Digital Futures panel discussion to tackle technology's role in placemaking

Panel lineup includes Brookings Institution senior fellow, JobsOhio exec

We've seen how technology can keep us connected with one another during the coronavirus pandemic, but measures to stop COVID-19's spread has made many of us more acutely aware of the importance of direct human interaction.

The power of place is the foundation of community, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to create social ties and a common sense of purpose. How can we leverage technology to strengthen communities and tackle local challenges? 

The University of Cincinnati Office of Research and Digital Futures will present "Connecting Technology and Place in the Cities of the Future" at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 17. This virtual panel discussion on the Cincinnati community, placemaking, and ways UC's new Digital Futures building can become a place where technology and community intersect for the betterment of society will feature local, state and national experts. Registration is required to attend. 

Urban Futures is a key pathway of Next Lives Here, the university's strategic direction. 

Meet the panelists

Jennifer Vey

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Jennifer Vey

Jennifer S. Vey is a senior fellow and the director of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking at the Brookings Institution. Jennifer’s work primarily explores how place-based policies and practices can support economic, social, and built environments that benefit more people in more places. She is the author or co-author of numerous Brookings publications, including “Transformative placemaking: A framework to create connected, vibrant, and inclusive communities,” “Where jobs are concentrating and why it matters to cities and regions,” “Assessing your innovation district: A how-to guide,” and “Building from strength: Creating opportunity in Greater Baltimore’s next economy.” She also co-edited Retooling for Growth: Building a 21st Century Economy in America’s Older Industrial Areas, published by the American Assembly and Brookings Institution Press.

Prior to joining Brookings in 2001, Jennifer was a community planning and development specialist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She earned a Master of Planning degree from the University of Virginia and holds a B.A. in Geography from Bucknell University. She lives with her family in Baltimore.

Andrew Deye

portrait of a man in front of a JobsOhio banner

Andrew Deye

Andrew Deye is a managing director at JobsOhio, a private nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion efforts. In his role, Deye oversees strategy, global business development and research functions.

Previously, Deye worked in investment banking for eight years, most recently as a vice president at Greenhill & Co. At Greenhill, and earlier at Morgan Stanley in New York and Chicago, Andrew structured and negotiated a wide variety of mergers and acquisitions, public-private partnerships and financing transactions.

A Cincinnati native, Andrew graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He obtained a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Jess Kropczynski

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Jess Kropczynski

Jess Kropczynski, PhD is an assistant professor at the UC School of Information Technology. Her research interests are primarily in the design and evaluation of civic technology to support collective action in community networks ranging from city planning to emergency management. She has also worked with local and state governments to assess the communication and information needs of target audiences in order to promote informed decision-making.

Russell Hairston

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Russell Hairston

Russell Hairston became the Executive Director of the Avondale Development Corporation in January 2017, where he is responsible for administration, fundraising and sustainability development. He has more than 25 years of experience developing and implementing high-impact, award-winning strategies to improve urban neighborhoods.

Hairston is a former Housing Division Manager with the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Community and Economic Development. During his time with the City, Mr. Hairston led award-winning public-private Cincinnati neighborhood transformations in the Betts-Longworth/West End, Evanston, Over-the-Rhine, Walnut Hills and Avondale neighborhoods and formed a successful strategic partnership with Kingsley and Company within the Cincinnati neighborhoods of Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview Heights. Mr. Hairston also facilitated creation of two Citywide community development stimulus programs: a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) program for housing developers and a pilot CORE FOUR program to align public and private funding for housing development in eight strategically targeted neighborhoods.

About Digital Futures

The University of Cincinnati’s new Digital Futures building is a state-of-the-art research facility that will be situated in Cincinnati’s emergent Innovation District which has the potential to act as a key public space for the surrounding neighborhood. Digital Futures takes research beyond the ivory tower – These experts team with government, industry, and community advocates to tackle issues of local, national, and global significance.