Get to know our newest community partnering organizations!

Wow.. BarnRaise is only about 9 weeks away, can you believe it?! We certainly can't. The summer has flown by. We set a deadline for partnerships recently (though we're still waiting on a few! *fingers crossed*) and wow did these organizations really come through! We are very excited to announce the following new community partners, which will be providing problem spaces for teams and partnering firms to design solutions and prototypes for at BarnRaise.

UPMC Technology Development Center is one of our newest partners, and will be providing an issue for BarnRaise teams to grapple within the health bucket of Urban Safety in an Open Source World. We'll have a more formal description of what they do soon, but in the meantime, feel free to check out their website and learn more by clicking on their logo to the left. 

The Urban Health Initiative (UHI) is the University of Chicago Medical Center’s long-term commitment to improving health and access to quality care for the South Side of Chicago through patient care, community-based research and medical education. They are working to establish strong, lasting relationships with civic leaders, community organizations, health care providers and residents to develop a comprehensive health care system that is rooted in collaboration. The UHI is designed to encourage wellness and connect patients to the care they need. At BarnRaise, teams will work around a problem specifically for the Center for Community Health and Vitality within the Urban Health Initiative.

After a trip to the middle east, Pastor Christopher Harris decided that the model of community-based trauma care and support that was used overseas could also be applied in crime-torn Bronzeville. Since then, he has teamed up with both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University hospitals, as well as other community leaders and the United Way, to develop the Bronzeville Dream Center, which seeks to apply tested methods in new places. This project will also focus in the health area of urban safety in an open source world, and will likely look at digital solutions to solving health-related topics on the south side of Chicago. We're looking forward to his public, city-wide announcement announcing the program scheduled for September 17th. Stay tuned!

The Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) is a 27-year-old, grassroots organization rooted in a 1981 Community Congress convened to find workable solutions to the affordable housing crisis of the time. The Congress recognized that Chicago needed a citywide organization to represent tenants. It led to a 5-year campaign to pass Chicago’s landmark Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) and the founding of MTO. Passage of the RLTO is a watershed event in MTO’s history. Since the passage of the RLTO, MTO has remained committed to the mission of educating, organizing and empowering tenants to have a voice in the decisions that affect the availability and affordability of safe and decent housing. Our primary goals are to better tenants’ living conditions and preserve housing, stabilize tenancies and prevent homelessness, improve communication between landlords and tenants, and organize tenants so that they can be assured safe, decent and affordable housing in stable communities. This group will likely provide an issue within home safety in urban safety in an open source world.


Overall, we can't wait to see what design briefs we'll develop together with these groups and are currently waiting to hear back from our last few who could provide topics within transportation and virtual privacy. Are you as excited as we are? Register before the early bird price expires:
We would LOVE to see you there!


IIT Institute of Design, 350 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL, 60654, United States