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meeting notes: May 13th board meeting at Trinity Bellwoods & Squirly's

Attending: Dory, Hanna, Jason, Hilary, Michele, Andrew, Gabe

CSI-ENP funding

  • Hanna went to a workshop about it in Scarborough
  • TEF isn't for us (it emphasizes employment of at-risk and extremely low income individuals, as well as mentoring), but the CSI-ENP program might be.
    • one of us needs to attend one of the next workshops: July, September or October; the cost is $100
      • is that per person or per organization?
  • they reinforced the importance of good planning
  • maybe we should bring on a consultant to help us write up a proper business & financial plan prior to applying
  • we're unclear on whether the expectation would be that we start a new “wing” that's a social enterprise, or if our current activities would qualify
  • ACTION: Hilary will pursue it: do we need to incorporate prior to applying? do our current activities qualify? Hilary will also coordinate the compilation of documentation for our meetings with potential consultants
  • ACTION: Hanna will look into getting some free consulting, from U of T or otherwise (I think?) *deadline for applying for 6month project assistantce from UTCA VCGA is JULY 15th. *need point person to liaise with volunteer team.
  • ACTION: as a group, we will follow up in August, since the application isn't due 'til November
  • ACTION: Jason will look for a volunteer bookkeeper (Gabe will continue doing it half-assed in the meantime)
    • (add-on: can we revisit using/contacting Freshbooks?)

AllianceCSP meeting in Montreal

  • Gabe and Jason attended, and gave a synopsis of the alliance and the meeting
  • Gabe will keep in touch with the alliance

pitch kit

  • Hanna and Dory are working on it
  • the plan is to create a pitch kit for venues who show interest, and a postcard or flyer to distribute widely (in time for the venue sprint)
  • ACTION: Michele is looking into printing quotes for both
    • we'll see what comes back, but it'd be great to spend under $300, or $500


  • Gabe and Jason did a test a few days ago on Queen Street
  • the results were good – we have a lot of stuff to figure out, but the Meraki boxes are robust
  • Hanna: “how do we pitch it?”
  • Jason: a mesh deployment would be a good way to get press
  • [Gabe after the fact: we have a lot yet to figure out logistically about mesh deployment, and it may be too soon (and confusing) to try to include a mesh pitch in the venue sprint. It depends on how much time people are able to spend on prototyping in the next couple of weeks.]

Linksys sponsorship

  • Jason has found that $1800 is available from them in cash or in routers
  • Linksys would like to get two press mentions out of it, so we'll need to do some communications work as well
  • we'd need to include a link to Canada Computers on our portal pages (and website?), and also to Linksys
  • we'd also need to give them a list of locations, and a copy of the press release we send out
  • the money is available only until the mid/end of July
  • ACTION: ???

Teksavvy sponsorship:

  • Jason has got them to agree to sponsoring 5 DSL lines for one year
  • we give them a link (on our website or portal page or both?)
  • ACTION: ???

Parkdale BIA:

  • Jason spoke to John Colautti(?), interim (director?)
  • John didn't understand what the benefit to his members would be
  • Jason's offer was 30 nodes to cover the neighbourhood, plus 5 gateway nodes (the ones that plug into the DSL lines) for $5,000-$7,000
  • John asked to see a demo network – we don't have one; that was the point of talking to them!
  • he asked for maps; of where the nodes would go, and what the coverage would be
  • he suggested talking to TABIA
    • Jason spoke with John K(?) there, and sent him a basic document
  • we need to work on our messaging for BIAs; making the value proposition more clear
    • stuff like: attracting shoppers, attracting people with money
    • also, testimonials from our current venues about what the value is to them in providing wifi
    • also: a better website and portal
  • ACTION: ???

mesh: Kensington Market

  • this may be a good place to deploy a mesh pilot
  • Cory Doctorow connection
  • perhaps we should speak to Yvonne from Streets Are For People; they may have good connections in the Market, since there's no BIA there
  • ACTION: ???


  • Jason spoke to Kim Gibson; asked her if our portals might qualify for funding
  • she said yes, and that we should talk to Telefilm because we may also qualify for funding from them
  • OMDC only funds for-profit corporations; Telefilm's project funding programs too
  • the next OMDC IDM (interactive digital media fund) deadline isn't 'til the fall
  • ACTION: ???

sponsorship: Yahoo

  • Dave Forde spoke to Yahoo about WT; they're also interested in sponsoring a mesh
  • ACTION: ???

mesh: freenet

  • they've offered to loan us some of their open-mesh boxes, but they want to send an emissary to watch what we're doing and learn from us
  • it might just be easier to get our own

sponsorship: general

  • Jason has found that potential sponsors respond well to the idea of sponsoring a mesh (rather than a general group sponsorship)

mesh strategy

  • Andrew suggested that rather than doing one big pilot, that we could do 5 small mesh pilots in different neighbourhoods
  • possibilities: Parkdale, Queen West, Trinity Bellwoods, Bloorcourt, Bloor West Village, the Annex, Church Street, the Danforth
  • Andrew: “if we do this sponsored mesh, how do we explain it to our existing venues?”
    • it's a “campaign”, but we need to develop a coherent story about this in order to ensure that our existing venues don't get upset
  • ACTION: ???

content vs. access

  • we had a discussion about whether or not it makes sense for Wireless Toronto to do content, or whether the group should focus on access and “outsource” the content part to another group – this strategy may work well with the CSI-ENP project, if they require that we reorganize ourselves somewhat
  • Gabe and Jason felt strongly that content is a critical component of what the group does, and that we should think hard before going that route

[Gabe and Jason at some point got into an argument about time, resources and expectations. After the fact, I (Gabe) feel that it was mostly about that the people involved in Wireless Toronto right now aren't (able to) contribute the time required to adequately follow-up and implement many of the initiatives that Jason is working on, and that consequently Gabe feels that the responsibility is, by default, landing on his shoulders.]

volunteer recruitment

  • this appears to be a priority – if we want to get more done, we need more hands on deck
  • ACTION: Michele agreed to work on volunteer outreach (I think?)

We didn't have time to define or assign all of the action items.

There are also a few potential items which we didn't have time to discuss:

  • an opportunity to partner with the MEIC
  • WaterfronToronto's wifi plans
  • Pride festival mesh opportunity
  • paypal and donations
  • a discussion of the Wireless Toronto draft plan which Gabe wrote
  • hearing from Hilary about potential opportunities to partner with OCAD's “Changing Places” project
meeting_notes/board_070513.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/28 17:06 (external edit)