About ICF

Building the Community of the 21st Century

The Intelligent Community Forum is a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its center. Its mission is to help communities use information and communications technology (ICT) to create inclusive prosperity, tackle social and governance challenges and enrich their quality of life.

The ICT Challenge

Intelligent
Communities
and Smart
Cities

What's the
difference?

Whether in industrialized or developing nations, the 21st Century challenges communities to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and growth increasingly depend on communications and information technology. It is a world we call the broadband economy.

For communities, the broadband economy is a double-edge sword. It threatens established industries, economies and ways of life on the one hand, yet it also offers powerful new tools to build prosperous, inclusive and sustainable economies on the other. ICF guides communities to seize the upside while minimizing the downside of the ICT revolution.

Research, Education and Awards

earth-from-space-350.pngThe ICF think tank studies how Intelligent Communities use ICT to succeed in the broadband economy. From that evidence-based research, we offer unique guidance through reports, books, live and online educational programs and conferences.

The data for our research comes from a network of more than one hundred cities and regions – large and small, urban and rural – on five continents. Those communities have completed our annual global surveys so that they can compete for the prestige of a place in the Intelligent Community Awards. Every year, we use an objective analytic process to identify the Smart21 Communities of the Year, and then to cull that group down to the Top7 Intelligent Communities and, finally, to the Intelligent Community of the Year.

Those Intelligent Communities gain global recognition and substantial free media coverage for their achievements. Having their goals and innovative programs validated by ICF also leads to broader buy-in from citizens and stakeholders, and faster progress overall. Finally, they gain access to our global network of peer communities, which provides knowledge, experience and opportunities to join forces for economic development and leading-edge projects.

Institutes and National Chapters

The Intelligent Community movement is bigger than one organization can serve. To enrich and extend our mission, we work with educational institutions to create and grow Institutes for the Study of the Intelligent Community. We also license groups to establish national chapters of ICF that share our expertise and encourage cities and regions to participate in our programs.

Welcome to the Intelligent Community Forum

We invite you to nominate your community for our Awards, to subscribe to our content, and to learn how our programs create a better future for the place you call home.