Going digital

Lev Gonick (second from left) speaking as a panelist at Fred Talks: How to Build a Digital Economy in Cleveland, an event hosted by the Cleveland Foundation last year. Gonick is chief executive officer of DigitalC.

If you haven’t already heard the news, our region has a new ally in the effort to develop a thriving tech-driven ecosystem in Greater Cleveland. It’s a nonprofit called DigitalC that will work to solve pressing community problems with innovative technology, and help Greater Cleveland and other communities across the county build robust and inclusive digital economies. Here at the foundation, we’re excited about the role DigitalC will play in our community, so we’d like to share with you a bit about their work and why it matters.

What they’re doing

DigitalC has three primary focus areas:

  • New Civic Agenda – DigitalC will partner with a broad range of community leaders to develop 21st century digital strategies and address challenges to promote Greater Cleveland’s digital future. The Cleveland Foundation worked with Greater Cleveland Partnership to bring together a group of tech and civic leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors who will support DigitalC’s efforts in this area.
  • Next Generation Apps and Services – DigitalC is creating a framework that will help local organizations benefit from powerful, civic-focused, data-driven analytics and applications that minimize the burden of data collection and promote data sharing.
  • Place-Based Activation – DigitalC will help develop inclusive neighborhood hubs designed to unite the technology, entrepreneurial, creative and civic communities to drive innovation, opportunity and learning.

Why it’s important

The world is becoming increasingly data-driven and digitally connected, but many cities built on strong manufacturing and industrial bases in the 20th century have struggled to transition to the 21st century digital economy. “Having a robust digital economy will be necessary for any community to remain competitive in the 21st century,” says Lev Gonick, DigitalC’s chief executive officer. In order to attract top companies and well-paying jobs, communities like Greater Cleveland must foster an innovative, inclusive, tech and data-savvy environment.

Cleveland Foundation President & CEO Ronn Richard is a strong advocate for DigitalC’s work in Greater Cleveland. “We simply cannot afford to miss the next wave of innovation and opportunity of the digital revolution,” says Richard, “There is no more important time to develop a new civic agenda that positions Cleveland for bold action in the digital age.”

How you can get involved

We hope you will join us in working to transform Greater Cleveland’s digital landscape for the future. You can connect with DigitalC and follow their work at www.digitalc.org, Twitter and LinkedIn.