This is an excerpt from the 2006 "Government Technology's 25 Doers Dreamers & Drivers
" an annual tribute to those individuals who are redefining and advancing technology's role in government and society.
To pore over John Eger's resumé requires a day's work. Familiarizing oneself with the knowledge he has shared worldwide provides a reader with an absolute library of writings on developing smart communities through technology.
Eger is president of the World Foundation for Smart Communities and the founding director of the California Institute for Smart Communities.
Eger insists that smart communities -- those using IT as a catalyst for transforming life and work to meet the challenge of the new millennium -- become such by fervently embracing broadband infrastructure. Communities that ignore these advancements risk becoming "ghost towns" that lack creative work forces and cannot meet looming global challenges.
"The biggest challenge our leaders face is understanding just how important and pervasive the creative economy is to our success and survival in a global arena, and then understanding much more about what makes our work force creative by acknowledging that a broadband wireless and wired infrastructure for every community is essential," he said. "Further, seeing technology as a tool of transformation needs desperately to be on every community's agenda. If creativity and innovation are the benchmarks of success, how do we get art and music back into the classroom? How do we get our citizens to take back their government in a very new and different digital age? How do we get our corporations to attract, retain and help our communities nurture creativity in all its forms? These are all roadblocks to our future and require the very best and brightest thinking."