October 28, 2021
by Meg Daly
With the goal of pioneering the convergence of public spaces and technology to democratize community access and connectivity, Friends of The Underline (FUL) has created a Tech Council. Anchored by a visionary group of founding members, the Council is charged with advancing FUL’s goals to leverage human-centered technology on The Underline to strengthen and bolster community equity, enhance the visitor experience and bridge the digital divide.
The era of COVID demonstrated the human need to connect, both for business and personal reasons. During quarantine, people leaned into technology to keep the wheels of business, education and social connection moving. There was also a tremendous demand for public spaces as it was safer to be outdoors than indoors and humans craved being in nature for physical and mental health. The world witnessed that not everyone had equal access to technology, connectivity or green spaces. This year and a half of experiencing these divides makes equitable access to public spaces and technology a critical imperative of our time.
The Tech Council is made up of thought leaders who are shaping equitable technology solutions in the public and private sector. The Council will direct strategic implementation and funding of the various prioritized initiatives in the recently completed Tech Master Plan designed by civic technology experts at UrbanSense. Funded with support by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tech Master Plan has five guiding principles:
1. Advance The Underline mission and core values;
2. Be available and accessible to all;
3. Earn trust;
4. Attract and engage with community and visitors;
5. Create value.
Underline Tech Council Founding Members include:
Maurice Ferre, Jr. – A serial entrepreneur, Dr. Ferre is currently the Chairman and CEO of Insightec and was previously Co-Founder, chairman and CEO of MAKO Surgical Corp.
Kristin Johnson – Co-founder & CEO of Hotwire Communications with customers in over 15 states using its digital HDTV, high-speed data, telephone and smart home technology services.
Raul Moas – Miami program director Knight Foundation. Prior to joining Knight, Moas served as the managing director of Miami Angels, Florida’s largest angel investor collective.
Sol Rashidi – Chief Analytics Officer The Estee Lauder Companies. She has been named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Tech”, ”Top 100 Innovators in Data & Analytics” and has secured seven (7) patents.
Jacky Wright – Chief Digital Officer and Corporate Vice President at Microsoft US. During her career, she has advocated for diversity in technology and in the workplace and contributed to organizational initiatives on this issue.
“We are honored to have such an impressive roster of technologists as founding members of The Underline’s Tech Council. Each member brings remarkable accomplishments in technology supported by human centered design They will help us achieve our goal of pioneering the use of technology in public spaces to build community and equitable access as directed in our Tech Master Plan” said Meg Daly, Founder of Friends of The Underline.
Friends of The Underline plans to grow the Tech Council through 2022 to help power important initiatives that will serve our diverse community. For more information about The Underline’s technology initiatives, visit our website at https://www.theunderline.org/technology.
About The Underline The Underline is a planned 10-mile urban trail, linear neighborhood park and public art destination that will span from the Miami River, north of Brickell Metrorail station, to Dadeland South. The Underline project will feature dedicated bike and pedestrian paths, amenities, art, programming, lighting, native vegetation as well as safety features and improvements at road crossings. The Underline will be built in three phases. The first phase, Brickell Backyard from the Miami River to Coral Way, opened February 2021. For more information, visit www.theunderline.org and/or follow on social media @theunderlinemia.