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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    am pleased to report to you that he mainly does John Jung too I assure you that the world and its communities will be fine not only because we will soon figure out how to make wind turbines and advance energy technologies worthy of the serious investments required and which Robert discusses Nor will we be fine simply because a whiz kid somewhere in New York University s Polytechnic Institute Tallinn Estonia or the University of Waterloo are well on their way toward inventing the world s next battery or the next smart soccer ball one which hopefully will guide the kicks of aging players on Italy s football team into the net at the NEXT World Cup These innovations as they arrive will do what innovations and technologies do for societies fortunate enough to have them they will make work more productive and daily physical life increasingly convenient while underpinning robust economic activity By the way if recent studies are accurate we will all work longer and harder as a result For those in the rest of the world s communities it will also turn out fine over time because this has increasingly been the trend Long suffering peoples rise up Over the past 17 years nearly one billion people have been lifted from abject poverty in Asia One of the goals of the Intelligent Community Association stated in its first board meeting in New York is to reach out to other communities to share knowledge and best practices To bring the rest of us along and to keep the faith that our tribes when enlightened with strong ideas can restore each of us to the point of balance I am frequently accused of having faith It is not the blind faith which allows any snake oil to be consumed at any cost It reflects I believe what poet and former Czech president Vaclav Havel once suggested was a cautiously chalky brightness Havel noted that to hope in a sober way is not to act with the conviction that something will turn out well but with the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out To make sense and to act accordingly are embedded in our nature and in our spirit We are built to persist no matter what Like a good battery we seem built to last As a species we have much in our selves in our cultures and in our communities to rely on although a long way to go to be confident enough to rely on them totally William Faulkner famously got it right in his often quoted 1950 Noble Prize speech when he conferred upon humanity final victory He said that humankind will not simply endure its existence but rather prevail over it I have never doubted this It was said by wiser folks long before Faulkner got around to identifying it as his reason to get out of bed and make coffee in the morning As I see more of the world and am allowed the privilege to go inside its remarkable Intelligent Communities and discuss the hope filled plans of its leaders and champions I can tell you that there I see astonishingly bright flares of depth and purpose as well as awful moments and harsh setbacks However you do not leave a place like Windsor or Sunderland or Suwon without confirming the truth of Faulkner s core proposition It too is mine and that of all of us here at ICF We must in our age of the new tribalism take a cue from our elders and our mentors and stop wringing our hands Another person who has a Nobel Prize somewhere in his home The Dalai Lama notes quite frequently that human beings are designed for joy Think of it Here is monk who was literally chased out of his native country the same year that Faulkner offered his vision of light while nearby Korea was being shredded by civil war never to return He would have every reason to mourn the loss of his beloved community and to be despondently negative about the future of humanity Rather than wring his hands he grabbed his meditation beads He chose light He chooses still the universal mandate to build To be fine To say OK I do not know how this will turn out But it will turn toward light Like the earth He is not different in his inner mandate to build than Kristina Verner Scot Rourke Amirzai Sangin and Andre Santini are in their approach to build broadband communities and tribes that connect to the rest of the enlightened communities we are gathering each year through our awards program If William Faulkner Vaclav Havel the Dalia Lama and Robert Bell and John Jung aren t authorities with high enough standing for you I finally cite even HIGHER authorities my mother and father who as they entered their eighth decades of life reminded me with conviction as their community suffered that We are never given more by our creator than we are able to bear Indeed Keeping the faith is to keep the tribe intact As I anticipate the 2011 submissions for Intelligent Community of the Year what do I expect Prevailing may not mean entirely complete economic prowess in one generation Faulkner believed that prevailing meant first a dedication to overcoming fear and thus to recall old verities and truths of the human heart This is step one toward becoming a healthy Intelligent Community While we study and award the impact of access technologies on communities and other criteria ICF is also I see repackaging old truths with a new vocabulary A great deal of the new vocabulary is written by people like you who submit Smart21 nominations to ICF and share with us your stories of challenge and responses to the challenges Never underestimate how powerful your story is nor how fine you have become on your way to sending us your submission You would

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    hundred may get the cash but other 99 will raise their game too Creating an entrepreneurial culture developing funding sources and attracting investors is one of the biggest challenges that Intelligent Communities face The good news is that from the example of this year s Top Seven they are tackling the challenge with everything they ve got Thursday January 21 2010 Now We Know While Baharul Nizam Said Daliman of Telecom Malaysia TM Global www tm com my was elaborating in his keynote remarks titled Intelligent Communities 2010 on emerging intelligent communities in Malaysia and TM s commitment to the implementation of broadband in support of more intelligent communities Professor Mel Horwitch of NYU s Polytechnic Institute who joined me in Honolulu for the ICF program whispered The Malaysian telecom sector gets it He was referring to the criteria and vision of ICF The Top Seven announcement was scheduled to be the finale in a series of other awards presented by the Pacific Telecommunications Council and Mr Said Daliman s keynote at its annual luncheon We knew the Top Seven was the highlight but had no prior knowledge that Nizam would speak elegantly and with conviction about the importance of intelligent communities base his entire set of remarks around ICF and kindly refer to ICF and its work with such elegance Thank you again Nizam It was a pleasant surprise 2010 may be full of surprises like this The 2010 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year may offer a few surprises to people Certainly newcomers Arlington County Virginia and Dublin Ohio help to lay claim to the notion that the United States may be coming to the table in a more consistent way in terms of broadband and community enablement This is huge reads the headline of yesterday s TechLife Columbus Ohio in response to Dublin being named after two years on the list of Smart21 The home of Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn and a very famous golf tournament has broken out and seems to sense validation for their strong fiber city strategy through our award Dundee Scotland s return surprised some but not ICF Dundee remains one of the great success stories in economic recovery and cluster development through collaborative planning and constant innovation I am sure there was disappointment in the great cities of Moncton and Windsor at not making the Top Seven list for the second year in a row but Canada can rejoice with the ascension of its nation s capital Ottawa to the list Canada has not missed placing a community on the Top Seven in any year and someone suggested it should get a special award simply for that achievement Can you call it an intelligent nation someone asked me at PTC Maybe someday soon Ottawa is another story of how a community can find balance between government and the tech sector through good policy investment and education Eindhoven Holland remains one of the anchors of the intelligent community movement and I am pleased that this most creative of places Brainport will return to New York to share its experiences for its second consecutive appearance on the list of seven Like Dundee Eindhoven needs to be more widely recognized Suwon South Korea is perhaps the dark horse surprise of the group although the words Korea and Broadband to go together like gin and tonic or Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire No one was surprised that a community from Korea made the Top Seven Gangnam had set the tone for Korea s excellence within the intelligent community movement prior to being named Intelligent Community of the Year It remains one of the most studied communities along with Waterloo Ontario Canada This may bode well for Suwon as it continues to develop its science based local economy Finally there is Tallinn again The fourth time in a row for the Estonian capital which continues to charm people with some mystical quality we cannot quite define Let it be known that universally everyone seems pleased to know that an ICF list includes an Estonian city Such a cool place said a university telecom professor after the Honolulu announcement and luncheon Tallinn s selection was a bit of surprise to us perhaps but not to people who know the wireless telecom industry According to our assessment team Tallinn performed very high again in the ranking among the seven It will be great to see their representatives as they are emerging as one of the legendary intelligent communities like Sunderland England The overall gap between 11 communities and the final seven was very thin a matter of not more than three points overall According to the leaders of the Top Seven assessment project this suggests yet again the difficulty ranking communities who all achieve at an increasingly high level I am glad I only have to announce the T7 and look forward next to visiting these communities to verify claims learn more about them and help prepare them for their experience in New York in May I arrived in New York this afternoon 21 January one day ahead of schedule While Hawaii truly is paradise it is great to be home in the cold to prepare for the happy surprises ahead Wednesday January 20 2010 Trade Winds Will Shortly Bring in a New Top Seven Report from Honolulu Despite the prediction of rain earlier we have another beautiful evening in the Hawaiian Islands The Indian carrier Tata threw a massive party with a flotilla of white balloons bouncing on the surface of the big pool at the Hilton and much talk about broadband and cloud computing between the Hawaiian singers The Pacific Telecommunications Council conference is well underway with a majority of attendees from among wholesale suppliers submarine cable the international satellite community and the world s carriers and technology suppliers About 1 200 overall I am told I participated on a panel this afternoon moderated by Tara Giunta of Paul Hastings law firm on the role

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    Park which is key to a plan to make the city of 90 000 an internationally recognized ICT center Public private and university money have gone into infrastructure business attraction incubation and training Meanwhile the government of Australia is rolling out an A 43 billion National Broadband Network offering up to 100 Mbps nationwide Vendors have lined up to profit from the wave of investment but it is the people of communities like Ballarat that will see the greatest return in coming decades Putting up buildings alone does not create sustainable growth just ask the US construction industry right now But properly integrated into a long term strategy it can have a transformative impact 3 Focus on education The Confucian cultures of Asia are famous for their devotion to learning and education figures prominently in the economic development strategies of Asia s Intelligent Communities None is more focused than the Employment Services Card system of the Tianjin Binhai New Area home to 2 million people in Tianjin China Starting at university the card records student participation in career guidance and internships It qualifies students for entrepreneurship training and mentoring business subsidies loans social insurance subsidies and other schemes The government pays 70 of the minimum wage for between 3 and 12 months after hiring and has set up a technology transfer center to connect universities and businesses Inter disciplinary teams of professors and students have solved many technical problems for businesses in the New Area from grape cultivation and winemaking to wastewater treatment in papermaking All of the Asian Smart21 put education from primary through the last mile to employment at the center of their efforts That s not unique to Asia any more than planning and investment But the seriousness with which the Asian Smart21 pursue these things is worthy of being celebrated and imitated around the world Thursday December 17 2009 Southwest China is a Region to be Reckoned With Ask many westerners about southwest China and they will look puzzled They can quickly name cities along the eastern coast of China like Shanghai Beijing and Tianjin but haven t a clue about cities like Chongquin Chengdu and Kunming Yet these cities boast populations in the order of 32 million 13 million and 6 million people respectively and have most western commodities available to their impressively well dressed and market astute consumers Salvatore Ferragamo Rolex Rolls Royce BMW Boss Canon IBM HP Microsoft Apple are common names on the street and on the tops of buildings Chongquin is a city region that boasts 56 universities massive science and technology parks with research centers such as Haifu investigating non invasive technologies to deal with cancer via ultrasound massive multimedia digital projects and broadband based outsourcing and data centers The urban intensity of Chongquin is every bit like Manhattan and its skyline at times can be mistaken for Hong Kong No one that I know back home in North America has ever heard of it Yet here I was on business to this incredible city and its neighbors in the southwest of China talking about intelligent cities to civic leaders and finding great interest by everyone I spoke to about becoming one Their voracious appetite to become part of the world stage gave me the opportunity to raise the idea of becoming an Intelligent Community with the mayors the head of the region s foreign affairs and the heads of some of the area universities People were clearly interested but as one of the mayors said we do not have the confidence to be an intelligent community Confidence now there is an attribute that I had not thought about We have criteria ranging from broadband infrastructure knowledge work creativity and innovation digital inclusion and marketing and advocacy but we never discussed confidence Here is a city that has all the markings of an intelligent city and they would dearly love to be considered one but they lack confidence Clearly by size alone these cities should have all the attributes to become intelligent cities Massive consumer and business acumen major transit facilities research and data centers with significant double digit gigabyte broadband services and a culture of use of advanced technologies Cell phones abound in these parts even among some of the poor but entrepreneurial market vendors and street hawkers Smart notebooks sit on the tables at Starbucks and other local hotspots No wonder a major partnership of HP and Taiwan s Foxconn are pumping out large quantities of laptops and notebooks from the nearby industrial park And yet they lack confidence Judging from the wave of enthusiasm on the streets and in the lecture halls I am sure that that will soon change Sunday December 13 2009 Determining Their Destiny Listen to the podcast Follow me on Twitter On November 9 people around the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall The crumbling of the Wall was soon followed by the collapse of the Soviet empire It was hailed as the victory of capitalism over communism The Soviet command economy could not compete with the West s free enterprise system and so could no longer shoulder the burden of paying for the mighty Soviet military machine Big battles like this are always portrayed as conflicts between absolutes Black and white Sometimes they are But when it comes to the free enterprise system black and white can be hard to find It started with the Great Depression when we learned that if business people get to make all the economic decisions the human cost can be high Sound familiar today So in came bank deposit insurance national pension schemes national oversight of monetary policy and subsidies for farmers Not all capitalist countries adopted them at the same time but the pattern was set The goal was always the same to limit the human costs while keeping the market economy dynamic enough to keep improving our quality of life The balance must always be struck Today one

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    potential In Saudi Arabia religious opposition is rising to modern universities created by the kingdom to jumpstart innovation because they are places where Westerners and Saudis can live a Western lifestyle In the US state of California huge budget cuts are threatening that crown jewel of higher education the University of California system The current cause is the recession but the underlying problem is a law drafted by anti tax activists back in the Eighties that has made it almost impossible for the state to raise taxes for the past two decades In this global broadband economy communities have local choices to make Innovation is essential yet it can be deeply disturbing to established ways of life thought and belief It can be tempting to say we just can t do that here because a noisy minority opposes it But they can t stop innovation from taking place They can just ensure that your community misses out on the benefits Saturday November 14 2009 I Have Seen the Future of the Knowledge Workforce and It is Female Listen to the podcast Follow me on Twitter One of the few pleasures of my morning and evening commute is to listen to the local public radio station This week a story by NPR s Michelle Norris Do Colleges Favor Male Applicants caught my attention It revealed that America s university campuses are becoming steadily more female Women made up half of all American college students in 1980 Today for every 100 women enrolled in college there are only 77 men And for every 100 women who graduate with a bachelor s degree only 73 men do the same according to data from the Postsecondary Education Opportunity newsletter The notable exceptions are science and engineering programs Men make up 59 percent of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 72 percent at Caltech in California The story left me with a sudden vision of the American workforce of the future a lot of skilled women a smaller number of super skilled men and a largely male low skilled population struggling to compete in the broadband economy I checked news stories for other nations with cultures that I think make higher education equally accessible and desirable for men and women Sweden s universities are also home to more women than men So are Canada s Same story in the United Kingdom I think there s general agreement that when women were under represented in higher education it was because social cultural and other barriers kept them out The premise for my vision is that today men and women have relatively equal access to college If that s true and more men than women are selecting themselves out of higher education it tells you a lot about the future earning potential of men versus women In 2008 according to the US Department of Labor the average American working woman earned 80 of what the average man earned Flip those numbers around and the impact on culture could be big I have not seen much so far that explains the trend The closest I have come is a Time magazine story by Nancy Gibbs in which she writes The college deans I talked to worry that there is some message boys are not receiving role models they are missing that speaks to the importance of an education both broad and deep I found it harder to talk to guys in interviews even after 40 years says Haverford dean Greg Kannerstein because they seem narrower in their interests than the women For me I have always had a sneaking suspicion that women are better equipped for life than men They are generally more patient in my experience They seem to take a longer term view perhaps because in every culture in the world biology sticks them with the ultimate responsibility for raising children For goodness sake they tend to outlive the male of the species by a considerable margin Evolutionary biologists believe that one reason homo sapiens evolved the big brain we carry around is that it was an essential tool for managing relationships in groups Have you noticed that women are generally better at managing relationships than guys are If evolution is like a ladder it may be that women stand just one rung higher and that the knowledge workforce of the future will have a distinctly feminine look Saturday November 7 2009 Smarter Cities May be the Key to Survival At the start of the 20th century only about 10 of humanity lived in cities Today over 50 live in urban environments By the middle of the 21st century the number could be as high as 70 For that reason making cities smarter may well be the key to the survival of the human race Our book Future Cities examines ways in the words of Star Trek to make it so It is in cities that new technologies and major scientific discoveries and inventions arise It is here that new strategies for sustainable development renewable energy and combating climate change ferment and blossom In Future Cities you can read about the major forces of urban change that will ultimately reshape our world The interrelationship between the city the evolution of humanity and new technology is powerful Clearly the future of cities has many dimensions related to art culture education health care business opportunity trade political relationships governmental and military systems and much much more Nevertheless communications and information technology IT are incredibly powerful drivers of change In the United States cities such as Philadelphia are using smart recycling bins embedded with RFID tags to track and encourage residents for recycling In recent months the government of Kenya successfully designed and implemented an elaborate e learning program which trained over 22 000 nurses in the basic medical skills necessary to treat diseases such as HIV AIDS malaria and tuberculosis In China there is world s largest electronic education program known as the Chinese National TV

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    to meet him We planned a meeting with the Dakota Future board at the new countywide 911 public safety center a press interview a tour of a beautiful data center and community television studio a reception and a dinner We planned a community workshop where the benchmarking results would be presented Ensuring that people the right people would attend was critical to our success This involved phone calls personally addressed invitations more phone calls presentations to city councils and the county board and more phone calls We were pleasantly surprised when we received the draft Accelerator report It became clear that our Top Seven by 2012 goal was within the realm of possibility We had some strengths and some weaknesses but we were definitely in the game As the results were released at our community workshop peoples heads were nodding and faces smiling at the positive results Looks of concern emerged over our weaker scores As we broke into work groups there was definitely a shared sense of Let s get this done The buy in we sought was beginning to take shape Reinforced by third party verification of our competitive standing our teams set to work to create goals inventory assets and develop strategies Recruiting additional talent was high on the to do list of each group These teams have initially committed to work over the next six months on the five elements Our leadership team is in place to steer and coordinate our application for 2011 to be submitted in September 2010 When I saw notice of our 2010 Smart 21 status through the Blandin on Broadband blog I could not believe my eyes Our finely tuned work plan to direct our efforts over the next six months was turned on its head Now we are awaiting our new questionnaire that must be completed by the end of the year The contents of that will determine whether we achieve Top Seven status in 2010 two years ahead of schedule The Community Accelerator program has definitely lived up to its name in Dakota County our efforts just idling a few months ago are making the jump to light speed A partner in Community Technology Advisors Bill Coleman serves as executive director of Dakota Future He can be reached at bill communitytechnologyadvisors com Saturday October 17 2009 The Smart21 and My Digital Inclusion Moment Listen to the podcast Follow me on Twitter Well it s official On Friday evening we named the Smart21 Communities of 2010 at a ceremony hosted by the Swedish Consulate General in New York City in honor of Stockholm s position as our current Intelligent Community of the Year We also announced publication of our new book Future Cities which will soon be out on Amazon com I hope you saw the charming address by lead editor Dr Joseph Pelton on our Web site last night We ll have an archive version available soon I m pleased to have Dundee Scotland a Top Seven community in 2007 and 2008 back on the Smart21 list in 2010 One big surprise a single American state Virginia added three names to the 2010 list That s one up on the Province of New Brunswick Canada which had two Smart21 communities last year Of course they both went on to join the Top Seven So we ll see how the Virginians do this year On Friday we also welcomed one Chinese and two Australian communities to the list as well as three more from Canada I don t know what these Canadians drink but I wish somebody would give me some There have been more of them on the Smart21 list than from any other nation You can read profiles of them all on our Web site Producing those profiles taught me an interesting lesson about digital inclusion The selections were made final on Tuesday By Wednesday I had found time to write only about only four of the 21 I was at a conference most of the day Thursday So it was late afternoon when I got home full of ambition to buckle down and as the comedian Larry the Cable Guy puts it get er done The house was dark when I entered and I started switching on lights Darned if the first bulb wasn t burned out Funny thing though so was the second I noticed that all the digital clocks were blank and it slowly dawned on me We had no power This happens every once in a while for a minute or two usually because a tree branch knocks out a power line Not this time After 15 minutes went by I called the power company and learned that power had been out for an hour already and they couldn t predict when it would be restored Hmm I started work on my laptop grateful for a battery with five hours of life to it The autumn day drew to a close the house grew chilly and I was soon working by the light of an old oil lamp we keep around Not as romantic as it sounds Worse than the eye strain was the fact that I couldn t double check any facts or call up information we keep on our online collaboration platform No power no router no broadband There I was on the outside of the broadband economy racing the clock to meet an important deadline for a think tank that studies the economic impact of you guessed it broadband And then it occurred to me The library Lights Heat Broadband I drove to the town library and was soon back online Like communities around the world mine had turned its library into an access point for those without computers or broadband access Not a big breakthrough Nothing to put on the home page of your favorite news Web site But for me it was a lifesaver There are good logical reasons why we made digital inclusion one of our five Intelligent

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    attended university His enthusiasm for the potential of community is palpable But he knows there is work to be done It all ties together They have great colleges there in Upstate New York like Cornell They should tie together the colleges the environmental businesses and the farms Create R D centers Get the kids who go to school there motivated to stay start businesses and contribute The marathoner was in full sprint with his ideas How I asked What is your solution They should create jobs that tie to their degrees to local culture Then they should offer kids who attend these schools financial incentives to remain in the community for at least two years after they graduate Why not I thought It works for kids who want to study medicine in the American military Commit to service Along the way a passion may develop for the place the culture and the work Dr C is right on target I told him about the Technology Farm in Geneva NY which ICF identified as an intelligent facility a few years ago Working with Cornell University and the State of New York it leverages the agriculture prowess of a struggling region in an attempt to do precisely what my chiropractor suggests Interestingly a mere two years ago the concept was new Since that time when ICF made it a global story products like CherryPharm are being developed This is a collaborative venture developed around the benefits of cherries which are grown in abundance in the region Researchers at the University of Michigan State University found that cherries help reduce pain linked to arthritis inflammation and even headaches A runner like Dr Calvano will relate to that A report found that cherries are better pain relievers than even ibuprofen Former Wall Street executive John Davey combined intellectual property from Michigan and working with Cornell developed the juice which is now bottled at the Technology Farm This brings agriculture into the realm of intelligent communities Jobs are being created innovative intellectual property is emerging and a cultural resource largely underused in the past decades has found a new application Cherries are grown in abundance and now like oil have a new value proposition Today this type of collaboration is flourishing throughout intelligent communities More important political leaders and communities continue to act Resistance to change is breaking down This development along with Dr Calvano s skills as a healer of sore backs and cherries makes me feel better Back to work Saturday August 22 2009 Bringing the Kids Back Home Part Two Listen to the podcast At ICF we really have just one mission We want to help communities to become or to remain places where the next generation finds enough economic opportunity to stay and make a life there if that s what they want If your community s biggest export is its youngest and most talented citizens you are in a world of hurt And everything else that makes the life of your community meaningful its history culture and ways of life will ultimately fade and fail For some Intelligent Communities particularly ones with a troubled past the question is not just how to keep the kids at home but how to bring back the ones who left There can be a positive side to losing your kids to the big bright world outside If they return they may bring valuable skills and experience with them The well known OneCommunity broadband network in Cleveland Ohio exists because some talented people who grew up there decided to return to their roots and do something good for the community On July 3 I wrote about the Return to Roots campaign www returntoroots org in Southwest Virginia USA It reaches out to people who left the region and tries to lure them back Using money from the Virginia Tobacco Commission RTR is basically a career center that connects people to local job openings in a place they would still like to call home I recently wrote to RTR director Carl Mitchell to ask what kind of results the program had produced He was kind enough to send me their latest report To boil it down to its most basic the program placed 9 people from outside the region into jobs in the region in the first six months of 2009 Their salaries were worth an estimated US 446 000 per year Inspiring results Not at first glance But I changed my mind when I went through the wealth of information in Mr Mitchell s report click here for a copy in PDF format The RTR Web site has registered 2 900 potential job seekers They have submitted more than 1 200 job applications for 420 jobs posted to the site by 632 employers In the six months since January 168 job seekers applied for 218 jobs Employers reviewed the resumes of 96 of them in order to hire the 9 people but 27 others are still waiting for a hiring decision When did anybody say it was easy to find a job In this economy More important than these numbers is the fact that in the past 3 years the RTR site has been visited by 76 000 people of whom 10 000 have returned at least once to learn more Mr Mitchell wants us to measure the success of Return to Roots in terms of awareness of the program usage of the Web site by employers and job seekers and interest in Southwest Virginia I think those are the right measures After all there s no hard economic value to bringing the kids back home In pure dollars and cents terms it doesn t matter to the region if it attracts outsiders or former natives to job opportunities But it matters a lot to the history culture and ways of life of the region Those are the things that make life meaningful in Southwest Virginia and in your community too Wednesday August 19 2009

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    Collar Bay The play revolves around many of the themes ICF is addressing with its new theme for 2010 I feel a bond and an opportunity to look at community issues though another filter as I relax and reflect In Blue Collar Bay Mr Axelrod s character struggles to leave behind a community where a manufacturing unionized and securely employed culture had taken root beneath his father and grandfather This slice of life reflects symbolically many of the communities ICF examines In the play the character describes how he leaves his job as a newspaper delivery truck driver for work in the white collar culture In this case that culture is Manhattan and Wall Street Steve once had a seat on the NY Stock Exchange before launching his acting career His approach to community is to write evocative snapshots of a time when the blue collar worker was able to provide a middle class wage and a viable economy arose as a result From an artistic perspective the play looks inside characters who define themselves through their work It gives us a sense of the emotional components of this profound aspect of their lives and what it means in their relationships throughout their family and community It also suggests the degree to which education became both a path forward and a tool that severed chords that had been carefully nurtured for better and for worse within his family and within the community Social mobility it seems has its costs As with all art this serves as a lesson perhaps a warning of the risks and dangers of social or economic mobility simply for its own sake For me it raises a question how can we transplant to the degree possible the entire experience of community roots and work without severing the most precious chords which also inform and educate via experience Can we FROM THE SMALL VILLAGE IN LONG ISLAND TO CONGRES DE VERSAILLE As I work and talk with the author I am sensitive to other activities taking place around me that reinforce how important it is to answer the question ICF plans to take it on in 2010 and beyond It is clear from merely a few experiences within my small universe here in a seaside village on the North Atlantic shore that these issues are very much with us and embedded throughout the world For example while watching C SPAN over a rare second cup of coffee I watched President Sarkozy of France address the Parliament The president referred to community and investment and how both are being reconsidered nationally in the light of the 21st Century and the economic crisis He insisted that France will remain a nation with factories and manual workers I do not know how accurate the English translation was but it appeared that Mr Sarkozy has concluded that The idea of a France without factories or manual workers is an insane notion He went on to discuss how the nation needed to rethink its tax system give more value to labor for the sake of more profitable returns and competitiveness and presumably better jobs He noted the importance of providing workers with a greater stake in their performance My first impression was that it is unusual to hear a leader discussing factories and manual work especially in a Western European nation France that is home to Top Seven community Issy les Moulineaux where the transition from a manual workforce to high technology employment and advanced manufacturing has produced jobs and the successful and significant outcome of which President Sarkozy speaks It seems this is what he meant However the lack of perfect clarity on the subject is both understandable and reflects the conflict in which we seem to be caught This evaluation of how to preserve and yet change the landscape of muscle work seems to point back to Blue Collar Bay and its search for a balance among the competing forces of stable communities shifting economic ground and the ubiquitous advance of broadband and other forms of access During the same week another example of this conflict appeared when I pulled the 28 June issue of the NY Times Magazine from my beach bag to read Jonathan Mahler s story about the struggle of General Motors in America and how its current demise has produced the seeds for a potential fall of the black middle class in Detroit is written as a multigenerational family saga The collapse of employment leads to an erosion of a person s sense of self and place Another series of readings revealed to me that this subject has been intellectually around since the 19th Century and is of concern to those concerned with the moral construction of people and their places In Laborem Exercens the late Pope John Paul II began with a reflection of this idea as he wrote Through work man must earn his daily bread and contribute to the continual advance of science and technology and above all to elevating unceasingly the cultural and moral level of the society within which he lives in community with those who belong to the same family And work means any activity by man whether manual or intellectual whatever its nature or circumstances it means any human activity that can and must be recognized as work in the midst of all the many activities of which man is capable and to which he is predisposed by his very nature by virtue of humanity itself As ICF heads towards it examination of the Education Last Mile through our Intelligent Community of the Year Awards nomination forms and related study I will be seeking a link between the competing elements of the need for a stable sense of community and the necessary movement required to both shake free the legacy of economic instability and redefine both learning and work as interconnecting pieces which like a fine automobile protect transport and enable Until then I will continue for a few

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    a center of knowledge in their region simply in order to survive in the future Imagine a community where a significant number of its citizens have higher education accreditation where they apply their skills in a way that encourages continual education and helps to reinforce replenishment of skills to keep up with societal needs That goal must be attainable by each of these centres of knowledge in order for them to be able to compete globally and to succeed Universities and colleges are major drivers of economic development and contribute to the community through the type and extent of research and training that is done Each provides a piece of the puzzle Universities reach out to ask the right questions colleges train the skilled workers to meet the demands that these questions try to answer As John F Kennedy once said Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education The human mind is our fundamental resource To which I would add that as communities wish to see success it is measured best by the depth and breadth of its focus on education at all levels While natural resources may be few in some intelligent communities their contribution and greatest natural resource is probably in their people who have helped to transform and position their communities as centres of global excellence Going back to the example of Waterloo the Intelligent Community Forum ICF recognized this community in 2007 not for efforts to transform a failing economy but for its commitment to fostering institutions that drive technology innovation and share its benefits with the community at large ICF feels that this is an area of such great importance that it will be dedicating its next year s theme around this topic Watch for more to come on this topic Sunday June 28 2009 The Solution to Online Fraud Listen to the podcast It started when an unusual package crossed my desk the other day Arriving by express mail it contained a set of checks in the name of an organization I manage They were made out to various individuals I had never heard of in amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to many thousands The organization s name and address were correct as was the bank and its routing number But it was not a normal pre printed business check Everything on it had been printed on the same low quality dot matrix printer And the account number was for an account that had been closed over a year before because of fraud As I looked at the checks I thought this bad guy gives the word stupid a whole new meaning Sending me bad checks for my signature expecting that I would sign them and mail them to the recipients without giving it a thought I alerted the bank and sent them the checks and the envelope which believe it or not had a return address Then my phone began to ring First it was a man in Cedar Rapids Iowa who had sold something on E Bay and received a similar check in payment It looked odd to him so he called to verify The perpetrator included the correct phone number for some reason Fortunately he had not shipped the goods yet so no harm done Another call came an hour later from a liquor store in Atlanta Georgia A woman had tried to cash another one of these checks and the clerk was suspicious enough to contact me He told me that according to the woman it was a paycheck she had received for online work There were more calls over the next couple of days all with similar stories then nothing Perhaps the perpetrator has given up on this particular dodge or may just have set it aside for a while to let things cool down Or maybe the bank information has been sold on to someone else probably online together with thousands of other accounts There is a lot of concern in some circles about trust on the Web I have read respected thinkers who insist that it is a make or break issue if we cannot create some kind of trusted space on the Web where we can be sure that people are who they say they are and keep their promises then e commerce is doomed In their view the Internet is just too dangerous a place for normal people wander about on their own To which I can only say what planet do you live on Here on planet Earth there is no such trusted space where all people are who they claim to be and can be counted to keep their promises Not in the physical world at least and certainly not in the digital one Check fraud is as old as commercial checking though this perpetrator was not exactly Frank Abagnale Jr in that movie Catch Me If You Can In the first case he or she tried to cheat an E Bay seller The seller was savvy in the ways of commerce and the Web and made the right decision In the second case it seemed to be about getting a person to perform work of some kind and then paying for it with a bad check The online employee believed what she was told presumably did the work whatever it was and was cheated out of payment I would guess that she is a new user of the Web who still believes in the words of a friend of mine that if it s on the Internet it must be true Or at least she used to believe it There s no question that the anonymity of the Web makes things a bit easier for the bad guys The ability to approach millions of potential victims a day by email does extend their reach But the virtual world plays essentially by the same rules as the physical world The solution to online fraud

    Original URL path: https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=blog&year=2009&submenu=News&month=6 (2016-02-13)
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