Follow-up to I-Open's recent research inquiry: What does I-Open mean to you?

Submitted by Betsey Merkel on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 12:00.

Thank you for your responses to our recent research inquiry, “What does I-Open mean to you?” We asked you for your feedback in the form of a bit of prose, a fictitious eulogy. We want to make sure what's important to you is what we're focusing on.

Thanks to everyone who contributed – each story guides us in serving community better and to be clear about I-Open touch points that matter to you. We’ve posted a few of the responses below:

Ensign Cowell, Tower Wealth

  • It’s a damn shame they fizzled out.

Albert Oberst

  • I hope there is no end it sight for I Open!!!  Without you the whole NEO Region is doomed just like Cuyahoga County.

Jane Halbedel

  • I love being around like-minded people and the adventure of constantly learning… and having the wonderful opportunities to network.

Robert Cheshire

  • Your organization brings together people who see a real need for pragmatic discussion about coordination in moving Cleveland forward.


  • A meeting place
  • A place to make new friends
  • A hope for the future

Toni J. Chanakas

  • "Communication Collaborators"

Susan Schaul

  • I applaud your efforts in trying to wake people up to a new approach to business development in a very difficult business environment.

Robert A Foraker, XGEM Hybrid Electric Vans

  • The Journey of I-Open was the reward for all that participate and we thank I-Open for sharing with others on its path.

Judith Majher

  • Who will fill the void to connect, engage and innovate?

Connie Atkins, Exec. Dir., Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO)

  • Innovative nonprofit

Jamie Ginsberg, Social Media Diva

  • I-Open created conversations, are you participating?

James Herget, James Herget, Ltd

  • great conveners...good use of latest technology…interesting topics...should be part of a community college setting…wonderfully well intentioned missionaries…

Kevin Cronin, Attorney at Law

  • I-Open successfully connected people on unaddressed issues, assisting to move them forward.

John Soellner, Design Crux

People get epitaphs when their bodies die, mostly due to natural causes. I'd post the results of the forensics on what killed i-Open. If there must be some short, pithy witticism, let it be "Ideas Make No Sound"

Actions make sound. And there a whole other skill set in getting things done than is involved with talking things up.

In a eulogy, I'd make note of who's not there. The decision makers. The doers. Yes, there's an occasional start-up. But not the wider adoption. Certainly not the adoption acceleration or innovations in persuasion warranted by the dire economic situation.

It's an enclosed feedback loop of the sort Cleveland is expert in creating. The time to act was the day before yesterday. And so, we have today's eulogy.

Bill MacDermott, Owner, Cleveland Wind and Solar

  • Here lies but the mortal remains of I-Open.
  • It sprang from the ashes of REI at CWRU like a Phoenix
  • It may be gone for now, but it will arise again when and if it is needed.    
  • It owes it's immortal roots to the spirit of Don Quixote,
  • who battled injustice and the inhumanity of "progress",
  • thought he was unappreciated and ridiculed for it at the time.    
  • So it was with I-Open, and we are all the less for it's passing.

Jon Speer, Creo Quality, LLC

  • I-Open lost it's long fought battle against conventional wisdom in economic development. In other news: Northeast Ohio has seceded from the United States.

Garry Regan, Stryker Energy LLC

  • My first thought on this is William McKinley, the 25th president. Odd choice, but, McKinley was assassinated by a crazy who apparently disagreed with his approach and policy. Second it is said that McKinley did not die directly from his remaining gunshot wound but as result of a new but as yet unproven technology, X-Ray, that of course would later go on to save millions of lives and lead to other life saving technologies. I am a history nut and believe you can’t drive forward without a glimpse in the rearview mirror.

Bob Sopko, Case Western Reserve University

  • i-open events make you feel there was hope in northeast ohio for people to work together and accomplish much  you left thinking, yeah, we can get it done   well organized and communicated to make sure many knew of the upcoming topics and speakers     democratic and inclusive, allowing for various venues and ideas to be openly shared      exciting to introduce new people to attend

F. Christopher Reynolds, M.Ed. Berea High School, Ashland University, Angel House, Tipping Point Network

  • A true connector who has worked with constant discipline for the good of this region…without I-Open, I would have been more isolated…a form of 'amplifier for the Good'

Gwen B. Fischer, President NE Portage Dems, Chair Portage Chapter Single Payer Action Network, Professor Emerita, Psychology Department, Hiram College

  • "Ahead of the wave" -- I-OPEN's principles of open source, community innovation are supported by developmental psychological research which shows that we problem solve best by bouncing ideas off each other.

David Deming, President and CEO, The Cleveland Institute of Art, 11141 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106

  • I-Open has been a great source for connectivity among and between business and institutions of higher learning.  Many individuals who are aware of the dramatic need in our community for cross fertilization and incubation of new business ideas have found meaningful connections through I-Open symposium and both formal and informal gatherings.  Having the I-Open staff bringing to the floor their research on how other successful communities have managed to keep their business and quality of life issues at the root of their successes is a great asset for this community.

Ted Jordan, Founder, Funutation Teck Academy

  • I-Open opened my eyes to art in technology

Jon Eckerly, Consultant

I-Open has been a catalyst of ideas.
An exchange of thought.
To me it introduced me to Valdis's ideas,
Nemeth's political perspective.
Morrison's new modeling.
A new twist on an old idea.
Suggested that there was a way.
Created a new thought bubble in an old city.
Became a church to progressive thought.
Thinking beyond the blogs
I wish you no peace, no rest.

Herb Crowther, Consultant

  • Cleveland is a much better place for the voice and venue that I-Open provided the community. 


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