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What is Hive Chicago?

Hive Chicago's mission is to transform the learning landscape by empowering youth and educators to enact connected learning through a diverse network of civic and cultural institutions. Our 50+ member organizations are serving youth in a variety of in-school and out-of-school contexts. As a network of organizations united in service to youth, we pursue our goals by empowering adult educators in their service to Chicago teens.

What is Hive Chicago Up To?

Since spring 2013 our membership has been engaged in a planning process that has resulted in our network goals and a process for inviting solutions toward those goals. We refer to these invitations--these calls-to-action--as Moonshots. Rather than engaging the network in working together on one solution at a time, each Moonshot invites multiple solutions to the challenges and opportunities that stand between where we are now and where our goals push us to be. As these many solutions emerge, the collaborative relationships in the network will be one of the mechanisms that ensure the spread of good ideas and scalable solutions.

Our Current Moonshots

Our Moonshots are listed here with related documents found at bit.ly/HiveChiChallengeGDrive:

  • Hive Teen Council:
Hive Chicago will generate and pilot digital portals to activate and channel teen feedback, teen-to-teen communication and ambassadorship. Additionally, teens will be engaged in the illumination and building of learning pathways across organizations and existing pathway projects.
  • The Ultimate Hub: Mapping Connections and Onramps:
Hive is established as the ultimate networking and communication hub for fostering collaborations among organizations serving teens in Chicago. Hive will generate a transparent, dynamic, and navigable map of program access points – for both youth and mentors – to make onramps to learning pathways visible and to facilitate institutional collaboration.
  • Engaging and Educating Chicago Parents:
The voice of parents and guardians will be accessible and represented in the Hive through collaboration with groups that represent parent interests. Bringing parent interest and knowledge to the table will help build a more robust data set on how to better enable disconnected youth to navigate connected learning opportunities.
  • Shining the Light on Transportation Constraints:
The Hive will document the transportation challenges keeping youth from fully experiencing connected learning in Chicago and initiate a conversation to secure commitments from key stakeholders to address them.
  • Hive Think Tank:
The Hive Think Tank will identify key questions for which data can best drive networked improvement in the connected learning experience of Chicago youth. The Tank will also identify best practices in data collection and in educating respondents in the value of their participation.
  • School-Hive Connection:
The Hive will test and/or establish at least one successful school-Hive connection model, in which Hive members, teachers and school leaders will co-design programs that bridge formal and informal spaces, across grade levels to establish meaningful learning pathways accessible to all students.

Moonshot Criteria

Each of these Moonshots have been reviewed by our members, staff, and Advisory Committee to ensure that they meet the following Moonshot criteria:


  • Provides enough information to get started right now
  • Lays out possible next steps for an affinity group around this challenge
  • Connects this challenge to the activities of our network


  • Aligned with Hive’s mission and vision
  • Addresses opportunities or obstacles directly related to Hive’s goals
  • Leads to solutions that can build on existing expertise in the Network
  • Responds to practical challenges felt by organizations, practitioners and youth on the ground


  • Ignites passion for working toward shared obstacles and opportunities
  • Leaves the innovation space open to multiple solutions
  • Is framed as a challenge that invites solutions, not as a prescription for what the solution would look like


  • Motivates the kind of collaboration that is best generated within a network
  • Identifies barriers to enacting connected learning and employing digital media
  • Youth-serving and youth-driven

How Can You Engage?

The motto of Hive Learning Networks is to Explore, Create, and Share. Here are some ways to do each.


  • Check out our website at hivechicago.org
  • Join our Minigroup community discussion board at bit.ly/GoHiveCHI and make this post your first stop
  • Attend a Hive youth event, many of which are advertised on Minigroup
  • Come to a meetup, typically the third Thursday of the month at 9am, most often at the Harold Washington Library Center


  • Invite Hive members to your programs via Minigroup
  • Partner with Hive members on upcoming events for teens
  • Collaborate on a funding proposal with other Hive organizations (Hive Partner Members must be the leads)


  • Tweet with the #hivebuzz hashtag
  • Share out at a meetup (contact Robert Friedman, robert@mozillafoundation.org)
  • Contribute to a Hive blog post (contact Robert)

Stay Connected

We encourage you to stay connected whatever level of engagement you choose to have at this point

Recent Hive-Related Blog Posts

Social Media

Follow Hive Chicago on Twitter
Like Hive Chicago on Facebook

Contact Us

The Hive Chicago Learning Network is operated by Mozilla and the Hive Fund for Connected Learning is operated by the Chicago Community Trust, all with significant support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Hive Network Staff

Sam Dyson, Director, sam@mozillafoundation.org, @samueledyson
Robert Friedman, Portfolio Strategist, robert@mozillafoundation.org, @omnignorant
Elsa Rodriguez, Programs Manager, elsa@mozillafoundation.org, @erodizzle

Hive Fund Staff

Maria Hibbs, Consultant, mhibbs@cct.org