• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 3 months ago

What Are I-Open Civic Forums?

I-Open Civic Forums represent a new kind of civic engagment, developed by Ed Morrison, Betsey Merkel, Susan Altshuler and Dennis Coughlin when they worked at the Case Center for Regional Economic Issues (REI). Civic entrepreneurs from throughout the region gathered together for the weekly forums, called REI.Tuesdays, where they explored a particular dimension of the region’s economic transformation.


REI.Tuesdays began in September 2003 and created a low cost and effective process to penetrate academic heirarchies, gather customer feedback, and connect theoretical research with practitioner knowledge. Free and open to the public, these Civic Forums became known as a neutral convening ground for the exchange of public opinion and expert knowledge from Northeast Ohio’s academic, civic, government, and business communities.


The sessions launched a large number of self-organized work groups, roundtables, focus groups, and communities of commitment. Their work produced specific action plans with "next steps". For example, REI.Tuesdays gave rise to a new biodiesel distribution company in East Cleveland, a new collaboration among small component manufacturers, and a new company to promote collaborative computing in Cleveland's neighborhoods. Using well designed civic forums, we replaced "strategic planning" with "strategic doing".


In the seventeen month pilot, over 100 programs hosted over 3,000 visitors in University Circle. The e-communications created 83,000 media impressions and roughly 90 hours of expert knowledge was videotaped and available on the web to the public.


'Community Support'


REI is a catalyst that helped us understand the potential for libraries to intentionally engage in regional economic development. Substantial civic space, social networks, skilled staff and information resources are already in place – REI helped us understand how to “host the party” rather than wait to be invited!


Cathy Moninn, President, Board of Trustees

Cleveland Area Metropolitan Library System


The Innovation Framework

The Innovation Framework is a map to help us keep our bearings in a global marketplace and understand how our work relates to others building open economic networks of collabortion.



Return to Home



Return to Midtown Wednesdays

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.