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February 28, 2007

An Invitation to Cleveland 2.0: An Open Planning Forum

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Friday March 16th, 2007
Dively Building (Belleflower & Ford)
1-4 pm
Happy Hour to Follow

Re-Imagining and Re-Inventing the Future of Cleveland: Where Cleveland’s Community Priorities meet Mashups, Pipes, and Second Life

Following the two year long Voices and Choices region-wide community dialog and priority setting effort, on March 16th, 2007 Case Western Reserve University and a growing group of co-sponsors (see below) are hosting a half-day charette we are calling Cleveland 2.0. The gathering will focus on community priorities and focus effort and attention on how the new and emerging next generation of Internet services (known generically as Web 2.0, can be harvested to meaningfully attend to community priorities (click here for a youtube 4 minute primer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE) .

Our goal for the day is to generate a “flagship 50” set of applications (see below 10 examples) that can become the focus of attention and answer the proposition “what’s next” in the effort to re-imagine, reinvent and reinvigorate Cleveland and its environs. Our conviction is that as we demonstrate our ability to “listen well and hard” technologists can work together and support and collaborate in enabling cross-institutional initiatives to support various community priorities. While acknowledging that institutional prerogative and organizational behaviors are realities so too is the reality of the need to attend to broader community-based priorities in order to make possible a Cleveland 2.0 project. If it were not a stretch, Cleveland 2.0 would probably not be worth attempting as a re-imagining effort. When people ask us to outline the horizon for this activity, we have become accustomed to suggesting that Cleveland 2.0 is a project with multiple derivative opportunities that might have a 3-5 year life cycle (http://blog.case.edu/lev.gonick/2007/01/15/cleveland_20)

We would like to invite you and your organization (and anyone within one degree of separation) to join us at this open, agenda-setting forum. In addition to lending your name/organization to the Community Call for Engagement, we are asking each participant to come to the half day charette with at least two project ideas. In addition, we are asking you to bring your passion and your commitment to the process of re-imagining and re-inventing Greater Cleveland.

Please take a moment and send an rsvp to Lora.Veselsky@case.edu (please indicate if you will need parking at Case Western Reserve University).

Cleveland 2.0 Participants (We'll keep on adding names)

David Akers, NEOSO
Paul Apostle, Medical Mutual
Susan Berger, Positive Education Program
Bill Bradfield, PerceptIS
Micki Byrnes, WKYC NBC
Craig Chaitof, Cisco Systems
Brad Chilton, University Hospitals
Doug Craver, Knotice, Where it all Clicks
Simmie Davis, Hitchcock Center for Women
Bill Deal, Inamori International Center for Ethics, Case Western Reserve University
Michael DeAloia, City of Cleveland
Deb Donley, VOCON
Sari Feldman, Cuyahoga County Public Libraries
Pam Gill, Cleveland Clinic
Lev Gonick, Case Western Reserve University
Heather Greer, Red {an orchestra}
Stefan Holmes, First Merit
Anjli Jain, CampusEAI
Kevin Johnson, KKJ Group
Gail Papay, Inamori International Center for Ethics, Case Western Reserve University
Rebecca Ranallo Kahl, Cuyahoga County Public Libraries
James Levine, Ingenuity Festival
Tom Lucas, Sherwin Williams
Joan McFaul, Case Western Reserve University
Dan McMullen, Calfee, Halter & Griswold
Ed Morrison, iOpen
David Moss, Cleveland Institute of Art
Thomas Mulready, CoolCleveland.com
Brad Nellis, NEOSA
George Nemeth, Meet the Bloggers
Chris Ronayne, University Circle Incorporated
Scot Rourke, OneCommunity
Steve Sadler, EMC
Bill Snow, Sprint Corporation
Kay Soltysiak, IBM
Len Steinbach
Ted Theofrastous, Beta Strategies Group
Perry White, Citizen's Academy
Eliza Wing, Cleveland.com

Just to wet the appetite, here are 10 ideas that might be worth considering in this connected community undertaking.

Idea 1: Today I Decide – Cleveland 2.0

• A common, replicable and scalable web 2.0 framework enabling citizens to propose legislation in their cities and counties; with enough e-votes, the city council or county commissioners’ commits to taking it up. Moreover, a single portal of such grassroots legislative action are enabled using web 2.0 tools so that regional efforts can be developed based on connecting grassroots initiatives with each other.

Idea 2: Personal Digital Citizen Initiative – Cleveland 2.0

• Every household in Cuyahoga County earning under $40,000 should be able to apply for a Personal Digital Citizenship device. Everyone in the county should have access to the PDC gateway which should, among many other initiatives, support online petitions, interactive chat and video sessions with elected officials, streaming of committee activities all across the region, routine community votes on agenda setting topics, polls, priority setting and much more. When it finally comes down to voting at the polls, we anticipate that civic engagement will at least double as democratic practices will be routine. Of course, the same PDC can be used for education, health research, communication, and entertainment at only marginal incremental costs. Civic engagement plus education in Cleveland 2.0 can give rise to a prototypical netizenship model that connected community initiatives the world over will seek to replicate.

Idea 3: Cleveland 2.0 PledgeBank

• The Cleveland 2.0 PledgeBank is a web 2.0-enabled site to help people get things done, especially things that require lots of participants. PledgeBank allows users to set up pledges and then encourages other people to sign up to them. A pledge is a statement of the form 'I will do something, if a certain number of people will help me do it'. Some simple examples of the Cleveland 2.0 PledgeBank might be: 'I will start recycling if 100 people in my Ward will do the same'; 'I will help organize my child's school playground if 3 other parents will help'; 'I will build a useful website if 1000 people promise to contribute to it'.

Idea 4: Cleveland Health Interpreters Network

• The Cleveland Health Interpreters Network [CHIN], connected by OneCommunity represents the work of a consortium of leading public hospitals, health care organizations and technology companies. It addresses the challenge of how to communicate effectively with limited English-speaking patients and deliver quality healthcare in a multi-cultural society. Given the diversity of languages in our region, not only will CHIN support local patient care, it also provides an opportunity to drive a service model to other health care network providers who will use CHIN as an ASP. Services can be enabled to support Voice Over IP consultations but more compelling will be the implementation of thousands of video conference calls per month.

Idea 5: Student Success and Safety Messenger: a Cleveland 2.0 project

• A SMS notification solution, the SSS Messenger can record a personalized message, select a preprogrammed calling list, and send a message to parents from a computer or IP phone. The solution will allow teachers to communicate with parents more regularly and helps foster a stronger relationship with them. Linked to the student information system and back hauled over OneCommunity, the SSS system can use CMSD (or other districts’) IP voice infrastructure to notify parents of absentees, school closings, extra curricular events, student successes, and concerns.

Idea 6: Cleveland Neighborhood Health Check

• A web 2.0 enabled portal that builds on the work of the Mandel School of Applied Social Science’s Poverty Center project with SAS. The Poverty Center’s current project allows researcher’s to map layers of key demographic data across cities, wards, and even down to street level. The Neighborhood Health Check uses the same infrastructure but allows citizens to report directly to the GIS system the status and well being of 100 key neighborhood health indicators including lighting, side walks, signage, grounds upkeep, patrolling, garbage collection, and dozens of other services. This direct authoring tool will provide community members, elected officials as well as city/county service managers to gain valuable input directly from citizens on the health of the neighborhood.

Idea 7: Wireless Regional Public Transportation Services Project

• All buses and lightrail in Northeast Ohio should be connected to wireless infrastructure enabled by OneCommunity. The infrastructure should allow travelers to stay productive, engage in leisure activities, or learn about activities in neighborhoods that the transit services ride through. In addition, the transit infrastructure should be leveraged to provide every stop with a timely update on the time before the bus or rapid arrives as well as send out messages to regular passengers to their offices or homes.

Idea 8: Cleveland 2.0: International Center for High Definition Presence in Support of the Arts and Culture

• OneCommunity’s unprecedented ultrabroadband connectivity makes possible distributed performance art collaboration. Ensembles and other performers from Greater Cleveland can leverage the International Center’s core facilities to enable innovative collaborations including small traveling groups to regional or rural centers performing in real time with larger ensembles connected over OneCommunity to the International Center. New forms of art in dance, music, and theater enabling community collaborations between inner city schools in northeast Ohio and around the nation (and beyond). Experimental international collaboration all using new high definition video-based IP services.

Idea 9: Cleveland 2.0 Virtual Worlds Project

• Cleveland 2.0 is more than a physical location on the shores of Lake Erie. Cleveland 2.0 also represents a mega project to bring the core cultural, education, health care, and research in the region to the Virtual World’s platform. A photo-realistic series of sims in Second Life, the Cleveland 2.0 Virtual Worlds project will allow both citizens in the region as well as visitors from all over the world to experience Cleveland. They can have a virtual interaction with a health care professional at University Hospitals, or visit the new Cleveland Museum of Art to explore a possible donation of a wing. Education, orientations, patron experiences, concerts, poetry readings, art installations, curatorial experiences, education seminar experiences, self help organizations, and commercial services are all part of the Cleveland 2.0 Virtual Worlds project.

Idea 10: Cleveland 2.0: Northeast Ohio Oral History Project

• A community-wide collaboration to document individual family trees and link them to a wiki-version of the Encyclopedia of Cleveland allowing individuals, families, communities, churches, unions, and other organizations to link “their” story to the official story of the history of Cleveland. A combination of oral histories and video testimonials using a simple template of recording, annotating, and linking, the Oral History Project will be a model of civic engagement, appreciation for our history and building a strong foundation for future generations to celebrate local history.

The scope of the flagship 50 charette will be to generate hundreds of potential projects aligned to community priorities as outlined in the Voice and Choices process. Through a process of collaboration, assessment and evaluation, a top contender list of prospects should be developed into mini-business cases and moved to the center of the community’s radar screen for development. The ten ideas are just that, some ideas that can leverage web 2.0 technologies into solutions that can be shared broadly.

The half-day of activity will involve community dialog, priority settings, interactive demonstrations, a technical tract on new tools like Pipes, Mashups, and Second Life and plenty of opportunity for learning and sharing.

We hope you will consider joining the Cleveland 2.0 initiative.


Posted by lsg8 at 10:56 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 01, 2007

The Blackboard "Pledge"

Today's announcement by Blackboard regarding a commitment in perpetuity to never assert its course management patents among open source and home grown course management systems is a legal compromise with little consequence in the higher education marketplace. In the life cycle of software, homegrown system rarely scale unless they become commercialized. In a narrow sense, the threat of a frivolous law suit to keep lawyers employed has been avoided regarding the stand alone platform issue. The implications of the pledge regarding Open Source Software is much more intriguing. I believe that over the next 5 years we are likely to see significant tension associated with this pledge. The history of community-based and open source initiatives is anything but a binary choice between open and proprietary systems. As so-called Open Source initiatives evolve over time they will continue to have proprietary pieces in their DNA and perhaps more importantly, there is a near 100% certainty that none of today's OpenSource course management systems will survive in the marketplace as autonomous offerings. As Blackboard continues to evolve as a software solutions provider it will, in all likelihood, continue to be build value by adding layers of additional functionality to its core product (think about Msft's IE and Windows OS debacle). Those new layers of functionality will almost certainly lead to confrontation with dominant proprietary players. Whether in reaction to Blackboard's position in the market (a defensive posture) or in attempt to preempt, there is a a significant likelihood that today's open source solutions will evolve, over the mid-term, first as "open source" course management platform strategic partners with proprietary enterprise integrated software solution providers and within a version release or two become tightly integrated into the proprietary software code. How Blackboard and the higher education community respond to that probable scenario is not a matter of "if" but rather "when." In the near term, the courts will likely be called upon to test the veracity of the Blackboard's patent claim against emerging alternative course management system providers. Blackboard should take one more look in the mirror and realize that it is not its patents that will protect its near monopoly share of commercial course management software (full disclosure Case Western Reserve University is an enterprise customer of Blackboard) but rather its ability to demonstrate a true commitment to innovation and responsiveness to the higher education marketplace. Today's Blackboard announcement is a short term "fix" on an unfortunate journey that starts with the anti-intellectual position of seeking a "patent" on a 21st century version of a "whiteboard and a marker"in the 20th century or dare we say a 19th version of a "blackboard and chalk".

Lev Gonick, February 1, 2007

Posted by lsg8 at 12:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack