Great Lakes Geek Show - Robert Bell
Audio Interviews by Dan Hanson, the Great Lakes Geek

Robert Bell, Executive Director of the Intelligent Community Forum
Robert Bell
Executive Director
Intelligent Community Forum

It's always a good idea to define your terms when entering into a discussion.

For example, broadband means different things in the US and say, Japan. When a community is designated as 'intelligent', what exactly does that mean? And what is a 'community'?

Robert Bell of the Intelligent Community Forum has answers for these questions and many more.

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) is a think tank that focuses on job creation and economic development in the broadband economy.

Their area of interest is the local community, both large and small, in the developing and developed economies of the world. ICF conducts research, creates conference content, publishes information and presents annual awards, all in an effort to:

  • Identify and explain the emergence of the broadband economy and its impact at the local level.
  • Research and share best practices by communities in adapting to the changing economic environment and positioning their citizens and businesses to prosper.
  • Celebrate the achievements of communities that have overcome challenges to claim a place in the economy of the 21st century.

Robert Bell came to Cleveland recently to announce that Northeast Ohio is one of the 7 finalists for the 2008 Intelligent Community of the Year and to honor OneCommunity CEO Scot Rourke as its 2008 Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year.

The other 2008 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year are:

  • Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Westchester County, New York, USA
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

In this 2-part interview, Robert Bell explains what the global broadband economy is all about and why it is so important to communities. In such an economy, geography is less important - "nobody needs to come here and nobody needs to stay" - so regions face dismal prospects if they don't adapt.

Robert Bell video explaining Cleveland's Challenge

What happens if a community does not adapt?

Mr. Bell discusses how the broadband economy will affect a rust belt region in particular and what it all means to the digital divide.

He also touches on the unique challenges and opportunities that Cleveland has. He explains why Northeast Ohio, because of OneCommunity, is one of the 2008 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year and why CEO Scot Rourke was named 2008 Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year.

Podcast with Scot Rourke, CEO of OneCommunity

March 26, 2008

Part 1

12,755 KB


Listen to Part 1 of this podcast with Robert Bell

Part 2

12,334 KB


Listen to Part 2 of this podcast with Robert Bell

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