One of the most respected and well-known organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people in rural Minnesota, the Blandin Foundation, has honored Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, with the Courageous Leadership Award.
The award was recently presented at the 2019 Blandin Broadband Conference in Nisswa, Minnesota.
The Blandin Foundation listed some of the many reasons for awarding the recognition to Christopher:
For his research, advocacy and leadership at the national level on behalf of community broadband networks, via public sector ownership and cooperatives, as a strategy for maximizing community benefits from broadband network development.
- Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance where he researches and publicizes the benefits of community-owned broadband systems.
- Honored as one of the 2012 Top 25 in Public Sector Technology nationally by Government Technology magazine.
- Leads MuniNetworks.org, a comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about community broadband. Chris is also policy director at Next Century Cities, a national community broadband advocacy organization.
In response, Christopher said:
“It is an honor for our work to be recognized by the Blandin Foundation, which has done so much for Greater Minnesota. Achieving the promise of Border-to-Border broadband Internet access requires contributions from everyone, especially communities themselves. We have always felt that Internet access — a service that education already depends upon and medicine soon will — needs much more local leadership. That leadership is what we have seen from the communities that are reaping the rewards of the best connectivity available today.”
Read more about the award and read a the transcript of an interview with Christopher about his work on municipal broadband and about being a leader at the Blandin Foundation's website.