Walsh University becomes the first educational institution to partner with the Intelligent Community Forum.
Walsh University is taking the first step in a journey that promises to re-focus its goals and objectives.
Walsh is partnering with the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) to establish an Intelligent Community Institute at the University’s main campus in North Canton. Walsh is the first university campus to have such an institute.
The partnership was announced by President Richard Jusseaume, to local business and political leaders, as well as business students at a recent luncheon.
“Today is one of the most important in our history,” Jusseaume said. “We are going to reinvent ourselves to become part of the global community while maintaining the values and principles of this faith-based institution. It is critical to Walsh and the community to be successful in the 21st century.”
The ICF is a New York City-based think tank that studies ways to improve declining communities with diminished future prospects. The organization was co-founded by Walsh alumnus Louis Zacharilla (‘78).
The highway to success in the 21st century is the broadband, Zacharilla said.
Successful communities are those that combine a university, an educated population and dynamic businesses, along with the fastest broadband connections possible, he said.
Zacharilla compared broadband to the railroads that once delivered goods and services. Today, those goods and services have become knowledge-based information delivered by broadband, he said.
“There is no better factory for the production of knowledge than the university,” Zacharilla said. “The university is no longer an ivory tower. It now sits at the center of the discussion.”
The Institute on the Walsh campus has three major goals:
•The transformation of the classroom in order to prepare students for the global economy.
•To become a resource for communities that want to revitalize themselves through public, private and educational partnerships.
•Creation of a “community exchange” of scholars, students and community leaders through visits to other Intelligent Communities around the world.
More than 100 communities worldwide, including Dublin, Ohio, have used broadband technology to help reinvent themselves.
Luncheon speaker Dan Mathieson, Mayor of Stratford, Ontario, said his city has used a “triple helix” of public, private and educational coalitions with great success. Stratford, a city of 31,000, has twice been named among the top seven Intelligent Communities of the Year by the ICF.
“Inspiring,” said State Senator Scott Oelslager after the program.
“The model of what has been done in Stratford is very impressive,” North Canton Mayor David Held said. “We would like to bring it to North Canton.”
North Canton Chamber of Commerce President Doug Lane believes that the “establishment of the institute and related activities will serve to make the area a center of innovation and will assist the chamber in efforts to attract new cutting-edge businesses.”
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