Since January 1, 2018, stewardship of Hive Chicago has transitioned from Mozilla to a new local non-profit, the Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX). Please visit us at chicagolx/joinus to learn how you and your organization can join our growing community. The Hive is still the Hive.

Mar 31 2017

Hive Chicago Buzz 2017 Recap

#hivebuzz, Go Hive Chi, Hive HQ

Over two days and more than 30 sessions, workshops, and exhibits, Mozilla hosted 135 participants to celebrate progress, share their work, and activate new solutions in education.  The third annual Hive Chicago Buzz, March 17-18, 2017, was our best event yet!

Our goal for HCB17 was to empower leaders to activate solutions in education.

Video credit: Nat Soti, Zero One Projects

What Happened

In addition to the Day 1 “science fair” of projects from within and beyond the network, you can see the diverse collection of Day 2 skillshares and working sessions at:


The 45- to 90-minute skillshares shared information over a wide range of topics, including:

  • Pittsburgh’s Rec2Tech project, which addresses the lack of reliable Internet access in many communities by turning recreation centers into technology centers (;
  • Chicago City of Learning’s new report, which provides data on its collective effort to increase youth opportunity and equity by broadening access to citywide learning opportunities (;
  • Smart Chicago’s Youth-Led Tech, a technology mentoring program that serves youth ages 13-18 in a growing number of Chicago neighborhoods and at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center; and
  • Organizational Digital Security 101 that builds on CHI Hack Night’s guidelines for “Better living through online security & encryption” (

The 3-hour working groups provided fertile soil for incubating new initiatives, including:

  • Further steps toward interoperability of Chicago’s rich ecosystem of digital badging platforms;
  • Transformation of neighborhood learning opportunities in Austin and Bronzeville through initiatives like the Bronzeville Fusion Network;
  • Educator-driven professional development workshops designed by and for providers of teen programs;
  • Understanding the role of educators in a sanctuary city and ways to provide equitable access to learning opportunities informed by Internet privacy and security;
  • And many others.


What We Heard

Like the annual Mozilla Festival in London, Hive Chicago Buzz is a place where you can come with an idea, leave with a community.  That sentiment was reflected in the feedback we got.  When we asked people what they loved, here’s what we heard:

“Amazing conversations”

“The venue, the SWAG, the people”

“The focused energy and conversations around our passion for the work we do.”

“The community of people.”

“How welcoming the ‘experts’ were in the skillshares”

“The layout of the event was perfect.”

How We Plan To Improve

As you can see in the scrolling slides below or in our project portfolio, many impactful projects have been incubated through the Hive Network with the support of our partners at the Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning at The Chicago Community Trust.  Many of those projects have matured to the point of being able to serve many more youth and educators in Chicago and beyond.  Yet, although the engagement of HCB17 attendees was high, the turnout was not.

This was our first year at the Bridgeport Art Center, a beautiful venue that provides a clear opportunity for growth of future events.  As we plan for HCB18, we must develop more robust strategies and partnerships for reaching educators, youth, and communities beyond the vibrant peer professional learning community of the Hive Network.


Many Thanks

Of course, we would like to thank all of the attendees who made this our best event ever.

The scrolling slideshow below acknowledges the funders, event partners, Hive organization, and Advisory Committee members who we would like to thank.  It also lists a selection of impactful Hive projects, past and present.



And I would like to add a very special thanks to the team of colleagues from across North America without whom the event would simply not have happened.

  • Jenn Beard, Mozilla Gigabit Fund Manager (Kansas City)
  • Ann Marie Carrothers, Mozilla Hive CHI Operations Coordinator
  • Abdoul Coulibaly, Mozilla Impact Evaluation Specialist (Toronto)
  • Kenyatta Forbes, Mozilla Hive CHI Community Manager
  • Brenda Hernandes, Mozilla Hive CHI Portfolio Strategist
  • Ani Martinez, Remake Learning Network Community Manager (Pittsburgh)
  • Simona Ramkisson, Mozilla Hive TOR Portfolio Strategist (Toronto)
  • Chrystian Rodriguez, Mozilla Hive NYC Network Manager (New York)
  • Chad Sansing, Mozilla Curriculum Developer for Web Literacy (Charlottesville)

Thank You!

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Photo credit: @bgrzb

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