Category Archives: Meetings

In a virtual open air auditorium, a female avatar sits on a bench talking to a male avatar nearby while a third avatar stands on a stage watching.

ITKAN’s 15th Anniversary Celebration

Join us as we celebrate 15 years of ITKAN in our new home in the metaverse! We have been engaging the Civic Tech and Disability communities since 2008! We are celebrating in the metaverse at our new virtual home community on Virbela’s Open Campus in the Speakeasy with a dance party, music, a slide show and some surprises!  

It’ll be a fun time for everyone…and simple. You can even wear your fuzzy slippers, and no one will know! 

  1. Go to https://www.virbela.com/ on your PC or Mac and click on the Get Started button 
  2. Register on Virbela (see below for helpful tips)
  3. Download the app for your device 
  4. Create your avatar  
  5. Join us in the Speakeasy on Th., October 13th from 6-7pm! 

Virbela Registration
When you register, choose ITKAN as the Organization. The Organization Size is 11-50.

Username and Avatar
Consider creating a username that is close to your real name. We will be interacting with other professionals in the environment. Have fun with your avatar, but if you veer far from a real work likeness and you use a non-recognizable username please greet people in world with your true identity.

Where is the Speakeasy?
Don’t worry. Virbela staff members are super friendly, engaging, and helpful. Once you appear in world, someone will be there to assist you. You can also join us Wednesdays from 5-5:30pm in world to get used to the controls.

Event Registration
We encourage you to also register on our Evenbrite page. Doing so will allow us to keep Virbela aware of how many people they can expect and will allow us to keep you informed.

REGISTER >

ITKAN is proud of our history of presenting lead edge technology in a fun environment to anyone with even a kernel of passion. We’ve partnered with so many great companies and organizations over the years, including Illinois Technology Foundation, Microsoft/MTC Chicago, SPR, Abilitylinks, Yolbe, 1871, Equal Access, Computerworld, Marriott Bridges, Virbela and many more. Thanks to all of them! 

We hope to see you at our 15th Anniversary Virtual Party! 

In a virtual office an avatar of Nisarg Thakkar looks at a photo of an ITKAN advisory meeting projected on the virtual wall.

September 2022 Meeting – Open VR Meeting on Transformation

Register for the September 8 meeting.

This year’s theme for ITKAN has been Transformation. Whether of yourself, your professional role or job, or the technologies that our experts have presented like artificial intelligence, machine learning or virtual reality.

In fact, for the past several months members of our advisory team have worked with a forward-thinking company that’s building the next-generation of products for the Metaverse and VR. Virbela has created solutions for school, work, meetings, conferences and more that are deeply immersive and transformative. They have been generous in enabling and training us to take advantage of their virtual campus and a private room with an array of functions that presenters can utilize to create a “like being there” experience for us.

They will also soon be releasing new accessibility features to both their avatars and virtual campus. While Virbela knows that building full accessibility features is an ongoing process, we are impressed with their mindset and interest in welcoming everyone to Virbela.

Before our maiden Virbela/ITKAN presentation in October, we need to strengthen our community first and we’re asking you to download the app on your desktop or laptop and create your avatar. Even if you’re new to immersive VR environments (and most of us are!), I promise this is a fun and highly communal environment and Virbela staff are wonderfully supportive and don’t judge.

Here’s the link to download: https://www.virbela.com/download

We have a standing informal get together on each Wednesday from 5-5:30 or 5:45pm just to get comfortable on campus and with your commands. We’re also holding an Open Members meeting on September 8th starting at 5:30. The advisory team will hang out and collect the group and then either head to our private space or explore the campus a bit and then head up. Please join us for either or both and get transformed!

DATE AND TIME
Thu, September 8, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

LOCATION
On-line

ITKAN has been a community since 2008 that takes care of its own, and we’re proud of that. Members have secured 1st careers, transitioned careers, and made life-long friendships.  We are perpetual learners and active community members, and through ITKAN and it is our hope that with the focus this year on transformation it will help us to continue this legacy. 

blue butterfly fluttering

July 2022 Meeting – Open Meeting on Transformation

Register for the July 14 meeting.

This year we will alternate open members meetings with presenter meetings. Last month we had tour of Virbela‘s VR campus an immersive and direct experience of how leading companies recreate corporate offices and integrate collaboration and social interaction in persistent virtual communities.

This month we will return to an open format to discuss these insights as well as work on our new Teams site. Our open members meetings will encourage dialogue on growth topics for members – whether coursework, certifications, job opportunities, or personal growth topics. An ITKAN Advisory Team member will moderate the meetings, but we encourage member ownership. They will offer topics for discussion only if the meeting isn’t energized – and based on history that shouldn’t be an issue! 

DATE AND TIME
Thu, July 14, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

LOCATION
On-line

ITKAN has been a community since 2008 that takes care of its own, and we’re proud of that. Members have secured 1st careers, transitioned careers, and made life-long friendships.  We are perpetual learners and active community members, and through ITKAN and it is our hope that with the focus this year on transformation it will help us to continue this legacy. 

Virbela opening screen showing their virtual campus with the sea in the background.

June 2022 Meeting – Virbela’s Open Campus

Register for the June 9 meeting.

An immersive and direct experience of how leading companies recreate corporate offices and integrate collaboration and social interaction in persistent virtual communities.

  • Visit the Open Campus of Virbela
  • Learn how leading companies create a persistent virtual community to make their culture stronger and ready for the future
  • Reflect on how you can transform the effectiveness and well-being of your team in this environment

WITH:

  • Marc Daniels, Director of Enterprise Sales at Virbela
  • Campbell D’Eliscu, Manager of Business Development/Product Management at Virbela

BEFORE THE SESSION (OPTIONAL):

  • Please set aside 15 minutes to install the Virbela app on your desktop, register an account, and create your avatar
  • Watch a brief video summary on how Deloitte leverages Virbela
blue butterfly fluttering

May 2022 Meeting – Open Meeting on Transformation

Register for the May 12 meeting.

This year we will alternate open members meetings with presenter meetings. Last month we had an engaging discussion with BundlAR President & CTO Matt Wren. He provided insight into how AR and VR are currently being applied as solutions across different industries. He also showed us how virtual work spaces are being utilized and explain their benefits and costs. 

This month we will return to an open format to discuss these insights as well as work on our new Teams site. Our open members meetings will encourage dialogue on growth topics for members – whether coursework, certifications, job opportunities, or personal growth topics. An ITKAN Advisory Team member will moderate the meetings, but we encourage member ownership. They will offer topics for discussion only if the meeting isn’t energized – and based on history that shouldn’t be an issue! 

DATE AND TIME
Thu, May 12, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

LOCATION
On-line

ITKAN has been a community since 2008 that takes care of its own, and we’re proud of that. Members have secured 1st careers, transitioned careers, and made life-long friendships.  We are perpetual learners and active community members, and through ITKAN and it is our hope that with the focus this year on transformation it will help us to continue this legacy. 

Four people wearing VR headsets sitting in a art gallery.

April 2022 Meeting – Virtual Reality and Immersive Technology

Register for the April 14 meeting.

Virtual Reality, or VR, has a longer historical footprint than the headgear that enables us to experience gaming, concerts, travel and other immersive environments . This is a fascinating timeline of the progression of the earliest technology contributing to the transformative experiences we know today as VR. Join ITKAN as we explore the immersive experience that VR is in present state and what the future may look like. Our presenter will be Matt Wren, President & CTO of BUNDLAR, an augmented reality solutions company serving individuals, businesses and institutions. He will discuss how AR and VR are currently being applied as solutions across different industries. He’ll also show us how virtual work spaces are being utilized and explain their benefits and costs.

DATE AND TIME
Thu, April 14, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

LOCATION
On-line

Matt Wren is the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of BUNDLAR, an augmented reality solutions company serving individuals, businesses and institutions. He has been a VR enthusiast for over twenty years, professionally developing VR & AR applications since 2016. Matt regularly speaks about immersive technology at events, providing thought leadership on content, strategy, innovation, and the business benefits of virtual and augmented reality. He is the previous Chicago Chapter President of the VR/AR Association. Matt is a technology adviser to Loyola University Chicago’s Ignite Lab for Entrepreneurship, an entrepreneurship advisor to Illinois Institute of Technology’s Kaplan Institute for Innovation, and a Designer/Developer member and mentor at 1871 (the World’s #1 Tech Incubator). Matt founded VRAR Chicago, whose “The Next Evolution” event series has been connecting and growing the XR community in Chicago since early 2017. In July of 2018, Matt led several local groups to host the first Chicago XR Summit, showcasing 25 Chicago based VR and AR companies to over 300 attendees.

blue butterfly fluttering

March 2022 Meeting – Open Meeting on Transformation

Register for the March 10 meeting.

This year we will alternate open members meetings with presenter meetings. Last month we had an engaging panel discussion with Dr. Angela Sullivan of Joliet Junior College (JJC) and Dr. Behnam Roohani of City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and Malcolm X College. They provided expert insight to the skills an IT professional needs to acquire to be successful in today’s changing landscape, and they discussed transformational offerings at JJC and CCC that members can leverage to accelerate their careers and development.

This month we will return to an open format to discuss these insights as well as work on our new Teams site. Our open members meetings will encourage dialogue on growth topics for members – whether coursework, certifications, job opportunities, or personal growth topics. An ITKAN Advisory Team member will moderate the meetings, but we encourage member ownership. They will offer topics for discussion only if the meeting isn’t energized – and based on history that shouldn’t be an issue!  

DATE AND TIME
Thu, March 10, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

LOCATION
On-line

ITKAN has been a community since 2008 that takes care of its own, and we’re proud of that. Members have secured 1st careers, transitioned careers, and made life-long friendships.  We are perpetual learners and active community members, and through ITKAN and it is our hope that with the focus this year on transformation it will help us to continue this legacy. 

Person looking at code on a screen in dark mode.

February 2022 Meeting – Community Colleges and Professional Transformation

Register for the February 10 meeting.

Throughout 2022 ITKAN will focus on Transformation – of members, technologies, or careers. In support of this theme, our February 10th meeting will highlight how Community Colleges continue to evolve their offerings to assist IT Professionals in transforming their skills in an ever-changing landscape. Today’s IT professionals are often required to have both academic degrees in technical disciplines and certificates or badges which demonstrate specific expertise. Community Colleges are well positioned to offer courses and a community which can help transform skills an IT professional requires in both areas.  These offerings are often more affordable and accessible than other options, and delivered by experts who are both highly credentialed and committed to student success.

Featured in this meeting will be Dr. Angela Sullivan, Advisor and Professor, Fine Arts Department at Joliet Junior College (JJC) and Dr. Behnam Roohani, Director of Information and Simulation Technology at City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and Malcolm X College.  They will provide expert insight to the skills an IT professional needs to acquire to be successful in today’s changing landscape and discuss transformational offerings at JJC and CCC that members can leverage to accelerate their careers and development.

DATE AND TIME
Thu, February 10, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

LOCATION
On-line

ITKAN has been a community since 2008 that takes care of its own, and we’re proud of that. Members have secured 1st careers, transitioned careers, and made life-long friendships.  We are perpetual learners and active community members, and through ITKAN and it is our hope that with the focus this year on transformation it will help us to continue this legacy. 

A blue butterfly rising in the wind

January 2022 Meeting – Open Meeting on Transformation

Register for the January 13 meeting.

As our title suggests, 2022 will focus on Transformation – of members, technologies, or careers. After 2021 many of us are looking to transform our lives, and ITKAN is transforming itself as well. In the coming year we will alternate open members meetings with presenter meetings. Our open members meetings will encourage dialogue on growth topics for members – whether coursework, certifications, job opportunities, or personal growth topics. An ITKAN Advisory Team member will moderate the meetings, but we encourage member ownership. They will offer topics for discussion only if the meeting isn’t energized – and based on history that shouldn’t be an issue! 

DATE AND TIME
Thu, January 13, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

LOCATION
On-line

ITKAN has been a community since 2008 that takes care of its own, and we’re proud of that. Members have secured 1st careers, transitioned careers, and made life-long friendships.  We are perpetual learners and active community members, and through ITKAN and it is our hope that with the focus this year on transformation it will help us to continue this legacy. 

ITKAN October 2021 Meeting | Machine Learning by Example | A night time city scape overlaid by blue light streaks | The ITKAN circuit tree logo in the lower left

October 2021 Meeting – Machine Learning by Example, Reprise

Register for the October 14 meeting.

Join us as SPR’s Chief Architect, Pat Ryan, reprises his February presentation on the topic of Machine Learning. He’ll show some interactive examples of how to apply it while he explains the what’s and why’s of the technology. No programming skills are required.

After a general overview, Pat will cover the following topics:

  • Autonomous driving
  • A “The Titanic” survival simulation
  • Image categorization
  • Facial recognition
  • Pose detection (*New Addition*)

DATE AND TIME
Thu, October 14, 2021
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CDT

LOCATION
On-line

Pat Ryan: Pat Ryan likes to work on problems that matter. He applies software tools and techniques to the problems we have around us, with the goal of making the world a better place because of it. At SPR, Pat works closely with clients to understand their needs and craft solutions to help make them more successful. He also work directly with various engineering talents to pull together highly functioning teams. Pat is a player-manager. That means, he stays current with as many technologies as possible so he can understand and empathize when a team is struggling, and help them at a very concrete level. Pat continually builds his knowledge by reading technical books, attending classes, and coding something every day. Pat’s career has seen it all – from managing teams, to building a company from the ground up, to dreaming up software and devices that have gone on to solve client problems.