Create Raspberry Pi centres in public libraries
All public libraries to have one or more working Raspberry Pi systems for public use, plus a staff member able to explain the basics supported by online information. They should also have available to rent as minimal cost Raspberry Pi's in user friendly form - probably using the Kano kit (see below).
The Raspberry Pi is a tiny but powerful single board computer that costs under £30. Two million have been sold and a whole industry is growing up around it. It was developed in the UK.
Kano is a well funded Kickstarter project to produce a computer 'anyone can make'. See http://www.kano.me or on Twitter follow @TeamKano It has raised $415,000 (on a Kickstarter target of just $100,000) within just three days. Proof of the huge desire of the public to engage with the Raspberry Pi, if the initial learning curve can be made easier - which Kano does.
The cost per library to get started could be less than £500. The benefits to the city would be huge.
Why the contribution is important
The Raspberry Pi www.raspberrypi.org has the potential to transform the employability of people in the city. At the moment there are special events (Raspberry Jams) but they are infrequent. We need to do much more to make the Pi available to every member of the public, young and old. In particular, it is very difficult to get started if you are not a 'techie', but once you understand the basics the potential is enormous.
If we want the city to burst at the seams with entrepreneurial activity, the Pi is a great place to start. The kid who gets one as a present and then uses it to build a system to alert them by text when their bedroom door (or diary) is opened is instantly employable. Better still, they may start their own business manufacturing add on boards and gadgets as many have already done.
Meanwhile you can turn libraries into much more exciting places for the young to visit, a great additional benefit. Please support this idea.