Dr. Andrew Michael Cohill is the CEO and President of Design Nine, Inc. He is an information architect with an educational background in architecture, ergonomics, and computer science. Cohill has an international reputation for his work advising communities on technology and telecommunications issues. In the United States, he has worked with rural communities across the country, with recent work in Virginia, Illinois, New Mexico, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Texas.
He was the Director of the world renowned Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV) at Virginia Tech from 1993 to 2002. He is a widely published writer, and author and coeditor of the popular book about Blacksburg (Community Networks: Lessons learned from Blacksburg, Virginia), now in its second edition. He served as co-chair of the Governor's Task Force on eCommunities for the Commonwealth of Virginia for the duration of the task force (2001-2002).
He is a member of the Wireless Future Advisory Board. He is a member of the National Advisory Board for Communities of the Future, a national coalition of thinkers and policy makers concerned with the sustainability and health of communities.
He is a member of the Association For Community Networks, and has served two terms on the Board of Directors and two terms as President. He is a member of the Rural Telecommunications Congress, has served on the Board of Directors, and served as Secretary.
His Technology Futures news blog on community telecom and technology is read by thousands monthly (http://www.designnine.com/news/).
In the nineties, Blacksburg became widely known as the "most wired community in the world." Blacksburg had the first residential broadband in the world, the first business park with broadband as an amneity, the first library with broadband, and the first school system with broadband in every classroom. By the fall of 1999, more than 87% of the town's residents were using the Internet, and over 75% of the town's businesses had made the Internet a regular part of their marketing. Today, virtually all of Blacksburg's businesses and residents have one or more broadband access options at home, at work, or at both. Cohill served as Director of the community network project from July of 1993 until the spring of 2002.
Cohill's work at the BEV became a widely copied model for “connected communities” around the world. In the past three years, Cohill's work has been closely connected to telecommunications master planning and economic development. He recently completed technology master plans for northern New Hampshire and southwestern Virginia, and is currently working on two fiber to the home projects. He presents seminars regularly to communities leaders and economic developers on strategies for getting communities connected to the Creative Knowledge Economy, and his Knowledge Economy Roadshow seminar has been webcast to a nationwide audience.
He is in wide demand as a speaker on economic development issues and technology because of his clear explanations, shrewd insights, and engaging manner. For more information about Cohill's work, visit the Design Nine Web site at www.designnine.com.