Midtown Wednesdays: Creating an Informatics Culture: Technology, Learning & Visualization

Date: Wednesday, March 1
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
3921 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, OH
Map Link

Simple collaborations between short and long distance partners can create awesome unforeseen results.

Case Medical School and the Medical University of Ohio at Toledo partnered to share an eAssessment system over the Internet to create and administer online examinations. Their collaboration shows the power of the Internet and the potential for long-range interactions.

Learn how media and web based technology innovations have been applied to educate our future researchers and physicians.

We'll cover everything from the creation of a simulation center to teaching cancer genetics through serious gaming.

You'll also hear the story of three entrepreneurs - two medical students and one Cleveland Institute of Art alum - moving ahead with a new business spin-off.

Join us - and leave with new ideas and new connections.

Forum Contributors:

Dr. Tom Nosek, Case, Prof. Dept. Physiology and Biophysics
and Assoc. Dean for Academic Computing

Dr. Carlos Baptista, MD, Ph.D., Medical University of Ohio at Toledo's Center for Creative Education

Gregg Wrenn, Case, Medical Student & Entrepreneur

Coming up: Wednesday, March 8: GreenCityBlueLake Network Portal

Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
3921 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, OH

Map Link
Questions? Contact:

Betsey Merkel, Network Development
The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)
Cleveland MidTown Innovation Center
4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 310
Cleveland, OH 44103 USA
Tel. 216-246-2447

What About It? Open Access to Business Related Research

Rich Brhel, Director of Library at Myers University and our partner in hosting Midtown Wednesdays (the first step in building the Midtown Innovation Zone), sees academic libraries providing support through access to their collection and open access to business related research.

Rich has suggested a national leader Ray English, Director of the Oberlin Library, lead a future forum with us to explore the results of open access to research in business.

Ray was recently named National Research Librarian of the Year by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Read more here.

Read the interview about Ray's leadership in the open access movement here.

Midtown Wednesdays: A National Legacy of African American Innovation & Entrepreneurship

African American community leaders came together at Myers University to make new connections, share an appreciation of Cleveland's rich history of African American cultural institutions and long standing leadership contributions to the history of American innovation and entrepreneurship.

Next steps involve exploring new practices of economic development to strengthen regional cultural assets and resources, engage in purposeful dialogue and identify transformative initiatives from the African American community in Northeast Ohio.

Here are attendee insights:

..We need to work on capacity building in the community. How do we get long term financing? These are the questions that need to be addressed. Everyone needs to participate. Bring out the history for everyone. We must tell both sides of every story and the third side too.

...There are deep differences between cultures that we tend to gloss over. Our (American) understanding of community was brought from the African culture. These are deep culture differences that we all need to understand. It is very important to network the Cleveland institutions and history of the African American culture.

For the summary go here.

Our next steps are to:
- Engage a community of commitment lead by the African American community (if you would like to participate email betseymerkel@aol.com)
- Begin a mapping effort of historical African American sites and social innovation
- Next forum: April 12, Myers University, Chester campus, 5:00 to 6:45 PM

A Cultural Aesthetic: the Djembe

The Djembe or, "talking drum", is interpreted in this proposed model for the 2003 Pittsburgh African American Cultural Center Design Competition.

Download the PDF here.

What would that look like in Midtown?

How Much Better Can it Get? Libraries offer Significant Economic Returns to Communities

It would cost certified financial analyst John Birmingham of Fort Collins several thousand dollars a year if he subscribed to all the business resources he uses at the Fort Collins Public Library.

Instead, Birmingham gets the information he needs for free.

Libraries offer critical infrastructure to economic development. Read more here.

Baltimore Model: Lewis Museum's design reflects African-American spirit

More than two dozen cities now have or are planning African-American-themed cultural centers, making them the fastest growing subcategory of museums in the country.

With 82,000 square feet of space, Baltimore's Lewis Museum will be the second largest in the country, after the Detroit Museum of African American History. Because of its proximity to the Inner Harbor, it's expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

Besides space for permanent and temporary exhibits, the Lewis Museum contains an auditorium, resource center, interactive learning center, oral history recording center, gift shop, cafe, classrooms, meeting rooms, offices and reception areas.

Read about Baltimore's model here.

Blacks More Likely to Start Businesses - and Fail

Fewer black Americans own businesses than do white Americans, a recent study reports - but not because they aren't trying.

The study found that blacks are almost twice as likely as whites to try starting a business but are significantly less likely to survive the first few years. Read more.

Here are some examples of how the Midtown Innovation Zone is strengthening and accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship:

- Tomorrow's Midtown Wednesday forum brings people together to participate in a brainstorming and planning session to design a new African American Cultural Center in Midtown. I-Open will produce a social network map of attendess to get a better understanding of how ideas and collaborations form. The map will be posted as public information here.

- William Holdipp, of the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO), identifies some next steps here.

- In last week's Midtown Wednesdays forum, Ted Jordan and forum attendees identified several next steps: teach kids to think entrepreneurially about the gaming industry by building games and, host a gaming conference in Midtown. (see previous post: "Midtown Wednesdays: Starting Early with IT Education for Kids")

Some next steps:
- Further strengthen the social networks in the African American community with a two fold approach: a strategic process to build open economic networks and, integrate higher levels of technology adoption.

Librarian warns proposed tax 'reform' would gut local services

A state constitutional amendment favored by Republican gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell would bring sweeping changes in local government funding, and pubic library officials say its impact would be massive. Read more here.

Ohio is in a unique position unlike any other region in the country. Our libraries represent, with our colleges and universities, major legacy assets. These are public gifts of the previous industrial economy. They provide the basis for our children's innovation economy.

Building open economic networks through a strategic open process would allow us to guarrantee the legacy is preserved.

02-15-06: Midtown Innovation Zone Map with Names

Here is another version of the Midtown Innovation Map. Colors have been added for a visually interesting affect. Software designer, Valdis Krebs, likens these portraits of communities to works of art. Snapshots of social relationships.

Maps portray a picture of human nature and consciousness: such as resiliance, compassion, sharing, beliefs and emotional intelligence.

Maps can also illuminate knowledge of research and resources.

Learn more at More in the Box.

For a downloadable version go here.

Building Quality, Connected Places: Envisioning a NEO African American Cultural Center

In 1915 a pair of Oberlin graduates, Russell and Rowena Woodham Jelliffe, established a place where people of different races, creeds and religions could seek cultural excellence together. The location later became known as Karamu House.

Join us to celebrate Cleveland's rich history of African American institutions continuing to strengthen culture and history.

Be a part of envisioning a new African American Cultural Center and brainstorming new ways of sharing knowledge and resources for a dynamic entrepreneurial place in NEO.

Forum Contributors:

Eugene Cranford,Moody Nolan
Linda Henrichsen, City of Cleveland Planning Department
The Cleveland African American Museum
Karamu House

Moderator: Ed Morrison, I-Open

Strengthening cultural networks across the country:

A site was selected for the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture adjacent to the National Monument and across the street from the National Museum of American History. Learn more here.

The African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh preserves the art, culture and history of African Americans in Pittsburgh and the people of African descent throughout the world.

Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Center at the University of Kentucky here.

Coming up: Wednesday, March 1: Technology, Learning and Visualization

Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: FUTURE: Center for Design and Technology Transfer
The Cleveland Institute of Art
MC Bldg, 11610 Euclid Ave

Ohio's Getting on Board...80 Years Later

This Wednesday Senator Eric Kearney, D-Hamilton County, will introduce Senate Bill 266 to the Ohio Senate. The legislation aims to put a permanent stamp on February in Ohio as Black History Month. More.

Our Midtown Innovation Network Map today

Take a closer look. Click here Midtown Innovation Map to download your own copy to your desktop. (Network maps are like artwork and make neat screen savers.)

Different weeks are represented by different colored nodes. Here is the color code: Forum 01.11.06 = maroon; Forum 01.25.06 = green; Forum 02-08-06 = blue.

At this point, the map offers a visual picture of how Midtown Wednesday attendees are connected. The map will grow over time and become more complex as relationships build.

Each link represents, at the least, ideas exchanged. This is the beginning of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Join us next week at the Midtown Wednesdays forum to be a part of building the Midtown Innovation Zone.

Be a part of the Midtown Map!

Midtown Wednesdays: Starting Early with IT Education for Kids

To begin, this week's session includes several updates and quick takes of information.

Rich Brhel, Dir. of Library, Myers University, reminds us of Myers' historical place in Cleveland history since 1848. Rich continues and provides a quick clip about the Ohio Memory Project a cool repository of Cleveland history.

Dennis Coughlin describes I-Open's mission to build collaborative networks to transform our region. He shares his experience and working knowledge of the InFlow software and I-Open's and the community's application of it to produce Midtown Innovation Zone maps. Dennis is becoming a resource for others who map open economic networks. I-Open has developed a process to build trust to accelerate the formation of these networks. We tell the story of the I-Open Innovation Framework, a strategy map developed by Ed Morrison, I-Open.

William Holdipp gives the basics about the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO), its history, services to members and the awesome connecting that happens for CAAO members and others who connect to CAAO.

At every forum we ask attendees to fill out a simple survey that will supply the data for our Midtown Innovation Network Map. (We'll be posting it here soon...) We look at one of the nodes which represents an individual attendee. The degree of connectivity is a visual display of knowledge and ultimately, opportunity and innovation .

Willard Brown, President, Black Data Processing Association (BDPA) and a founder of CAAO, continues. Williard's day job is as a technology officer at National City Bank. BDPA has 55 chapters in the US. Dell is one of the major sponsors and has built the tech lab facility at Case.

BDPA provides student information technology education for ages 11 to 17. The program offers kids working world experience in technology. The trainers are local industry who provide real application situations to build their education and a future career. The program goes from Feb through Aug. The organization hosts a state competition and participates in a national competition. Employers provide a problem and the kids need to create a program - data base script - to solve the challenge. The Sites program provides skill sets for kids from current employers. This is a good example of closing the gap between education and current workforce requirements. The sponsoring industries maintain a closeworking relationship with BDPA. This year's materials focus on .NET systems.

The kids naturally gravitate toward the different aspects of technology - from software to hardware. The national conferences take the kids on tours of major IT companies.

[Today's audience has a nice mixture of lots of different people: artists, IT, government, entrepreneurs, legal, advocates]

Ted Jordan, JordanTeam Learning LLC, tells us about creating Kids Funutation with the help of BDPA and running the test program in Beachwood 2 years ago. The Beachwood High School hosts the program. The goal is to get the kids even more motivated about technology. Kids start with the source code of Pong, for example.

Ted is looking for counselors and sponsors and places to go for field trips for the program. A new pilot initiative starting in April will leverage long distance learning with Michigan. In other classes, kids are taught source code - and once they realize the capacity for creating never ending lives of characters and other powerful effects - source code is no longer inconsequential but the gotta' know piece!

Ted has been connected with several organizations who have helped him to get started, such as CAAO & I-Open.

Audience suggestions and offers to contribute to building innovation in Midtown: contact local neighborhood centers; NASA has a similar program; Nine Sigma connects innovation networks to solve industrial challenges. We'll have a meeting on a Saturday morning in the next week or so at the Midtown Innovation Center with anyone who wants to plan next steps.

After forum discussions: connecting with the Midtown neighborhood community centers, starting a gaming competition lab, creating a committee to advise on criteria for creating innovation zones.

A Good Example of Collaboration

The CAAO (Consortium for African American Organizations) home page posts a brief update and photo about Alex Michael's presentation at last week's Midtown Wednesday forum at Myers University. This is a good example of how to amplify your efforts and create a "ripple affect" in the networks. It's an effective way of sustaining the story about any civic effort - like a Midtown Wednesdays forum - to diverse audiences.

It's About Time: Games-to-Teach Research Vision

"Computer games have now been with us for over 30 years. The Atari 2600 is nearly 25 years old. Civilization is now nearly 10 years old. Yet, many Americans fail to recognize these complex achievements as more than fads or child's play. Ask most people what they think about video games, and many will respond that they're a waste of time..."

Read this MIT's researcher's blog here.

We learn best what we need to know

Here's a story: Steve Mariotti was named 2004 National Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Some years before he was mugged by kids for $10. After that Mariotti changed careers to teach Math to impoverished kids.

He realized the traditional subjects weren't relevant to the students and began teaching them basic business skills. The students began learning more about what they were interested in and didn't have: money and ownership.

Mariotti soon found the kids that were written off, were now eagerly learning new skills toward behaving as entrepreneurs. Read more here.

What & Where: New creative applications for GIS/GPS

The National 4-H Youth are partner to the National GIS/GPS Integration Team. This team builds projects to accelerate community solutions with innovative and creative uses of Geographic Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems.

Midtown Wednesdays: Building Culture: Creativity, Youth Entrepreneurship & Gaming

What does it take to build tomorrow's innovation zone? An environment with diversity, creativity and endless opportunities to participate in new business mediums.

Today, we need a plethora of training programs and environments for kids to build knowledge and skills in cutting edge industries, engage in project teams and sharpen their natural entrepreneurial skills.

Join us to learn how one Cleveland company provides opportunities for young adults to learn open source culture, build computer games, web design and the basics or robotics.

Forum Leader:

Ted Jordan, JordanTeam Learning LLC

Learn more about strengthening our entrepreneurial youth culture:

By teaching entrepreneurial skills, E City builds self-sufficient individuals prepared to be future business owners aware of their contribution to economic development in communities.

Spartan Youth Programs at the University of Michigan combine mentoring and team engagement to girls in seventh and eight grades interested in math, science and engineering integrating wireless technology.

Visit Intel's Computer Clubhouse Network.

The National 4-H Youth Technology Leadership Team creates new technology applications and shares best practices and information.

Coming up: Wednesday, February 22: NEO African American Cultural Center

Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
Cleveland, OH 44103

Questions? Contact:

Betsey Merkel, Network Development
The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)
Cleveland MidTown Innovation Center
4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 310
Cleveland, OH 44103 USA

Catch This Wave: Build Our NEO Creative Media Industry

Participate in a conversation going on now and build our Creative Digital Media Industry with initiative leader Alex Michaels and the RealNEO network here.

Thanks to social technology applications, ie., Blogs, wiki's and Internet Service Providers (ISP's) like Ning, large numbers of leaders can access expanded civic leadership conversations. People like you.

ISP's are one way we can accelerate NEO's Innovation Economy, moving leadership from small closed door conversations to larger, transparent dialogues.

Unlike older industrial economies, these new Innovation Economy conversations are more than "just talk". These conversations bring opportunities for anyone prepared to grasp them. Jack Ricchiuto reminds us that people move in the direction of purposeful conversations...So catch this wave!

WIRE-Net: Our National Model in Manufacturing Innovation

Cleveland's WIRE-Net is one of five programs cited in this national report on innovative city partnerships. The report came out this week. The report is available here.

Being Relentless: Mapping Networks Every Week

Midtown Wednesdays forums are a place for people to gather and exchange ideas. Here is last week's social network map of the people who contributed a completed short survey.

At each week's forum anyone who is interested, contributes new information about their business, initiative, proposal or dreams. Innovation happens when people share knowledge from their perspective about what they see is missing and with others, brainstorm possible solutions.

The next step is often left out: follow up. What are our next steps? And, who will begin to complete the tasks that are needed.

Maps indicate next steps by illuminating new paths to opt-in to knowledge flows. Maps also provide a diagnostic tool for strategically building new connections to strengthen innovation.

Last week's Network Map provides a visual picture of idea and information exchange going on at Myers University.

I have been thinking about ......

Last night June Holley presented at Midtown Wednesdays at Myers University. June is a leading researcher and practitioner in innovation networks and part of her presentation described networking hubs.

June told me that the I-Open office is a perfect example of a little networking hub. And it is. People are always stopping by to say hi, hang out and tell us what they are doing and/or to find out what I-Open is all about. The first person anyone sees when passing by our open door is Betsey Merkel. Betsey is constantly asking people who they are, requests business cards, finds out where they work and what are they passionate about, would they like to host a forum, and how can I-Open help strengthen their work.

Just imagine hundreds of small networking hubs happening across the region. People reaching out to help others so that everyone has an opportunity to grow and prosper.

I-Open is building an Innovation Zone in Midtown - a quality connected place where innovative and entrepreneurial activity occurs. How many Innovation Zones can we create in Northeast Ohio?

Published by Susan Altshuler

Creating Innovation Networks in Midtown

June Holley is leading this week's forum. June is a nationally recognized researcher and practitioner in identifying, leading and coaching innovation networks.

Our first question from June: What would you like to see happen in Cleveland?
Here are some ideas produced by some of the small working groups from the audience: (for non- and for-profits)
* Minorities in healthcare devices industry
* Lots of entrepreneurs
* More spin-offs from the hospitals
* More collaboration and lateral behaviors bringing people together
* High speed rail, connecting cities
* Ideas and people together to evaluate ideas
* Core city strengthened

Our next question is, who do you know who can help you with the development of these ideas?
* E-City started by John Zitzner for kids and incorporating a strong process
* Shorebank can help Alex Michaels with support of a proposed film incubator
* Find small companies to come together to share supplies and in a larger group work out better arrangements
* High speed rail: historically rail was better centralized; now tavel is decentralized and often takes several bus rides, taxi's, etc for individuals who depend on public transportation adding up to a 3 -5 hour-a-day commute.

June: Alot of things are succeeding in your community and region. But this knowledge is often not shared. We need to build environments to share and spread successful practices, and get to know each other.

These kinds of environments are called networking hubs. How can we make networking hubs stronger? A good example is the kitchen incubator model developed at ACEnet. Hundreds and hundreds of businesses use the facility. It is also a great way for businesses to get to know each other. This is a true networking hub of people with alot of things in common.

The success of these hubs depends on a casual environment where people can exchange ideas. There needs to be a network weaver type of personality present to help facilitate the connections. For example: in Athens, one individual works in one restaurant during the day and another at night. She connects at multiple spots and is able to "spread" new stories and knowledge about innovation.

Often economic develpment leaders don't think about the value of this kind of networking. A good example of this kind of productive environment is in Northern Italy where small stores are very active with alot of innovation present. Research also backs this theory up with statistics. This kind of dynamic, active environment accelerates innovative businesses to be even more innovative.

Network weavers are critical in helping to create activities that need to happen to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship. We are finding that network weavers are valuable and we need many people practicing good networking.

Who do you know of who is a network weaver?

In summary, think about the importance of postitive deviance, network weaving and networking hubs. If you have any questions, just email June Holley at: juneh@acenetworks.org.

Midtown Wednesdays: Getting Results: Positive Deviance, Networking Hubs and Action Projects

Date: Wednesday, February 8
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
3921 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, OH
Map Link

In communities and businesses all over the globe there are people who have solved complex tasks by doing things differently. As we move away from hierarchies, new and different insights will be needed to spot exceptional ideas sooner.

June Holley has pioneered regional entrepreneurship in southeastern Ohio, implementing innovative entrepreneurship strategies for business networks, Kitchen Incubators, youth entrepreneurship, regional entrepreneurship networks, policy networks and cluster-focused initiatives.

Join us to learn how incubating ideas and engaging others in action can strengthen economic innovation in Midtown. You'll leave with powerful stories about tough technical challenges to complex performance issues in workforce development.

Forum Leader:

June Holley, President and founder, Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet)

Learn more:

Learn how Kentucky's Commerce Lexington is doing things differently by building civic networks, clusters and partnerships in the Bluegrass Region. Here.

Read about the Plexus Institute and "From the Inside Out: Uncovering Sustainable Solutions to Intractable Problems through Positive Deviance" the upcoming April conference here.

Coming up: Wednesday, February 15: Young Entrepreneurs Learning Gaming Architecture

Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
Cleveland, OH 44103

Questions? Contact:

Betsey Merkel, Network Development
The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)
Cleveland MidTown Innovation Center
4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 310
Cleveland, OH 44103 USA
Tel. 216-246-2447
Email: betseymerkel@aol.com

CyberJournalist: How technology, blogs and the Internet are changing the media

Here is a note from David Stack (Plugged in Cleveland) to everyone who partipated in last week's forum on Citizen Journalism:

...Thought I would mention that there is a good article in wall street journal today (wed) about community web sites / portals. CyberJournalist

This is an awesome portal site. Check it out!

Collaborative Behaviors can strengthen NEO film industry

Alex Michaels (Prelude2Cinema) lead our forum this evening begining with a call to action: everyone in the film industry will benefit from working together. Alex suggested we place renewed value on some important behaviors: the value of being adaptable, having a clear vision that is inclusive of others and sharing resources with others so everyone can benefit. The Knight film incubator initiative will be a co-operative effort everyone will benefit from.

Tasteful value placement in cinema was another topic of conversation. These are strategically well placed paid for commercial items. We are unaccustomed to seeing product placement in independent films; but we do see this approach to commerce in commercial film. Alex has applied product placement to the independent films - an entrepreneurial trend just beginning. Alex reminded us to think about the long list of credits at the end of every movie: each name represents a job. Prelude2Cinema also hires local talent and does not rely on out-of-state labor.

Chris Carmody (Cleveland Film Commision) provided an update of the Cleveland Film Commission's mission and activity. The Film Commission is a Northeast Ohio support organization that helps to market Cleveland to out-of-state movie production companies encouraging them to shoot in Cleveland. Chris also helps to facilitate logistics and talent when companies come into town.

NEO has huge assets: actors, buildings, facility and arts patrons such as Cleveland entrepreneur, Dave Perkowski. Dave is a Cleveland developer who has renovated facility space to support local artists. Chris reminded us competition is stiff with other states offering significant incentives. Chris's network has advocated and lobbied for additional supportive legislature to strengthen the use of tax dollars as incentives.

Summary & Next Steps: The region can benefit by creating a collaborative, engaged, diverse NEO film industry. We need to identify resources at our colleges and universities, locate scattered individual efforts and improve collaboration capabilities and alignment. REALNEO has offered to create a Tuesday Roundtable (City Club) to support ongoing efforts to strengthen NEO's existing film industry and engage others around next steps for Knight Studio's incubator. If you are interested in participating, email: alexmichaels@prelude2cinema.com