Pivoteers and Pioneers in the New Age of Social Distancing

Discovery webisodes: Challenges and Opportunities exposed by COVID-19

Free Webinar Series: OpenHub , in collaboration with HVTechFest is offering a series of online public meetings exploring economic development challenges and opportunities during the unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis. The focus will be on the current challenges and the urgent need for rapid tech development for local businesses and individuals and to transform fears of uncertainty into an exploration of opportunity and new ideas. Please join us as we discover the pioneers and ‘Pivoteers’ who were able to shift to our new social reality by adapting with technology. 

Starting May 2020 and continuing through our “transition to the new normal”,
this free webinar series will focus on how to build opportunity in a ‘unique time’. 
Each week will cover a new topic such as:

  • Challenges and Opportunities:
    Sharing stories of struggle and success. Using our collaborative tech hub model, brainstorming  opportunities for your business or for yourself in the current environment.
  • Pivoting with Technology:
    This meeting explores the various tech that was used in response to the crisis. We will invite tech professionals to provide insights, share knowledge and answer these questions: Which technologies aided recovery? Which technologies failed in their promise?
  • Workforce Impact and Development:
    Which occupations have been negatively impacted by the pandemic? Which skills from those positions can be laterally transferred to new roles? How can those skills be ‘re-booted’ so that they will meet current workforce demands?

Information and trends acquired from the first two meetings, will be followed-up with meetings focused on what business and individuals need today to transition to the ‘new normal’.
Topics envisioned include:

  • Traditional “Brick and Mortar” cohabiting with a Gig Economy:
    What can be done to help traditional businesses to move online and how they can connect and engage with local tech talent?
  • Teleworking Lifestyle:
    Transitioning skills to web conferencing technologies, such  as presentation skills and conducting online meetings. Tips & Tricks with example scenarios and connectivity resources.
    Economic Forecast:
    What is the current data telling us? What do we need to know in order to stay cognizant so we can ‘roll with the changes’?

Economic Development and Workforce Development

Events should be held separately, one for businesses and the other for individuals. 

Discussion Threads:

  1. Thread for businesses: Inviting guest speakers to present their stories. This is a great opportunity for tech companies to bring non-tech businesses to the next level of digital transformation.
  2. Thread for individuals: Who lost their job? Laid off/ Let go. Which skills can you update to find a better job? Is now the opportune time for a career change or pivot? 

Engaging with governmental leaders: 

We are optimistic by responsive governmental initiatives such as Orange County providing free and open access to the national eMatrix Learning platform, COVID-spread Data and many other initiatives. We will invite municipal and county-wide leadership in the Hudson Valley to support these weekly webisodes as a resource to drive Economic Development and Innovation.

Why Open Hub

  • OpenHub and HVTechFest experts can offer relevant learning opportunities on the challenge of contemporary job searches. By providing information, tips, and tricks, we can be a guide through job search in technology.
  • OpenHub is working to build the next technology hub in the Hudson Valley. We seek collaboration with all kinds of partners, whether governmental, academic institutions or business stakeholders, to create a transparent pipeline for recruiting in technology sector. 
  • OpenHub has the opportunity to be a resource hub for local businesses and employers to find and hire technically skilled talents. 

Timeline: We plan to start the series the first week of May, ,proposed time Fridays 9am or noon.. 

We suggest to host it as Open Office Hours Online weekly and invite guest speakers from the tech sector as well as guests from local business. This is an exploration journey, and referring potential speakers is essential. Open Hub would also engage the HV startup community to participate.

Plan for each discussion

  • What possibilities can we create out of current challenges? How can we work together for mutual and successful community transitions?
  • How to reach customers in a new way? 
  • How to make it a new positive experience for people?

We are looking for stories of problems faced and challenges met. Please share where technology was used to solve a problem or where the need for technology created new issues and challenges. From these stories we can develop a focus for Hudson Valley TechFest 2020.

Just having people sharing their real-world experience is valuable. Before and after stories on how businesses adapted and what do they need going forward? What new roles will technology play in the coming era of the ‘new abnormal’?  Stories like: 

  • a local restaurant that overnight went all-in with technology; Automating their orders and managing delivery times (See: https://www.smokenallday.com/home). 
  • a grocery store manager explaining their supply chain challenges and whether the TP crisis could have been avoided.  
  • a business that was totally dependent on "street traffic." Where are they now? Did they use it as a chance to reboot their business and start selling online? 
  • what it was like to use Google or Office365 and similar cloud-based product app suites? 

Perhaps someone innovated? 

  • Whether educating others on the use of video-conference tools or any other kind of remote resources?
  • Overcoming challenges with teaching styles, re-inventing connection with students, 
  • We believe there are some who have stories of multiple pivots evaluating what works in this new world
  • Or those who momentarily transitioned to the new digital life?

We are opening the line of exploration

HVTechFest 2019 was about discovery and connections. We discussed some of the area's challenges, provided some education, and parted with topics to focus on deeper exploration. It is safe to say this pandemic is the elephant in the room when it comes to a theme this year.

HVTechFest 2020 plans to identify talent and companies who are ready to share their knowledge, promote opportunity, and empower themselves to be a leader when the economy re-opens. We want to find the ‘pivoteers’, pivot experts, who flourished when the conditions threw curve·ball after curve·ball.

This is a call for these leaders now.