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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    Lin s bold assertions over my New Year s holiday I learned that the former Governor of New York and a man I admired as a mentor Mario M Cuomo had died Aside from my father there was no other man I revered more for his quiet intelligence mentorship and integrity than Governor Cuomo He was an aberration in the political world which was the nature of his appeal His world view was informed by his ability to not only remember where he came from but also to be profoundly thoughtful and honest in public at all times He detested dishonesty at any level and always told it precisely as it was He was elected to three terms I am sure that Mayor Lin and others will follow this unique path toward true intelligent leadership Wednesday January 7 2015 The ICF 2015 Summit in Toronto is all about stories How innovative cities create amazing cities and job growth in an age of disruption The Day Salman Khan Quit His Job Education as practiced for the past millennium is not particularly productive Teaching has always been one of those professions like medicine or music in which customers vastly prefer quality to productivity A teacher can effectively teach only so many students The problem appeared insoluble until 2004 when Salman Khan began tutoring his cousin Nadia in math over the Internet Nadia prospered and soon other relatives and friends sought Khan s help So he decided to pre record tutorials and distribute them on YouTube The videos turned into a viral hit and attracted enough financial support from donors to let Khan leave the hedge fund One of his supporters Microsoft founder Bill Gates said It was a good day his wife let him quit his job Today the Khan Academy has an online library of more than 4 300 videos on elementary and secondary math as well as computer science biology and other topics Stories ICF s Co Founders recently wrote a book called Brain Gain which is all about stories like the one about The Day Salman Khan Quit His Job That is one of the things that differentiates this book third in a series by Robert Bell John G Jung Louis Zacharilla from any traditional book on economic development strategic planning and community development in our cities Brain Gain explores the most important issues facing cities today how to attract and retain talented people and secure and retain investment that creates and sustains jobs for the citizens of these cities By citing stories Brain Gain becomes an effective teaching tool illustrating Intelligent Communities successful relationships and results that might not have been recognized before in concepts or professional presentations These stories become memorable insights in the way in which communities solved their problems and hopefully inspire others These stories will also be covered in our next Annual Summit to be held in Toronto in 2015 from June 8 12 Come to see and hear the stories At the Summit we will tell stories about how urban and regional planning in our communities impacts the way people live work and create in their cities and towns For instance on June 8 join the delegation on a site visit to the Waterloo Region just an hour west of Toronto to hear the story of how this community has been able to weather the storm of Blackberry s meteoritic decline only to breathe life into a whole spectrum of new and innovative companies that are thriving in this region often considered to be Canada s Silicon Valley North or as the community now prefers to refer to itself as Quantum Valley another amazing story that you will learn about when you visit the Waterloo Region on June 8 On June 9 learn about the business and economic development opportunities of the delegates attending the Summit in Toronto by participating in a business mash up match making and speed dating session Every story may be an opportunity that you do not want to miss Over the next two days learn about how Mayors can save the world if they were to rule it no kidding hear stories about what is happening in China and India with audacious goals of creating hundreds of smart cities in their countries and how rural communities are looking at ways to create sustainable communities and level the playing field with their urban cousins through better rural and regional planning and development On June 10 hear stories through the Urban and Rural Master Classes about how today s disruptions in technology the economy and the environment will only grow more intense and how Intelligent Communities are preparing to leverage the opportunities based on these conditions Stories will also abound about how the continuing broadband revolution will impact the physical form of Intelligent Communities the delivery of services in them and the resulting competitive advantages of these communities Be amazed at the story of how the planning of land use and infrastructure sustainability and community development is being done today in new and revolutionary ways in essence how it is reinventing what it means to plan On June 11 each of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities will tell their own stories about how they became Intelligent Communities and what differentiates them but also what their planning and development processes are doing to create the best cities and rural areas possible One of these Top 7 Intelligent Communities will be crowned the Intelligent Community of the Year The next day at the IDEAS Day on June 12 come and be amazed at the applications new technologies and ideas that are changing the world today and in the near future Each idea is a new story and could be the next biggest thing or newest application you will be able to say that you heard the story first at the 2015 ICF Summit in Toronto We all know that change is inevitable and that massive disruptive forces of technology are underway What

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    22 2015 Time 10 00 am 10 45 am Add to your calendar Location Online Webinar Contact Matthew Owen Email mowen intelligentcommunity org The Intelligent Community Forum will be announcing the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2015 in a live online announcement on January 22 2015 The announcement taking place at 10 00AM EST will be in the form of a free webinar featuring the ICF Co Founders and speakers from intelligent communities around the world including the 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year Toronto Ontario Canada The Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year are those communities that have reached the penultimate round of ICF s annual Intelligent Community Awards program They represent models of economic and social transformation in the 21st Century They are not the most advanced technology centers the most wired cities or the fastest growing economies in the world Instead each exemplifies best practices in broadband deployment and use workforce development innovation digital inclusion and advocacy that offer lessons to regions cities towns and villages around the world They are charting new paths to lasting prosperity for their citizens businesses and institutions One of the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2015 will be named the 2015 the Intelligent Community of the Year at ICF s 2015 Summit in Toronto Ontario Canada The Smart21 of 2015 The Smart21 Communities of 2015 were announced on October 21 2014 The Smart21 Communities of 2015 is comprised of five communities from the United States four communities from Australia four communities from Taiwan three communities from Canada and one community each from Brazil Japan Kazakhstan Kenya and New Zealand Perhaps surprisingly no European or Chinese community appears on this year s list Thirteen communities reappeared on the list with the ICF s first Kazakhstani city making the Smart21 Arlington County Virginia USA Astana

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    the Second Act for the World s First Intelligent Community While in Singapore earlier this year I had the chance to meet with executives of the Infocomm Development Authority the government agency responsible for that city state s information and communications technology Singapore was named ICF s very first Intelligent Community of the Year in 1999 So fifteen years later what kind of second act has it come up with Singapore if you re not familiar with it is an urban nation located on an island at the southern tip of the Malay Penninsula Since gaining its independence from Malaysia in 1965 it has risen into the top ranks of industrialized nations with the third highest per capita income in the world That feat is made all the more remarkable by the fact that Singapore s only natural resources are the ones between its people s ears It is one of the top five busiest ports in the world the fourth biggest financial center and a production hub that generates 26 of GDP from manufacturing Singapore became our first Intelligent Community because of its early success in building a ubiquitous broadband network called Singapore One They have not been letting the grass grow under their feet since then Starting in 2010 they set out to become a Smart Nation by creating a new national broadband network NBN operating at much higher speed and serving as an engine for education innovation and economic growth Their NBN has much in common with Australia s national project Both aim for open access meaning a network that stimulates competition rather than entrenches monopoly The government is the NetCo responsible for building and operating the underlying fiber infrastructure It licenses OpCos or operating companies to run the active transmission systems on the NetCo asset The nine current OpCos include incumbents like SingTel as well as newer entrants like BlueTel Tata and StarHub They sell bandwidth to retail service providers RSPs of which there are currently 27 and it is the RSPs that actually deliver services to customers By separating the various levels of the network Singapore s NBN encourages aggressive competition which boosts performance lowers costs and generates new kinds of services Since January 2012 the NBN has grown subscribers by 45 to 550 000 Singapore s average download speed leaped 690 to 67 Mbps from the start of NBN services to mid 2013 and average upload speed is right behind it at 53 Mbps Prices meanwhile tend to fall particularly for packages with speeds of over 200 Mbps Best of all the RSPs are beginning to figure out ways to make money with all that bandwidth You can sign up for a Fibre Plan for Gamers if you need flaming fast response times to battle intergalactic evil A student package includes access to a vast database of resources while a monitoring and surveillance service lets you keep track of your property 24x7 There is even a Time Critical Financial Data Services Delivery that lets individuals and small businesses play on the same field as the flash traders At first glance this may seem just another top down government knows best kind of project which so often fails to deliver what it promises But look closer and you see Singapore doing what it has done well for five decades building great infrastructure and creating clear policy rules so that investors and innovators can get to work Call it urban and regional planning at its best and a prime example of the Revolutionary Community at work Nobody in the world knows yet what to do with speeds of 100 200 or 1 000 Mbps at the residential and small business level To find out you have to do what Singapore is doing and a lot of us will be learning from the world s first Intelligent Community for years to come Monday November 24 2014 The Part that is Broken is the Part You Plan For Part 1 A man who knows a little something about planning and nurturing a community Dominican preacher Walter Wagner the pastor of St Vincent Ferrer parish in New York is the unlikely source for the best thought to guide our new theme and the sixth criteria for this year s Smart21 communities Writing about the deep emotional disruptions that change activates within us Father Walter writes Life moves Awareness of creation reveals flux in each situation and departure in every relationship While life s currents carry gifts of surprise and relief in their wake their flow also surfaces one of life s great intractable pains homesickness This ache knows no boundaries It steals its way into our heart all the way into our living room Homesickness brews loneliness fatigue frustration and hurt This combination serves up a longing for a place where we might be safe warm carefree known understood provided for and cherished The heart pleads Is this too much to ask As we look around the world it seems that too often the answer is Yes But to those of us interested in building the intelligent community and sensing that a healthy place to call home must be the foundation for any attempt at a good life our new Smart21 offer diverse examples of how planning and execution remove some of the ache for home that Wagner writes about In our new group of candidates for Intelligent Community of the Year a combination of technology and leadership along with an embrace of the rough truths about change seem to have been identified The planning efforts among the new Smart21 take change into consideration They recognize changes in their communities and follow by taking action You cannot do better than this Well maybe a little better Read on Adopting to change is front and center this year It is the reason why our sixth criteria is so important It is also why the new Smart21 have an obligation to show us and to show you their best ideas for planning communities It is the reason why I ask everyone who comes up to me after a speech the same question Do you like living here If they answer yes I know something good has happened and that it can be extracted and perhaps multiplied through planning and collaboration One of our newest Intelligent Communities Sherbrooke Canada population 169 200 symbolizes this harsh acceptance of change over a long term In the community s nomination form it admitted candidly that it experienced a particularly difficult transition for a city with a culture derived from heavy manufacturing lifetime employment and a mistrust of successful entrepreneurs That last phrase caught my eye This was a place where unexpected occurrences like the globalization which pounded it in the early part of this new century was not a welcomed newcomer Sherbrooke admits that its basic problem was that there was no home planned for the unexpected or for change of any kind Not until 2007 In that year the mayor brought together 300 stakeholders to identify a new direction and set free a new spirit Five years later the city formed an Intelligent Community Roundtable with several goals one of which was to improve the lives of its citizens using digital technology and to break the silos formed by local institutions to increase collaboration Embedded in this story of an aspiring Top7 community is the basis for an idea whose time has come for urban planners forward thinking mayors and especially those of you tasked with plans for the rollout of Intelligent Communities It is to plan for ways to enable stakeholders and citizens to profit from the transitions that are coming rather than to be shaken to the core by them We talk a lot about turning the unexpected or the broken into the welcomed It is sprinkled throughout our ethos of entrepreneurship which has added the worship of failure on everyone s list of buzz ideas But no one knows what that really means from a planning perspective since most plans still suggest a linear trajectory for a place and its economy We remain risk adverse at the deepest levels Should a new planning exercise one that launches a revolutionary community include an anticipation of where fissures will occur Not only to not only plan for them but to embrace them Should we be looking at the parts of a community that seem busted much differently As tangible assets Perhaps There are profitable analogies to the success of Regent Park in Toronto whose Artscape organization looked at one of the nastiest public housing communities in the city and decided that there was a buried treasure in the art and culture that had sprung forth as a defense against the ache of poverty Check out the surrounding real estate prices NOW in that once busted place where business people poets and painters thrive See also Austin Texas a former Top7 city which doubles in size every 20 years because it has been able to become a true home to thousands of the students who go there to be part of the blueberry in the sea of red tomatoes Perhaps last year s theme Community as Canvas has as much to teach us about the riches among the busted as this year s theme Italian chef Massimo Bouttara an artist who is passionate about community tells a story that is perfect for this approach While taking a lemon tart from his kitchen to serve to customers it broke into pieces and fell onto the counter While his assistant wanted to commit hara kiri Bouttara looked at his broken parts and made a dish from it The Broken Lemon Tart has become iconic and viral It made him rich his restaurants impossible to get into and has reinforced the creative potency that relies less on planning and more on innovation during a storm We can chew on that as we watch our Smart21 serve us more insights between now and January Monday November 17 2014 The Internet of Things Part 2 Creating Smarter Cities to become Intelligent Communities and how the evolution and adoption of the Internet of Things will help to shape them around the world Cities that are applying Internet of Things applications linking their device s identifiers are doing so to monitor and measure for efficiencies security and higher productivity Often this is referred to as developing Smart Cities In the process they track their municipal assets improve processes and controls track behaviors and preferences improve overall service and traffic efficiencies and establish themselves as leaders in economic development through differentiating themselves among competitive cities Routers meters digitally tagged devices and Internet of Things related initiatives help to generate large amounts of data that help decision makers make better evidence based informed decisions reducing costs and positively impacting budgets It also provides a sense of the public s acceptance and changing behaviors feedback and citizen satisfaction of existing or new initiatives and services In an age when traffic movement is critical and municipal utilities and resources such as water and clean air are vital to a city s existence smart city infrastructure is a key element in the creation and survival of cities in the future In addition to monitoring efficiencies and for trouble spots the analyzed data can undertake predictive maintenance of these assets as well While smart infrastructure is valuable in city development and sustainability an Intelligent Communities approach is more holistic more people centric and advocates open source shared and inclusionary systems Smart Cities are a reflection of a city that works better an Intelligent Community reflects a city in which people live better The drivers of smart cities are smart infrastructure and asset management monitoring generating data which is analyzed and with which better decision making is possible This will lead to reduced costs and continuous improvement which in turn leads to efficiencies predictive maintenance and the ability to anticipate problems in advance By proactively coordinating scarce municipal resources to operate effectively and improve systems on a continuous basis this verges on being revolutionary Hence smart cities help drive a more efficient city which is able to be marketed as a more competitive environment and thereby adding to its sustainable economic growth and prosperity The drivers of Intelligent Communities are people talent and leadership innovation and creativity inclusion advocacy and marketing sustainability collaboration and oh yes advanced smart city infrastructure By incorporating the Internet of Things in a more horizontal open source and shared ecosystem people at all levels will be able to create increased social economic and cultural opportunities and live better lives This is a community approach focused on people and not just systems technology and data So how can we create better and more sustainable innovation ecosystems and ensure that everyone in society will benefit from these decisions Are we training people to be able to benefit from the Internet of Things and are there other ways to learn explore and innovate For instance in addition to traditional education can maker spaces become the new classrooms Can creative enterprise evolve from access to affordable standardized and interoperable technologies that advance the opportunities inherent in adopting the Internet of Things more holistically across the board Can an Internet of Things ecosystem be part of the creative solutions needed to evolve smart cities into Intelligent Communities What are the roles of the public private and institutional sectors in these efforts and who are its champions and advocates Is a bottom up approach involving social media the way to engage inclusiveness and involve the greater population to ensure long term sustainability The Intelligent Community movement and its key criteria are at the heart of all of these questions In the Waterloo Region of Canada Intelligent Community of the Year in 2007 one of its cities Cambridge partnered with IBM Blackberry and the Government of Canada in a unique research project that provided Cambridge with the tools they needed to enhance their asset management system and related business processes for the municipality The partnership undertook an integrated approach They applied routers measurement devices and sensors to meet a variety of department needs measured and analyzed data from different departments and applied the collected information into insight and knowledge that was shared across all city departments and for planning and budgeting purposes The system that was developed will also allow any private service providers working on initiatives with the city to add to the data mix The program that its partners assembled called Analytics for City Services and Safety ACCESS allows the city to compile and synchronize data and to interpret it from a variety of perspectives Its aim is to optimize capital spending in order to achieve the highest value in investing in infrastructure and for the opportunity to renew its systems and processes in the most economic and efficient way possible Essentially the goal is to significantly improve utilization of limited resources However it should also lead to the highest level of sustainability as a result of this predictive maintenance Another set of benefits emerged for Cambridge as a result of this focused approach to asset management The Asset Management Division was created which can now systematically collects all of the big data that is generated on all aspects of the city s infrastructure and independently analyze it to take a city owned long term approach to its maintenance operation rehabilitation and replacement of all its key assets annually saving hundreds of thousands of dollars for the municipality This will give Cambridge a competitive edge by making it possible that all its systems are healthy efficiently managed and cost effective This type of city intelligence is also attractive to investing companies local businesses and its citizens Currently the city monitors and analyzes data from tens of thousands of related control devices monitoring over 2000 km of underground water mains sanitary pipes storm sewer pipes roads and sidewalks With increasing connections to the city s soft infrastructure such as parks schools bus stops sports and cultural facilities Cambridge has become a model of how the Internet of Things can benefit a society Not to be outdone Cisco and the city of Nice France are undergoing research in the Connected Boulevard initiative This experiment applies the Internet of Things to the urban management of a street with sensors installed in everything from street lights parking metres and sidewalks to waste containers The data is collected in real time by 200 devices which are continuously analyzed to provide information ranging from traffic flow energy consumption and even the level of cleanliness on the street In addition to sensors and devices Nice has also built the capacity to capture a variety of data from daily life through a hybrid network infrastructure including Cisco s Wi Fi network According to Cisco the data is processed into real time information and converted into intelligence with the help of context aware location analytics before being disseminated to serve multiple services in city operations and for city dwellers It is an Internet centric always on platform designed to be resilient extensible highly secure and agile through several interoperable layers The Connected Boulevard is a multi stakeholder collaboration integrating various solutions from different international and local companies Early projections suggest that this initiative can prove that these measures will contribute to the reduction of traffic congestion by 30 and energy costs can be reduced by 80 as a result of the synchronization of street lighting on a need basis As we learn more about the benefits that the Internet of Things will bring into our lives we will need to invest as society into the training research and constant improvement for analyzing the data that comes with these new connections of devices everywhere Beyond machine to machine connections and provisioning sensors to create more efficient municipal infrastructure new ways to be more productive and innovative with the Internet of Things is being undertaken every day For instance

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    2013 December 2012 September 2011 December November October September August July April March February January 2010 December November September July January 2009 November October August July June May April March

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    personal data devices in public areas offering free WiFi is on the rise Identity theft and data hacking are key reasons for not allowing your personal data devices to access free wireless offerings in public spaces But on the positive side broadband wireless is also seen to be revitalizing and repopulating public spaces by providing increased amenities improving the safety of public spaces and increasing opportunities for social equality and diversity Communication among park users engaged in social media using tools such as laptops tablets cellular based cameras combined with security information and entertainment based elements hardwired into the public spaces may actually help to provide added security in the space These could also be used to increase opportunities for raising public awareness improved social cohesion increased tolerance and exposure to diverse experiences Tuesday December 8 2015 Looking Forward Urban Rural Interdependency Much of the discussion about economic growth and the availability of broadband assumes there is a vast gulf between rural and urban areas I ve written before about how in some ways trends in this century seem to be leading to something of a convergence of rural and urban areas So I thought it especially interesting that the NTCA The Rural Broadband Association yesterday hosted a policy meeting in the US Capitol that was titled Beyond Rural Walls Identifying Impacts and Interdependencies Among Rural and Urban Spaces I was there for the panel discussion along with Professor Sharon Strover of the College of Communication at University of Texas in Austin and Professor Charles Fluharty of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa who is also the CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute We covered the changing demographics and ambiguities in the boundaries between urban and rural broadband deployment and adoption and how to measure both the interdependencies between these areas as well as the impact of broadband communications Perhaps there were too many knotty issues for one morning Since the NTCA will be making available further information about this I m now just going to highlight my own observations There are many examples of rural communities using broadband in innovative and intelligent ways One example is the work of the counties in Appalachian Kentucky one of the poorest parts of the US But most of these communities don t know about each other which means that each has to re invent the wheel instead of learning from others experience and experiments That s one reason ICF is planning a global virtual summit for these communities The limited distribution of this news also encourages major national global philanthropic foundations to give up hope for rural areas in the US Dr Fluharty noted that less than five percent of philanthropy goes to American rural areas although twenty percent of the population lives there He also emphasized that doing something about rural broadband and development is a national issue not something to be merely dealt with locally He even classified it as a national security issue because the countryside holds so much of the country s critical resources our food not the least The problem is that for many national leaders especially members of Congress the mental image of the countryside is of past decline and abandonment The national media reinforce that image So they may feel it s a hopeless problem and or have no idea what might be happening that ought to be encouraged Many of our current national leaders also have forgotten the common understanding of the founders of the USA that a large country would only succeed if it was brought together That s why building postal roads is one of the few specific responsibilities given to Congress in the constitution It s why the Erie Canal was built the Land Grant colleges etc We seem to have forgotten what led to our success In this century physical roads aren t enough Digital communications are just as important Of course not all public officials are oblivious There was a keynote by Lisa Mensah Under Secretary for Rural Development of the US Department of Agriculture Representative Bill Johnson Republican of Ohio s 6th District opened the conference with a statement about the importance of rural broadband for urban economies Senator Al Franken of Minnesota closed the conference by saying he viewed rural broadband in the same way people viewed rural electrification decades ago a basic necessity and common right of the American people Or as he said A no brainer Along with these misperceptions on the part of media national officials and foundations is the failure to recognize the increasing integration of rural and urban areas The boundaries are getting fuzzy Even residence is no longer clear There are an increasing number of people especially knowledge workers and creative folks who may spend 3 4 days a week in a city and 3 4 days a week in the countryside They may contact you via broadband Internet and you won t know which location they re in Are they rural residents or urban residents or is that an increasingly meaningless question Finally in the question and answer part of the conference one of the many operators of rural communications companies there pointed out that they know how to deploy broadband and run it but that their communities need help figuring out what to do with it Of course that provided me an opportunity to discuss ICF s accelerator program and workshops that help community leaders do exactly that Friday December 4 2015 Life Death and Broadband Life in the broadband economy can be a real killer No I am not talking about the horrific ISIL attack on Paris despite the online propaganda skills of that 12 th Century band of cutthroats Instead I am referring to an insight brought to us by two Princeton economists Ann Case and Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton What they found is that white poorly educated white Americans of middle years are dying faster than they did in

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    bad Today security concerns of the use of personal data devices in public areas offering free WiFi is on the rise Identity theft and data hacking are key reasons for not allowing your personal data devices to access free wireless offerings in public spaces But on the positive side broadband wireless is also seen to be revitalizing and repopulating public spaces by providing increased amenities improving the safety of public spaces and increasing opportunities for social equality and diversity Communication among park users engaged in social media using tools such as laptops tablets cellular based cameras combined with security information and entertainment based elements hardwired into the public spaces may actually help to provide added security in the space These could also be used to increase opportunities for raising public awareness improved social cohesion increased tolerance and exposure to diverse experiences Tuesday December 8 2015 Looking Forward Urban Rural Interdependency Much of the discussion about economic growth and the availability of broadband assumes there is a vast gulf between rural and urban areas I ve written before about how in some ways trends in this century seem to be leading to something of a convergence of rural and urban areas So I thought it especially interesting that the NTCA The Rural Broadband Association yesterday hosted a policy meeting in the US Capitol that was titled Beyond Rural Walls Identifying Impacts and Interdependencies Among Rural and Urban Spaces I was there for the panel discussion along with Professor Sharon Strover of the College of Communication at University of Texas in Austin and Professor Charles Fluharty of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa who is also the CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute We covered the changing demographics and ambiguities in the boundaries between urban and rural broadband deployment and adoption and how to measure both the interdependencies between these areas as well as the impact of broadband communications Perhaps there were too many knotty issues for one morning Since the NTCA will be making available further information about this I m now just going to highlight my own observations There are many examples of rural communities using broadband in innovative and intelligent ways One example is the work of the counties in Appalachian Kentucky one of the poorest parts of the US But most of these communities don t know about each other which means that each has to re invent the wheel instead of learning from others experience and experiments That s one reason ICF is planning a global virtual summit for these communities The limited distribution of this news also encourages major national global philanthropic foundations to give up hope for rural areas in the US Dr Fluharty noted that less than five percent of philanthropy goes to American rural areas although twenty percent of the population lives there He also emphasized that doing something about rural broadband and development is a national issue not something to be merely dealt with locally He even classified it as a national security issue because the countryside holds so much of the country s critical resources our food not the least The problem is that for many national leaders especially members of Congress the mental image of the countryside is of past decline and abandonment The national media reinforce that image So they may feel it s a hopeless problem and or have no idea what might be happening that ought to be encouraged Many of our current national leaders also have forgotten the common understanding of the founders of the USA that a large country would only succeed if it was brought together That s why building postal roads is one of the few specific responsibilities given to Congress in the constitution It s why the Erie Canal was built the Land Grant colleges etc We seem to have forgotten what led to our success In this century physical roads aren t enough Digital communications are just as important Of course not all public officials are oblivious There was a keynote by Lisa Mensah Under Secretary for Rural Development of the US Department of Agriculture Representative Bill Johnson Republican of Ohio s 6th District opened the conference with a statement about the importance of rural broadband for urban economies Senator Al Franken of Minnesota closed the conference by saying he viewed rural broadband in the same way people viewed rural electrification decades ago a basic necessity and common right of the American people Or as he said A no brainer Along with these misperceptions on the part of media national officials and foundations is the failure to recognize the increasing integration of rural and urban areas The boundaries are getting fuzzy Even residence is no longer clear There are an increasing number of people especially knowledge workers and creative folks who may spend 3 4 days a week in a city and 3 4 days a week in the countryside They may contact you via broadband Internet and you won t know which location they re in Are they rural residents or urban residents or is that an increasingly meaningless question Finally in the question and answer part of the conference one of the many operators of rural communications companies there pointed out that they know how to deploy broadband and run it but that their communities need help figuring out what to do with it Of course that provided me an opportunity to discuss ICF s accelerator program and workshops that help community leaders do exactly that Friday December 4 2015 Life Death and Broadband Life in the broadband economy can be a real killer No I am not talking about the horrific ISIL attack on Paris despite the online propaganda skills of that 12 th Century band of cutthroats Instead I am referring to an insight brought to us by two Princeton economists Ann Case and Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton What they found is that white poorly educated white Americans of middle

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    or not they live in a major city and the map would be very different in fact it would be perfectly possible to conclude that economic growth is far more evenly spread with only around 50 of growth generated within those megacity places that demand such intensive management But this is not just a story about England There are similar situations in many other countries including the US A few years ago Wendell Cox of Demographia an international public policy firm wrote America is More Small Town than We Think He starts with the statement we ve often heard America has become an overwhelmingly metropolitan nation According to the 2000 census more than 80 percent of the nation s population resided in one of the 350 combined metropolitan statistical areas According to the census the figure was 79 0 in 2000 and is now 80 7 Moreover the official definition of urban is not limited to obvious big cities like New York City Some of that urban population lives in what the Census Bureau calls urban clusters whose population is between 2 500 and 50 000 Focusing more on governance Cox s argument nevertheless parallels what Brunnen has written more recently about international trade America is more small town than we often think particularly in how we govern ourselves In 2000 slightly more than one half of the nation s population lived in jurisdictions cities towns boroughs villages and townships with fewer than 25 000 people or in rural areas Planners and geographers might see regions as mega units but in fact they are usually composed of many small towns and a far smaller number of larger cities Indeed among the metropolitan areas with more than one million residents in 2000 the average sized city town borough village or township had a population of little more than 20 000 The 2012 survey by the Census found more or less the same results If anything there were more governments Many metropolitan areas are more networks of small towns than one master urban jurisdiction Brunnen goes on to explain why those outside the big cities are able to participate so vigorously in global trade Digital transformation is enabling business to thrive in places where employees like to live in places where they can afford to live in places where they can appreciate 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

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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    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 as the Intelligent Community movement These are key elements that the evaluator is looking for How disparate and separated are the activities described in a community application versus how collaborative well thought out and budgeted for continuity are they Is it a project or is it part of the true fabric of the community Does it have legs and lives and breathes as part of what makes the whole community intelligent or is it an activity or someone s special project that could end tomorrow with the person s changing situation or the end of special funding Of course the site visits will help to validate each of the applicant s capital investments community elements and collaborative initiatives in context with the criteria that the Intelligent Community Forum has established over the years We will be looking for smart infrastructure and how it is being deployed and how it benefits the community at large how they have planned their community and implemented smart and innovative technologies to be part of the ever changing landscape and make up of their Intelligent Community we will be looking at the way in which the knowledge workforce is created attracted and most importantly utilized and retained in a community we will be looking at the innovation and creativity that takes place and leveraged in these communities taking advantage of the smart infrastructure and smart people in the community and we will be looking at the ways in which a community deals with public advocacy from citizen involvement to public policies that reinforce the criteria and

    Original URL path: https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=blog&year=2015&submenu=News&month=4 (2016-02-13)
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