About the Institute
Walsh University Establishes
First-of-its-Kind Institute to Strengthen International Ties
with Stark County
North Canton, Ohio: What does the establishment of 8,000 jobs in Dublin, Ohio, and a 450 million dollar RBC Royal Bank Data Center in Stratford, Ontario, have in common with Walsh University? The belief that economic development, access to a knowledge workforce, new models of teacher training, and the critical need to connect universities, an educated populace, a dynamic business community, and broadband technology, are the critical elements of a sustainable or "intelligent" community.
Walsh University is proud to announce the establishment of the Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community at its main campus in North Canton, Ohio.
Through a partnership with the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), this institute will bring world thought leaders such as premiers, mayors, and city managers to North Canton to discuss how their communities were transformed by using broadband and technology to connect their community together and to the world-at-large. The access to technology, like the railroad of the industrial revolution, is quickly leading communities such as Dublin, Ohio, and Stratford, Ontario, to make the transition to a broadband economy where data and information flow freely throughout the community. Their efforts have attracted companies to invest in their communities, such as Nationwide Insurance which created 8,000 jobs in Dublin, Ohio, and RBC Royal Bank which selected Stratford, Ontario, for its new data center, a 450 million dollar investment in the city.
The Intelligent Community Forum, co-founded by Walsh alum Louis Zacharilla '78, is an international think tank based in New York which attempts to re-energize cities and communities worldwide by sharing best practices from the world's most "Intelligent Communities." Intelligent Communities are those which adapt to the demands of the "Broadband Economy" and society's quest for transparency and the promotion of access for all.
ICF's work is acknowledged as critical to moving forward a vision for a more moral and decent human experience by global thought leaders including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Minister of Communications for Finland and member of the UN Commission for Digital Development Suvi Linden.
The first-of-its-kind on a university campus in the world, the Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community at Walsh University will:
- Investigate new models of teacher training to best advance learning for the knowledge economy. The Institute will focus on connecting students and teachers around the world with best practices and cutting edge ideas to transform the way we train teachers. This, in turn, will begin to transform the classroom and the way students are prepared for the global economy.
- Support and teach the principles of the ICF movement to communities interested in reinventing themselves using broadband technology. The institute will serve as a resource for communities revitalizing themselves through ICF principles. As a part of its annual commitment as an ICF Institute, Walsh University will host an annual "State of the Intelligent Community Address" event with the keynote given by either an ICF co-founder or one of the ICF Visionaries of the Year.
- Create relationships with communities around the world who are a part of the Intelligent Community movement in support of Walsh University's commitment to global literacy and experiences for its students. The intention is to produce a "community exchange" program of scholars, students and community political and business leaders, including international outreach through visits to other Intelligent Communities and Institutes around the world.
"This Institute is an excellent complement to our already established global education initiatives," Walsh President Jusseaume noted. "We look forward to this partnership further enhancing Walsh's mission of servant leadership, both here and abroad. This relationship will open the door to global conferences and networking opportunities, establishing Stark County as a destination for talent development and innovation."
"To be able to bring the first American-based Institute of ICF to Walsh and to Ohio is a thrill for me, and a homecoming," said ICF Co-Founder Louis Zacharilla. "We can think of no better place for this unique course of work and activity to take place than here. We hope to bring the world of thought leaders in this exciting area to Walsh to continue this important dialogue. Walsh will become an increasingly critical stop on the path to learning how to reshape the societies and places that enable us to learn and to pursue and fulfill our ultimate purpose."
As Thomas Friedman noted in his New York Times article So Much Fun. So Irrelevant, "The best of these ecosystems will be cities and towns that combine a university, an educated populace, a dynamic business community and the fastest broadband connections of the earth. These will be the job factories of the future." Through the establishment of this new Institute, Walsh University is leading the way to serve as an epicenter for the development of these communities, globally and locally.
The first gathering of the Institute's international advisors is being planned for June, 2012. The first global seminar will be at Walsh University in Fall of 2012.
The Intelligent Community Forum is a think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community. Whether in industrial or developing nations, communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and progress increasingly depend on broadband communications. The Intelligent Community Forum seeks to share the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities in adapting to the demands of the Broadband Economy by conducting research, hosting events, publishing newsletters and producing an international awards program. www.intelligentcommunity.org.
About Walsh University
Walsh University is an independent, co-educational Catholic liberal arts and sciences institution that promotes academic excellence and diversity and provides close faculty-student interaction. It is dedicated to teaching its nearly 3,000 students from 15 states and 24 countries to become leaders in service to others through a values-based education with an international perspective in the Judeo-Christian tradition. www.walsh.edu.