New York, New York – February 25, 2014 – The Intelligent Community Forum announces that it welcomes Dr. Norman Jacknis, a former Top7 Intelligent Community CIO and Cisco director, as its first Senior Fellow.
Dr. Jacknis will be responsible for the Intelligent Community Forum’s Rural Imperative program that focuses on how to use information and communication technologies to build and create a renaissance of rural life. For the first time in history, these technologies make possible rural communities where residents can be as closely connected to the global economy as urbanites.
Signs of the rural renaissance can be seen in many locations. Dr. Jacknis noted that five communities with fewer than 45,000 residents were on the 2014 list of Smart21 Intelligent Communities and each one demonstrate the benefits of better Internet.
- Parkland County, Canada farmers sell cattle on Internet auctions
- Mitchell, USA reversed a population decline that persisted in the region for six decades through an “intelligent agri” initiative and a telecommunications R&D sector
- Wanganui, New Zealand invested $35 million in broadband service and high-performing local businesses formed a self-help group to share productivity lessons
- Prospect, Australia improved broadband infrastructure to stimulate knowledge-based businesses being run out of residents homes
- Walla Walla, USA encouraged young chefs to move from big cities as the community “mines” its agricultural traditions and establishes a world-class wine industry and a heralded “plow to the plate” economy.
Dr. Jacknis will lead the Rural Imperative initiative to identify innovations and create a global network that will ultimately enable residents of rural communities to improve participation in the global economy while preserving a treasured way of life.
Dr. Jacknis has served as Public Sector Director of Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group. His particular emphasis was on where technology will lead the human community over the next 20 years. He is a globally recognized expert in government innovation and transformation.
He has given the Intelligent Community Forum’s “Revolutionary Community” address in New York twice and was a contributing author for four books in the last four years. Government Technology Magazine named him one of America’s “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers.” Dr. Jacknis was cited as a creative leader who used technology “to break bureaucratic inertia to better serve the public.” Among various leadership positions he is President of the Metropolitan New York Library Council.
“We are very fortunate to have Norm join the team. He is a big thinker, whose unique skills as an executive and a thought leader on the subject of what makes communities work have had lasting impact. As CIO of Westchester, he got it done. We cannot think of a better person to lead our Rural Imperative initiative,” said Louis Zacharilla, co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum.
Dr. Jacknis is familiar with the Intelligent Community movement. For ten years he was the CIO for Westchester County, New York. In 2008, under his leadership and the direction of County Executive Andrew Spano, the community was named one of the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities.
“Broadband and technology will only be widely adopted through community building and vision. In this century, community building and vision can only succeed through the use of broadband and technology,” said Dr. Jacknis. He added, “It is my view that the Intelligent Community Forum is the primary global organization that brings together the visionary leaders who thoroughly integrate broadband and technology into their communities to make them better places to live.”
The Rural Imperative
Dr. Jacknis has worked with the US Conference on Mayors for the last several years on the urban aspects of this strategy and the Rural Imperative program now extends to rural communities the benefits and knowledge that the Intelligent Community Forum has learned over the past 15 years.
The Intelligent Community Forum believes that while cities will continue to be important, the “countryside” cannot be forgotten without negative consequences for those in both developed and developing nations. The Intelligent Community Forum highlights successful rural communities that provide examples for others to study and to use in shaping their own future.
As part of its initial research base the Intelligent Community Forum completed a project, in conjunction with America’s Blandin Foundation, which studied the positive impact of broadband on 11 rural communities. It has also conducted outreach in rural western Canada and is in discussion with the Austrian government and North Africa to study trends in rural sectors in Europe and Africa.
“Our effort is built on global connections,” Dr. Jacknis said. “This is a global challenge that Intelligent Communities, working together, can ultimately turn into a new quality of life for people no matter where they live.”
NOTE: A broadcast quality video of Dr. Jacknis discussing the Rural Imperative is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0fD6rguvwQ. Upon request a high-resolution photo of Dr. Jacknis is available.
About Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology (ICT). To help communities build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts events, publishes newsletters and books and produces its high-profile international awards program. Since 1999, the Intelligent Community Forum has become an international movement that attracts the attention of global leaders, thinkers, and the media. The Intelligent Community Foundation consists of 126 cities and regions that have been designated as Intelligent Communities through its global awards program, and which participate in an ongoing global dialogue to strengthen local economies, conduct business and solve complex problems. For more information, go to www.intelligentcommunity.org.
Intelligent Community Forum Contacts
Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: +1 646-291-6166 (x105)
Dr. Norman Jacknis
Senior Fellow, Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: +1 914-930-4840
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