Dublin Institute Workshop Reveals a State on the Move

I had the pleasure of visiting Dublin, Ohio again last month to speak at the Smart Cities Workshop produced by the ICF Institute there. Led by Doug McCollough (pictured right), the Institute is Dublin’s contribution to the development of central Ohio and the entire state based on ICF’s Community Accelerator Strategy.

Can a State Be Intelligent?

Kirby Dearth, economic development administrator of Dublin, shared a briefing on the progress of Ohio as an Intelligent State. ICF made this designation last year based on a report developed by the Dublin team that identifies the intersection of central Ohio’s six Intelligent Communities with statewide programs including OARnet, DriveOhio, Broadband Access Ohio and H2Ohio. Together, they pursue the six success Factors of the Community Accelerator Strategy, foster the growth of Intelligent Communities and forge powerful partnerships among local, county and state government programs. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the report, send me an email.

A state can only be as intelligent, however, as the communities where its people live. We also heard from city, economic development and public safety managers for the cities of Dublin, Union County, Springboro and Athens. They described how they leverage state programs and partner with each other to grow the region because, as Dublin’s economic development director Jeremiah Gracia put it, “it’s the only way to succeed today.”

Partnering for Progress

Partnership in central Ohio extends beyond city and county government. The workshop also introduced us to IT and network providers, from Status Solutions and EasyIT to Lit Fiber and altafiber. Each succeeds by partnering with schools, care facilities and governments to ensure that technology serves the interests of the community and not the other way around. One of those interests is digital equity, and the day ended with a discussion of both the challenges and opportunities as seen by Smart Columbus, the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the Cleveland Foundation.

This was the first in-person program from the Institute since the pandemic, and there will be more to come, supplementing their webinar schedule that can reach beyond driving distance. It is thanks to the Dublin Institute that Ohio is home to the world’s third-biggest cluster of Intelligent Communities. To learn more, visit the Institute web page and scroll down to the Contact Us link at the bottom.

Robert Bell
Robert Bell is co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum, where he heads its research, analysis and content development activities.

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