Introducing AI School: Same Community, New Goals!

Hello, community! We are super excited to announce that we have rebranded from “Port Harcourt School of AI” to “AI School” in what has been a tremendous effort by all the volunteers at the organization. We’re back, but with a new look!

Why did we need to rebrand?

Some more details: What to expect going forward

The organization will now be fully owned by members of the community but the day-to-day activities will be governed by democratic leadership. We are now fully independent from the “School of AI” entity and are an independent, remote-first, and community-owned organization.

There are various levels of membership and the highest level of members will be allowed to vote in new an executive board run the day-to-day activities of the organization every one calendar year (August to August).

The organization like other non-profit organizations will need a constitution and manifesto to enable sustainable operations and keep activities community-centered. We have developed the constitution and will be sharing those and the manifesto with the members of the community.

AI School will host some special programs we consider unconventional, but that also in some ways define who we are and the cause that drives us. We share some details on some of the current special programs below.

We are working on partnering with organizations that cater to learned with disabilities to create course materials on Data Science that will be updated every year to keep the content fresh and relevant. Once our plans have been finalized for this program, we will release a press statement with the necessary details on how to participate in this program. This program was ideated because of the requests from leaders of communities with people with disabilities.

One of the significant partnerships we have secured will enable us to sponsor volunteers in select countries across Africa to carry out mini-bootcamps in rural regions in Africa and run hackathons. This is in line with our cause to provide quality data science education without paying a premium as a community built on collaboration and accessibility.

The way this program will work is that twice a year, volunteers can apply to host a mini data science bootcamp in a rural region in their country. Once the applications are scrutinized and consequently approved, the bootcamps and resulting hackathons will be sponsored financially and with branded items from our partners.

More details will also be released on this special program soon, as we plan the program with our current partners, and as we get sponsors for this program. We are inadvertently saying we are open to sponsorships and if you are interested, you can email us for early notice.

We’re going to be putting in more effort to improve our podcast and YouTube content, and you’re welcome to help 🙂

Our podcast show is back and better! With upgraded production equipment and an additional host (who will be announced soon), you will be able to immerse yourself in the stories we tell of data science and data scientists in Africa.

You can also {follow us on Twitter} as we plan to revisit points that are worth re-listening from previous episodes.

All our community webinars will continue to be streamed through our YouTube channel and more time will also be spent ensuring there is visibility around the valuable content on the channel.

Our fresh brand identity was largely influenced by the ever-talented Osaro Iyoha, and in this section, we explain the significant changes we have made in our brand identity to reflect who we are, why we exist, and where we are heading towards.

We now have a dedicated brand experience team that will ensure our brand identity is present, consistent, and compliant across every activity we engage in. Our compliance standards are set in our style guide and brand book, which should make the process of ensuring brand alignment easier.

Our primary target audience is people interested in quality data science and artificial intelligence education and opportunities across Africa.

Our secondary Target Audience is:

  • Learners with disabilities such as hearing impairments and visual impairments, and other forms of underrepresentation, interested in quality data science and artificial intelligence education and opportunities across Africa.
  • We currently have some partnerships in the pipeline that will not just provide upskilling and educational opportunities for our members, but also job opportunities. We will be announcing those in the coming weeks to months.
  • Our members will be able to decide the meetup theme they’d love to have for a particular month. This is one of the exciting and shiny experiences of our membership program.
  • While the executives will be needed to brainstorm new programs and activities, it will be up to certain levels of community members to decide which programs to run.
  • Community members will also be given the chance to submit quarterly feedback and suggest new directions and steps to executives during the feedback process.

❗ More details on our membership program, including the various levels of membership, the benefits, privileges, and so on, will be explained in a press release in the coming month (September 2021). We have a lot of exciting benefits to look out for including mentorship programs, and closed-access monthly webinars with experts from top technology companies. 🚀🚀!

Moving on: what should you do?

We are truly excited about this new journey and do hope you are as excited as we are. So what now? Well, there are two things you can do right now to stay in touch.

  • Register for our upcoming webinar and virtual meetup on “APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS VS GRADUATE SCHOOL VS BOOTCAMPS FOR DATA SCIENCE”. Details can be found on the registration page here.
  • Sign-up to be part of our mailing list here so you can get relevant updates as progress is made within the organization, and more importantly, on our membership program.
  • Follow us on Twitter @aischool_africa.
  • Follow us on LinkedIn.

Press Release Contributors:

In summary, we started out as an AI community catering for members in an underrepresented region, we will continue delivering on that path but this time giving the power of the community to the members. We thank individuals, organizations, and institutions that have been part of our progress. 🙏🏽🙏🏽.

The pandemic era of 2020 to 2021 has been a difficult time for everyone. We leave you with some memorable pictures from physical events during our time as “Port Harcourt School of AI”.


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