Tag Archives: global

ICF Global Summit – Part 2

19 Jun

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For a broader summary of the events in Toronto last week I defer to ICF’s Norman Jacknis and his highlight selections at http://bit.ly/1GlyCy6

The concentration of ideas, perspectives and opportunities to meet with mayors and civic leaders from around the world was brilliantly refreshing.  Every year we find ourselves lifted above the fray – once again proving that a ‘retreat’ is most often an advance.

The inspiration from this year’s gathering in Toronto will hugely inform our work on the agenda for NextGen 15 in London and our Digital Challenge Awards event in the House of Lords on November 5th.

 

 

Smart Communities Celebrate as ICF declares Global Top 7

24 Jan

The Intelligent Community Forum has announced the 2014 Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year. The Top7 list includes three from Canada, two from the United States, and two from Taiwan.

Columbus Skyline 2This year’s Top7 group is unusual in that they represent only three nations but they have set a course for others to follow.  Each made it to the list by demonstrating how they have begun to fuse technology, culture and collaboration for economic sustainability.

In alphabetical order, the 2014 Top7 Intelligent Communities are:

  • Arlington County, Virginia, USA, which is building its own fiber network to boost broadband service and re-energize government-business-university collaboration
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA, which in its recovery from the 2008 recession has 20,000 more jobs than it did at its last economic peak in 2007
  • Hsinchu City, Taiwan, the first city in Taiwan to implement e-learning platforms for its students and establish a science park
  • Kingston, Ontario, Canada, which leveraged its educational institutions to build an innovation economy focused on environmental sustainability
  • New Taipei City, Taiwan, a new city forged from communities surrounding the nation’s capital, which is creating a unified and dynamic knowledge economy
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a renowned waterfront development that will provide Internet at 500 times the speed of conventional residential networks
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where reinvention of its agricultural legacy is creating strong growth while preserving a valued heritage

Study after study notes that cities all over the globe need solutions to a wide range of problems from transportation and the environment to economic growth and education. Intelligent Communities provide solutions.

Regular readers of this blog may not be entirely surprised to find that no UK communities are featured in the Global Top 7.   To be amongst these selected finalists and on course (after the next round of intense scrutiny) for the ultimate 2014 accolade in June, they would already have needed to qualify for the Top 21.

The entire point of submitting to the rigour of the Intelligent Community Forum’s process is to learn.  Some communities find great value in participating in successive years as they invest in the development of their local economies and establish themselves on the global stage.

We know that despite relatively meagre public funding resources (compared to their global competitors), the UK’s major city economies beyond London already generate a high proportion of national GDP growth but are expected to respond to significant pressures on housing, infrastructure, health, education (particularly in digital and vocational skills), enterprise innovation and community development.  The due diligence of potential inward investors demands that risks of failure are fully exposed.

As nations or regions we may be justifiably proud of great past achievements and glorious contributions to societal endeavour but not all ideas are invented here.  In a more digitalised era the new competitive advantage is so often a collaborative advantage.

If leaders of enterprising communities across the UK seek to emulate the success of others, ICF’s Top 7 global exemplars provide a deep pool of experiences and insights – and a great focus for our next fully managed Study Tour when we join them in New York in the summer.

For more details contact

Innovation and job creation: Intelligent Community Forum annual Global Summit

6 Jun

(David Brunnen and Marit Hendriks reporting from New York)

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) is holding its annual Summit this week in New York City. This 3-day event is an international gathering of mayors, chief administrative officers, CIOs and economic development officers from cities, states and regions around the world that are designated Intelligent Communities by the ICF. The theme this year is “Innovation and Jobs”.

In partnership with the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, the event brings the world’s most dynamic communities together to discuss how to use information and communications technology innovation to create jobs and sustainable communities.

The high point of the event will be on Friday when ICF announces the name of the world’s 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year.

Amongst the speakers gathered from around the world will be Mike Lazaridis, founder of Blackberry, Uzo Udemba, developer of Lagos as an intelligent city and Mayor Michael Coleman of Columbus Ohio.

From the UK, Marit and I will today be addressing a conference plenary on the impacts of Open Data innovation and giving several examples of community development as well as the trends towards greater transparency in the commercial sector and environmental sustainability.

Developing this theme has been excellent preparation for the upcoming Intelligent Cities event in Leeds on June 19th.

Working with the ICF has hugely informed NextGen Events – particularly in helping to identify the key UK challenges faced by cities and communities as the investment priorities for digital infrastructure begin to be realised.   A brief summary of the 2013 themes can be found in our paper ‘Economic Revitalisation’.