The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

  • Engaged Communities

    Hackathon ideas focus on improving Cuba’s connections

    May 22, 2015, 2:20 p.m., Posted by Carolina Wilson

    A "ciber cafe" in Cuba. Photo by Flickr user Lars Kristian Flem.

    With roughly 5 percent of its population accessing the open Internet, Cuba remains one of the least digitally connected countries in the world.

    As part of Roots of Hope’s second annual “Code for Cuba Hackathon,” participants gathered at Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley this April where teams worked on innovative ideas to help more Cubans get connected.

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  • Engaged Communities

    Cuban and U.S. entrepreneurs exchange ideas during Miami visit

    May 22, 2015, 2:05 p.m., Posted by Fernando Gonzalez

    Vanessa Pino helps a cook prepare icing for pastries. Courtesy Cuba Study Group.

    Let others consider the national and global political implications of the thawing relations between the United States and Cuba. Ruben Valladares looks at the small paper tray for french fries as he’s having lunch at a Pollo Tropical and wonders aloud how he might produce them back at his shop in Havana. Sitting next to him, Niuris Higueras — who runs Atelier, one of the best restaurants in Havana, just patronized by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his delegation in their recent visit — was considering the cost benefits of using paper plates with real silverware.

    For entrepreneurs, and perhaps especially for these entrepreneurs, there is no lunch break.

    The challenges for micro-empresarios in Cuba are many, some obvious, some easy to overlook for people living in an open, consumer society. But so are, suddenly, the opportunities — and there’s much to catch up.

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  • Arts

    Writers: You could win a free home in Detroit (Honest!)

    May 22, 2015, 1:55 p.m., Posted by Casey Rocheteau

    Casey Rocheteau in front of the house. Photo by Sarah Cox.

    The non-profit Write-a-House offers a twist on a typical writer’s residency: It provides writers with the opportunity to own a home, for free, in Detroit, as a way to promote the literary arts. The group, a Knight Arts Challenge winner, is currently accepting applications through June 5. Here, the first recipient, poet Casey Rocheteau, writes about 5 things she has learned since moving to Detroit.

    Here are Rocheteau’s insights:

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