Picture from Triangle Open Data Day 2014 - pictures by Mitch Amiano

TODD2016 – Keynote and Schedule

Raleigh, NC – The Schedule and Keynote for Triangle Open Data Day 2016 (TODD) have been announced: Read more

Midnight Lunch Lab by Bi-Link

Midnight Lunch Comes to the Triangle

Morrisville, NC – Technology Tank has partnered with Bi-Link and Sarah Miller Caldicott to bring Midnight Lunch™ to the Triangle. On Friday, June 5th, a group of CEO’s and area catalysts listened to a presentation about Midnight Lunch. Sarah explained the Midnight Lunch process while our guests munched on some good food provided by Tra’Li Irish Pub.
Midnight Lunch Lab Group

What is Midnight Lunch?

Midnight Lunch is a distillation of Edison’s innovation model developed by Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of Thomas Edison and an innovation process expert.

Thomas Edison worked with small teams in intensive 5-hour collaborations after hours that came to be known as midnight lunch sessions. The new Raleigh Midnight Lunch™ Lab draws upon the same intensive 5-hour approach that Edison used with his teams, allowing today’s knowledge workers to deepen their collaboration skills.

Project teams have shaved months off their timetables using the Midnight Lunch collaboration process, propelling the type of disruptive thinking that is crucial in today’s market environment!

Edison’s Midnight Lunch approach offers a unique context for problem-solving, including Analogical thinking, Needs statements, development of a Master question, and Hypothesis statements. Together, Edison’s 5-hour Midnight Lunch process offers a distinct pattern – a distinct approach – for synthesizing significant amounts of data and insight in a short time frame.

Clients using the Midnight Lunch protocol experience as much as 10 times the speed/efficiency of their normal pace, while also gaining new learning and new insight – not just rehashing facts. The process yields powerful engagement that creates momentum, urgency, and visibility while ensuring relevant needs are being addressed.

Initiating a Midnight Lunch includes business challenge selection, attendee selection, and brief pre-work associated with each session. A virtual capability also exists to tie in remote employees if needed. A report for each session captures all input digitally and is shared with each client within 48 hours. All sessions are led by a certified Midnight Lunch facilitator.

Bi-Link and the Hardware Store

Ray Ziganto, President of Bi-Link described how Midnight Lunch has allowed Bi-Link to transform their 53 year old business. Soon after the economic downturn in 2009, Bi-Link realized that their market had changed dramatically. While they had lots of ideas and energy on how to respond to this market change, they had no direction. After discussions with many consultants, they found Sarah Miller Caldicott and participated in their first Midnight Lunch.

The Hardware Store in Morrisville, and another Hardware Store soon to be opened in San Diego, were the result of this Midnight Lunch; a ‘third space’ to get closer to their customers and provide value in the initial stages of product design. Ray also wanted a way to be able to provide for their innovation to spin off the same value for others, which is why they located a Midnight Lunch™ Lab in their Hardware Store. In fact, Bi-Link has now gone through Midnight Lunch 4 times solving different issues where they need to take focused action.

Midnight Lunch Lab

Left to Right – Scott Doron, Assistant Director, North Carolina Department of Commerce, Steve Rao, Council Member Town of Morrisville, Sarah Miller Caldicott, CEO, Power Patterns of Innovation, Ray Ziganto, President , Bi-Link, Ian Henshaw, Managing Partner, Technology Tank

The Midnight Lunch Lab

The Midnight Lunch Lab is located in the Hardware Sore by Bi-Link in Morrisville. The lab is available to facilitate those who would like to participate in a Midnight Lunch in the Triangle. Please contact either Ian Henshaw or Sarah Miller Caldicott for more information about how Edison’s 5-hour Midnight Lunch process can transform your team’s innovation outcomes.

We will run another information session when Sarah is back in the area, so let us know if you would like to attend the next Midnight Lunch preview.

Youth Leadership Cary - Bonus from Technology Tank

Are Business Cards Dead?

Cary, NC – On Friday of last week, I had the opportunity to see the end of the Cary Chamber of Commerce ‘Youth Leadership Cary’ graduation at The Cary. 40 exceptional young men and women had successfully completed the program and had obviously impressed the adults leading this course.

The leader of the event encouraged the students to use this experience as the start of their professional network. My question during the social after the program was “So do all the students now have Linked-In profiles?” Questions had to be asked of the students to see if they knew about Linked-In and if they had profiles, and the answer was ‘no’…

If you are mentoring a Junior or Senior in high school or any college student, they all should have Linked-In profiles now!

Here is the Technology Tank / Cary Innovation Center ‘bonus session’ for the students who were in the Youth Leadership Cary program. I sent this through the chamber to the high school counselors for these 40 students, but many, many more need this advice so please pass it along.

Make Your Linked-In Profile Now!

Linked-In is an invaluable professional networking and contact management tool. Build your profile now and keep adding to it as you progress in your careers.

This is your professional persona, so think school picture, not those fun beach pictures. You are young, so update your picture every few years so that people are not surprised when they meet you (you are still aging quickly). Don’t post jokes, what you ate for lunch or stray thoughts – FaceBook is the place for all that stuff.

Build your resume and keep it current with all of your accomplishments and work history. Ask for recommendations as you go (you don’t have to make them public if you don’t want to…) People search Linked-In all the time and you may be presented with opportunities you never would know about otherwise.

Link to all of the people you have met in this program and keep building your network as you go. Business cards are very important, but by the time you are out of school, there is a high likelihood that most of the people you have met are now working for a different company and so that card is obsolete.

When you make a connection request, always remind the person how you met. No blank connection requests!

Create your Linked-In profile now and make sure you keep your profile up to date. Use the smoke detector battery rule at a minimum, ie. update your profile when the hour changes.

What Do You Think?

We are always interested in best-in-class Technology advice. Please let us know if you think I’m off base or if there is a newer and better way. Cheers!

Disclosure: Linked-In profile of the writer.

Featured image Public Domain from the Town of Cary

Nina Hole's Fire Sculpture Cary NC 9224 from Flickr by bobistraveling

What is Art and How to Find It?

Cary, NC – The Code for Cary Brigade has started working with the Town of Cary Cultural Arts Department and the Cary Visual Art organization (CVA) to look at redeploying the Code for America Public Art Finder App.

Code fro America Public Art Finder AppAt the brigade meeting on February 10th, Denise Dickens, Public Art Coordinator for the Town of Cary and Shawnee Becker of CVA presented what was available in terms of information and existing on-line maps of public art in the Town. We then had a great discussion about what functionality the app should have. The delineation is that Code for Cary can provide an app and functionality but the Town/CVA needs to provide the content.

App Specification Creep?

An interesting part of the discussions were about what users of this app would expect to be able to discover with the app. The Town of Cary has a definition of public art to clarify scope of their activity but art sited before the Town’s Public Arts program started are not part of the town’s catalog.

Should the mural on the side of the Sorrell building be included? What about where art links to the history of the town, like the horse sculpture at SearStone? What about interesting architecture, folk art and historical sites? This is a slippery slope of specification to be sure!
Val Fox Mural from Waymarking.com

What Would You Expect as a User?

This is a very important question to ask in the development of any app, the market analysis, or as Steve Blank would say, “Get Out of the Building” and talk to your customers!

Here are some of the ideas we discussed. Feel free to add some of your own:

  • Only public art as defined by the Town
  • All public art, publicly or privately owned
  • Interesting or classic architecture
  • Folk art
  • Historical sites
  • Ability to ask for an item to be added to the app
  • Ability to engage in discussion about the art (ie. a forum)

Leave your ideas in the comments below this article.

Join the Public Art Finder App Team

If you want to help out with this new and exciting project, please attend any of the upcoming Code for Cary meetings. Code for Cary meets every other Tuesday night at the Cary Innovation Center in the 2nd floor conference room. All are welcome to attend and participate, you do not have to be a coder!

Approximately 30 minutes before the meetings pizza and beer is available courtesy of the generous support from the Code for America national organization. The brigade asks all attendees to sign up on their meetup group so sufficient food can be ordered in advance of the meetings.

Previous Articles on Code for Cary

Disclosure – Tech Tank supports the Code for Cary Brigade with space, leadership and logistical support

Nina Hole’s Fire Sculpture Cary NC 9224 from Flickr by bobistraveling

Val Fox Mural from Waymarking.com

Triangle Startup Weekend and Triangle Open Data Day - Feb 20-22

Winter Won’t Stop Busy Tech Weekend

Raleigh, NC – Winter may have put a hold on school events around the Triangle this week, but it will not put a stop to the upcoming busy Tech Weekend. So shake off the winter ice and come out to the events.

The 2 major events are going on just a few buildings away from each other on the NCSU Centennial Campus:

  • Triangle Startup Weekend EDU – Hunt Library – Friday, February 20, 2015 at 6:30 PM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 9:30 PM (EST)
  • Triangle Open Data Day – Engineering Building II – Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 6:00 PM (EST)
Triangle Open Data Day 2015 Sponsors

Triangle Open Data Day Sponsors

Cary, NC – We are proud and excited to announce the sponsors of Triangle Open Data Day (TODD):

Gold Sponsors

OpenDataSoft LogoOpenDataSoft is a Cloud-based turnkey platform designed for smart and easy transformation of all types of data into innovative services. Its mission: make it easier for business users to publish, share and reuse data.
Code for America LogoCode for America is a new kind of public service with brigades throughout the Triangle.

Bronze Sponsors

Caktus Group LogoCaktus Group. Caktus Group is the nation’s largest Django firm, building custom web and mobile apps to address the most complex challenges. In addition to being open source leaders, we’re committed to social good.

The Open Data Institute of North Carolina LogoThe Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC). The ODI NC provides Open Data thought leadership, research, training, consulting, dataset certifications and networking opportunities in North Carolina and south-east United States.

We are exceptionally pleased to have such an excellent venue for this year’s event, Engineering Building II on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus.
NC State College of Engineering

We are fortunate to have a Brigade Data Portal provided by Socrata for Triangle Open Data Day and Code Across.

Triangle Open Data Day is produced by Technology Tank in partnership with Code for Cary

Triangle Startup Weekend and Triangle Open Data Day - Feb 20-22

Feb 20-22: Busy Triangle Tech Weekend

Raleigh, NC – The weekend of February 20-22nd is a busy day of tech and civic involvement in the Triangle. 2 major events are going on just a few buildings away from each other on the NCSU Centennial Campus:

  • Triangle Startup Weekend EDU – Hunt Library
  • Triangle Open Data Day – Engineering Building II

Triangle Startup Weekend EDU

  • What: Triangle Startup Weekend EDU
  • When: Friday, February 20, 2015 at 6:30 PM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 9:30 PM (EST)
  • Where: James B. Hunt Jr. Library, 1070 Partners Way, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • Why: Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Here’s your opportunity to transform your education ideas into action in 54 hours. Find the right people with complimentary skills & the passion & dedication to build a startup quick & smart. Test your idea with real potential customers, receive coaching from experienced education entrepreneurs & industry professionals, and win prizes that will help you take your startup idea to the next level of execution!
  • Focus: Education
  • Registration Site

Triangle Open Data Day

  • What: Triangle Open Data Day
  • When: Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 6:00 PM (EST)
  • Where: College of Engineering, Engineering Building II, NCSU Centennial Campus, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • Why: Triangle Open Data Day 2015 is a gathering of citizens in the Triangle to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.
  • Focus: Health, Safety & Justice and Economic Development
  • Registration Site
CodeAcross 2015 Banner

CodeAcross at Triangle Open Data Day

Raleigh, NC – During Triangle Open Data Day (TODD) we will also be participating in the Code for America CodeAcross 2015 event. If you cannot find an open data project to work on that interests you, please find one of the Brigade Captains and work on one of the 4 challenges for CodeAcross 2015.

CodeAcross 2015 Challenges

CodeAcross 2015 in the Triangle

Triangle Code for America Brigades

Code for Raleigh Brigade Captains:

Code for Durham Brigade Captains:

Code for Cary Brigade Captains:

  • Robert Campbell
  • Ian Henshaw
  • For more information about the local brigades read the Tech Tank article Code for America in NC 2015

    This post originally appeared on the Triangle Open Data Day Site

    Triangle Open Data Day 2015

    Triangle Open Data Day Schedule Update

    Raleigh, NC – We have finalized the schedule for Triangle Open Data Day and are putting much more focus on the hackathon this year as we have mentioned in the past.

    TODD Schedule

    Saturday, February 21, 2015

    • 8:30 am – Doors Open for Registration
    • 9:00 am – Opening and Keynote by Durham CIOs Kerry Goode and Greg Marrow
    • 10:00 am – Lightning talks to inform and inspire you for the remainder of the event – More information coming soon.
    • 11:30 am (latest) – Hackathon begins – Brainstorm, find a project and/or team, talk to mentors
    • 5:00 pm – Doors close for the day

    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    • 9:00 am – Doors Open, Hackathon continues
    • 3:00 pm – Presentations – What did you accomplish?

    TODD Mentors

    Do you have trouble finding a topic to work on or a problem to solve? Are you having problems identifying or finding data? Do you need assistance with programming, analysis or visualization tools? Well you are in luck this hackathon since we are going to have lots of mentors to help you. Our mentors are subject matter experts, data gurus and programming wizards! Anyone can chip in their talents to help others out and Mentors can still work on interesting projects during the event.

    If you are interested in helping out as a mentor, let us know at the beginning of the event or e-mail Ian Henshaw in advance.

    TODD Miscellaneous

    We promise not to blow out the fuses and have coffee ready for when you arrive on Saturday!

    There will be several options during the year to continue with your projects. The first one NC Datapalooza kicks off on May 16, 2015.

    This post originally appeared on the Triangle Open Data Day Site


    TechTank Review – Cary Bike & Hike App

    Cary, NC – On January 12, 2015, the Town of Cary released a new municipal mobile application, the Cary Bike & Hike App. Technology Tank undertook a survey to get user feedback on the new app. Read more