Enabling Resilient Communities
Developed by International Connector, Innovative Resilience has focused on socially isolated communities without reliable access to the Internet with a goal to spark sustainable community development on a path to a resilient future.
Our program has brought satellite connectivity, technology devices and training in community innovation centers creating long-term empowerment and economic growth.
Our work is guided by the SDGs and we work to bring technology, connectivity and innovation to provide economic development and opportunities for communities to enter the digital age.
The Community Center for the Digital Age
Inspired by the historic role of the "Plaza Mayor” in Latino communities, our "Resiliency Hubs," are creating a centralized place to coordinate the local communities’ visioning for the future. Hubs provide:
Open 6 days a week
Public access to Free Wifi through Viasat satellite connectivity
Public access to Computers, 3D printer, design tools, maker tools
Available open co-working space
Available workshops in the areas of emergency response, health & wellness, leadership, small business development
Access to Emergency Response Resources
Community Participatory Model: Empowering a Local Voice
Based on the World Bank 2016 Development Report, there is deep and clear understanding that technology is not enough. There is the social, practical hands-on aspect of bringing the Internet and creating a thriving community including gaining community engagement, equipping people with basic digital literacy and helping young and old, city and rural people to understand how to develop the potential of the Internet for the benefit of the people in many different communities.
We put the voice of the community front and center
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. The workshops to develop a voice for the community and insight into understanding their needs and their vision for the future. Community members develop an “ownership” in the project through these initial steps creating long-term support in its success.
Empowerment Upon Entry
Each location has different resources available, different needs and different goals. Our model is customized based on the outcomes from the community engagement workshops and local partnerships. Even within a region such as Puerto Rico, the Innovative Resilience program is different per community.
One of our signatures is to create a welcoming interactive experience from the moment anyone walks into the space. Along the walls of the innovation hub are three interactive questions:
What are the talents of the people in your community?
What are the remarkable aspects and qualities of your community?
What is your community lacking?
Through intentional interactive action with the different community members visiting the hub, we are able to identify specifics in community’s plans and ideas of empowerment, that are lacking resources to help drive those ideas to their full potential.
Gender equality is an important issue that we foster in our hubs. Our partner, Women’s Campaign International, supports leadership and skill development among women and girls.
Specifically, Innovative Resilience provides:
Viable Employment - Our hubs hire local women as facilitators for the space creating viable employment and a leadership role within the community.
Empowerment Workshops - With partners, we run a series of leadership workshops aimed at empowering local women. As an example, Girls’ Voices training program is run virtually through our connectivity for groups of local teenaged girls teaching them the basics of digital storytelling.
Female Entrepreneurship - We provide business mentorship for female entrepreneurs and have helped numerous women apply for funding, work to develop their ideas and/or expand their current business.