Philadelphia: Passion Fuels Possibility
Philadelphia is a city fueled by passion. Passion and determination to challenge the status quo, think differently and push forward together. Passion to invent; from American Democracy to the world’s 1st computer to breakthrough cancer-curing treatments. Passion, grit, drive and ingenuity to do more with less. Passion and enthusiasm to engage with the diverse people, arts, and cultures that give the city its heartbeat. Passion to make a difference in a city that’s small enough that you can make an impact, but big enough that your impact matters. Passion to connect with those around you and to give back to the community that you call home. Passion is, and always has been, the fuel that sparks revolutionary possibility in Philadelphia. Compuseum feeds on that revolutionary ingenuity.
Philly Has a Fundamental Cultural, Scientific and IT Nucleus
Philadelphia is the sixth-largest city in the United States with a strong cultural and scientific legacy filled with a large “college crowd” of youthful innovators. On November 6, 2015, Philadelphia proudly became a full member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC). The city of Philadelphia is the first World Heritage City in the United States and includes our UNESCO site of the Liberty Bell. Let’s not lose sight that this bell mounted in a tall tower, in its day, had the power to spread information far and wide, and, as such is a predecessor to our modern Comcast broadcast networks. Philadelphia has the fourth highest GDP (gross domestic product) among United States cities, outranked only by New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Philadelphia has the nation’s largest per capita concentration of higher education institutions, with over 85 colleges, universities and technical schools, as well as seven schools of medicine known for heavy use of newest computing technologies. The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington SMSA encompasses approximately 7 million people. The University of Pennsylvania is ranked in the top 10 national universities according to U.S. News & World Report, while PENN Wharton and the Drexel schools of innovation and entrepreneurship provide valuable fuel for support in the form of active student interest. Philadelphia was named the 2018 City of the Year. The award, which was announced in the December issue of GQ magazine, designates Philadelphia as “a model city.”
And, notably the New York Times put Philadelphia number 3 on a list of its “52 Places to Go In 2015”. Job growth in the Philadelphia metropolitan area has outpaced the rest of the top 25 cities in the United States, as the Center City District reports, which is a reversal of decade-plus trends. Further, according to Indeed.com, there are over 9,000 infotech-related job-holders located within the Philadelphia region, forming a fertile base for support, visitation and use. Fortunately for tomorrow’s tech elite, it’s no longer a case of “Silicon Valley or bust.” Take a look at nearby adjacent cities like New York, Princeton, Philly and Baltimore and you’ll find a thriving tech scene in each of these places.
City of Ingenious Makers- Philadelphia
And, from November 2019, From National Geographic Travel- Best City Trip for 2020: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “There’s a lot of glimmer in Philadelphia and a resurgent, postindustrial American city that is channeling creative forces to reinvent itself for a new generation. Slowly but steadily Philly has changed from a city of industrial might in the first half of the past century to a city of ingenious makers. The evidence is everywhere.”
Four geographic locations in Philadelphia preliminarily present the best opportunities considering the volume of current visitor traffic. The Compuseum could be a success as a destination in the museum-rich Independence Mall area; the three block area packed with destinations for tourists in reasonable proximity to Interstate 95. Further, the science museum row of Franklin Institute and the Academy of Natural Sciences would bring a computer nexus to that science museum region. Conversely, a location near the train corridor at 30thstreet provides traffic up and down the eastern seaboard. Such a location on or near either the Drexel, PENN or the University City Science Center, is also convenient. A possible fourth location with high traffic is the King of Prussia Mall, adjacent to the popular Valley Forge destinations.
The Philly IT Sector is Thriving
This below newest information and demographics offer a good sign for the Compuseum opportunity. Information technology companies’ salesin Greater Philadelphia generate $34.8 billion, which is about 8.3 percent of the region’s gross domestic product. There are more than 6,000 IT companies alone in the region, and they employ nearly 90,000 people, according to the most recent report from the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies on tech investment and impact. Source: Philadelphia Business Journal – November 2015
Further, this report (Information Technology; Building on our Strengths) identified current metrics over the period 2010-2015:
Mayor Jim Kenney says Tech is Key to Philadelphia’s Growth
“When I think about where Philadelphia has the greatest potential for growth, I am instantly drawn to the tech industry,” says Mayor Kenney. Global incubator and seed fund 1776 partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this year on a report ranking 25 major U.S. cities and their readiness for the oncoming digital economy — Philadelphia ranked 8th, ahead of New York City and Washington D.C. Right now, the buzz surrounding Philly’s startup scene is bigger than ever. Read more at www.phillymag.com/business/2016/11/21
Information Technology Enjoys the Halo Effect
In a recent 2016 Survey Monkey study, 63 percent of people in the U.S. are expecting technology to make their life better in the next 10 years. And, Americans are often positive on the impact of technology companies: 76 percent say it's had a positive impact on American society while a whopping 87 percent said tech has been positive for the U.S. economy. 62 percent say it has "leveled the playing field between rich and poor" and that sentiment is shared evenly by demographic groups, for example those without a college education, who have often expressed concerns about globalization's impact on the economy.
We all know the events of 1776 in Philadelphia kicked off the American Revolution. Those important events are being displayed in Philadelphia’s newest museum; the Museum of the American Revolution (www.amrevmuseum.org). The Museum is located in the historic heart of Philadelphia, the city that served as the headquarters of America’s founding. The site is just two blocks from Independence Hall, across the street from Carpenter’s Hall, where the Continental Congress first met, and within a block of Benjamin Franklin’s home. This impressive new museum of 118,000 square feet with a multi-million dollar endowment (now in capital raise for $150 million) demonstrates the regions ability to support an expanding array of cultural and educational institutions.
No less important and transformative were activities also spawned here in Philadelphia in the creation of the modern computer and the computer industry named by us and affectionately known as “Revolution 2.0” to denote a more advanced version of revolution. In computer parlance or jargon, a new better version of something is called 2.0 (two point oh). For example, Web 2.0 is the new format and level for website design, BMX 2.0 - the new type of large wheeled BMX bikes and Fashion 2.0 - the next new look. Hence, the computer generation is Philadelphia’s Revolution 2.0 creation and the Compuseum aims to chronicle these important milestones.
Compuseum Location Evolution Philosophy
It is envisioned that there may be a need to have a smaller initial location while building the momentum for a larger permanent location. This evolutionary approach can lead to developing a deeper bench of sponsors and supporters while also providing “lessons learned” in marketing and exhibition design.
Fans of Dava Sobel’s The Glass Universe and Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures are in for a treat” (Publishers Weeky) with this untold, World War II-era story of the six American women who programmed the world's first modern computer.
After the end of World War II, the race for technological supremacy sped on. Top-secret research into ballistics and computing, begun during the war to aid those on the front lines, continued across the United States as engineers and programmers rushed to complete their confidential assignments. Among them were six pioneering women, tasked with figuring out how to program the world's first general-purpose, programmable, all-electronic computer--better known as the ENIAC— even though there were no instruction codes or programming languages in existence. While most students of computer history are aware of this innovative machine, the great contributions of the women who programmed it were never told -- until now.
Over the course of a decade, Kathy Kleiman met with four of the original six ENIAC Programmers and recorded extensive interviews with the women about their work. PROVING GROUND restores these women to their rightful place as technological revolutionaries. As the tech world continues to struggle with gender imbalance and its far-reaching consequences, the story of the ENIAC Programmers' groundbreaking work is more urgently necessary than ever before, and PROVING GROUND is the celebration they deserve.
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