Our Blog

Our Blog

skastrul's picture

Don't be invisible

Recently, I took a wonderful trip to Denver to talk about expansion. I met with some local technology leaders, some folks in IT staffing, and some people in the government sector. The topic was i.c.stars Denver. Our hosts were Zia Consulting and Harvey Nash.

csmith's picture

Two Tools to Stay in Touch

It’s an exciting time for i.c.stars. After twelve years at our original location, we moved to a larger place where we can all be on one floor. In the midst of all this excitement, some challenges also came up. There were some work-from-home days, as well as, days when I did not have a phone line in the new office. It usually takes a couple of weeks to get all the kinks figured out when moving to a new location. For example, my office phone, for whatever reason, just keeps dropping calls.

elannert's picture

Social Media ROI Calculator

The purpose of my blog is to share learning and insight that our team accumulates through experience. This information tends to be in the form of quantitative or framework outcomes.

csmith's picture

Social Media is more than what meets the eye

I have to admit it. I enjoy a good Tweet.

Obviously, I have a blog and a newsletter. I would like to sincerely thank you for reading.

skastrul's picture

Love, Fear, and Technology

Recently we had the pleasure of having Adrian R. Gardner, the CIO of NASA, over for high tea, which was quite enjoyable. I was invited to a reception in his honor later that day. Adrian made some wonderful and inspiring remarks about the future of technology and technology education.

skastrul's picture

What is tangled in your web?

Recently one of our residents, Ruben Alvarado, came into my office and schooled me on something that we talk about quite often: oppression. Ruben told me about what he calls the spider web. We all have a spider web, and it connects us to those things that make us who we are. Our family, community, jobs, lifestyle, habits, and clubs are some of the things that make up our spider webs. We take these things with us everywhere we go, and sometimes we happily share what we have on our web with others. Other times we may want to hide our webs because they are a reflection of a past that we may need to separate ourselves from.

csmith's picture

What sparked my passion

When I was young, my parents instilled a great sense of community in me. I marched alongside my uncle as he was protesting when I was a kid. He worked at a factory in Decatur, IL. They all walked off the job because they were a union, and they wanted better benefits. He was out of work for a long time protesting. I walked alongside him and really understood the manufacturing community. I participated in Earth Day protests and other things along those lines when I was young. I knew that community was something I was interested in, and growing up I would volunteer a lot, but I never knew it could turn into a job.

csmith's picture

i.c.stars Announces Relocation to a Larger Chicago Office Space

On July 23, 2012, i.c.stars announced that it will be relocating to a larger office space in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
skastrul's picture

From Russia to i.c.stars and back

Ten women from Belarus, Russia visited i.c.stars through the Heartline International Community Connections Program.

brownp17's picture

Pooling Cars and Pooling Applications in the Course of a Month

The studio was a mix of nerves and confidence today. Over the course of a month, the interns have been preparing their response to an RFP issued by train car pooling company, TTX.
csmith's picture

Build a business case to add value and keep sponsors coming back

Recently, I was lucky enough to meet up with some friends who are also non-profit fundraisers.

elannert's picture

The Mobility Movement: Transaction vs Consumption

Last month we held our annual Capitalize on Illinois conference. Consumption versus Transactions is the big idea that I capitalized on at Capitalize 2012.

csmith's picture

Are You Leading the Resistance?

This video was made in 2007. It has had 1,057,844 hits and 1,607 likes. Obviously, it resonated with the audience.

skastrul's picture

Be True, Not Truman

Dear i.c.stars Alumni,

elannert's picture

The First Follower is What Turns a Lone Nut into a Leader

In the video footage below Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started.

skastrul's picture

The Hope Needs You / Life Lessons From a Seven-Year-Old

Dear Cycle 25,

I am so proud of all of you and filled with hope as you commence from your i.c.stars internship. As you begin your next journey, I am reminded of Tracy Grahm’s powerful words at tea last week: “When we lose our sense of hope, we’ve lost everything. If we don’t have faith in something, we cannot do anything.”

csmith's picture

An Accidental Techie in Cali

The first night I got to San Francisco, I had a great dinner with some people who have been going to the conference since it started.

brownp17's picture

Cycle 25 presents their final recommendations to Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics team

Today, the Cycle 25 interns presented their recommendations to Craig Ross and Tony Stephan of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics.
elannert's picture

Metrics for measuring engagement

Two must read articles on social business vs. social marketing:

brownp17's picture

Forté Knowledge and TrainSignal make opportunities for current and future cycles

“I’m super excited and honored to be working with i.c.stars,” said Scott Skinger, president and founder of TrainSignal. “They are doing wonderful things for their students and the tech community.
csmith's picture

3 Tips to Take the Lead at Conferences

I attended a three-day conference in San Francisco called the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), better known as NTC to us techies.

skastrul's picture

I'm still learning

Dear Alums,
I’m still learning; are you still teaching?

Now that the NFBPA award luncheon is over, it’s making me reflect on my role as a leader and the impact that I’ve had not only at i.c.stars , but also on how I’ve engaging the community from a knowledge and resource standpoint. I ask myself, “How am I giving back outside out of my job and am I teaching as much as I am learning?”

skastrul's picture

TechBash 2011

elannert's picture

The End of Management

Recently I had some really great thought sessions with Jeff Spahn, whose company Leaders Leading Leaders serves clients who believ

csmith's picture

What Happens When You Corner a CIO?

Our new CIO Corner offering is an elegant mix of our social enterprise, our events model, and our internship program. It works the same way that our High Tea curriculum works – a CIO comes to share experiences of technology and leadership with our alum and our clients through an open and honest conversation.

skastrul's picture

Don’t Forget Your Roots

Dear Residents,

Recently I have been thinking about the great divide; the chasm between class and race and opportunity but mostly the divide as a result of transformation and change. If we are the ones we’ve been waiting for what happened to those who came before us? Does being successful mean leaving behind our community? Is that success or the very definition of division?

skastrul's picture

Thank you for painting the future…

This past November the alumni association of i.c.stars presented i.c.stars and the board of directors with a magnificent gift.

cromero's picture

CIO Corner: Obstacles to Innovation in Business and Technology

skastrul's picture

Cookies and Chocolate Milk

Last week at our annual Stakeholders event, we had some absolutely terrific speakers and different courses that honored Dr. King, his legacy, and the mission of i.c.stars.

elannert's picture

Metrics in the Rear View

Every time I watch this video it reminds me that what most of us are doing isn’t working. We constantly look at data and try to assess patterns and understand cause and effect.

A Measurable Impact

Initial placement rate:
95%
Industry retention rate:
81%
College attendance rate:
44%
Alumni actively engaged in their communities:
70%
Average 12-month earnings before program:
$9,000
Average 12-month earnings after program:
$31,000