Press Release:The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) announces the opening of nominations for the 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year award. The 2014 awards marks the 16th year the New York-based think tank, will name the Intelligent Community of the Year, a community that is a global leader in creating wealth and jobs by seizing the opportunities of information and communications technology (ICT).
The ICF has posted a nomination form at www.intelligentcommunity.org/nominations. There is also a community self-test to determine if a community could be a contender for an award. Nominations will close on Monday, September 23, 2013.
Communities large and small, urban and rural, in developing and industrialized nations are all invited to apply. Nominations are accepted from local governments, institutions, national government agencies and consular offices. There is no cost to submit a nomination. On average, ICF tracks the progress of 400 communities each year through its own research as well as nominations submitted by communities.
White Paper on the Transformative Power of Culture
With the opening of nominations, ICF has also published a white paper exploring the theme of the 2014 Awards, Community as Canvas: The Power of Culture in the Emergence of the Intelligent Community. The paper explains that when cities and regions seek to chart a new course for economic development, culture matters greatly. The culture of the community forms the launch pad for every program and project. It provides a wide range of intangible assets that Intelligent Community champions put to use. It helps determine how readily new ideas are accepted. It can supply the words that persuasively explain a vision of the future and build support for it, and the narrative that helps people understand where they belong in a changing world. The white paper offers analysis and advice based on the experience of ICF’s past Top7 and Intelligent Communities of the Year.
Stages of the Awards
The Awards program is a 12-month, three-stage, data-driven process:
First Stage: The Smart21 – After review of nominations received from cities and regions worldwide by an international academic team, ICF will announce the Smart21 Communities of the Year on October 21, 2013. The announcement will be made at Walsh University in Ohio, USA, home to the first-ever Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community.
Second Stage: The Top7 – ICF invites the Smart21 to complete a detailed questionnaire, which is evaluated by an independent research firm. The seven highest-scoring cities or regions are then named as the Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year. The Top7 will be announced in January 2014 in Taichung City, Taiwan, the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year. The Top7 become the focus of intense interest around the world among governments, institutions, technology companies, the international media and the citizens of each of the seven communities.
Third Stage: The Intelligent Community of the Year – ICF co-founders make two-day site visits to each of the Top7 communities and write reports, which are reviewed by an international jury of thought leaders. Their votes are combined with the analysis of the independent research company to select the Intelligent Community of the Year. Finally, during ICF’s annual Summit on June 4-6 2014, one of the Top7 will be named the Intelligent Community of the Year.
Criteria for Becoming an Intelligent Community
Evaluation of nominations is based on the ICF’s five Intelligent Community Indicators, which provide the conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community’s competitiveness and point to its success in the broadband economy.
In addition to ICF’s indicators the Awards are guided by an annual theme. The 2014 theme, Community as Canvas, looks at three specific aspects of culture: as art and craftwork that has both economic and social value, as heritage that gives a place its identity, and as attitudes arising from that heritage that determine how people react to change.
Arts and crafts have an emotional power and have direct economic value, especially with the rise of digital arts. Art can change citizen perceptions, and revitalize the image of the community to attract new investment and retain existing investments and jobs.
A community intent on creating or growing business sectors that require significant creative input can improve its chances by making sure that “cultural infrastructure” is in place to meet the demands of entrepreneurs and employees. Innovation is a pillar of any Intelligent Community and that innovation applies to culture as much as it does to any other part of the economy.
Community as Canvas is available for download from the Nominations or Publications page of the ICF site (www.intelligentcommunity.org/nominations).