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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    is a gain of approximately 399 since the day ICF began its mission in 1995 We could not be happier because the results are evident We are getting better through the local engine Local governments are the new innovators of governance in the 21st Century According to Google search engines recorded that human beings searched more for the word Future than they did the word Past That s the good news However they also searched for the word Past more than Present There is a cliché which goes there is no time like Now Physicist Erin Schroeder said that Now never ends He was not the first to observe this Buddha said it long ago The convergence of science and intuition leads us into 2016 For cities regions and towns the notion that now never ends means quite literally that taking action and beginning to realize the full potential of broadband and planning for a future dedicated to creativity are not actions to be taken after the ski trip to Austria or when the streets and businesses are empty and shuttered The best time is well Now Happy holidays Tuesday December 15 2015 The Public Realm in Smart Cities and Intelligent Communities The public realm in any city abounds with streets lanes parks and public squares but also public facilities such as the public lobbies and spaces that anyone from the public are able to legally access It can also include areas below ground where the public may access public areas under streets and buildings spaces below bridges and even the airspace above these public spaces The public realm arguably also includes public vistas namely what the public can see from a distance As we expand our thinking about what should be considered the public realm in our villages towns and cities we should also expand it to include what we can t necessarily see but increasingly experience the impact of broadband wireless services in public spaces and how it contributes to the sense of place in our communities As the design and infrastructure of our urban public spaces are undergoing significant transformation broadband wireless Internet access is becoming as important and pervasive as the provision of other public amenities on streets and in public squares and parks such as sidewalks cycle paths benches and water fountains Activities related to Internet use has become an everyday activity in public spaces and is no longer limited to private spaces in the home workplace or library Tourists local workers and residents use the public realm to experience the social diversity that urban spaces offer But they are also increasingly flocking to urban spaces seeking free Wi Fi hotspots for their smart devices such as in Federation Square in Melbourne Sugar Beach in Toronto and Bryant Park in New York City These are made possible through the proliferation of broadband wireless Internet provided by municipal and community Wi Fi offerings free hotspots in cafes and restaurants and through 2G 3G and 4G LTE wireless communications provided by advance mobile networks But can the rapid rise of Internet access in public spaces reshape the public realm of the future and change what we define as sense of place The public realm is a social setting defined by its public urban spaces and typified in a city s streets parks and plazas but it is also understood as part of a much larger public sphere of influence that connects many types of physical social and viral networks It plays host to both planned as well as serendipitous encounters with existing acquaintances and strangers alike as well as it invites others to come and participate For instance flash mob experiences are organized through social media resulting in a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place perform an unusual event and just as quickly disperse Their performance occupy a space in a unique and special way from entertainment to political advocacy and can have a lasting impression about the space in the same way as historical events can create a unique sense of space and place For example millennials use Twitter Instagram and Facebook to instantly promote by sharing details about the places they their friends and heroes are currently occupying attracting others to participate in physical and viral space as well These actions multiplied many times over have significant implications on tourism activism neighbourhoods and sense of place A formerly underused street or square could become famous through social media overnight and may attract many new participants instantly to that space or over the next several years For instance the New York Times recently heralded Cairo s Tahrir Square as Egypt s newest tourist attraction Previously in 2011 we witnessed the impact that social media like Facebook and Twitter had on helping demonstrators in that very same square and later across the Arab Spring to organize transmit their message to the world and to galvanize international support That space formerly not so well known around the world has been changed to become an important place locally as well as internationally How will it change with notoriety For instance Tiananmen Square became famous through global media exposure but as a result it has also become a different space physically through security access limitations as well as procedures for entering and using the space Studies undertaken of the use of broadband wireless Internet in the public realm suggest that there is currently a significant enough shift from previously known ways that these spaces have been used that it may have significant implications on future urban planning the design of future streets and open spaces and perhaps even on the nature of democracy as described above While designers of public spaces may have new tools for communicating their ideas to the public they also have the ability to gain data and insights via the Internet of Things IoT among devices through M2M machine to machine as well as strategically between people and devices Public lighting benches

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    towns that will be called out at 4 00 PM EST on 21 October You can watch them be named live and countdown with the rest of the world at http globalinstitute dublinohiousa gov The Smart21 Announcement will follow a day long session to begin the formation of the ICF s newest global Institute which will also be housed in Dublin Our program will be a live transparent and unpredictable public brainstorming session led by Dublin s City Manager ICF Senior Fellow Dr Norm Jacknis Jim Lowder of OhioHealth and the Director of Technology Solutions from the Ohio Supercomputer Center Ray Leto among others As Dana says we will build the plane as we fly it I can think of no better analogy for the creative age that is upon us Our new Institute will rise in accordance with ideas that are yet to be brought forward and will incorporate the freshest thinking in the world from among the new Smart21 as well as the current 134 communities that are designated as Intelligent Communities We will go from smart to Intelligent while cameras roll It is my kind of jazz session A basic line with lots of room for improvisation It is fitting that this new Institute and our announcement take place in Dublin Ohio America s State of Ohio has been the centerpiece for an important chapter in the global ICF story It is a place in that nation s heartland which has risen and is coming back at a brisk pace Dublin is a great story as was Waterloo in 2007 and Stockholm of 2009 two other great stories of small cities thinking large Dublin borders another Ohio city Columbus which even exceeded Dublin s Top7 rankings and did what Waterloo and Stockholm also did It was named Intelligent Community of the Year in June See John Jung s previous blog on this for more thoughts So this city and region which will host our Summit in June 2016 is an example of what we have been trying to say for 20 years Simply put there is no place like home and broadband is the new railroad that brings you there Dublin grasped this with the planning of its municipal network long ago Now it is doing the hard work and as you will see doing it damn well You need to excavate that raw material in places like Bobcat Way however to get all the way home So let s see at 4 00 PM EST tomorrow who will be the next bobcat a mythological creature whose growls are so deep and fearsome they sound as if they are coming from a much bigger animal Let s say that this is a fine analogy for an Intelligent Community that had been sent out to die but refused See you on the livestream Monday October 19 2015 O H I O ICF Summit to be Held in Columbus Ohio USA June 13 17 2016 As we heard at the announcement of the ICF Summit in Toronto on June 11 2015 O H I O representing Columbus Ohio was the newest Intelligent Community of the Year The Mayor Michael Coleman pictured right shot out of his seat as he and the rest of the large Columbus delegation were soon up on stage and basking in the glory of their well deserved and long sought after win But it wasn t until now that we could announce that Columbus is the location of the second Intelligent Community Forum Summit outside of New York City where the ICF Summit had been located since the early 2000 s It s actually more of a coincidence than the rule that a winning Intelligent Community of the Year will be the host of the next year s Summit The 2016 ICF Summit was put out to a Request for Proposals RFP and after negotiating with several communities around the world Columbus came out on top as the preferred location Congratulations to Columbus for not only their 2016 Intelligent Community of the Year win but also for securing the 2016 ICF Summit for June 2016 So now what happens Will the 2016 ICF Summit in Columbus take a completely different turn or will some of the successful elements that became part of the Toronto ICF Summit in 2015 become part of an annual ritual Only Columbus knows for sure But ICF Co Founders have ensured that some of the key elements that are core to the Summit remain the same So be sure to come for the Economic Development Match making session the Top 7 Reception and the Intelligent Community of the Year ICY Announcement and of course the Summit speakers ICF Masterclass and so forth from June 14 16 But as in Toronto I understand that Columbus will have some special surprises for those that come a bit early or want to participate in Columbus after the main ICF ICY announcement We are all looking forward to their plans and special opportunities to explore and learn more about their wonderful Intelligent Community In some future blogs we will detail more information about what to expect at the 2016 ICF Summit Masterclass or the Economic Development Matchmaking Session at the Summit So pencil in no put it in large magic marker to be in Columbus from June 13 17 And while you are at it why not visit Columbus and Ohio s terrific tourism opportunities http www experiencecolumbus com on the weekend before and after the ICF Summit I plan to All aboard Next stop O H I O Columbus that is Thursday October 15 2015 Looking Forward The Digital Imperative of Rural Libraries The maker movement is one of the hottest trends in the public library world Maker spaces in libraries have the latest in 3D printing technology digital media tools and other tools for the creative person who wants to make things These are full fledged STEAM science tech engineering arts and math

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    he or she receives in public services Do immigrants threaten our prosperity Hardly By increasing the supply of labor they boost growth The UK s Centre for Economics and Business Research concluded in 2013 that immigration from the EU contributes 20 billion US 33 billion to the British economy In New York City where I work the ten neighborhoods with the greatest concentration of immigrants have stronger economic growth than the rest of the city Do immigrants bring crime and disorder A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found exactly the opposite In Los Angeles as just one example immigrant youth are less involved in crime and violence than their native born peers We reap what we sow Rapid immigration brings real problems but also big benefits Your city or region gets to choose which will dominate If you treat migrants like criminals shove them into ghettos and deny them opportunity you get the problems If you find ways to accept them and manage the real issues and problems they bring your community stands to gain new economic energy and a richer and more diverse society That is why the sight of ordinary people in train and bus stations across Germany and Austria welcoming migrants is so inspiring Community intelligence is not really a matter of digits and devices it is the willingness to accept what is new and unknown and the wisdom to try making the best of it Tuesday August 25 2015 Intelligent Communities Happy Hour There is now conclusive evidence that a community seeking to provide its people with a long healthy life and meaningful days does not necessarily need more broadband but more alcohol and good sidewalks It also would benefit from fewer conveniences in the home and the elimination of the word retirement from the culture In fact what National Geographic Fellow and TEDMED superstar Dan Buettner pictured right refers to as de convenienced homes as well as a concept which the Japanese refer to as ikigai are major contributing factors to the shockingly long lives with which the people in Okinawa Japan are blessed A few drinks each day a walking lifestyle and Ikigai which translates roughly into that which makes life worth living are among the criteria at the heart of what Buettner and a group of extraordinary researchers discovered as the real secrets to the long lives people experience in place as diverse as Okinawa Sardinia and yes 2007 Smart21 Intelligent Community Loma Linda California After seeing Buettner s recent appearance on HBO and rereading some of his work I am surprised that Loma Linda did not make it to the top of the ICF s Awards that year Buettner s TED Talks and his well documented magazine article The Island Where People Forget to Die have begun to transform my thinking of what Intelligent Communities are and should ultimately become When I first read his widely read article I was stunned and saddened Stunned because it was so remarkably simple

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    the value of community in places where they feel more at home Dig deeper still into life beyond Metros and you ll find a diverse and complex fabric of connections and capabilities with very different channels and enablers for international trade These less regarded places are familiar with making do without much if any external intervention or interference from their national or regional governments Just Do It This inbred capacity for action plus our newfound ability to network ideas and contacts without the hassle of travel points towards a greater levelling up of opportunity That story has often been drowned out by reports of resurgent cities and ever declining rural areas The big city governments of the world have drawn most of the attention from big corporations and governments perhaps it is easier to sell to or deal with very big municipal organizations I d suggest reading the rest of his report for the policies which are both innovative and pragmatic that he proposes to encourage economic growth The bottom line of all this the sharp dividing lines between rural and urban are not really all that sharp That calls for a better balance across geographic areas A nation s strategy for its economic future its infrastructure investments broadband and technology needs to reflect the real distribution of the population and the potential of all areas to contribute to growth Thursday July 9 2015 Transient Imperfect Ownerless Around this time of year a lot of cities and communities have started to worry that their nomination for our 2016 Awards program might not be perfect I have an answer for that if anyone has a perfect city please send your submission to us right now so that we can name you The Intelligent Community of Forever While it is not impossible that your place is perfect I say that this is highly improbable So relax This year we have revised the form so that it should be easier for first time communities to send along their submissions and we expect them ALL to be works in progress After all as we say a community is a creative canvas not a fixed stone So do not let your quest of perfection get in the way of your opportunity to become one of the world s 21 Intelligent Communities this October Not even perfection is perfect I stumbled across a report from Taiwan s online China Daily News which reported that His Holiness the Dali Lama said the he plans to easily live another 20 years I thought Yes that is good to plan I cannot think of another leader in the world whose life over the next two decades would add more value or joy to millions than the Dali Lama Good for him and I sincerely wish him well with his plan However the Dali Lama knows better than all of us that life is only predictable when it is not busy being unpredictable Buddhists have a notion which is meant to give us comfort and determination when our plans do not fully materialize The notion an observation and a simple fact of life it is that our communities and anything that we trust to be permanent are materially and for all time transient imperfect and ownerless That is a bedrock teaching of Buddhism no matter who is teaching it or where it is being taught Although we try to be perfect the fact is that if we get this notion clear in our heads we will feel less bad about not being able to figure it all out and we can be revolutionary and daring in our planning So while planning is good relaxing with the fact that the anticipated outcome of most plans will surprise you is at the heart of the ICF Awards process and the nomination The best collaborations are ownerless Some communities learn this as they move up the ranks of Intelligent Communities No one thought little Mitchell South Dakota USA would reach the Top7 list last year and come within a few points of becoming Intelligent Community of the Year In 2010 Suwon South Korea had a 3 5 year plan which they hoped would move them from Smart21 to Top7 and then in the fourth of fifth year into the top slot They were fooled They were named 1 on their first try You simply never know how good you are until you throw your hat into the ring and bring other stakeholders into the ring with you They call religion a practice because if you are like me you never get it right I believe this is a perfect analogy for Intelligent Communities The great ones like Toronto and Columbus and Eindhoven are always in the midst of process improvement They are always practicing for the big game to come Those many many communities who resubmit each year reveal to us and our analysts that they have made great strides and we are told have used the ICF process to gain a foothold on whatever their version of enlightenment may be When you try and try with great determination there is always success When you fail you have learned So failure is not an option it is embedded in our search for a permanent success So let that go What are you waiting for Start the journey and have fun as you transform your hometown county or city That is the ICF Way As you complete the Smart21 nomination forms do not think about competing against 400 other cities towns or regions Consider the next 20 years and how expansive your Intelligent Community will be simply because you were imperfect in 2016 Monday June 29 2015 Oh No Not Another Blog About the 2015 ICF Summit This year s Summit in Toronto was different and perhaps needs to be recounted First of all it was produced by an entirely new entity ICF Canada in partnership with Waterfront Toronto City of Toronto Invest Toronto

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    ICF and more recently through ICFF the Intelligent Community Forum Foundation the association of qualified Intelligent Communities around the world Two very like minded communities shared best practices through the Intelligent Community movement came together over the years to demonstrate their best practices and inspired others to do the same In 2007 Waterloo was named Intelligent Community of the Year and in 2011 Eindhoven was similarly selected https www intelligentcommunity org index php submenu Awards src gendocs ref ICF Awards category Events In 2010 during a Top 7 site visit to Eindhoven I was able to bring all of the Mayors of the Eindhoven region together for a dinner at the Smartest House of the Netherlands We discussed opportunities including the possibilities with the Waterloo Region Soon thereafter an introductory meeting of the two regions took place during the ICF Summit the following year As I wrote in my blog on October 2 2013 it wasn t until Mayor Rob van Gijzel s visit to the Waterloo Region in June 2013 that triggered heightened community to community interest During this visit he and his delegation gave a presentation about their community and he signed an initial friendship agreement with the City of Waterloo That was followed by a visit from the Waterloo Region in the autumn of 2013 with the three mayors from the three main cities Cambridge Kitchener and Waterloo and their Economic Development staff It was at that time that a loose multi city MOU was crafted between Eindhoven s Brainport staff and Team Waterloo Region s staff coordinated by Canada s Technology Triangle a non profit FDI focused organization that had spear headed the relationship With this new multi city MOU in hand signed by all of the mayors from Waterloo Region and Eindhoven as well as their Economic Development officers the committee set upon its way to begin to work through the broad statements of interest between the two regions The committees followed up by sharing best practices and organizing lead generators for each community assisted by each host city As a result companies have started to build business opportunities in each community thereby creating mutually beneficial 2 way investment and jobs for each other Additionally the Waterloo Region was in the process of re evaluating its economic development programs and the organizations in the region that delivered such services Mayor van Gijzel visited again in June 2014 and provided a Master Class on the history of the evolution of Eindhoven from a Philips based company town to the one today that operates within an open innovation ecosystem coordinated through an organization called Brainport It was created out of the crisis the community went through when Philip s head office moved from Eindhoven to Amsterdam Lessons learned from the Brainport experience continue to benefit the Waterloo Region as it evolves its economic development structure During his travels the Mayor of Eindhoven extolled the virtues of the working relationship between Waterloo and Eindhoven Regions but also encouraged a further evolution of the relationship to include a third connection globally He proposed Taipei Taiwan since Taipei and Eindhoven already have a relationship between them based on a newly established Eindhoven Taiwan design related program http www eindhoven taiwan com home Although the Mayor of Waterloo signed an agreement with Taipei to mark a similar relationship the Waterloo Eindhoven Committee have yet to work on the idea of the Global Triangle preferring instead to get the Waterloo Eindhoven relationship right first Among our individual travels since Mayor van Gijzel s June 2014 visit to Waterloo Region the mayor and I raised our unique relationship during the September 2014 gathering of the Parliament of Mayors in Amsterdam which we both attended Since it garnered interest among these global mayors we knew we had something special here Later during a critical meeting at the residence of the Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands during the visit of His Excellency the Governor General of Canada David Johnson and his delegation to The Hague on October 25 2014 this idea was once again raised I was part of His Excellency s delegation to Europe and we requested that the Roundtable at the Ambassador s residence include the Mayor of Eindhoven in order to explore the opportunities to foster greater linkages between Canada and the Netherlands This day long Roundtable was also attended by Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven members of the Dutch Royal House I recommended that we continue to pursue the Waterloo Eindhoven relationship as not only a valuable city to city relationship but also an important nation nation linkage that would continue to foster linkages that could have significant 2 way trade and investment implications Timing was also important to both countries The Canadian EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement CETA was recently agreed to between Canada and the EU The relationship between Canada and the Netherlands would benefit from increased trade and investment in each other s countries In addition the best practices from this relationship could be used as an inspiration for other like minded communities to pursue similar approaches That Roundtable not only had a royal connection but the Dutch Ambassador to Canada was also in attendance As a result of the dialogue generated at this special Roundtable it was decided that both Ambassadors would travel to the Waterloo Region to explore possibilities to add Waterloo to the Royal Visit to Canada in 2015 marking the 70 th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands In addition to the State Visit to Ottawa and Toronto Waterloo was now highly recommended to officially be part of this visit The presence of the Royal Monarchs at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding would give heightened value to the relationship between these two Intelligent Communities In April 2015 a Waterloo Region delegation traveled once again to Eindhoven to undertake meetings arranged by a lead generator hired by Canada s Technology Triangle and facilitated by Eindhoven s Brainport Likewise along

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    USA Mayor Rod Shaigec Parkland County Alberta USA Joshua Seideman Director of Policy NTCA The Rural Broadband Association Hunter Newby CEO Allied FIber 12 00 Lunch Break 12 00 Lunch Break 13 00 Building the High Impact Metropolitan Innovation Ecosystem The business institution government triangle fundamental to Intelligent Community success must accelerate in a gigabit future Harout Chitilian Vice President Executive Committee City of Montreal Joep Brouwers Vice Director Brainport Development City of Eindhoven Netherlands Dr Julia Glidden President 21c Consultancy Ralph Benmergui Executive Director Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships Sheridan College 13 45 Smart Cities in Developing Nations Examination of India s 100 Smart Cities and China s 200 Smart Cities initiatives Harjeet Bajaj CEO Canadaits Yu Jianwei Jason Commercial Counselor Chinese Consulate Dr David Chung Chief Technology Officer Hong Kong Cyberport 14 30 Break 13 00 Crafting a Uniquely Rural Innovation Ecosystem Rural cities and regions must attract innovators and help them overcome distance and achieve scale Bryan Hisel Executive Director Mitchell Area Development Corporation Mitchell South Dakota USA Geoff Hogan IT Director County of Grey Ontario Canada David Baldwin Founder Aquarian Technologies Marjorie MacDonald Acting Director Muskoka Community Networks 13 45 The International Rural Community Exploring how smaller cities and rural regions develop international connections to power their growth Mayor Dan Mathieson City of Stratford Ontario Canada David Brunnen Managing Editor Groupe Intellex Partner NextGen UK Tim Marema Editor The Daily Yonder 14 30 Break 15 00 Keynote His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston Governor General of Canada and former President University of Waterloo 16 00 Break 16 30 Urban Planning for the Age of Community Intelligence How metro Intelligent Communities plan their futures and change planning in the process Will the planning and development of future cities be impacted by smart intelligent community implementation Councillor Michael Thompson City of Toronto Aldis Levalds Director of Business Development IMEX Systems Meg Davis Director of Development Waterfront Toronto 17 30 Closing 16 00 Break 16 30 Planning for a More Robust Rural Economy How rural Intelligent Communities plan their futures and change planning in the process Will the planning and development of rural communities and regions be impacted by smart intelligent community implementation Dr Roberto Gallardo Founder Mississippi Extension Service Intelligent Community Institute Dr Nicos Komninos Professor of Urban development and Innovation Policy Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Fedra Adra Deputy Chair RDA Sunshine Coast Australia 17 30 Closing 18 00 Top7 Intelligent Communities Reception Reception with elected officials and senior leaders of ICF Foundation Full and Associate Members honoring the 2015 Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year Master of Ceremonies Louis Zacharilla Co Founder ICF June 11 Intelligent Community of the Year ICY Day Plenary session of the Summit which includes interviews with the Top7 Intelligent Communities as its central feature The FORA Talks will present challenging ideas and cutting edge implementations from Intelligent Communities Location Isabel Bader Theater at the University of Toronto 8 00 Registration and Continental Breakfast 9 00 Welcome and Introduction John G Jung Co

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    make a Top7 city of course If that were the case six of our Top7 each year would be from Italy Nor does public relations get your name on the ICF trophy There was no public relations finesse from Columbus on this visit thank god I was able to observe things which gave me a snapshot of Columbus ask hard questions and learn whether it is ready for the big stage in Toronto in June Columbus has a CIO and a very bright Department of Technology team with private sector creds that do not speak endlessly about gigabits and fiber conduits No geek talk in Columbus The talk is about how to serve citizens The discussions I had over broadband breakfasts was of how a unified digital architecture is being put in place quickly to enable the economy and government to perform better Their citywide connectivity plan is radical in its approach and includes an innovative relationship with a new vendor CNX whose task is to facilitate and lease connectivity on the city s behalf to service providers for maximum efficiency at the lowest cost to businesses Columbus is the anti Google Gigabit City Its approach made me think of the Stockholm Miracle Stockholm s open access network delivered the lowest telecom costs in Europe and unleashed one of the world s most competitive economies Stockholm became 2009 Intelligent Community of the Year because it understood that broadband access was the key to an economic resurgence What really impressed me was when I asked the team in Columbus what they were most proud of Citing the My Columbus app Moez Chaabouni Deputy Director of the Department of Technology said We have made peoples lives easier I am very proud of that That is what they told me in Stockholm years ago too Broadband networks in and around Columbus are robust and include a monstrously impressive ramp up of its super computing capacity which has advanced since the last time I visited Back then the Ohio Academic Resources Network OARnet aspired to learn more from ICF It can teach us things now It has built a brainport which taps the knowledge base of 91 colleges and universities While visiting the Super Computer I heard sparks of competitive confidence that I had not heard before Professor Pankaj Shah the Executive Director of OARnet pictured with me right said simply We are the best We just never told our story well With 2 200 miles of 100 gigabit fiber behind the network and dozens of examples of research funding projects that are flowing into Columbus as a result he presides over a unique express lane for the local economy The relationship among the city s incubators its major university two magnificent research hospitals and its economic development department have reached a point where each operate efficiently and have defined their role This is key to the city s steady commercialization of technology The city finally cracked the nut and has begun to allow a flow between it and its university Ohio the home of American invention has dusted itself off and reclaimed a trait that made it the envy of the world in another era Its Nationwide Children s Hospital has a system to incubate start ups and I heard presentations from five of them which are doing ground breaking work in gene therapy and in areas such as the identification of bacterial characteristics Not much of this is visible to the public eye or to the media because it is the molasses of daily life It is quiet work and not flashy But it demonstrates how intellectual capacity research and applied practice work together harmoniously and feed innovation It is what I was seeking to find There is a quality of researcher and person in Columbus that feeds its cosmopolitan emergence The second admirable characteristic is the degree to which the mayor and his team understand that recovering a city is done house to house A great community is its neighborhoods I was told I was told this even in the places that have yet to experience the full recovery that much of the city is experiencing Columbus solved its BIG DEVELOPMENT issues since Robert Bell s 2013 site visit Now it is solving its once intractable urban problems The higher hanging fruit The city has a Neighborhood Pride program that is low tech but high concept When you have limited funds you have to think The program leverages peer pressure and the beauty of democracy representation and location of services near citizens to succeed Signs will go up in homes and small neighborhood businesses when they meet certain criteria and achieve Pride status Sustaining neighborhoods is a team sport The program run by two people has made the street the city Columbus also has a strategy which I don t think any community has thought through as carefully to manage its inevitable gentrification so that it does not become the core of its neighborhood recovery efforts The recovery must come from within or else the problem has simply been transferred to another block I was told I saw nearly 400 new homes being built that were affordable and for the community One of the rising indicators of a city that is heading in the right direction is the degree to which people return home Columbus is bringing its children home This was not happening in 08 It has successfully experienced population growth and is doing it with a mixture of downtown density and a constant push for an overall quality of life Culture is its driver What culture A culture is centered around athletics Standing on the 50 yard line of The Shoe the big football stadium allowed me to take one thing off my bucket list But it also offered me a sense of what I would call a sense of fair play among the city s residents Columbus is intensely competitive Its culture of competitive athletics impacts the way it looks at its Top7 status It wants to be Intelligent Community of the Year People lots of them told me that many many times The city s preparation for my site visit was meticulous and as comprehensive as any I have undertaken Yet despite its drive to become the Intelligent Community of the Year and to put on its best face the city went out of its way to show me places that by its own admission were not performing well It had me on public forums and TV to probe any criticism I had or had heard Columbus is winning its future in part because it hides nothing and is open to criticism This is in fact the mark of a winner This city is confident that what it has is right now is good enough to land it into the endzone as Intelligent Community of the Year in June Whether the ICF Jury and the quantitative data assessment will agree is out of my hands It has a one in seven chance to succeed Toronto as Intelligent Community of the Year But I can report that this city has gone from lab to market and that nothing should surprise its humble population come the morning of June 10 Columbus has put together a great gameplan Thursday April 23 2015 Why Disruption is Harder Than It Looks Do you know anyone who is never ending fountain of new ideas I have known enjoyed and been worn out by a few of them The same is true of US President Franklin Roosevelt He delivered one of the greatest backhand compliments in history when we said of British Prime Minster Churchill his friend and fellow wartime leader Winston has fifty ideas a day and one or two of them are rather good We need these people to stretch the boundaries of what is possible We also need to respect the many ways in which those boundaries can come snapping back on us In our book Brain Gain How Innovative Cities Create Jobs in an Age of Disruption my colleagues and I wrote about the disruptive educational innovation known as the massively open online course or MOOC The vision is truly revolutionary instead of attending a high priced university you take courses online from all of the great universities at a fraction of the cost Three privately funded MOOC companies were launched in the US in 2012 and universities around the world quickly followed with their own course offerings So have MOOCs succeeded in blowing up the stately traditions of higher education Not so much according to David Leonhardt writing in The New York Times The problem it turns out is that learning is just one of the things people are buying when they pursue higher education The other thing one with much greater economic value is a credential A university degree is a highly valued third party endorsement of your mastery of knowledge and skills For employers it is a fantastically useful shortcut to identifying qualified employees even if they miss out on a lot of uncredentialed talent as a result Colleges and universities are not about to surrender their monopoly on that value which supports the fees they charge And so the score so far status quo 1 disruption 0 But we are still early in the game MOOC providers from EdX to Coursera are introducing their own certificate programs based on structured curricula and qualifying exams The Mozilla Foundation creator of the Firefox Web browser has developed an Open Badges credential program which any organization can award and which is backed by links to electronic evidence of exactly how and why the badge was earned Put those two trends together and you have the beginnings of a system that could rival the economic value of the university degree and do it anywhere that people have a hunger for learning and ambition for a better life Open courses were an instant online hit but it is going to take years for open degrees to find meaningful acceptance But as we wrote in Brain Gain if MOOCs can actually increase the productivity of education teaching more students at less cost they will be among the most profound forces for good in human history Communities that are not lucky enough to have a good university or community college at their core will gain a new chance to participate in the knowledge based technology driven economy of the 21 st Century So let us praise the unreasonable men and women who dare to dream of something as remarkable as the MOOC And let us also praise the quiet methodical practitioners who find ways around the hundred obstacles that arise in the face of every truly revolutionary idea Wednesday April 15 2015 Where Bison Broadband Roam The best part of this Intelligent Community thing for me is to see the patterns of the new energized community emerging To do it you have to learn to connect dots After all Creativity as Steve Jobs said is just connecting the dots The dots were linked again for me this past weekend in the Oceania galleries of New York s Metropolitan Museum and in Mitchell South Dakota One of the happiest days of my life was nearly 35 years ago when I first became a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art It made me feel as if I had totally joined the City of New York All of it I now had the privilege of walking into that majestic building on Fifth Avenue and roaming the world as I pleased as my heart and mind dictated I could be curious and learn endlessly my idea of heaven It was a thrill and looking back it was the deliverance of quality of life that Manhattan had always promised This feeling has continued to make all the difference about whether I live here or somewhere else As I strolled those galleries for the millionth time I flashed back to a moment last Tuesday shortly after being given the keys to the City of Mitchell South Dakota by Mayor Ken Tracy The honor was given to me in a modest room where the city council gathers to plot the continued rise of Mitchell one of this year s Top7 cities They not only plot the strategic direction of Mitchell a place with a 2 8 unemployment rate you read that right they also listen inside that chamber to serious local issues that relate to their sidewalks policing and tourist industry With a major conflict pending over a measure that asks property owners to pay for sidewalk installations I suspect that I was a breath of fresh air that evening at least for the Council I was there to officially recognize the city s selection and to invite them to Toronto Canada in June to be the stars of our Summit I also reinforced something that nearly every city champion explained to me as essential to Mitchell s future that quality of life is capital It will be the formula which allows the city to keep its amazing balance between the gifts nature has provided and its economic destiny In Mitchell the local meets the global I know this because they issue pens which read bison and broadband The city of 15 285 has three broadband providers Think of that In places far larger they still spat about whether broadband is necessary and who is going to pay for it In Mitchell however broadband is in but it is merely a building block for a structure called quality of life This is the BIG BUILD On these Great Plains of America known as God s Country and sacred to the Lakota and Sioux Indian tribes of North America the scramble to use broadband and Intelligent Community ideas to construct a great place to live and thrive is on Like Taichung with its Calligraphy Greenway and the province of New Brunswick Canada which enabled a small population of 750 000 to produce three Top7 communities a few years ago Mitchell has settled upon quality of life as the biggest challenge to restore a population that declined by 30 in the post industrial era The notion has taken root Like the corn in the fields of Davison County planted by high tech tractors ideas around quality of life have many variations But the most compelling is driven by the evidence that many people who left the area want to return to Mitchell to enjoy nature and to be plugged into a global economy People are coming home I met several and they were all proud to be back Nearly all of them asked me if I hunted pheasant or fished I do not But it is obviously essential to the city s quality of life and what connects people just as the Museum membership card connects me to the home I love Mitchell is a dynamic community and is capable of going all the way in our awards program not because it is a monolithic economic powerhouse as were Taichung or Singapore in 2013 and 1999 Nor is it the most innovative place on earth as Eindhoven and Waterloo could lay claim to having been in 2011 and 2007 Unlike New York Intelligent Community of the Year 2001 it is filled with modest people who get a little uncomfortable promoting themselves as world class and hardly believe they are all of that But they are They reinforce the claim that the middle of nowhere is no more that a renaissance is underway in the rural parts of the world They were smart enough to push broadband through and to make people like it Like a tractor which has smart technology embedded into it and is boosting crop yields by numbers once thought unimaginable the city has quietly surely and in the steadfast way of its Norwegian heritage become a high tech city without technology or frenzied Twitter freaks claiming their inflated presence It meanders on proud of the remarkable natural art on the outside of its famous Corn Place and the productivity and successful job placement of its technical schools What they are most proud of I believe is the fact that its kids are starting to turn their sights back home where the bison roam and the broadband is fast Wednesday April 1 2015 Evaluating Top7 Intelligent Communities One of the elements of the year long process of bringing forward an annual list of Intelligent Communities is the physical evaluation of each of the Top7 Intelligent Communities This is an important part of the selection of the Intelligent Community of the Year and is taken very seriously by the evaluators the Jury and the communities being evaluated It is important to physically validate each community s application make eye to eye contact with the authors of the submission and better understand what they believe makes their city and community work in terms of an Intelligent Community Since each site visit is in a different part of the world they may be culturally very different and in a language that could be very different from their counterparts Some site visits dig deep into each element of their smart physical systems while others focus on meetings and roundtables ensuring that all of the aspects of their community activities are understood by the evaluator visiting their community Others include celebrations of their Top7 recognition and bring the community together to better understand what the value of their recognition really is all about Gaining local support and ensuring extensive public participation is a key factor in continuing the Intelligent Community movement into future years Just as the recognition of the Intelligent Community is not an overnight activity centered around a simple application and instead takes a year long process to complete so should the importance of constant improvement and continual commitment be pursued resulting in a community that lives and breathes what we describe

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    today to a farsighted decision in 1988 to found an organization that invented the cable broadband standard called DOCSIS With so much TV and movie entertainment moving to the Web can you imagine what their businesses would be like today without broadband One clear lesson from history is that if companies like their business model they are not going to change it out of the goodness of their hearts That s not how market economies work So the proposal of the President and FCC Chairman makes sense Broadband will be classified under Title II of the Telecom Act as a telecommunications service subject to potentially strict regulations but will actually be regulated lightly to allow continued innovation Content providers and ISPs will still make money and users will still get their content because market demand is such a powerful force How do I know I m right I don t But I think it s a good bet for two reasons First the new net neutrality policy basically continues the policies that have been in place since the Web was commercialized in 1994 Every paying customer has equal access every service provider pays for its own network and passes along traffic from other networks In the past twenty years the Web has had a revolutionary impact on how we work shop build businesses learn communicate raise our children and worship our deities McKinsey Co estimates that it has produced 21 of all economic growth and created 1 2 million jobs in developed economies over the past 15 years Not bad for a 20 year old invention Those who want to change to a different model must somehow explain why their model will produce a better outcome for the world than the one we have Secondly broadband really has become a utility essential to modern life Britain s Daily Mail surveyed 2000 adults in 2014 and asked them to name the products that have changed their lives the most Guess what came in first Broadband Second The Internet Fourth after the also useful washing machine Email In all the Internet or Web based services took 8 of the 30 top spots along with such 20 th Century breakthroughs as the refrigerator dishwasher and microwave At the Intelligent Community Forum we see the impact of this utility everywhere We track the progress of cities and regions that are putting it to best use in building their economies meeting social challenges and enriching their cultures No theory would have predicted that development back in 1994 when there were only 2 700 Web sites worldwide But it turns out that if you give billions of people and organizations a chance to practice with the Internet they create something of enormous value whose impact is just beginning to be seen Image courtesy Huffington Post Tuesday February 17 2015 Not everything can be Skyped Reasons WHY you should attend the ICF Summit in Toronto Why do people go to conferences summits seminars and roundtables Why don t we just sit in the comfort of our homes sit back and turn on our Skype WebEX or GoToMeeting online meeting services and do it all from there Well it s clear that we no longer need to be at every meeting or every event Skype WebEX and any other media that provides an Online Webinar and meeting service will do just fine in most cases And when they work we praise technology from saving us from yet another trip But there is still that human factor the sensory elements the sounds smells and images all around us the happenstance of bumping into someone with a great idea or partnership in mind and the excitement of the crowds especially those in a like minded environment where conversation is easy fun and invigorating However not all conferences seminars and similar gatherings are like that Those are the ones you want to make sure you get on your Skype Horse and ride off into the sunset with it These gatherings should be important for the opportunities to connect to be introduced learn new things become inspired and leave ready to take on the world I recall a mayor at one of the previous ICF Summits in New York saying to his staff after viewing the presentations by another city of similar size heck we can do that Then they went off and actually did do what they said they thought they could do and came back a couple of years later to be rewarded with Smart21 and Top 7 recognition They might have never proceeded had they not been inspired by another community that they got to know well enough to be able to decide that they too would be able to do as well And not all of it needs to be just inspirational maybe a bit of competition can sneak in there too I also know of several communities that met each other at an ICF Summit many years ago and forged close ties with one another as a result Through several years of developing friendships at the Summits the mayors staff educational institutions and even companies began to visit each other find out how close they were in similar attitudes goals and opportunities despite being separated by the great oceans and maybe even by languages and cultures Another set of ICF Intelligent Communities formed formal Sister City ties as a result of getting to know each other through the Summit And private sector firms are known to make an investment in communities that they have become familiar with through the ICF Summit Those relationships are much harder to form simply through online meetings When the Crystal Palace opened on May 1 1851 in London s Hyde Park it started a movement to exhibit experiment and demonstrate what was possible today and in the near future from the first fax machine first publicly available photographic process and even the first publicly available privy It made it possible for people

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