blogs

Powerpoint presentation on REALNEO environment and Drupal application

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 12/14/2004 - 14:31.

Here is an overview Powerpoint presentation prepared to share with attendees at the REI orientation sessions and for your review by downloading here.

Quality Pre-K Programs

Submitted by RWaxman-Lenz on Mon, 12/13/2004 - 22:57.

Providing childcare and pre-K advantages to more children cannot be considered only an issue of increasing the quantity of centers. Quality matters. The National Association of School Boards of Educations (NASBE) recently issued a policy update addressing this issue and the need to focus on the manner in which we assess young children. The Association states that “there is actually a fairly broad consensus today about many issues related to early childhood testing. For example, there is general acknowledgement that issues of technical adequacy are more difficult to address with young children, who have shorter attention spans and go through periods of fluctuating development. Experts also agree that…no single assessment should be used to rank, label children, or exclude youngsters from educational experiences.�

Who Funds a "Free" Preschool Program?

Submitted by RWaxman-Lenz on Sun, 12/12/2004 - 18:38.

Suppose you wanted to expand the reach of preschool to low-income families not able to pay for these benefits. To whom would you turn? A recent article in the Washington Post tells of the Freddie Mac Foundation providing a $450,000 grant for a free preschool program in Alexandria, Virginia. The program, Child and Family Network Centers, enrolls over 170 children whose families earn too much to qualify for Head Start, but not enough to pay for a private preschool. The founder of this program, Barbara Mason, states, "I think every city's going to need a program like ours because there are always going to be kids that fall through the cracks." She started the center twenty years ago in response to the large discrepancy she saw between "the kids coming out of the projects and their middle-class peers." The $2.3 million budget of the center comes from three sources: one-third is from city, state, and federal funds, one-third from foundations, and one-third from fund raising.Â

University Circle as a hub for Creative Industries

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Sun, 12/12/2004 - 12:56.

We have a remarkable opportunity to begin weaving together University Circle as a hub in our network of creative industries in NEO. Yesterday, I provided development officers at University Circle, Inc. an insight on how we can begin. You can download the presentation.

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ALL CITY BAND

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 12/10/2004 - 19:08.

Under the direction of Peggy Eliot, the ALL CITY BAND had Tower City Mall energized this noon.  Comprised of upwards of 150(+?)  young dancers, flag performers, drummers, and brass band players, ALL CITY performed  traditional Holiday tunes mingled with powerful drum music.   

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Friday in NEO - where's our unique value today?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 12/09/2004 - 23:08.

Friday in NEO
- where's our unique value today? Start at the City Club for lunch with
Ambassador Ross, speaking on the what’s next for

WIND TURBINE TOWER FACTORY AT STEELYARD COMMONS

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 12/09/2004 - 18:37.

(Note: This post had as its inspiration a round of emails which were emphasizing the ability of the net to spread news - in particular the news of new web sites (one site went from inception to 1 million hits in 3 days). My impression of the discussion in the email exchanges was that other enterprises, besides political web sites, could utilize the phenomenal facility of the web to spread other development ideas. Let's see if the following wind turbine tower suggestion gets a million hits!)

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Revitalizing Ohio's Canals - Sky King's Proposal

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 12/09/2004 - 14:49.

Highway exits demand urban sprawl with all the trappings for the 1-$top
American lifestyle of fast food, heart burn and gas at the expense of
our environmental health (trees, oxygen, wetlands), peace of mind and

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Learning from Baltimore's Education Project

Submitted by RWaxman-Lenz on Tue, 12/07/2004 - 13:35.

"Strong Schools = Strong Communities" emphasized a workshop held at the Enterprise Foundation Annual Network Conference in October. Lessons learned from the Baltimore Education Project are relevant to education issues faced in Cleveland. "Intervene with the youngest ages possible," urge the practitioners of this initiative. "Because standardized testing usually begins in the very early years of formal public education..., it is important to equip students with the skills, tools, attitudes, and behaviors that will make them successful at learning before they arrive in First Grade." The list of lessons also speaks to a long-term approach and establishing formal partnerships among community stakeholders.  To learn more about the Baltimore Education Initiative process, click here.

Innovation and Disruption Still Going Hand in Hand

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/06/2004 - 10:42.

The NYTimes has an interesting article on disruptive technology and the new economy - good advance reading for the December 7 Tuesday@REI session "Unique Value: Competition based on Innovation Creating Unique Value".

The 12/6/04 NYTimes article concludes:

Competition has been a spur to innovation, driving companies to find
ways to do things better or cheaper, to gain new markets and reap
higher profits. But competition can also diminish the incentives to
develop new technologies if, as happened with many dot-com initiatives,
innovations are easily replicated by rivals.

"Today, with a
much more competitive and deregulated environment there are very few
companies with the kind of financial cushion to take the 10-to-15-year
long-term view," said Mr. Slywotzky of Mercer Management. "Those
engines of innovation have shut down."

Read the entire article linked here.

Connecting early child care with economic development

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Sat, 12/04/2004 - 19:59.

For over a year, the Committee for Economic Development, a Washington-based business group has been promoting the connection between early childhood education and economic development. Today, they released the latest in a series of reports.

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Outsourcing creativity

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Sat, 12/04/2004 - 13:01.

One NEO software executive commented last spring at a NEOSA event: We have a tendency to over-estimate the short term effects of outsourcing and to under-estimate its long term implications.



He appears to be right. Forget about outsourcing call centers. Fast Company points us to the real competition ahead: creativity and innovation. "As new funding fuels innovation, Silicon Valley insiders see India and China ultimately eclipsing America as technology markets -- with local companies dominating." Read more.

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Ohio can encourage regional collaboration

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Sat, 12/04/2004 - 12:40.

An editorial in this morning's Dayton Daily News makes a good point. The state legislature would be taking the wrong step by eliminating the local government fund. At the same time, the state legislature can use the local government fund as leverage to encourage more regional collaboration.

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Form's Steve Cencula says Innovation follows more than just function

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 12/03/2004 - 23:00.

The Form Group founder Steve Cencula was on recent panels at the Making Change and BizArt forums, where he brought to the attention of attendees the need to merge creative and entrepreneurial instincts, which has made him successful in design and business - his newest enterprise is developing interactive media and games for product development, communication and education. A point that stood out in his BizArt discussion was that he started his previous company, Kaleidoscope, because he wanted to do things he couldn't do or even learn to do at school - he knew by doing his own thing he would provide a product and service unique in NEO. He saw opportunity and he conquered. !00s more Steve Cencula's and NEO will be 100x more innovative - he's now on the Board of the Cleveland Institute of Art and promises they will be driving that level of change in NEO in the future. Posted below is the conclusion of an article Steve wrote on innovation...

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Immigration as an economic development strategy

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Fri, 12/03/2004 - 06:54.

One thing is for sure: the topic of immigration policy will be heating up in 2005. The reason: high end labor shortages. jeffbuster [at] sbcglobal [dot] net passed along an article from Newsweek that underscores the point. Our research and technology base depends deeply on foreign scientists. Read more

Even worse, we are drying up this source of talent with a cumbersome, ill-advised immigration policy. As the Newsweek article points out: We are facing "a dramatic decline of foreign students in the U.S.—the first shift downward in 30 years".

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Emerging regional approaches to economic development

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Fri, 12/03/2004 - 06:04.

Regional approaches to economic development are popping up all over the place. Earlier this week, the governors of New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania got together to end the recruiting wars that have been going on among those three states.

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Following the example of Phoenix

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Fri, 12/03/2004 - 05:49.

The chambers of commerce in the Phoenix region are launching a sensible economic development strategy during the holidays. They are urging residents to shop locally. Although it's too late for this year, maybe our NEO chambers could launch a similar marketing effort next year.

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Working with Mt. Zion

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Thu, 12/02/2004 - 22:55.

Earlier this week, a group of us from REI met with the leadership of Mt. Zion, one of the churches located in University Circle. We conduced a fast-paced Appreciative Inquiry into one aspect of the church's seven-fold mission. The church aspires to be community-oriented, but what does that mean?

Using skills taught at the Weatherhead School in Appreciative Inquiry, we explored the different dimensions of spirituality and action that gives this church remarkable life. In a short time, we forged a strong friendships between REI and the church leadership, since we see deep overlaps in our outlooks and aspirations. A remarkable evening.

An energy is bubbling just below the surface of University Circle. In the months and years ahead, we will see remarkable new partnerships forming. We have invited the leadership of Mt. Zion to share their visions for the future of University Circle with us during an upcoming Tuesdays@REi.

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Massachusetts releases report on its innovation economy

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Thu, 12/02/2004 - 22:40.

For a number of years, Massachusetts has led the nation in producing an innovation index report. This week, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative released its latest report. You can read more about the report. You can also download a copy.

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CMA is world-class proving "At Museums, Computers Get Creative"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 12/02/2004 - 11:44.

Cleveland Museum of Art CIO Len Steinbach recently presented
to the Community of Minds network on his work to leverage state of the art
information technology for extended learning and virtual community development
and in-house experiential enhancements, ranging from multi-player student games
and videoconferencing for conservation to touch screen displays in the
galleries to help teachers explain advanced concepts to students while visiting
the museum. If this doesn’t sound like our founding fathers’ CMA, it isn’t.. it
is better. Leveraging IT is essential for all great museums to
best fulfill their missions in the modern world, and the CMA’s future value and
reputation in this region and in the global community will increasingly be
evaluated for virtual effectiveness. Read more about the high tech side of
museum operations from the NYTimes, excerpted and linked below, take
satisfaction Cleveland is in the same league as the world’s best – be
supportive of CMA’s efforts to further these world-class objectives as they
expand and evolve.

Childcare Center Consultations Strengthen NEO Community

Submitted by RWaxman-Lenz on Wed, 12/01/2004 - 17:57.

I had the chance yesterday to meet with the Hanna Perkins Center director, Tom Barrett, and several staff members of the Shaker Heights facility. This is one of several institutions strengthening the fabric of our community. The Center includes four integrated branches: a therapeutic preschool with programming for children from toddlerhood through kindergarten, a psychotherapy clinic, a research center, and a training program for early childhood educators and care givers. It’s exciting to talk with these professionals who seek to utilize their knowledge to reach a broad base of our region’s children with programs that show such a depth of understanding for how children develop.

Thanks to CoolCleveland for the mention - please know this is everyone's site

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 12/01/2004 - 13:08.

CoolCleveland mentioned REALNEO in their 12/1/04 issue, and that is appreciated. As a driver behind this effort, I appreciate anything that creates awareness of this virtual community - please know it is not "my site" or owned by anyone - it is provided freely to everyone in the region interested in enhancing our value of economic development and entrepreneurship... everyone in the world is welcome to visit, register and add content.

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While you're getting up to speed with WiFi, prepare to go faster with WiMax

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 11/29/2004 - 17:24.

As we all consider the
transformational impact of wifi on our daily lives and this community, there’s
another wireless technology to receive in your mindspace and soon to your business or even home – WiMax… worldwide interoperability
for microwave access… which has blazing speed with a stable range of 15-30 miles and is already prevalent in major cities around the
world, and should be considered part of NEO’s long-term technology portfolio strategy.
The questions are, how does WiMax help NEO and when? Read the NYTimes article posted and linked below – I’ll explore this further as
it relates to bridging our digital divide from the most out of box position
possible.

Shaker Heights knows looking backwards improves future economic development

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 11/29/2004 - 10:32.

One drive through Shaker Heights makes it clear this is an historically significant community. The Clevelend Plain Dealer recently reported Shaker leaders recognize their historic character as a valuable asset and they have taken steps to protect that, at the City Hall level. While much of the great historic architecture of Northeast Ohio has been detroyed over the years, regional community leaders should take action like has Shaker to preserve what remains - consider the great buildings in areas of Cleveland like Glenville, and in East Cleveland, and picture a future of historic buildings restored to their potential prime, rather than gone forever. Read on about the Shaker initiative, introduced and linked below.

Keep talking about the NEO crisis: Clevelanders must get connected

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 11/28/2004 - 20:48.

I find it absurd when people criticize the Plain Dealer for their "Quiet Crisis" series and challenge area residents to look on the sunny side of life. While REALNEO certainly features plenty of progressive developments and people in the region to celebrate, it is essential we all redouble efforts to correct our failings and support solutions, rather than hibernate in denial - things won't be any better in the Spring.

For one roadmap to a better future, in the 11/28/04 Plain Dealer Forum Section the insightful Joe Frolik offers a blueprint for significant improvement for NEO, taken from lessons learned in our regional diamond Chicago, which not inconsequentially was able to lure away one of our leaders of our sustainability movement because our community leaders were not as supportive and promising as those of the Windy City. For another roadmap, look to Boston, and just down the road to NEO's most progressive suburb, Shaker Heights.

In another new economy domain, the OneCleveland initiative has been nationally recognized at the top of the community bandwidth spectrum but, for lack of concerted comprehension of the connection between connectivity and economic development, we are lagging Philadelphia in visioning on becoming the wired city of the future. Worse, the City of Cleveland has failed to leverage information technology as a foundation for economic development and we're now recognized as the worst of 70 large city virtual communities in the Country. Worse, those who allowed us to become the worst are slamming the barn door and pledging away $30,000,000+ to out-of-state contractors to put us right.

As a more sane strategy, I suggest leaders for the future of Cleveland speak up about this crisis and take ownership to find solutions. I started speaking up on this issues in 2001, writing a "Quiet Crisis" op/ed on our failing virtual community and the digital divide, and I am working with a group of Case and Cleveland State leaders to solve those problems in East Cleveland, where city government is receptive to outside support. I reprint below my op/ed from 2001, which remains true today, and I encourage others to post their thoughts on these issues as comments here, or email me on these matters at norm [at] icearth [dot] com.