The 15th Annual Summer Urban Program (SUP) Auction raises funds for PBHA’s Summer Urban Program (SUP). SUP began in 1980 and serves about 900 urban elementary, middle, and high school students in its seven-week programs in Boston and Cambridge. The summer program has 11 summer day camp sites and provides an evening program to teach English as a second language to immigrant and refugee teens. PBHA’s Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment and Refugee Youth Summer Enrichment both target low-English-proficiency students and have been recognized by Boston Public Schools as alternatives to summer school. All participants come from neighborhoods affected by poverty and violence in Cambridge, Chinatown, South Boston, Dorchester, Mission Hill, Roxbury, and the South End. About 95 percent of participants are eligible for free or reduced priced lunches.Every year, the Auction honors community leaders for their investment in the lives of Cambridge and Boston families through the SUP Impact Awards. Horace Small, founder of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN), and the Mission Hill / Fenway Neighborhood Trust (MHFNT), will be honored this year. The auction, which will take place at Harvard University’s Knafel Center on April 19, raises money for PBHA’s award-winning summer camps for low-income families.Horace Small is the founder and executive director of the UMN, a Boston-based community organization founded in 2002 to increase activism, empowerment, and opportunity in communities of color. UMN’s efforts are designed to strengthen democracy and rebuild communities of color, where the pernicious effects of discrimination continue to exist as barriers to equal opportunity, through skills training and organizing. Since 1974, Small has gained a reputation as one of the savviest organizers in the country and has done trainings and workshops for the U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus, the American Bar Association, the AFL-CIO, the Blackfoot Nation, the Council of State Governments, and the State of California.The Mission Hill / Fenway Neighborhood Trust, Inc. was established in 1995 to administer and operate a fund that gives grants to community-based Mission Hill and Fenway non-profit organizations, community development corporations, and other civic groups dedicated to promoting and enhancing quality of life in the community through projects and programs for residents in the arts and education, youth sports and recreation, activities for seniors, community gardens, affordable housing, social services, and whatever the board of MHFNT deems appropriate. Since 2001, the board has distributed grant awards that have included PBHA’s Mission Hill Summer Program.SUP employs 130 college students who direct and staff all of the summer camps. This involves planning field trips, teaching a classroom of 10 students, fundraising, and managing parent and community relationships.You can RSVP to the 15th Annual SUP Auction by visiting the Phillips Brooks House Association’s website and clicking on the “SUP Auction” Event Page for more information.
The digital transformation has been firmly entrenched in our lives for seemingly a decade now. It is all-encompassing and everywhere to be seen. The whole thing got started with IT-specific topics like cloud computing and big data; it has gone on to change practically every business process, and entire business models, too.Business is ChangingWhat makes a company a digital company is not that it is heavily focused on networking and computerization – it is much more than that. These topics instead serve as the foundation for new types of business. There are now a vast number of companies whose business models could not function were it not for software and networking. They include the likes of eBay and Facebook. Digitalization is further spawning new and novel types of business models like sharing, crowdworking, and co-creation, which in turn are producing companies such as Uber and Airbnb. That is having an impact on conventional business models that need to change and adapt to the new circumstances. Some of these will even become obsolete and vanish from the market altogether. Topics like the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 clearly show that the digital transformation is not limited to a few individual cases or cutting-edge companies. Rather, they demonstrate that the economy and society as a whole are affected by the digitalization.This is changing the role played by IT, which does more than simply deliver services. It is now essential for modern business to function, be that ERP, e-mail, telephony, and even venerable Excel. Where the digital transformation defines the business itself, IT is the main driver and must serve in this role for this transformation to succeed.Jobs are ChangingThis has fundamentally altered the role of the CIO as a company’s senior IT official. While a CIO’s responsibilities in past years had nothing to do with cables or keyboards, their duties were primarily technical in nature. They were in charge of organizing their company’s data center, made decisions on what servers or ERP software to purchase, and served the primary goal of meeting their employer’s business needs.As fate would have it, they are now placed in a pioneering role in the digital transformation process. Where business models are software-defined, it is essential to have someone with a firm grasp of how to responsibly utilize software. This person should also know how to successfully develop business processes and models in an increasingly digital world and recognize what opportunities await a business in this field. This means CIOs will more and more be forced to grow into a hybrid role. This requires new skills. As such, many CIOs who started their careers in the IT department have expanded on their technical expertise to develop business skills and an entrepreneurial approach as well.This has not made the job of being CIO any easier, especially considering they still need to focus on tasks in and around big data, analytics, the Internet of Things, information management, budget and resource planning, and the age-old issue of security. These all continue to remain pertinent. The digital transformation has not changed this fact. Now more than ever, a company’s future is determined by whether this process proceeds smoothly.Become a Connected CIOBy taking on this hybrid role at the key interface at every company, the CIO is becoming one of the senior decision-makers at a management level. They have to provide support in helping the company achieve its business objectives as well as in defining these very goals. The connected CIO in the digital era needs to work hand in hand with customers and with everyone at the company, including management, the IT team, and the rest of staff. To recap, the position has not become easier, but it has certainly become more exciting.To learn more about the new job profile of a CIO and how they can prepare for this role and the key challenges that await them, please refer to our new Connected CIO booklet available for download now.