ConvergenceRI celebrates its fourth anniversary

Asking good questions, engaging in conversations, listening to what is being said, breaking down silos, and sharing stories in many diverse voices is still the secret to success in the marketplace

Photo by Richard Asinof

The field of sunflowers in downtown Providence reflects the field of dreams that still inspires new ventures to grow and prosper within the Rhode Island innovation ecosystem, requiring a nurturing of ideas and convergence.

By Richard Asinof
Posted 9/11/17
Next week, ConvergenceRI celebrates its fourth anniversary as a digital media platform covering the convergence of health, science, innovation, technology, research and community in Rhode Island.
Where have all the health care reporters gone in Rhode Island? What are the economic indicators around quality of life measures that need to be benchmarked on a longitudinal basis? How do our elected leaders define population health? In the wake of major hurricanes in Texas and Florida, how does the impact of climate change become integrated into public health investments?
As CommerceRI moves ahead with its plan to develop new innovation campuses in partnership with URI, what are the parameters in defining where such research hubs may be located? How does the creation and the preservation of diverse neighborhoods and affordable housing become a factor in the decision-making process?

PROVIDENCE – Next week marks the fourth anniversary of ConvergenceRI, a remarkable achievement in the ephemeral world of digital news platforms in Rhode Island. Since its launch in September of 2013, ConvergenceRI has published some 4,000 stories and sidebars, covering the convergence of health, science, innovation, technology, research and community in Rhode Island’s emerging innovation ecosystem.

In each of the last four years, ConvergenceRI’s traction in the marketplace keeps growing. Perhaps even more remarkable, during that time span, only five subscribers have not renewed their subscriptions to the newsletter – and two of them then chose to renew later on. The value of comprehensive, in-depth reporting and analysis, breaking down the silos and encouraging conversations, keeps growing.

One sign of that growing traction is that ConvergenceRI has become a regular participant on “A Lively Experiment.” Another sign is that U.S. District Court Judge John McConnell, Jr., dismissed a lawsuit against both The Providence Journal and ConvergenceRI, reaffirming the fair report privilege.

The business model of ConvergenceRI still remains disruptive, encouraging subscribers to share the newsletter across their platforms, the way that information flow best in the digital world we live in. The value accrues back to the sharer.

Recently, at a meeting at Olga’s Cup + Saucer with a communications spokeswoman for a leading children’s advocacy group, the question was asked: how do you decide what to cover each week? The answer was that there was no formulaic answer; it was about finding good stories to tell, sharing different voices to be heard, breaking down the silos of information, and exploring connections between engaged communities. Mostly, it is a process of listening and observing.

As the great baseball pitcher Satchel Paige once advised, “Don’t look back; something might be gaining on you.” Following that adage, ConvergenceRI looks forward to a new year of reporting, analysis, convergence and sharing. Thanks to all that have helped to make ConvergenceRI a growing success.


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