Colmena66 + Centro Para Emprendedores
In an effort to bring entrepreneurial help to start and grow businesses in Arroyo and surrounding areas, we have linked up with Colemena66 and Centro Para Emprendedores ( Center for Entrepreneurs).
On August 6, Colmena66 and C.P.E. led a 2 hour session at our Innovative Resilience hub in Arroyo. Colmena66 kicked off the day by facilitating their referral system to the attendees, a system that provides entrepreneurial aid from over 100 organizations across the island.
C.P.E. followed, providing an entrepreneurial program with insights on how to structure a business idea, perform a market validation process and develop a minimum viable product.
Girls’ Voices for Change 2019
Girls’ Voices for Change is a global media program, encouraging girls to create content, demonstrating their courage, creativity, and vision for a more empowered future for girls. Currently, hundreds of girls around the world are creating media to participate in the contest! The images above show our awesome Arroyo young ladies in action, during the G.V.C. training provided at our hub.
We partner with G.V.C. to help Puerto Rican girls fight for their right to education. Girls in many countries face unique obstacles to getting an education. By bringing this workshop to Arroyo, we aim to highlight and eliminate those barriers.
Colmena66 x Innovative Resilience
We are super proud to announce our partnership with Colmena66! Opening more doors to the communities of Southeast Puerto Rico, an area often referred to as the forgotten coast!
Colmena66 is a regional referral network which links Puerto Rico area entrepreneurs and business owners to 100+ local and regional resource partners, such as nonprofit organizations, academia, and government agencies who provide services to help businesses grow and prosper
On the last week of May, in a partnership with Viasat, we provided capacity trainings to underserved areas in the island of Puerto Rico. We held 3 community engagement workshops on the following topics;
- Empowering the Next Gen. of Female Leaders
- Digital Marketing
- Job Skills and Resume building
We sincerely thank the Viasat team and the ASPPR Red 330 clinics in Utuado and Arroyo for joining forces in this great initiative. It was a week full of amazing learning experiences, not only for the community members, but for our teams to see first hand how connectivity can enable social impact.
Libraries make better communities
During the first week of April, Puerto Rico celebrated libraries in schools across the island. Since there are no libraries in this region of Puerto Rico, we partnered with one of the local schools in Arroyo to bring a workshop about how the Hub can serve as a library.
One of the resources we worked on with the students were our empowerment questions asking the students their qualities, talents or outstanding aspects. Their response was the arts. They wished they had somewhere they could learn more dancing, writing, singing, gymnastics, painting and theater. It sparked a spontaneous dancing performance!
Testing Emergency Response
Arroyo was hit by a 4.1 magnitude earthquake. All systems went down except for the innovation hub. The emergency response team was able to set up in the hub and utilize the satellite connectivity and the computers to communicate with other parts of Puerto Rico, as well as coordinate with the emergency room on site located next to the hub.
A tsunami alert was issued and the local team received this information due to the hub connectivity and were able to initiate protocols to save lives.
ONLINE BLOGGING WORKSHOP 2.0
On May 3, the hub held part 2 of our "Bloggers" workshop. Participants learned tools and strategies to establish their online store. Yulissa Rosario from SequinsandTulle.com, facilitated the training.
Participants focused on learning how to start selling their "handmade" business items on Etsy and use Facebook effectively as a marketplace.
Mr. Rodriguez attended our Blogging and Online Shop workshop with his wife, because he wants his students for the next semester to start up a blogging page. The topic will be how knowing a second language can be use to their advantage in life.
As a teacher he was amazed by the technology and resources the hub was able to share. We talked about computer literacy workshops that we offer every other week. He explain its incredible to him how sometimes his students have access to smartphones and love to be on social media, but don’t even know how to work out an email. “... it’s unbelievable how they can manage to use their phones, but don’t use simple things like search engines or mail correctly. We as teachers want to introduce this technology to them so they can use it to their advantage.”
ONLINE BLOGGING WORKSHOP
Online Blogging/ Shopping has gained much interest in Puerto Rico at the moment, and everyday younger generations merge on the internet looking after influencers and bloggers like Yulissa Rosario.
We partnered with Yulissa and her brand Sequins & Tulle to bring a workshop to our center. She demonstrated how to use different blogging and online shop platforms, and how social media is very influential. With real examples, she taught the attendees how to start and how to build an audience. Participants signed up for their domains for their blogs, and learned the rules to follow for advertising stores or products. Yulissa also encourage people to be creative in their own way, “express yourself with a genuine voice, so other people can identify themselves with you, authenticity is key.”
Understanding Your Company- Workshop
Meralys is not new to selling items as an independent, simultaneously offering consulting services on how to successfully sell these items. She is familiar with the retail of anything from food to any miscellaneous. She provided this workshop with the purpose of reaching the unemployed women of the community and those in need of extra funds to cover for more expenses, just like her. In this Workshop over 10 ladies got to benefit of understanding how the company works and how they can sell Merallys makeup line. We were very happy with the outcome. Helping five of them get in to this company. Two of them who already have jobs and while the other 3 are stay at home mothers.
Solar Energy Training
In late January, we hosted a Solar Energy training for Arroyo and surrounding communities. A great initiative from Sanya Detweiler, with The Clinton Foundation, Raymond Rivera, with New Energy, and our operations team on a successful workshop!
Aspiring electricians and other students from Arroyo Technological Institute were able to experience live, the current installation of solar panels conducted by Tesla and New Energy.
Clinton Global Initiative
Due to the geographic nature of the Caribbean, internet connectivity and literacy has increased, and proved a major challenge for developing nations wishing to participate in the global digital economy. (Internet Society, Unleashing the Internet in the Caribbean)
100Million Healthier Lives
100 Million Healthier Lives is a phenomenal organization. Their curriculum is systematically creating a community of solutions to the most intractable challenges that stand in the way of achieving health, wellbeing and equity across the globe.
Innovative Resilience opens in Arroyo, PR
In partnership with ASPPR, ViaSat and Women’s Campaign Intl, and additional support from JetBlue, Innovative Resilience opened a community innovation hub with satellite communication to help communities build long-term resiliency in Puerto Rico.
Located inside the public health medical clinic Dr. Julio Palmieri, our center also serves as an emergency response to support the community when the next hurricane hits.
Innovative Resilience opens in Utuado, PR
The program has provided computers and skill-building workshops, which are available free to the community. The CSM was instrumental in saving lives after hurricane Maria. Their leadership and doctors walked to remote houses to check on elderly and other residents cut off from flooding, which washed away 15 bridges in the area. The technology provided through the program increases the ability of this remarkable team to respond to an emergency and save lives.
Installing Viasat Satellite Dish
A key element to resiliency in Puerto Rico is a reliable connectivity. Both Innovative Resilience locations on the island are fully equipped with Viasat’s Satellite dishes.
Viasat’s Site Visit
Shortly after Hurricane Maria, Viasat and International Connector sent teams to the island to inspect sites.
In conjunction with the Association of Primary Health and the 330 Clinics, we identified areas that were socially isolated communities without reliable access to the Internet, with a goal to spark sustainable community development on a path to a resilient future.
Inspired by Vint Cerf’s conviction to support the people of Puerto Rico on the path to recovery following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, Innovative Resilience aims to spark sustainable economic development and support communities building their future.
With 10+ years of working with diverse groups of youth from across 190 countries, International Connector has developed a community participatory model. Before any program is designed, we run community empowerment workshops based on a curriculum that combines entrepreneurial tools with leadership empowerment strategies.
To launch Innovative Resilience in Puerto Rico, we went to communities that had been significantly impacted from the destruction of Hurricane Maria.
We chose Arroyo, a town of 20,000, located near where Hurricane Maria made landfall. This community and others in this region located over an hour from San Juan, severely lack resources with 55% of the population in poverty, 14% higher than Puerto Rico national average. (Data USA)
We are the Community Center for the Digital Age
Innovative Resilience sparks sustainable economic development and supports communities on a path to a resilient future. Our collaborative framework brings technology and training to communities through a “community innovation hub.”