Archive | June, 2014

Brain Gain: ICF’s book launched today

23 Jun

Before they set off on some new adventure, mountaineers do at least know the height of their target.   Writers are mountaineers who set off with far less certainty.   Their imagined summit may not exist or be hidden in a fog of ideas, experiences and confusing signals.

ICF Brain-Gain-Front-CoverHaving followed the gestation of ICF’s new publication, sensing the highs and lows of the writing team as they plotted their way forward, today’s publication moment comes, like childbirth, as a huge relief – and a cause for celebration.

ICF – The Intelligent Community Forum – has garnered years of experience of progressive communities from around the world.  This experience is now brought to bear on issues of the moment – how innovative cities create job growth in an age of disruption.

In our full review we applaud their myth-busting analysis and demolition of orthodox views.  This work underscores the need for a radical rethink of the priorities in planning for the growth of places and their people.  With so much political capital invested in the power of competition, the evidence shows very clearly that in our more-networked world ‘collaborative advantage’ is the new ‘competitive advantage’.

Read the Groupe Intellex review, ‘Brain Gain: community responses to digital disruption‘.


The Real Economy

21 Jun

How often do we hear politicians or commentators draw a distinction between reported data and their view of  ‘the real economy’?

Does this mean that there’s an unreal economy?

entrepreneurial state - cover pic

In our latest musings – ‘Summer Reading for Students of the Real Economy‘ – we start with that thought and then amble through recent refreshingly provocative texts that (a) suggest that this unreality is in truth the established orthodox views, assumptions, myths and their underling ideological roots and (b) what can be done about it?

Or maybe that’s a wee bit of an over-statement?

Feel free to disagree when you’ve read your way through the full editorial and the works cited therein.


Or, come along to the Intelligent Cities conference in Bradford (July 15th – and FREE) where great minds will be gathered to think about how smart a city must be to become truly  intelligent.


Britain’s Battle to Boost Broadband – and its impacts

17 Jun

Next Generation Digital Challenge Awards 2014

Britain’s Battle to Boost Broadband – 2014 Awards Contenders reflects huge strides by both enterprise and public sector.

With just 2 weeks still to go for nominations, the 2014 Digital Challenge is giving air-time to some brilliant innovations and fresh thinking from new ventures and community leaders.

  • Public library lends out touch-screen Tablets to help older folk get online.
  • New Mobile App for ‘behavioural analytics’ boosts advertising effectiveness.
  • Interactive technology in museums enhances education
  • Thousands trained in health literacy – saving calls on NHS
  • Secure online access to 40 million Driving Licence records bringing insurance costs down
  • County Council creates new technology hubs
  • Town Centre uses crowd-funding to create free-wifi facility.
  • New Rural Fibre Network backed by District Council
  • New product designs fast-tracked with 3D printing

These and many more projects are breathing new life into local economies and bolstering community cohesion.

In 2014 folks all over the UK are realizing that the pace of broadband (and what it helps you do) is growing at an amazing rate.

The 2014 Next Generation Digital Challenge will identify the brightest and best new ideas and achievements.

  • Nominations close 30th June.
  • Short-listed Finalist announcement 15th July (at Intelligent Cities event, Bradford)
  • Independent judging panel deliberates in September.
  • Winners announced and trophies presented at the NextGen 14 conference dinner 11th November (Derby).

Click for more info

Go direct to the Nomination Form

Next Generation Digital Challenge Awards 2014 


The Value of ish

15 Jun


Prompted by debates about British Values and reports of racial intolerance, we have written a reminder of the the significance of ish.

Read the full story – ‘The Joy of ish‘ – and embrace the future whatever.

Toronto Triumphs as 2014 Intelligent Community awarded at ICF in New York

8 Jun
Intelligent Community Forum

Intelligent Community Forum

The climax of the 2014 Intelligent Community Forum’s annual summit  came as the ICF Top7 communities, their leaders and mayors from around the world gathered on Thursday night for dinner in New York.

The gathering also heard from Suneet Singh Tuli – Founder of DataWind and ICF’s ‘Visionary of the Year’.

In one sense all of the Top7 Communities were winners simply by taking part in the intensive ICF process but ultimately there could only be one winner – and it was Toronto that triumphed.

But the Summit was far more than just the award of the ultimate accolade.  Throughout the week Mayors and Civic Leaders from Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and North America have shared their experiences and gained great insights in economic and societal development.

Full story here