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Issue Date: April 2008

The Influentials: Lev Gonick

Vice president for information technology services, Case Western Reserve University

You can’t see it, but a cloud hangs over five square miles of University Circle —a digital cloud providing a wireless Internet connection. Meanwhile, under Cleveland, once-abandoned fiber-optic lines flash patient data from one hospital to another and carry high-definition video and audio presentations to city schools. High school biology students watch open-heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic via live broadband feed — and communicate with the doctors. On a virtual landscape that imitates Cleveland, online meetings convene and CWRU students lead digital campus tours. The founder of all these networks is CWRU’s Lev Gonick, the founder and president emeritus of OneCommunity, the nonprofit digital network that savvy tech boosters worldwide are praising for linking the city online, without much government help.

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