, and building on our longstanding experience hosting public and private events, Civic Hall @ Union Square will include a 20,000 square-foot Conference Center with a main hall capable of hosting up to 500 people for a single or simultaneous event, along with a 300-person auditorium and breakout rooms.


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4. Civic Hall Labs

To keep growing the field, Civic Hall Labs will continue to pilot innovative ideas that solve problems for New Yorkers using technology, data and design, and plans to focus on new areas such as Education, Democracy and Civil Rights. Civic Hall Labs will also expand the frequency and scope of its usability testing for its and others’ (companies, government) pilots and products. 


5. Civic Hall Incubator

For early-stage civic tech startups, Civic Hall @ Union Square will house a 10,000 square-foot incubator, where companies and nonprofits being supported (and in some cases invested in) by Civic Hall will be able to “graduate” from their membership in the community space and continue to grow, while staying intimately connected to the social and professional networks that spawned them.