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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year Awards submission process It was just asked by the proprietor of Café Doppio in The Hague where I sit writing this blog He is passionate about the topic of building communities for the 21st Century as is my doctor in NY who extended my annual physical by 30 minutes to tell me which places are his favorite walking cities He s also passionate about it In between my blood and blood pressure tests we get into the importance of sidewalks in Berlin It is asked nearly every day and there is a reason It remains the essential question at the heart of the renaissance of a place It is a deceptively simple question What do all Intelligent Communities have in common The answer is not deceptively simple however It is real simple It is as direct as the high speed train from Rotterdam to Paris What every Intelligent Community has in common is its ability to collaborate You have heard it said and written about often of course But it bears repeating because it is the answer Intelligent Communities play well together at home at work and at play They stick together when they go out and advocate for themselves around the world Flash back to that photograph of Eindhoven representatives standing on the stage in New York to accept their 2011 award These people represent every corner of life there One person who never had to ask the question was Joep Brouwers Joep is the Vice Director of Brainport in Eindhoven Robert and I had dinner with him and Margot Nijkamp the former director of the famous Holst Centre where collaboration among SMEs was enshrined during her tenure The dinner was arranged to discuss an ICF Institute in Europe Inevitably it brought back recent memories and led to further discussion around the topic of you guessed it collaboration Eindhoven is after all the community that gave us the celebrated Triple Helix Joep is chief conductor of the Triple Helix symphony Today o ne year after being named IC of the Year Eindhoven continues to perfect the Helix We were told that companies collaborate with other companies in the community including competitors to advance innovation It is as natural as rain Margot said that the complexity comes in the arrangement of intellectual property rights but the system is built on success and deep social contracts which are two necessary levers that enable trust and an open hub for innovation as Joep calls it Being in European cities where classical music is inherent this makes me think of communities as symphony orchestras The question of what they each have in common is that like orchestras their collective talents each individually honed contributes to a sound that fulfills everyone who plays and anyone who cares to listen While a soloist is a rare talent they need the orchestra to shine At a more primal level collaboration is a medicine that heals a place When we decide collectively to say go we enable sustainability You can witness it in subtle ways Amidst thick self centered traffic on a busy highway you will see car after car pull over to allow an ambulance to pass This is the symphony at work too playing to the tune of collective preservation John Donne was right No man is an island Thanks in part to Eindhoven and Mitaka before it the wave of collaboration has reached the shores of the Intelligent Community movement The need to transfer this knowledge through persistent civil engagement now must overcome the notion that we are lone wolves or best when in a basement tooling on the test tubes There are moments for this lonely work like this one where I must be alone to type But the mechanism for success is decidedly and increasingly non linear and collective It is about playing together in the sandbox and chatting around the coffee shop or digital campfires I am not talking about blindly conforming but rather collaborating when the common good is visualized The week that I return to North America I head to Top Seven Saint John Canada where an imaginative two day event has been organized to introduce citizens to a new method and a new tone for civic engagement Picking up on the Triple Helix concept the University of New Brunswick will play host to an all ages public forum to identify the priorities for the Saint John region and according to the release build upon our shared pride of place and our desire to build a strong community around the Intelligent Community model of collaboration The music forum on September 22 and use of social technology will be in pursuit of ways to identify the secret strengths of the region the first of which they will soon find out being collaboration But then again like Eindhoven they probably already know that They ve heard the symphony playing Friday September 7 2012 Innovation Jobs In 2013 ICF will examine the relationship between innovation one of the Intelligent Community Indicators and employment in communities around the world A massive body of evidence points to the fact that innovation creates prosperity Two interesting documents reinforce this notion The first is a document that the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO a specialized agency of the United Nations and INSEAD have co published called the 2012 Global Innovation Index This document recognizes the role of innovation as a key driver of economic growth and prosperity The Index is a valuable tool to help policymakers business leaders and other stakeholders facilitate public private discussion as well as benchmark and evaluate progress on their achievements The Index further acknowledges the need for a broader vision of innovation as may be applicable to developed and emerging economies One of these indicators that go beyond the traditional measures of innovation is the level of research and development in any given country You can download this Index at http www globalinnovationindex org

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    a giant screen and it s a completely different experience I have also seen how distance education programs can bring high quality instruction to children and adults who would otherwise have to make do with much less But can I believe the evidence of my own eyes Does ICT properly applied enhance education or is it just cool So far the debates is mostly between enthusiasts and those who would really prefer that it not work But we are also starting to see studies launched by those who actually want answers Here are my predictions for what we will learn based not on my credentials as an educator non existent but on my experience of how people adopt ICT A lot of studies will show no measurable impact or even worse outcomes than traditional teaching That was what economists found for decades when they studied businesses that were pouring hundreds of millions into computerizing their operations There was no measurable impact and it didn t seem to make sense It turned out that computerization only began to deliver a return on investment after we reorganized the workplace to take advantage of it The big mainframe in the computer center had minimal impact but a PC on every desktop with a data network connecting them that proved transformative We are just beginning to think through how to change teaching through ICT how to stop doing things manually that ICT does better and how to use the precious human resource of the teachers more effectively For an example of how one instructor is reorganizing teaching to take advantage of ICT check out Death Knell for the Lecture Technology as a Passport to Personalized Education in the December 6 New York Times I think that ICT will have an enormous impact on education as on so much else but only after we have reorganized ourselves to take advantage of its core value the same value that made email the killer app of the Internet and is driving the social media revolution It is interactivity It is the feedback loop In the educational context that means the ability of an interactive educational platform to provide a window into whether a student actually understands what is being taught In traditional education a teacher teaches and the students take tests every few weeks to see if they learned anything In the Internet age a few weeks can be a lifetime I saw an example of such interactivity in a classroom in Fredericton New Brunswick Canada A teacher sat at the front of the room with a laptop The students in the room were working at their own laptops I thought I had stumbled into study hall but it was actually a literature class The teacher had assigned reading and the students were now answering questions he had set up as an online forum I asked him what he thought of the system He loved it I can see if the class as a whole is getting it he said I can zoom in on each student and see what they are doing and I can see each student s progress over time I can interact with each of them Instead of hearing just from the five kids who raise their hands I get a window into how every student is doing Will it be worth it As Daphne Koller of the Stanford Intelligence Lab put it in that New York Times article reorganizing education around interactivity allows students to move ahead when they master a concept rather than when they have spent a stipulated amount of time staring at the teacher who is explaining it That sounds like good value to me Intelligent Communities Build Gardens Too In November I was in Asia attending the Intelligent City Conference in New Taipei City 2012 one of ICF s newest Smart21 Intelligent Communities While in this part of the world I participated in the opening event of a Garden Expo in Chongqing China on November 20 2011 Chongqing is an ICF recognized Smart21 Intelligent Community 2011 I first wrote about Chongqing in an ICF Blog in 2009 when I came away amazed that I never knew that it existed not in the way that I discovered it in 2009 It is a city region of 33 million inhabitants and visually has a similar look to Manhattan with its towers coming to a point on a peninsula where the Jialing River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze merge Recently I bumped into Mel Horwich in the Chongqing Airport The readers may recall that Mel is a very close friend advisor and supporter of ICF and its brand and message the world over For years Mel has supported ICF s Summit at Polytech Mel is now doing work in Hungary He was in Chongqing on an educational assignment Neither of us knew we would wind up in Chongqing It was a great surprise His first impression of Chongqing It is big and it s going to be an important place I agree So that is the reason I happen to be in Chongqing at the moment and of all things attending the opening ceremony of a Garden EXPO Now I have never been a fancier of garden and flower events and couldn t see anything remotely important about a Garden EXPO and certainly not as a major international economic development driver but I must admit that I have been wrong The Chongqing Garden EXPO is more than a garden expo site it is a major regional investment covering 2 2 square kilometres that provides a permanent regional park in the community it is a domestic and international tourist attraction and adds to the economy of the region through jobs and innovation in landscape and environmental design It also helps significantly in building and maintaining international relationships In short its wow factor is as significant as any of the mega events on a regional and global stage Its goals include

    Original URL path: https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=blog&year=2011&submenu=News (2016-02-13)
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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    feet to manipulate numbers on a giant screen and it s a completely different experience I have also seen how distance education programs can bring high quality instruction to children and adults who would otherwise have to make do with much less But can I believe the evidence of my own eyes Does ICT properly applied enhance education or is it just cool So far the debates is mostly between enthusiasts and those who would really prefer that it not work But we are also starting to see studies launched by those who actually want answers Here are my predictions for what we will learn based not on my credentials as an educator non existent but on my experience of how people adopt ICT A lot of studies will show no measurable impact or even worse outcomes than traditional teaching That was what economists found for decades when they studied businesses that were pouring hundreds of millions into computerizing their operations There was no measurable impact and it didn t seem to make sense It turned out that computerization only began to deliver a return on investment after we reorganized the workplace to take advantage of it The big mainframe in the computer center had minimal impact but a PC on every desktop with a data network connecting them that proved transformative We are just beginning to think through how to change teaching through ICT how to stop doing things manually that ICT does better and how to use the precious human resource of the teachers more effectively For an example of how one instructor is reorganizing teaching to take advantage of ICT check out Death Knell for the Lecture Technology as a Passport to Personalized Education in the December 6 New York Times I think that ICT will have an enormous impact on education as on so much else but only after we have reorganized ourselves to take advantage of its core value the same value that made email the killer app of the Internet and is driving the social media revolution It is interactivity It is the feedback loop In the educational context that means the ability of an interactive educational platform to provide a window into whether a student actually understands what is being taught In traditional education a teacher teaches and the students take tests every few weeks to see if they learned anything In the Internet age a few weeks can be a lifetime I saw an example of such interactivity in a classroom in Fredericton New Brunswick Canada A teacher sat at the front of the room with a laptop The students in the room were working at their own laptops I thought I had stumbled into study hall but it was actually a literature class The teacher had assigned reading and the students were now answering questions he had set up as an online forum I asked him what he thought of the system He loved it I can see if the class as a whole is getting it he said I can zoom in on each student and see what they are doing and I can see each student s progress over time I can interact with each of them Instead of hearing just from the five kids who raise their hands I get a window into how every student is doing Will it be worth it As Daphne Koller of the Stanford Intelligence Lab put it in that New York Times article reorganizing education around interactivity allows students to move ahead when they master a concept rather than when they have spent a stipulated amount of time staring at the teacher who is explaining it That sounds like good value to me Intelligent Communities Build Gardens Too In November I was in Asia attending the Intelligent City Conference in New Taipei City 2012 one of ICF s newest Smart21 Intelligent Communities While in this part of the world I participated in the opening event of a Garden Expo in Chongqing China on November 20 2011 Chongqing is an ICF recognized Smart21 Intelligent Community 2011 I first wrote about Chongqing in an ICF Blog in 2009 when I came away amazed that I never knew that it existed not in the way that I discovered it in 2009 It is a city region of 33 million inhabitants and visually has a similar look to Manhattan with its towers coming to a point on a peninsula where the Jialing River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze merge Recently I bumped into Mel Horwich in the Chongqing Airport The readers may recall that Mel is a very close friend advisor and supporter of ICF and its brand and message the world over For years Mel has supported ICF s Summit at Polytech Mel is now doing work in Hungary He was in Chongqing on an educational assignment Neither of us knew we would wind up in Chongqing It was a great surprise His first impression of Chongqing It is big and it s going to be an important place I agree So that is the reason I happen to be in Chongqing at the moment and of all things attending the opening ceremony of a Garden EXPO Now I have never been a fancier of garden and flower events and couldn t see anything remotely important about a Garden EXPO and certainly not as a major international economic development driver but I must admit that I have been wrong The Chongqing Garden EXPO is more than a garden expo site it is a major regional investment covering 2 2 square kilometres that provides a permanent regional park in the community it is a domestic and international tourist attraction and adds to the economy of the region through jobs and innovation in landscape and environmental design It also helps significantly in building and maintaining international relationships In short its wow factor is as significant as any of the mega events on a regional and

    Original URL path: https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=blog&year=2011&submenu=News&month=12 (2016-02-13)
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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    few days before my arrival to ask whether it too might build one In my tour of the Smart Village I was taken to two places a Cultural Center and a facility where the history of Egypt is being digitized for consumption The history of Christianity and Islam along with that of the Pharohs are among the things presented by a surround screen with interactive timeline But as always the presentation is not the thing It is the level of engagement The management team which I was privileged to address immediately grasped its role in the intelligent community movement It understood that Smart Village could do the one thing needed to continue to move it toward the light It needed to create an ecosystem that would keep the talent home and homegrown We have had nearly ten years where workers here have had exposure to multi nationals and business development Abousalam said We now are developing an entrepreneurial facility and programs that will help create new businesses It is being done on a big enough scale to make a difference During the call to prayer I had to leave the place knowing I would be back I was taken to the pyramids After all everyone has to glimpse them Mr Malash hosted me for dinner in the place where the first Cairo Conference took place in November 1943 For students of history the conference took place nearly one year after the first major Allied victory of the war in El Alamein Two of the big three Roosevelt and Churchill were joined by Chiang Kai shek of China They gathered not far from today s Smart Village to discuss among other things the future of a world that they hoped would be dedicated to peace and prosperity It largely came to pass Had you been living in 1943 you would have given them a 50 50 chance But good ideas and the right cause has power While the Perceived Cairo battles on the Cairo of Light keeps planning and inventing When the future arrives the world will again come to Cairo and may perceive this gem in the desert as the oasis which sparked the real revolution in Egypt the transformation of this village into its first Intelligent Community Monday November 21 2011 The Arab Spring and the Intelligent Community Revolution Part One Cairo Egypt Nov 20 21 I have been on the ground here for 48 hours and I have seen two Cairos The first I saw on the way from the airport My first observation was that there is not a single traffic light in the city of Cairo No smart traffic management system in place This observation quickly gave way to the smell of tear gas as we neared my hotel in the center of the city My driver Muhammed who lives in a small village outside the city had a very serious look on his face As we continued to move through the traffic now increasingly chaotic if that is possible in Cairo I began to see people on foot walking toward us I heard the doors click shut Muhammed had locked our doors Increasingly the looks on the faces of people from other cars were no longer neutral and had a strange intensity I have never been in the middle of a revolution but I knew that there was something going down As traffic began to move again our car screeched to a halt as a man standing in the middle of the highway waved our car over I had seen scenes like this before and I feared the worst However he was merely routing people away and forcing them to take an off ramp We did a U turn After weaving through streams of human beings the car pulled over and I looked at people moving sitting staring and talking They looked calm but in the way soldiers coming off the line look quiet Muhammed said that we were at the hotel although it was like no other hotel arrival There were no doormen to greet us nor were we near a hotel entrance We were at least 500 feet away from a tall dark building He quickly grabbed my rolling bag and without pulling it lifted the bag with one arm and put his other arm around me in a protective fashion looking in front and behind as he hurried me toward the building I wanted to stop to look around but I could feel him moving me swiftly We entered a back door where we were met by four concerned looking men standing in front of an airport scanning device We threw my bags onto it and then crawled around the machine which took up the entire doorway Muhammed walked me to the registration desk staying close to my side I was hurriedly checked in by a young nervous clerk who assured me that during the last uprising in February the hotel was untouched He was sure it would be OK this time too I did not buy it As with a lot of people in Cairo there was magical thinking mixed with memories of the time nearly one year ago when the Mubarak government was taken down What I learned in a few minutes was that the people on the roads and in streets had been pushed out of Tahrir Square by the Interior Ministry s riot police a few minutes before we arrived and that at least two people had been shot dead Today as I write this the number has risen to 30 with at least 700 wounded Those rushing by in cars around us many with people hanging out of windows as if riding horses into battle had been on their way to the Square to relieve their fellow citizens Now in my room I booted up my PC I did not unpack but began to sort through my options and made a few calls From my balcony the

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    that is right in front of one repeats itself in all traditions The seeker however must seek and this is the core of his difficulty For he cannot know what he is looking for until he finds it Nor can he know until he tries and puts his vision out into the world for others to observe and share None of the Smart21 can ultimately know where their pursuit of inspired local government policies better communications infrastructure and changes in their educational systems will lead them They hope it will lead to more jobs retention of talent and more social stability Yet that is but part of the way As Eindhoven this year s host which prepared so well and so assiduously for this event discovered it has led them to a place of pride that cannot be fully explained As they say in Eindhoven we are designing the future It is a work of art and no one is 100 sure what the finished canvas will look like But it is important to begin So we have Wednesday October 12 2011 Why Australia Chose to Build the National Broadband Network The Los Angeles airport LAX is undergoing a long overdue renovation So on a recent layover there I resolved to take kindly to all the construction disarray It s for my own good in the long term For in truth we are all under construction This fact was brought home to be by a week in Adelaide Australia where I had the privilege of speaking to the annual conference of the National Economic Development Council and conducting an ICF Master Class Where broadband is concerned the Under Construction signs are going up all across the country You may have heard of the NBN the National Broadband Network but it is hard to make sense of it without hearing from the believers NBN is a bold attempt to apply on a national scale the strategy executed so successfully by Intelligent Communities like Stockholm Dublin and Stratford A government owned company NBN Co has begun building a nationwide open access network mixing optical fiber with microwave and Ka band satellite to bring broadband to the entire nation at globally competitive prices The base offering is 12 Mb down and 1 Mb up for A 29 That s half of what I pay at home in the US and an even greater savings on the rates Aussies pay Despite setting start up prices NBN Co is not a retail business It is an infrastructure play that has already signed up dozens of ISPs to provide service It is under construction at new residential property developments across the country and a set of First Release sites where fiber is being run to existing homes and businesses What justifies this massive public investment in broadband It was viewed as the only way to break a de facto monopoly When it deregulated and sold its national carrier Australia made an ill fated choice it allowed Telstra to become the dominant pay TV provider as well With the power of incumbency over both telecom and TV Telstra took a very leisurely route to rolling out broadband so much so that Australia was one of the last developed countries in the world to introduce ADSL Today for such an advanced and prosperous country Australia is way behind the curve in broadband Availability is patchy and prices are high the classic diseases of under liberalized markets The result is that public understanding of broadband is limited adoption is sub par and all the myriad applications that create devoted users are not being created locally According to the thought leaders I met at the conference NBN has changed all that The NBN legislation not only funds a new network it requires Telstra to give up ownership of its copper infrastructure and colocate competitors equipment at its local exchange offices nationwide That s revolutionary It has also put the idea of a digital economy on the map It has made people aware of what they may be missing And as people see the possibility of change a revolution of rising expectations is already underway So will it be worth the money Cue a primal scream from America s Tea Party about wasteful job killing government spending Will future governments be willing to support it over the years required for full deployment Let me answer a question with a question Is it worth the money to build a bridge a tunnel a highway or port Yes if millions of people and companies will benefit from better service faster transit and lower costs It s infrastructure for crying out loud and we know how that works It takes a bridge to nowhere to defeat the fundamental value of infrastructure investment Broadband is infrastructure with services riding on top It is the services users need but they can t have them without the infrastructure That is why with demand for services continuing to skyrocket we can all look forward to being under construction for years to come Thursday October 6 2011 My Dinner w Suvi Signs and Strings Over the past weeks I have seen two memorable billboard signs along the roads of places to which I have traveled I have also seen inspiring signs of where this Intelligent Communities movement is headed as we head down the road toward our 2012 Awards The first sign was spotted on my way to the airport in New York I was being driven along the sparkling East River on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive in Manhattan when I saw this sign on the side of a tall building It read You are now leaving a city with six professional sports teams and the Mets This was a sarcastic reference to the area s seventh professional sports team the New York Mets It is the city s mediocre other baseball team It has the sad fortune of being compared perennially to its famous rival in the

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    has said the key to building a global movement of intelligent communities is to ensure that the Middle of Nowhere is soon to be no more Ka band is another step As many of you know ICF was founded by the three of us under the auspices of a satellite industry trade association However the industry does not get the credit it deserves for transforming the human community and experience Fifty four years after the launch of Sputnik which symbolically ushered in the flat world of hyper communications that we know today the satellite industry dominated by engineers and the financial sector has lost its romance Strong cashflow and balance sheets on the part of satellite operators has taken the edge from this incredible industry Satellites are Google in orbit but nobody gets that right now But satellites play a role in everything we do The industry has reached more of its potential than anyone ever imagined Cable TV and the cellular industry along with the Internet cannot not function without satellites Airplanes the environmental sciences and the ability to harvest the earth would be mysteries on drawing board were it not for these spindly orbiting birds Missions like Polarsat which observe the polar ice caps in order to measure global warming trends are unthinkable by fiber Today over half of America s farmers whose lands are valued at over US 250 000 use the Internet to guide their business and distribute resources Many of these applications are on tractors and machines in the fields Guess where they get their data Right I am just scratching the service However the industry has become like the airlines It may be so seamlessly efficient that it is forgotten It is please forgive me boring to most I am not writing to damn the industry Quite the opposite I love it But it is in need of a facelift It has been able to escape the acidic but honest observation of Warren Buffett who quipped Build your company to be idiot proof because someday an idiot will run it There are no idiots putting satellites into space Honorable people run things in this industry but perhaps too much logic has clouded the sky Let me clear the skies when it comes to satellites the Intelligent Community movement sees Ka band as important Because of its ability to deliver larger chunks of capacity and bandwidth anywhere and cheaply it is a key which unlocks a new era for many struggling communities In the not too distant future Ka band satellites and service may enable communities that have never before been able to approach intelligent Community status to do so They provide capacity and access Access is the key As we know from ICF s first indicator the availability of broadband makes many things possible Possibilities for a community is the logic of the sky Saturday September 10 2011 The Day New York Became One Community Here in New York City we are preparing for

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    transportation of materials and goods but a growing percentage do not because consumers and companies have adopted information and communications technology ICT at such a blinding speed In other words broadband should level the playing field between urban and rural areas As the Gershwin song says however it ain t necessarily so Rural areas have issues of their own They tend for example to have lower education levels One group of communities I am working with in the American Midwest has a much lower percentage of residents with university level education than the US average But the percentage of residents with community or technical school training vastly outpaces the rest of America That was the skill level needed by industries of the past when manual work paid a living wage but it will not be the skill level needed in the Broadband Economy Fortunately broadband provides a new means to deliver world class education if we can figure out how to do it right When it comes to innovation how are rural areas going to create clusters of innovative companies in similar industries when their overall population density is low The likely answer is to think regionally A single rural community may be too small to bring innovators in a single industry together but a region of many communities networked by broadband and linked by relationships between governments and institutions could achieve the necessary scale It will not be easy Rural communities have not organized themselves this way before Cities have for thousands of years It is why people came together in cities and still do to buy and sell to defend themselves to amass wealth For the first time in history rural areas have the same opportunity But seizing it will take serious innovation in the way rural communities live and work educate and govern and perhaps most of all in the way they think about their place in the world The authors of that UN report did not publish it to celebrate some kind of victory They were issuing a warning Making a city work well is hard Poverty is now growing faster in urban than in rural areas One billion people lived in overcrowded polluted and dangerous urban slums in 2008 They came there and keep coming there to escape lack of opportunity in the countryside If we are really aiming to become a smarter planet which sounds like a good idea to me that lack of opportunity is a problem waiting to be solved Photo State Street Bristol Virgina a 2009 Top Seven Intelligent Community Sunday August 14 2011 Unintended Consequences This week s news offers three examples of information and communications technology ICT changing how we live and of the fact that deep change the kind that creates new value requires much more than learning how to use the latest app In Britain where riots convulsed major cities rioters were reported to be using social media on their smartphone to target locations where police presence was thin or nonexistent ICF Intelligent Communities of Manchester and Birmingham were among those affected It was another demonstration of the fact that the same tools helping to foster the Arab Spring work just as well for those whose only ideology is theft and destruction New York Times columnist Nicolas Kristoff wrote this week about Rachel Beckwith an American child with a lifelong devotion to helping others At age 5 she heard about an organization called Locks of Love which accepts donations of human hair to make wigs for children with cancer and cut off her own hair to make a donation The lifetime was a short one it ended in a car accident at age nine At the time of the accident in July she was raising money for charity water which funds the drilling of wells in Africa to give people access to clean water She set up a birthday page at the charity water site and asked her friends to each donate 9 online instead of buying her presents Her goal was to raise 300 but by the time of her birthday she had raised only 220 After the accident however friends and members of her church began donating again By time her family removed her from life support and she passed away she had raised 1 million for the cause outperforming her favorite singer Justin Bieber who raised 47 544 on his 17th birthday In Eindhoven Netherlands ICF s Intelligent Community of the Year a government funded project is testing meters that use GPS and wireless Internet to track how many miles a car is driven The objective is to determine the feasibility of a system to replace conventional automobile taxes and fees which seek to recoup for society the costs of wear and tear pollution and congestion with one based on actual usage The test of road charging is already revealing what psychologists predicted that providing immediate feedback to drivers causes them to drive less because they intuitively understand the cost As you can imagine the barriers to adoption of such a system are political rather than technological Perhaps psychological is an even better word Measuring miles driven by GPS feels like an erosion of both privacy and autonomy Such a system could be made fairer than current road taxes because they would be paid by those who actually use the roads most and the average cost per driver would shrink for the same reason But a new Dutch government which took office in 2010 on a pledge of no new taxes shelved a prior administration s plan for nationwide rollout If we can dream it we can do it If it makes overwhelming good sense we will eventually overcome the obstacles to getting it done There will be darkness and chaos but to use a communications metaphor these are merely the noise through which the signal is delivered We need these bright and powerful applications of ICT because we will never stop striving for

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    US troops overseas to conquer the Barbary States and who bought the immense territory of the Louisiana Purchase on dubious Constitutional authority But then he also edited the Christian Bible with a pair of scissors to make it read the way he thought it should In the spirit of Jefferson I would like to offer a version of the famous words that he never wrote edited to suit myself That government is best I say which governs best Governing best means governing as efficiently and productively as possible consistent with the will of the governed And there is no better place to see examples of this than in the world s Intelligent Communities I have yet to meet an Intelligent Community leader who tries to do the least he or she can do Intelligent Communities have activist governments They are guided by a vision of the community s future and are willing to act on that vision They invest in information and communications technology to make government more efficient transparent and cost effective They also find creative ways to ensure that their citizens and employers have access to the digital infrastructure they need to seize the benefits of the broadband economy But a top down approach only goes so far Local governments can envision conceive and lead but they do not ultimately decide That is where the will of the governed comes in Through community groups and business forums special commissions and social networks they involve the governed in governing They foster partnerships among companies universities colleges and investors to jumpstart business creation They encourage cultural and social groups to create innovative programs and help find the funds that bring them to life The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation just published a ranking of the innovation based competitiveness of 44 nations The top ranked country was the city state of Singapore which was ICF s Intelligent Community of the Year in 1999 This island nation possessed of no natural resources but a strategic geographic position is renowned for its business friendly regulations but even more for the activism efficiency and productivity of its government Government attracts the best and brightest of Singapore s graduates to jobs that pay well and offer high prestige They set policies that seek to unite Singapore s diverse people into a nation and maintain its economic strength For example though Singapore is a very high tech place its economy also depends on the availability of low cost labor To maintain its labor force the government keeps the price of housing food and transportation artificially low while making luxuries from automobiles to alcohol expensive Each community must draw the line somewhere between government activism and allowing citizens and businesses to determine their own fate Singapore is a place of considerable freedom but little democracy Other places do it differently But in the 21st Century I think it is long past time to give Jefferson s that is Thoreau s political philosophy a rest The idea that the US a nation with a 14 7 trillion economy can be run by a small government is fantasy The notion that government is less deserving of our respect than business is absurd When I hear Americans cry aloud and rend their garments over the inefficiency and arrogance of government bureaucrats I wonder if they have ever worked for a multinational corporation If so their experience must have been much different from mine I have come to believe that efficient productive government one with a vision and willingness to act on that vision has become a competitive advantage for nations for states and for communities in the 21st Century And I don t know about you but I think competitive advantages should not be lightly tossed away Sunday July 17 2011 Culture and Connectivity How do you build a new culture from the ground up That question came up this week during lunch with a colleague who is involved in a challenging project in Latin America Outwardly it has to do with mortgages But at its heart it is about the power of culture to either trigger or stymie economic growth My colleague consults for a mortgage agency owned by the national government Its mission is to expand home ownership by providing provide low cost mortgages to low income people Fulfilling its mission also requires it to promote the creation of a lot of new housing by private developers If this combination sounds depressingly familiar to Americans the mortgage agency in question is no Fannie Mae It just does mortgages no credit default swaps no high leverage deals and so it has maintained its fiscal position through the credit crisis Despite its fiscal virtue however my colleague fears that the agency is on the path to failure Not for lack of fulfilling its basic mission For nearly a decade it has been originating a half million mortgages a year Millions of families have moved from slums into homes of their own with proper title to the land which economists will tell you is a vital rung on the ladder to greater prosperity So what s the problem There are two First many of the developments have been built following the pattern of rich country developments in which the goal is to create an island separate from its surroundings Transportation is a particular problem The developments are housing people who work in the cities but low income citizens can seldom afford to both own a car and pay a regular mortgage which is a first time experience for many So circumstances eventually drive them to abandon the homes into which they have poured their life savings The second problem is cultural Seeking an income enterprising residents turn part of their homes into shops The attractive parks and public spaces created by developers are taken over by vendors and turned into public markets What s the result The developments soon come to resemble the slums from which the residents fled And more

    Original URL path: https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=blog&year=2011&submenu=News&month=7 (2016-02-13)
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