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TURNING BROADBAND INTO ECONOMIC IMPACT: WE NEED TO HELP THE AVERAGE PERSON BECOME AN INNOVATOR CHRIS SCAFFIDI ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE.

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Presentation on theme: "TURNING BROADBAND INTO ECONOMIC IMPACT: WE NEED TO HELP THE AVERAGE PERSON BECOME AN INNOVATOR CHRIS SCAFFIDI ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE."— Presentation transcript:

1 TURNING BROADBAND INTO ECONOMIC IMPACT: WE NEED TO HELP THE AVERAGE PERSON BECOME AN INNOVATOR CHRIS SCAFFIDI ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

2 POSITIVE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF BROADBAND ADOPTION Research has compared demographically similar counties (prior to broadband availability) that had different levels of broadband adoption and economic impacts The research found that broadband adoption improved: Median household income Unemployment rate Total employment Numbers of companies Largely consistent with results from other studies Whitacre et al, 2013,

3 SO WHAT ARE ADOPTERS DOING WITH BROADBAND THAT ACCOUNTS FOR ECONOMIC IMPACTS? ApplicationProportion of internet traffic Netflix28.88% YouTube15.43% HTTP10.66% BitTorrent9.23% SSL2.39% MPEG2.30% Hulu2.16% iTunes1.71% Flash Video1.53% Other(remainder) Sandvine, 2013, Top 10 Peak Period Applications - North America, Fixed Access Reasonable conclusion: Watching movies makes you rich?

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5 A SELECTION OF MORE PLAUSIBLE PARTIAL EXPLANATIONS “the economic impact of broadband is higher when promotion of the technology is combined with stimulus of innovative businesses that are tied to new applications” English translation: Broadband adoption helps your economy if local businesses do something innovative with it “broadband has a stronger productivity impact in sectors with high transaction costs, such as financial services, or high labour intensity, such as tourism and lodging” English translation: Broadband adoption helps your economy if it helps people find and buy your products and services BUT “broadband enables the adoption of more efficient business processes and leads to capital-labour substitution and, therefore loss of jobs” English translation: Broadband adoption can reduce local employment while raising business efficiency and profits Intl. Telecommunications Union, 2012,

6 A WORKING DEFINITION OF INNOVATOR

7 COMMUNITIES AS USERS AND PRODUCERS “Most entrepreneurial activity starts in the home, in the garage or the spare bedroom.” -Craig Settles (this morning) “32% of households work from home or have a home-based business” - Michael Curri (this afternoon)

8 HOW TO HELP PEOPLE TO BECOME INNOVATORS? Scenario (“The Average American”): High-school diploma Full-time worker (not an owner) Married with kids Owns a home & car Lives in native state Some discretionary income How to help this person to become an innovator? O'Keefe, "The Average American", 2005,

9 SHORT ANSWER: I DON’T KNOW I work with students in college, not with average people. School of Electrical Engineering, Oregon State University But If I tell you what I’m doing And if you tell me what you’re doing Then maybe we can find an answer together

10 EXAMPLES OF WHAT IS DOING TO HELP STUDENTS BECOME INNOVATORS CurricularExtracurricular Other-directed Senior capstone Intel Learning Lab Collaboratory Open Source Lab Student-directed Software Engineering I Web development Mobile/cloud development App club App Hackathon/Challenge UPTIC

11 EXAMPLES OF OTHER-DIRECTED, CURRICULAR PROJECTS Every senior in CS and ECE must complete a senior project Most projects are proposed by local companies or OSU colleges Small fee for the company; in exchange, hrs/week ea. Projects span senior year, with big Expo at the end Example projects (from the cohort): Campus Shuttle Tracking (for OSU Transportation and Parking) Immersive 3D Visualization System (for OSU Geomatics) Monitoring system for distributed manufacturing (for HP) Video Game Dynamic Scene Builder (for Jubal Games) Smart Navigation for Aviation (for Garmin)

12 EXAMPLES OF OTHER-DIRECTED, EXTRACURRICULAR PROJECTS Multiple programs for getting involved Intel Learning Lab (freshmen-specific), Open Source Lab (OSS-focused), Collaboratory (commercially-oriented) Sponsored by Intel, Tektronix, Google, Schooner, TDS Telecom, and others Example student projects: AI agents that play video games App that turns an iPad into a very convenient oscilloscope Infrastructure for hosting open source projects Tools to validate processors Tools for managing security configuration on laptops

13 EXAMPLES OF STUDENT-LED CURRICULAR PROJECTS Coursework where students must imagine their own projects, from scratch, with minimal external direction Software Engineering I, Web development, Mobile/cloud development Examples of projects: New system to alert residents of local disease outbreaks New system to crowdsource technical support issues (for a fee) New system that evaluates your nutrition based on your grocery bill New system for you & friends to track and rate wines New system for finding local deals New system to place order at local business & pick it up later

14 EXAMPLES OF STUDENT-LED EXTRACURRICULAR PROJECTS Different programs, for different levels of commitment App club (periodic gatherings), App Hackathon/Challenge (3-month project commitment), UPTIC (Undergraduates Partnering Toward Innovation Commercialization, i.e., start a company) Local companies provide mentors, prizes, and judges Examples of projects: New games (including word games, reaction-time games, & puzzle games) New app for teaching about the moon (1M+ downloads) New app for assessing ripeness of fruit (“Just Ripe”) New system for measuring user emotional engagement in games New system to shop many sites at once, with rewards for shoppers

15 SCREENSHOTS OF SOME STUDENT-LED PROJECTS Order coffee for pickup Justin Ortowski

16 SCREENSHOTS OF SOME STUDENT-LED PROJECTS 3D terrain rendering in app Padraic McGraw

17 SCREENSHOTS OF SOME STUDENT-LED PROJECTS Find local deals and buy local Nicole Phelps

18 SCREENSHOTS OF SOME STUDENT-LED PROJECTS Rewards users for shopping many sites at one time Darren Marshall, Lyndsay Toll

19 SCREENSHOTS OF SOME STUDENT-LED PROJECTS In realtime, one player designs a game that another player sees Islam Almusaly

20 REFLECTIONS ON STUDENT-DIRECTED PROJECTS (VERSUS OTHER-DIRECTED) Strengths: Great for giving students experience with generating ideas Necessary for producing leaders (vs just another bunch of followers) Weaknesses: Very difficult to get finished projects out into practice Can be hard to obtain funding if commercial benefits are unclear

21 REFLECTIONS ON EXTRACURRICULAR PROJECTS (VERSUS CURRICULAR) Strengths: Topics and technologies unconstrained by course learning outcomes Flexible commitment level is acceptable Weaknesses: Extracurricular can mean low-priority for students => low-impact Challenging to find mentors for the students when payoff is unclear

22 REFLECTIONS ON WHERE TO GO FROM HERE Ideally… Give learners experience with generating ideas Achieve high motivation for learners, mentors, and sponsors Allow flexible level of commitment and use of technologies Put finished projects out into practice … in a way that also works well for the Average Oregonian.

23 SO HOW TO HELP “AVERAGE OREGONIAN” BECOME AN INNOVATOR? A FEW IDEAS… Option 1: Send Average Oregonian back to school Counsel Average Oregonian to use some discretionary income to take innovation-centric community college or eCampus courses? That might work for people who can afford it, if we can find ways of providing them with adequate mentors + sponsors.

24 SO HOW TO HELP “AVERAGE OREGONIAN” BECOME AN INNOVATOR? A FEW IDEAS… Option 2: Help Average Oregonian to attend school vicariously Give businesspeople, residents, employees, or other people the experience of innovating while remotely working with students? Not just to critique and to advise, but to do. That might work for people who have the interest + time to make it a priority, if we can assure students do the same.

25 SO HOW TO HELP “AVERAGE OREGONIAN” BECOME AN INNOVATOR? A FEW IDEAS… Option 3: Create school-like experiences outside of school Start a wave of “Maker-Spaces” using pooled funds contributed by businesses, schools, local governments, and entrepreneurs? Maybe a kind of “Maker Space” focused on “how to use broadband innovatively in your business”? That might work for a very broad range of our population, if our institutions (above) are willing to part with money + time.

26 SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS Turning broadband into economic impact requires helping Average Oregonians to become innovators This is not a solved problem Can we find a solution by working together? Contact: Chris Scaffidi, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University

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28 BUT THAT WAS BROADBAND ADOPTION, NOT AVAILABILITY Increasing broadband availability, by itself, did not impact many economic measures In fact, for some population categories, increased availability DECREASED some economic measures The researchers hypothesized that broadband availability enabled residents to consume products / services offered by non-local businesses instead of those from local businesses that had not yet adopted broadband-based business practices.


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