"Our City Thoughts, creating a new narrative for Miami" by Binsen J. Gonzalez and Ashley Cummings on Knight Blog
MIAMI – (Dec. 6, 2013) - Our City Thoughts (OCT), a nonprofit digital media organization will highlight Miami’s emerging community of entrepreneurs, creators and thought leaders, to develop a new narrative around entrepreneurship in Miami. Knight Foundation is providing $75,000 to Our City Thoughts to help create an ongoing series of two-minute videos, blog posts and photos that will give a voice to locals who have insight into the city’s innovation culture.
Founded in January 2013 by Binsen J. Gonzalez and officially launching today, Our City Thoughts focuses attention on the people shaping Miami’s future through storytelling that spotlights local innovation, problem-solving and entrepreneurship. To this end, Knight funding will help Our City Thoughts produce and share online written and video interviews about the people who are making an impact in the city. More than 30 videos will air over the course of the year. Each video will accompany a brief bio of the featured guest and information on how to get involved in their work, as well as topical question and answer posts to promote audience engagement. Videos will be posted on ourcitythoughts.org and shared widely through social media.
“The city of Miami is transforming before our eyes, through a new wave of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Gonzalez, founder and CEO of Our City Thoughts. “We want to provide an avenue to show a real and meaningful portrayal of the substantial change taking place that will in hopes continue to bring resources to our community. With the Knight Foundation funding, we will be able to connect with many more voices, spread the word and help build support for what really matters in our community.”
“To build on the progress that Miami’s startup and entrepreneurial community has made we have to help people really see Miami as a place where ideas are built,” said Matt Haggman, Miami program director for Knight Foundation. “Our City Thoughts will help do just that by using compelling storytelling to uncover the growing energy for ideas and innovation in Miami and ultimately inspiring people to connect, learn more and contribute.”
Our City Thoughts will announce its official launch tonight during an event being held at The LAB Miami. The organization will also announce its board of advisors, which includes:
- Rebecca Mandelman, vice president of marketing and strategy at eMerge Americas
- Manny Diaz, former mayor of Miami and partner at Lydecker Diaz
- Suzanna Valdez, vice president for advancement, Adrienne Arsht Center
- Jose Hernandez-Solaun, senior vice president for Florida, GE Capital
- Monica Rabassa, vice president of communication, Univision
- Lorena Garcia Duran, director South Florida at Ashoka
- Jeff Brown, managing member of Honey Tree Holdings
To date, Our City Thoughts has featured more than 22 of Miami’s leaders including Melissa Medina-Schnur, president of the Medina Foundation; Frankie Coletto, CEO of the education startup PassTheNotes; and David Lawrence Jr., a nationally recognized leader in early childhood development and former publisher of The Miami Herald.
In 2014, the Our City Thoughts Fellowship Program will be developed to involve young media innovators in local problem-solving and bring to life their ideas for Miami’s future.
For more information and to get involved, please visit www.ourcitythoughts.org
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.KnightFoundation.org.
About Our City Thoughts
Our City Thoughts, founded in January 2013 by Binsen J. Gonzalez, is a nonprofit organization that seeks to give voice to and highlight Miami’s emerging community of startups, entrepreneurs, creators and thought leaders. We aim to change perceptions and refocus attention on a new narrative in Miami, centered on innovation, problem-solving and entrepreneurship. We give voice to, and shine a light, on those who are making a difference in the city. For more, visit www.ourcitythoughts.org.
CONTACT: Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, [email protected]