First published in January 2012 Blandin eNews…
Does your community make New Year’s resolutions? January is a great opportunity to bring people together to talk about goals and improvement. The Intelligent Community framework (focusing on: broadband, knowledge workers, innovation, digital inclusion and marketing/advocacy) provides guidance for organizing and implementing action. Through our MN Intelligent Rural Community (MIRC) projects http://tinyurl.com/2c6mhh4,I have observed that the most exciting projects are those that link across two or more Intelligent Community elements.
For example, a community may decide to improve public access to broadband and computers by opening up school computer labs extended hours to all residents. To broaden the audience beyond those without computers or broadband Internet access, the community could add a focus on math and science to create knowledge workers by using community volunteers who use math and science â€“ from machinists to scientists – and by taking advantage of online resources â- from Khan Academy http://www.khanacademy.org/ to MIT. http://ocw.mit.edu Potential positive outcomes include more support for school technology investments, better linkage between kids and local career opportunities, intergenerational learning and linkages, better math and science test scores and a more Intelligent Community! You could just as easily promote the arts through an approach like this.
A shared goal across our demonstration communities is improved marketing – convincing both residents and non-residents (prospective business owners and tourists) to stop, stay and invest in the community. The U of M Extension http://tinyurl.com/7ys3uul has done a great job educating businesses how to promote themselves online. In today’s economy, everyone is essentially a small business – improving the products through education, marketing themselves to gain income – through employment on site or through telework, self-employment, or growing a business. How can a community use online tools like eFolio Minnesota http://www.efoliominnesota.com/ combined with local web sites to showcase and market local talent – from kids to stay at home parents to retirees? The inventory of talent would be eye-opening for both locals and visitors!
Let us know what your community resolutions are and how you plan to achieve your goals for improvement.