January 23, 2007

ITS Strategic Planning Framework 2007-2012

For the past six months ITS leadership has used a wiki to facilitate and collaborate in the co-production and development of both our strategic plan and the proposed priority list as outlined below. Together, along with a process of engagement and appreciative inquiry we continue to pursue a late spring release of our second 5year plan. (our first five year plan is available here). Shortly, we'll revise our internal wiki effort and open it up for public comment and feedback

Context

All planning occurs within the interstices of multiple contexts. Since our first five year plan was mapped out and approved (ITS Five Year Strategic Planning Framework 2002-2007) we have worked with three Presidents, three Provosts, and two Senior VPs for both Finance and Development. In addition, we have seen nearly the entire cadre of decanal appointments turn over along with changes in the office of budget and planning. In addition to the changes in senior administration at Case, the university has found itself oscillating between different management styles, shifting priorities, multiple fiscal challenges, and relatively little planning activity.

And yet, from both a general strategic and IT-specific planning perspective, the broader parameters of engaging, planning, prioritizing, operationalizing and setting milestones and outcome measures are more important than ever before.

Here then is our outline for our second five year plan. The outline and a draft of the actual "body of the plan" is being shared with the ITS Planning and Advisory Committee. Of course, given the manner in which this blog posting is being shared, we welcome feedback from interested parties.

Outline:

Why Strategic Planning Matters
o Why IT Strategic Planning Matters

Where We’ve Come From
o Faculty View
o Staff View
o ITS View

Current State of IT @ Case
o Student View
o Staff View
o Faculty View
o ITS View
o Metrics/Outcomes

Assessment of Challenges and Opportunities
o External Assessment (February-March '07)
o Internal Customer Assessment (February '07)

A Framework for Strategic Planning 2007-2012 Re-Imagining, Re-invigorating, Re-inventing

Broad Themes:
o Collaboration-Enabling Service Organization
o The Three C’s: Core Technology, Continuity Planning, and Compliance.
o Structured Innovation to support teaching research and the student experience

20 Initiatives:

o Structured Innovation

• Assessment and Evaluation on the Impact of New Technology on Learning Outcomes

• Focus on learning spaces (physical and virtual) that engage, develop, and retain learners and lead to student success.

• Faculty and staff development

• High Performance Computing baseline service offering

• Advanced Network Research support

• Mobility and converged platform for collaboration


o Collaboration Services

• Best of class web 2.0 collaboration solutions
Email
Calendaring
File Sharing
IM
Meeting Spaces
Web, video and audio conferencing
Blog
Wikis

• ITS Program Management Office

• Renewal of IT Governance

• University Circle Innovation Zone


o The Three C’s

• Case IT Architecture 2.0

• Upgrade Key Administrative Systems

• Focus on data warehouse enabling decision support

• Expansion and Improvement of Enterprise Data Centers

• Sustainable plan for Production and Development IT Equipment

• Implementation of new technologies and redundant production systems.

• Continuous Upgrades and renewal of fiber backbone infrastructure and related electronics.

• Contingency planning

• Augmentation of information security services

Measuring Outcomes
o 30 outcome measures

Visions of Where We Need/Want/Must Be in 2012
o Student View
o Faculty View
o Staff View
o Our Vision

IT Planning and Goals for Case Western Reserve University’s Schools/Colleges/and Distributed Units.


Draft 0.95 January 23, 2007, L. Gonick

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January 15, 2007

Cleveland 2.0

Cleveland 2.0 –
[Re]imagine
[Re]invent
[Re]invigorate


“it is the foremost task – and responsibility – of our generation to re-imagine our enterprises and institutions, public and private.” -

Tom Peters


Our chief strategists, marketing gurus, civic and business leaders should declare 2007 the year to Re-imagine Cleveland. 2007 should be the official launch of Cleveland 2.0.

Continue reading "Cleveland 2.0"

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September 11, 2006

The End of High School and the Future of American Education: Reframing the Debate in 2006

Bravo to Ohio's 3 major newspapers for helping focus attention on education and the economy in the run up to the mid-term and gubernatorial elections in November.

There is a banal quality to the assertion that America in general, and states like Ohio in particular are in crisis. In a rapidly evolving globally competitive economy, the slow death march and dismantling of the remainder of the U.S. manufacturing base combined with our system of federalism crushed under the weight of unsustainable policy priorities at the federal, state, regional, and local levels make it relatively easy to be a critic, cynic, or simply to become disenfranchised. In states like Ohio, the first of the inter-connected policy areas to have all but collapsed is our system of state-supported education. There is near unanimity that strengthening our education system is a key prerequisite to reclaiming our destiny and the revival of the American century. Whether the proposals are those that call for increased investments in early childhood education, redoubling efforts for accountability through standardized testing, or championing charter high schools as a form of public choice theory, all are informed by a shared conviction that the pursuit of a globally competitive, 21st century economy that will bring with it well paying jobs and an every increasing and yet sustainable quality of life for future generations is intimately connected to K-12 schooling.

I suspect that the “safe” debate in the mid-term elections will be whether any of the candidates can do anything in the education policy arena without raising taxes. Tax payer fatigue, uninspiring bureaucratic inertia, and broad voter disenfranchisement all conspire to generate a policy alternative solution set that is tired, safe, and anything but student-learner-centered. The stakes are too high (say the pundits), to offer any meaningful alternatives. America is looking for a new middle ground in the growing polarization between right and left (whatever that really means). Radical proposal will quickly be swept aside in the name of electablity.

Most dictionary definitions of “radical” inform the reader that its origins come from the Latin “getting to the root” of an issue. Here then is one radical reframing proposal nested in a contestable historical reading about the origins and future of education. I think it is time to declare our intentions to sunset and end the high school system as we know it in Ohio. Over the next 25 years there is both an educational and economic imperative that we re-invent a new integrated secondary-post secondary school platform to meet the educational priorities of a competitive, network and software technology-centric 21st century regional economy. Beyond curriculum and strategies for integrating service learning, Ohio should consider revisiting the learning experiences of young people from approximately ages 16-20 to prepare them for success. As I outline below, high school education has not always been preparatory to college and I believe that it is essential to take another critical look at the relationship between the drivers of economic growth in the 21st century and our education system. The contours of my proposal is to provide multiple tracks of learning opportunities for young people between the ages of 16 and 20 including an integrated high school diploma and first college degree. The primary driver for this undertaking should be around a transformational curriculum reform to enable students and their teachers and mentors to increase prospects of success and helping Ohio and the rest of the country successfully transcend from the education needs of the industrial era to the information age. However, it is equally important to take seriously the need to revisit and even challenge some of the sacred cows associated with the cost structures of education in Ohio. While the funding challenges are not root cause (in my view) there are significant opportunities to reduce the cost of delivering education through innovative structural reform.

Revisiting High School and its Role in Ohio's Education System

A European colleague remarked some years ago that the “United States has the best high school diploma in the world. Too bad,” he added, “that you have to finish your first degree at College to get it.” What is the role of an high school diploma today? Is there something sacred about the matriculation of students at age 18?

A brief historical review of American high school-aged youth over time suggests that at the turn of the last century more than 70% of the population had less than an 8th grade education and less than 10% went on to college after 12 years of school. In the early 20th century, American economic growth and prosperity was not highly correlated to schooling. Economic historians broadly agree that the engine of growth in our economy at the turn of the century was physical capital accumulation. For those who completed a high school education, high school (grades 9-12) itself was largely a preparation for a classic college education, in many ways indiscernible from the role finishing high school played for 250 years from 1650 both in the United States and elsewhere around the world. By the 3rd quarter of the 20th century the American high school movement had a dramatic impact both on education rates as well as serving as an important variable in post-WWII economic growth in the country. By the mid 1960s the percentage of the population with less than 8th grade education had reduced to less than 7% and 90% finished high school. Economists estimate that perhaps as much as 30% of U.S. economic growth of the second half of the 20th century can be explained by the increase in education of the work force entering the manufacturing industrial workplace. High school was no longer predominantly a preparation for college. Back in 1910 50% of all high school graduates indicated that they intended to go on to college. By 1923 as the high school movement exploded in the immediate aftermath of the industrial revolution in this country, only 43% of graduates planned to continue their studies and by 1933 the number declined to 25 percent. High school was not a prelude to college but rather preparatory for a job. Classics like Greek and Latin were displaced (although not without a lot of resistance) by radical new fundamentals like reading and basic math, electricity, typing, and interpreting blueprints became the stuff of the high school curriculum. High school education was directly related to the skills required in America's 20th century industrial era. It took until the middle of the 1970s for the level of high school graduates choosing to go on to post-secondary education to reach the same percentages as around 1910. (As a short parenthetic note, the high school movement in the United States (and to a lesser degree in Canada) that led to the explosion of high school educated youth from 1910-1940 was not duplicated in Europe, Asia, or most anywhere else until as much as 25-50 years later).

Fast Forward – 5 ideas on preparing young people for the 21st century

Gymnasts, swimmers, and many other athletes reach their prime at a much earlier age than was conventional wisdom only 25 years ago. Breakthroughs among young mathematicians in their teens are common place. Literary firsts and peer reviewed scientific journal articles now come from high school kids at the top of their graduating classes. Gamers and programmers know that across the spectrum from hackers to the best code warriors in the world the best of the best are often under 20 years old. By any number of measures, the Net generation is accomplished both in general and of course among its most gifted whether here in the United States or in a growing number of countries around the world. Unlike the agricultural age, and the industrial age, the United States enjoys no inherent advantage in the information age as geography and the traditional power of the state recede in their importance.. Indeed, unless there is a collective will to revisit some of our sacred institutional arrangements there is a growing probability that other parts of the world will emerge more accomplished. There is no better place to begin then in blurring the boundaries between high school and college.

Item 1: The first American high school movement (1910-1940) was supported and made possible through collaboration and explicit thought leadership, largely among America's public universities. Today, an integrated secondary/post-secondary education platform needs to also be one debated, cultivated, and assessed by a partnership between educational leaders across the secondary/post secondary borders. Ohio is well positioned with over 100 colleges and universities to support experimentation and assessment of new configurations. In January 2007, Columbus should use its authority and funding to call for deliberate cross-segment collaborations joining researchers, thought leaders, curriculum specialists and industry and community leaders to take deliberate plans.

Item 2: Ohio should explore enhancing and expanding a state-wide, university-sponsored high school collegiate program to create incentives and opportunities for 16 and 17 year old Ohio young scholars. The curriculum for the collegiate offering could begin with either a traditional high school offering and/or blend it with a hybrid entrepreneurial/community service and technology focus. The first new or augmented program offerings could be available by 2008 and assessed beginning in 2009.

Item 3: Ohio should explore an accelerated and integrated 4.5 or 5 year program to combine the last two years of high school and a first degree at any of Ohio's private or public institutions through the high school collegiate program and all Ohio university/college. The curriculum could either be along traditional tracks or supported by cross-boundary multi-disciplinary learning, discovery, and competency demonstrations in clusters of learning targeted by our thought leadership and civic leaders reflecting the strategic goals of the future of the state. The incentives would have to be sufficiently attractive but in addition to reducing the cost of delivering a high school diploma and first degree at college, the approach could help reduce brain drain in the State. It is also worth considering including a minimum half year service learning experience as part of the integrated secondary/post-secondary offering. Such experimentation could begin in 2008 with pilot programs being tested and assessed over a 24 month period.

Item 4: Ohio should initiate an integrated electronic learning portfolio from high school through college and on into the workplace. If there is truth that learning is not a spectator sport then across our lives we should both create, demonstrate and be in a position to reflect upon our accomplishments and learning outcomes. Electronic portfolios can be as creative as the incredibly popular facebook and myspace technologies but introduced in support of life long learning needs. The portfolio can be a repository of demonstrated learning outcomes including demonstration of authentic learning along with standardized testing and everything in between. E-Portfolios are now being piloted around the country. In the next 20 years, there is little doubt that forward leaning states will use and even mandate portfolios in much the same way as "report cards" were first introduced at the beginning of the last century. E-portfolios can be used much as an architect or an aspiring artist or digital media videographer might assemble a portfolio in support of a wide range of valuable activities like: grades, thesis work, personal reflections and writing, as well as in support of first jobs, explorations of venture opportunities, and community service. Lifelong learning requirements in the workplace can continue to be worked upon in the e-portfolio. As the next generation will likely experience more than 5 different careers in their life time and specific knowledge gained at college will carry a half life of approximately only 5 years before they are obsolete, it is vitally important that the broad needs of a common platform be considered a high priority across the high school, college, workplace, workforce re-entry and lifelong learning spectrum. Ohio could introduce the Buckeye e-portfolio on a trial basis as early as 2009 in high school to college common admissions process and begin to work our key professional associations in parallel to garner support for introducing the e-portfolio over the next decade.

Item 5: Finally, the next administration and legislature should consider prioritizing developing a detailed action plan to leverage its investments in Ohio's next generation network and services infrastructure and known generally as the Third Frontier Network (TFN). The future of Ohio in the digital age is too important to be left to technologists alone. Leaders from across the health care, public safety, education, justice system, cultural and arts communities along with our elected officials should all be challenged to both engage and commit to leverage the multi-million dollar investments made in the TFN to make Ohio among the most educated netizens in the world. By the year 2015 we should establish ambitious but attainable goals to connect 65 percent of our citizens to the TFN (8 million) and deliver a detailed portfolio of high school and college education content and collaboration opportunities, public health and consumer health education, peer to peer entrepreneurial start up services, cultural and arts education activities, and any number of other education programs for community and civic organizations.

Blurring and recombining learning to support the education needs of Ohio is every bit as important and reducing the cost of delivering today's legacy education offerings across the traditional segments. If future historians are to look back at the early 21st century, it is incumbent on this generation of leaders to take seriously their obligation and responsibility to help re-invent education in the digital age to create netizens, community leaders, entrepreneurs, and business leaders who will become the engine of growth and lead Ohio into a competitive position in the 21st century.


Lev Gonick, Cleveland, OH
September 11, 2006

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June 10, 2006

Cleveland hosts 400+ New Media Gurus

It's been an amazing week for Cleveland and the international technology community. More than 400 new media gurus from 200 museums, universities and research facilities invaded Cleveland for the 2006 New Media Consortium Summer Conference. The gathering (June 5-10), hosted by Case, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art and the Rock Hall was held at the Peter B. Lewis Building at the Weatherhead School of Management and at the Intercontinental hotel and conference center. Nearly 100 panels, presentations, workshops, 3D virtual reality tours, and keynote addresses celebrated innovation, creativity and learning. Podcasts, photos archives, and the complete program guide are available.

Conference attendees had more than their fair share of a taste of the technology, arts, and cultural scene in Cleveland. Wendy Shapiro, Case's Director of Academic Technology and Instructional Technology received major kudos from the conference organizers.

In the recognition and awards category... It's been an amazing week for technology initiatives in Case. Cleveland's OneCommunity project was recognized in Washington, D.C. by the ComputerWorld Laureate program, in New York by the Intelligent Communities Forum, and Case Western Reserve University received the New Media Consortium's NMC Center of Excellence Award for 2006!


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May 28, 2006

Why Net-Neutrality Matters to Cleveland and the Nation

Earlier this week, I took the story of an innovative university and its commitment to work to develop a 21st century connected community on the road (again). The presentations about Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland's OneCommunity were well received. Both in Boston at the Kennedy School of Government's Executive Education program and in Tucson at a 275 person public sector summit organized by Cisco the question of Cleveland's OneCommunity "position" on net neutrality came up from the audience. In response, I think I managed to say something fairly innocuous.

Then I started to do some thinking and research. I was surprised at how little of the so-called debate on net neutrality has been framed in meaningful ways that allow mainstream netizens to get their arms around this critical public policy issue. I've organized some thoughts that are outlined below. The preview of my conclusion comes down to this: legislative attempts to re-engineer the core anatomy of the Net are an ill-conceived agenda. This agenda is advanced by a handful of powerful, short-sighted private corporate interests. Their proposed actions advanced, by powerful politicians, will have both intended and unintended consequences. Monopoly-like pricing (and profits) are the intended consequence of this legislative agenda on next generation network services. The unintended consequences of their actions will further erode any semblance of a national broadband policy, further eroding our capacity to leverage broadband to address real social policy goals, including supporting research and development and the redevelopment and economic sustainability of our cities. Indeed, in the end, another unintended consequence will likely be the demise of the telecommunication and cable players who are advancing this very policy agenda. I conclude that net neutrality, embodied in Cleveland's OneCommunity initiative, is very important to us here in northeast Ohio, especially if we imagine a future for our region. My reasoning follows ....

There's a real battle brewing in Washington D.C. On the face of it, this one appears to have little to do with peace in Middle East, homeland security, hurricanes, or immigration policy. Even though it's not grabbing front page headlines (although the PD did have a very good editorial position), the debate over something called 'Net Neutrality' may be viewed by future generations as the most important public policy decision made by the Congress in 2006. Indeed, in our connected world, the beltway discussion about net neutrality has everything to do with domestic and foreign policy, global competitiveness, and emergency preparedness. Finally, the debate over net neutrality is at the very heart of the most important economic development strategy left for cities like Cleveland and regions like northeast Ohio. So, while we may believe that somehow we are not touched by other domestic and foreign policy issues net neutrality is really about our very future.

Here is the legislative angle. Congress is overhauling the telecommunication act in what will be known as the "Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006 (HR 5252)." It is sponsored by Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas), Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Charles Pickering (R-Miss.) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.). Over the last decade, a coalition called SavetheInternet has sought to include language in this new legislation to keep open, network access to all services on the Net. Others, like the "handsofftheinternet" have responded by suggesting that "Network neutrality regulation would threaten to slow the massive new broadband investment that telephone and cable companies have just recently begun to make in preparation for offering a vast array of new video and data services to consumers." What these interests and their supporters want is the right to have legislatively guaranteed rights to segment the available network capacity on terms, other than, one interoperable protocol for all. And so the battle lines are drawn.

In the beginning, as Vint Cerf, American engineering icon and internet architect (now Google evangelist), might say ... "the remarkable social impact and economic success of the Internet is in many ways directly attributable to the architectural characteristics that were part of its design. The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services. The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control. By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform for innovation." This was Cerf's message during his visit to Cleveland earlier this month.

In the beginning, commercial network operators were an afterthought because the Net, as we knew it, was independent infrastructure supporting research, experimentation, and defense communication needs. Of course, over the past nearly two decades, and certainly since the 1996 revisions to the Telecommunications Act, commercial network operators are very much central to the way in which the consumer and most businesses in the United States have experienced the Internet.

So, how did we get from there to here? And why are we on a collision course?

David Isenberg, a former 12 year employee at AT&T Labs in a largely overlooked entry makes a series of very insightful deductions that help to provide insight on the culture and deep business DNA of the telecommunications companies. His work also helps us understand why the telecommunication companies are trying, again, to aggressively advance what I would call a "containment strategy" in both attempting to protect an outdated business model and impose order and hierarchy on the Internet (which as Cerf points out does not recognize nor accede to hierarchy or order).

According to Isenberg, the classic telephone company value proposition, embodied in today's telephone network, holds:

* that expensive, scarce infrastructure can be shared to offer premium priced services,
* that talk - the human voice - generates most of the traffic,
* that circuit-switched calls are the "communications technologies" that matter, and
* that the telephone company is in control of its network.

Telephone companies still behave as if these assumptions hold despite:

* up to several thousand-fold declines in key infrastructure costs over the last two decades,
* a 20 year double-digit annual growth rate in the volume of data traffic, so that the volume of data traffic is now overtaking the (also growing, but more slowly) volume of voice traffic,
* the many different data types that now travel over the telephone network (despite the fact that the network is not optimized for all these data types),
* the many different types of "communications technologies," from television to Ethernet, that are not part of telephone network architecture, and
* the Internet, which, because it makes the details of network operation irrelevant, is shifting control to the end user.

The Intelligent Network, as the telephone companies call the old central switch world, is a straight-line extension of the four assumptions above - scarcity, voice, circuit switching, and control. Its primary design impetus was not customer service. Rather, the Intelligent Network was a telephone company attempt to engineer vendor independence, more automatic operation, and some "intelligent" new services into existing network architecture. However, even as it rolls out and matures, the Intelligent Network is being superseded by the Internet, which is, in general terms, a Stupid Network,

* with nothing but dumb transport in the middle, and intelligent user-controlled endpoints,
* whose design is guided by plenty, not scarcity,
* where transport is guided by the needs of the data, not the design assumptions of the network.

This is exactly how Cerf and his colleagues designed the Internet and places it in to direct and unavoidable conflict with the so-called Intelligent Network design. When asked about his take on the debate, Cerf said, “(e)nshrining a rule that broadly permits network operators to discriminate in favor of certain kinds of services and to potentially interfere with others would place broadband operators in control of online activity. Allowing broadband providers to segment their IP offerings and reserve huge amounts of bandwidth for their own services will not give consumers the broadband Internet our country and economy need.”

How would you like to have a 1 Gigabit/s connection from your home to the Internet for $100/month? How about 60 channels of IPTV for $7.26/month or 20 Mb/s DSL for $17.93/month or pervasive VOIP (81%) at costs 50% less than in the U.S. or mobile phone plans averaging under $15/month. Some free market fantasy? No, this is the story in France and Sweden, two of the most “big” state economies of Europe. Their story is informed by a public commitment to a national broadband policy and then placing incentives that move both entrepreneurs and force the larger competition to respond. The result is a framework for public policy innovation and solutions that provide consumers with value and opportunity.

Of course, we do not have the same public policy environment as Europe. In the case of both Sweden and France however, most of the changes in IP services have come to pass since 2000. There is a high probability that the United States will have no united, integrated broadband policy anytime soon. The alternative is a different public policy framework. The future of advanced networks and application development and deployment is at the “edge” of the network. National networks like Abilene and NLR are critical transportation services for education and research. Regional providers like the pacific northwest gigapop and the third frontier network in Ohio are vital to carrying traffic between geographically connected population centers and of course connecting our public higher education institutions. These networks and their peering relationships connect to nearly any point on the globe. Both national and regional optical networks are critical and both make innovation possible. However, there are real limits to the tradition and heritage of these next generation networks. They are all offerings developed for and by and limited to, in large measure, the needs of (higher) education. While the multiplexing technology of optical networking allows for dozens of networks on single network infrastructures, most national and even regional stakeholders owner/cooperatives do not have a vision on how to extend their networks. Indeed, from my experience, the intra-organizational politics and governance challenges within the higher education community are sufficiently complex and arcane that most find it difficult, if not impossible, to imagine extending the network to other traditional silos. On the issue of net neutrality these networks are all squarely lined up in favor of net neutrality. Good thing they are. The future of advanced, visual learning and research environments will need massive amounts of experimental, research, and production capacity so as to provide opportunities for national collaboration. From a global competitiveness perspective, no legislative agenda should be implemented that leads to trade off between the future of our nation’s R&D and the profits of our private telecommunication providers.

However, the true value of the network comes together as coalitions of local interests seeking to maintain, retain, improve, or attract talent and support innovation at the edge of the network. Twenty years from now, looking backwards, the difference between those who “make it” and those who do not will be highly correlated to how a community organizes to connect its public services, its commitments to democratic process, schools, colleges and universities, healthcare, museums, libraries, and centers of research, innovation, and economic development. Connecting communities with contiguous geographies becomes the work of regional networks and for them net neutrality matters to meet that mission. However, the real focus and value of the networked economy and society is positioning communities to compete from positions of strength within the global economy. It will be painfully obvious twenty years from now that instead of thinking that the competition was down the inter-state highway the reality is that both competition and cooperation are global in character. How we reach out and touch communities and local economies around the world that need our good, services, insights, and shared practices (and we there’s) is the single most important shift in our local (and statewide) paradigm if we are to succeed. Within communities like northeast Ohio, left to their own, there is a very low probability that national (global) telecommunication players will lead the coalition building and public policy development of a community that is ready to net. Indeed, if the telecommunication and cable providers think about the medium to long run (rather than quarterly reports to Wall Street), they too will realize the highly advantageous value of a community organizing and articulating its own interest in the information age. Growing the demand for technology-based adoption and applications from health care and education to commercial services and entertainment is the long term future of the Net. Anything that rate limits that activity by creating limits to the unfettered use of the internet is most unfortunate, especially now, especially in regions like northeast Ohio.

Former Shell Group Planning Head, Arie deGeus, in his master work, "The Living Company" (Harvard, Boston, 1997), examined thousands of companies to try to discover what it takes to adapt to changing conditions. He found that the life expectancy of the average company was only 40 years - this means that telephone company culture is in advanced old age. De Geus also studied 27 companies that had been able to survive over 100 years. He concluded that managing for longevity - to maximize the chances that a company will adapt to changes in the business climate - is very different than managing for profit.

Community networks, like OneCommunity, connected to regional and national fabrics of networks is the future of a public policy framework that has a chance to work in the United States. Indeed, it is the only likely framework that will lead to the repositioning of our competitive position in the world economy. Our ability to confront challenges on both the domestic and foreign fronts, both natural and those made by men and women are almost all going to be approachable in the 21st century by intelligent community-based activities to bring value to the so-called stupid network which should remain so without interference from either public or private interests.

Lev Gonick
Cleveland, OH
May 28, 2006

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May 24, 2006

Connecting the digital dots in NEOhio from College 360 to OSTN

President Thomas Chema's editorial in the PD on the efforts of College 360 is an important reminder that the pipeline of creative talent in our region is incontrovertibly connected to the future of the region itself. The appointment of Patrick Zohn to head up and manage the effort is very good news as the organization will now have dedicated, experienced, daily leadership in its effort to promote college to post-college opportunities.

Most, if not all of the universities and colleges in NEOhio are connected to or in the midst of being connected to Cleveland's OneCommunity network infrastructure. In effect, being connected to OneCommunity makes almost all of the faculty, students, and staff of the region connected on what is one the most advanced network infrastructures in the world.

So what? What's the connection? Cleveland's OneCommunity is unleashing a remarkable spirit of collaboration and cross boundary effort between the subscribers to the switched gigabit optical network. We have chronicled many of the early wins and there are a growing number of epiphanies that lead to "ah ha's" on a weekly basis.

I couldn't help but notice, that one of Cleveland's most prominent tech start ups, CampusEAI has been making huge press in the last couple of days around its Online Student Television Network. The platform for student to student (peer to peer) collaboration over OSTN across the nation is exciting and puts Cleveland at the epicenter of additional exciting, path breaking activity.

What hasn't happened, yet, is the attempt to connect the dots. One of the exciting opportunities is to form a student-based Northeast Ohio television production capacity generating programming of regional and national interest from among the 18-25 schools in the region who might uniquely collaborate in the effort. Student programming festivals, shorts, documentaries all with the College360 impromateur would continue to help shed positive light on the multimedia production opportunities in the region.

In addition, forming a College360 collab might also interest vendors who have thus far been sitting on the sidelines related to OneCommunity. I'm thinking about the Avid's, Apples, and Adobe all of whom lead the market place in advanced, high end media production and have asked me more than once how they can play in Cleveland/NEOhio.

Opportunity knocking!

Congrats to College360 and OSTN. We hope you meet each other --- soon.

Lev Gonick
Tucson, May 23

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May 22, 2006

Harvard Kennedy School Case on OneCleveland

Tomorrow, former Mayor Jane Campbell and I are leading an executive session at the Kennedy School of Government on the City of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University's role in the formation and development of Cleveland's OneCommunity initiative.

There is a 20 page written case now completed and linked to an online case available at here.

In addition, we have just completed an IBM sponsored video testimonial on Cleveland's OneCommunity effort. It can be viewed here

Let me know your feedback on this new content...

Lev Gonick

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