Do not do small projects … Make big plans; aim high in hope and work. "
– Daniel H. Burnham, member of the Cleveland Group Plan Commission
Today there are three Americas. According to Enrico Moretti in The new geography of the worksat one end there are the centers of the brain: a city with a well-educated workforce, skilled workers and a strong technological and innovative sector. They are growing.
At the other extreme are the cities once dominated by traditional manufacturing, which are rapidly diminishing. In the middle there are the cities of bubbles. They are on the bubble and the way they trace their paths will determine whether they will become a hub of the brain or fall into a downward spiral.
Cleveland, like many medium-sized cities, is on the bubble. The three Americas are growing at an accelerated rate, so there's no time to waste. Our future must be the Brain Belt, not the Rust Belt.
This is urgent and we can now do something about it.
Last year, the business entrepreneur Bernie Moreno galvanized the leaders of the business, legal, university and philanthropic community around a new disruptive technology called blockchain.
The effort, known as "BlockLand", is designed to establish Cleveland as a technology hub largely catalyzed by leaders in business blockchain and government solutions.
Skeptics have wondered if it is wise to focus on a technology in its relative childhood that is difficult to understand or explain, no matter how much promise and potential it may have.
My experience working with medium-sized cities across the country shows that every city that has emerged as a brain center is also a technology center. These cities have taken risks, made catalytic investments in new growth technologies and created a geographically concentrated ecosystem of entrepreneurship.
Perhaps the most important thing is that studies have shown that high-tech jobs have a strong multiplier effect. For every new high-tech job in a technology hub, five additional jobs, both experts and non-experts, are created outside the high-tech sector.
Cities that have seen a renaissance over the past decade have invested resources to make their cities more connected, innovative, talented and distinctive.
Cities such as Austin, Seattle, Denver / Boulder, Raleigh-Durham and Boston have developed a geography of innovation that brings together talents in dense urban districts, hubs or corridors.
Midwest cities have made promising changes to the growth and rebirth of technology with promising results. Chattanooga has built an all-fiber network; Pittsburgh invested in robotics; Detroit is transforming its main industry, the automotive industry, towards mobility; Toronto has invested in the commercialization of artificial intelligence solutions; and Columbus focused on rapid prototyping of data analysis solutions.
Cleveland must be a city in which there are clearly defined clusters and hubs of innovation and opportunities anchored by knowledge centers such as our colleges, universities and hospitals that collaborate with adjacent large and small businesses and initiate incubators. When I worked as a director of the Ohio Development Department, we asked for the creation of anchored bases Ohio Hubs of Innovation and Opportunity (OHIO) in our state economic development plan.
In a district or hub of innovation, the success of a company depends not only on the quality of its employees, but depends on the critical mass of the whole ecosystem that surrounds it. This ecosystem must include a well-connected and mixed-use urban environment around and around the innovation district.
In a sense, technology hubs are cities within cities that become centers of gravity of innovation. Think of them as urban rainforests with the biological nutrients of talents, ideas and capitals that run through their biological system.
One of the key success factors of these hubs is the ability to develop and market key competencies in certain technologies, products or services that give hub companies a competitive advantage.
This is where blockchain technology comes into play.
At its base, blockchain is a digital transaction registration system that allows secure, stable and permanent archiving of data. It represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared, and governments and businesses are quick to understand how they can use distributed register technology to save time and costs and add security and productivity.
Its name derives from its unique data storage and protection system. Each digital record is a "block" and, when transactions occur, the blocks are connected sequentially in a list, or "chain".
In a sense, it is based on the same concepts behind Wikipedia and Google Docs in that it is decentralized and many people can write entries in an information record, and a community of users can control how information recording is changed and updated . The information contained in a blockchain exists as a shared database.
However, blockchain is much safer. No person controls the information. No centralized version of information exists for a hacker's corruption. When a database is managed by a single authority, if that authority is compromised by a hacker or even a natural disaster, people who rely on that database may lose access to all their data. With a blockchain, all the people who rely on the database can keep and update their copy of the data.
In other words, the data contained in a blockchain can be considered reliable because you do not have to trust a single entity. The blockchain database is not stored in any single location, which means that the records it maintains are public and easily verifiable.
Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin, but cryptocurrencies are just a piece of the blockchain's potential. The first uses of technology include financial services, mobile payments, real estate transactions, equity exchanges, supply chain management, medical records, voter verification, personal data and optimization of all levels of government.
Because of its immense record keeping obligations and reliable reliance on paper documents, government applications can be among the best opportunities.
Ten groups of government committees, or nodes, are working on the essential parts of the BlockLand initiative. Each node is co-chaired by two volunteer leaders.
There will be a BlockLand Solutions Conference December 1-4 at the Huntington Convention Center in downtown Cleveland. The conference will offer workshops led by experts who focus on solutions for businesses and government in the real world
We take Cleveland from the bubble and make our place in the Brain Belt.
To learn more or register, go to blocklandcleveland.com/solutions.
Lee Fisher he is the dean of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. He is also a senior fellow at the CSU Levin College of Urban Affairs and an urban scholar at the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and Great Cities.
Institute, University of Illinois in Chicago. He is the former Attorney General of Ohio, Lt. Governor, Director of the Department of Development of Ohio, President of the Ohio Third Committee of Frontiers, president and CEO of the Center for Families and Children, president and CEO of cities, state representative and state senator. During his tenure as Governor of Ohio Lt. and Director of Development, Ohio won the highest award for economic development of the state, the Governor & # 39; s Cup of Site Selection magazine, for three consecutive years.