Each year ICF announces a Visionary of the Year award, presented to an individual or an organization that has taken a leadership role in promoting broadband technology and applications as an essential utility in the Digital Age. Each of the Visionaries will be providing a guest blog post, sharing their insight on how to strengthen the world’s communities.
What the Visionaries are Saying
Scot Rourke, President, OneCommunity (2008)
Scot Rourke is the founding president of OneCommunity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the economy of Northeast Ohio through the collaborative use of information technology in partnership with more than 2,300 connected health, educational, cultural and governmental institutions. Under Scot's leadership, OneCommunity has developed an innovative business model and attracted more than $150 million in competitive grants and contract awards to expand its regional fiber-optic broadband network and provide adoption programs to maximize its use. As examples, OneCommunity has trained more than 30,000 households on how to use the Internet to find better jobs or health information, and has created a large telemedicine network connecting 150 regional hospitals and enabling the sharing of electronic medical records across systems. While grants often seed the launching of new programs, ultimately creative earned-income strategies sustain and expand them.
Suvi Linden, former Minister of Communications, Finland and member United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development (2011)
Suvi Linden, Finland’s former Minister of Culture and Communications, served in the Finnish national government for 16 years before turning her attention to the global issue of digital development. Her role in enabling the legislation in Finland that transformed broadband into a basic human right has changed the dialogue about the imperative of being “connected.” Today she is a member of the UN Commission for Digital Development and Finland’s special envoy to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). She has traveled the world since being named ICF’s Visionary of the Year talking about the Intelligent Community movement and its possibilities on ICF’s behalf.