Pre-conference warm-up with Corinna Moebius of Imagine Miami

What’s that feeling you often have when leaving an exciting conference? “Dang it, I didn’t get a chance to talk to X or Y or Z.” Face time is what a conference is all about, and we want to help you maximize it at We Media Miami. With that in mind, we’re going to start introducing some of the folks who will be attending the forum so you can get a head start on networking.

Today we meet Corinna Moebius, director of Imagine Miami, an innovative online community in Miami-Dade. She explains here what her work is all about and why she’s coming to We Media Miami. Corinna, take it away —

I am the director of Imagine Miami, a community effort to connect people, organizations and businesses that want to improve the quality of life in Miami-Dade County, Florida. We spark hope and civic spirit by helping people share ideas, actions, tools and examples of how to get involved in our communities and neighborhoods.

Imagine Miami connects people with accessible, welcoming online and face-to-face spaces for learning, collaboration and engagement, facilitating what we call “civic networking.” We mix the vital word-of-mouth energy and cutting edge tools of online social networking with face-to-face gatherings. We’re building online, collaborative “Civic Wikis” to share ideas, tools and multimedia examples of local civic change.

We share highlights of Wikis at face-to-face events, and in turn “live blog” and videotape many of our events, posting the videos online – via Facebook, our Web site and other sites like YouTube and uVu (Channel 2), and incorporating good ideas back into the Wikis. Probably our favorite technology tool is Facebook: Imagine Miami’s group on Facebook grows by an average of 30 people daily.

We are collaborators, and work closely with both local and national partners. More then 20 people from diverse backgrounds currently volunteer for Imagine Miami (including six interns).

We infuse civic networking into our own programs, special events and activities, as well as those of our partners. Our fun and inspiring events take place at sites across the county, and help connect people to the place, to each other, and to tools for turning inspiration into action.

Our two core programs include Creative Impact (arts, culture and civic engagement) and Adopt-Your-Block. IM’s Summit on Arts, Culture & Civic Engagement (February 16, 2008) will gather ideas from more than 200 participants for how to build high-impact county-wide, creative collaborations focused on specific local issues and communities. The Summit harnesses technology to help share and gather community learning (via video, online, blogs, social networking).

We are organizing several *new* types of events for Imagine Miami. Learning Exchanges will showcase particularly collaborative and innovative civic projects. Presenters will share and discuss challenges and opportunities, lessons learned, and ideas for future projects. At our Issue Forums, local entities focused on a particular issue will share perspectives, challenges and opportunities related on key issues, such as public safety. We will use creative techniques to help presenters brainstorm with participants (including artists, connectors, etc.) on ideas for collaborating on specific projects and campaigns to build public awareness, educate community members and promote civic engagement. We will also offer hands-on workshops offer training on techniques for civic engagement (e.g., blogging).

What we hope to get out of We Media 08 is the possibility to increase our impact by sharing and learning about best practicesdoing our own “civic networking,” and by identifying potential developers of and investors in our own unique “civic networking” site.




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