Becoming an Intelligent Community has its Benefits

There are few things in life that are free. Being recognized as an Intelligent Community may just be one of them. ICF has never charged any of its 134 recognized Intelligent Communities to apply for the recognition and it even covers for the cost of the Conference fees and Awards dinner if you make the list each year. And there are many other benefits as well. To become recognized by the Intelligent Community Forum as an Intelligent Community we undertake a year-long process that celebrates and promotes these communities as we evaluate them first from a SMART21 level and later to the Top 7 and finally as the Intelligent Community of the Year.

JJung21Highlights1.pngThe application form is a lot easier to fill out this year: The application deadline is September 23. The announcement will be on October 21. For a full schedule of dates and events, see:

The benefits are huge for communities that apply:

  1. There is no cost to apply and if you are selected, ICF even provides free tickets to the Annual Summit and the Awards Dinner for community members attending the event.
  2. Selected communities (Smart21, Top 7 and Intelligent Community of the Year) get free publicity through ICF’s media channels and social media for the entire year at no charge. Intelligent Communities also tend to benefit from viral communications about this recognition.
  3. Selected communities get the right to identify themselves as ICF-recognized Smart21 cities and Intelligent Communities, including the right to use its recognized logos for marketing purposes.
  4. ICF will write blogs and reference these communities in presentations, articles in journals, and so forth for the year.
  5. They are often referenced in books published through ICF.
  6. If they make the Top 7 list, ICF will send a senior executive to experience and validate their success on site and share this with the global judging panels. There are also terrific media opportunities associated with this at the local level.
  7. Smart21 and Top 7 Intelligent Communities will be celebrated at an event at the ICF ‘s annual Summit.
  8. Smart21 communities will be featured on individual webinars this year.
  9. Smart 21 communities will be invited to join the exclusive Intelligent Community Forum Foundation, the association of smart and intelligent communities, which has additional benefits of networking, building city-to-city connections, being part of visiting smart city tours and promotion as unique ecosystems to attract and retain talent and FDI. You cannot join this association unless you have qualified as a Smart21 Intelligent Community.
  10. Communities that apply will learn what gaps it has compared to other globally comparable communities. Benchmarking against other communities is a great benefit.
  11. The completed application form asks unique questions about the community that is often used afterwards by communities as the basis of a new community audit and often used in economic development promotional profiles as a smart and intelligent community.
  12. Members from Smart21 Intelligent Communities may be invited to be speakers at conferences, Summit and even Master Classes which showcase them to the world…

And more!

These benefits are only available if you submit an application. Why not start today? At the very least take a self -test to see if your community has what it takes to be evaluated among the best. Give it a try at:

And remember, any size of community can apply and be recognized, no matter how remote as long as you are connected! Good luck. Submit by September 23. I look forward to seeing you on the list on October 21!

Co-Founder/Chair ICF; ICF Canada, formerly CTT/ GTMA/CEDA/Board CUI, Urban Planner & Designer, Author & Speaker on Econ Devel/ Smart & Intelligent Cities
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