Global expert on Intelligent Communities visits Surrey

Surrey is one of just seven global communities to make the final shortlist for the title, Intelligent Community of the Year for 2016. Surrey has been ranked by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) of New York City for 2016 and 2015 and has made it to the finals both years. Louis Zacharilla, co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum tours Surrey May 4-5 and city officials will be showing him some of the programs and projects that have made the city such a consistent contender for the sought after recognition.

The public has a chance to listen to Zacharilla at a public session at Surrey City Hall on Wednesday May 4, 2016 starting at 9:30am.

In naming Surrey a Top7 Intelligent Community the Forum noted that Surrey is a city in transition from a suburban past to a sustainable urban future Surrey is building an innovation-based knowledge economy offering a much broader range of local opportunity. Surrey has developed a diversification strategy calling for a deeper partnership between institutions of higher learning and local business

The Intelligent Community Forum also named Winnipeg, Manitoba and Montreal, Quebec to the Top7 this year as well as two communities in Taiwan and one each in Germany and New Zealand. Click here of the full Top7 list and a video media is welcome to use.

“Site visits are a crucial part of the judging process, giving the co-founders an up-close look at what is being done in the world’s leading cities. Surrey has made a strong showing among Intelligent Communities in just two years and this in a country that already has an amazing 27 Intelligent Communities,” said John Jung, executive director of ICF Canada and a co-founder of the ICF. ICF Canada was formed at the end of last year and is the first in-country office for ICF.

“I am psyched about visiting Surrey for the first time. It is another of the ‘no-name’ cities that people may have fixed opinions about until they realize that they are innovating and working hard to enable the place they call ‘home’ a re-energized place. I love the fighters in our awards program, and Surrey seems to be one of them,” said Louis Zacharilla, ICF Co-Founder.

Cities and towns face an onslaught of challenges that can threaten survival. Communities have no choice, in order to survive they must get connected to the world's Internet-based economy. From big urban centres to small rural locations hundreds of global communities are embracing the strategy promoted for the last 16 years by the ICF. The ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they seize the opportunities presented by technology.

Experts say the Fourth Industrial Revolution is underway, where billions of devices will be connected to the Internet. At last fall’s recent gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland the organization’s founder, Klaus Schwab said, “We must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural, and human environments. There has never been a time of greater promise, or greater peril.”

ICF helps communities to capture the promise and reduce the peril. Books, research, workshops, all are geared to help communities understand what needs to be done and how to do it. An Intelligent Community must first be a Smart City where technology is used to make the city more efficient by operating systems such as traffic, lighting and water. The next step is to become an Intelligent Community. To put the emphasis on people over technology and harness the most important natural resource – human brain power.

Intelligent Communities have a strong track record of successfully dealing with the huge disruptions brought about by Innovation and Technology. Canada has 27 Intelligent Communities and three of them, Toronto, Calgary and Waterloo have been named Intelligent Community of the Year. Later this year ICF Canada will be releasing results of a survey of Canada’s Intelligent Communities offering more lessons on how to cope with the rapid pace of global changes.

About Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum ( think tank, headquartered in New York, is a global network of 145 counties, cities and towns with a think tank at its heart. ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology (ICT). To help cities and towns build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts global events, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program. The Forum has two Institutes in North America dedicated to the study of the movement and an affiliate ICF Canada organization. Global leaders, thinkers, and media observers follow and participate in the ongoing global dialogue initiated by the Intelligent Community Forum. In 2012 ICF was invited to participate at the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo and in 2014, its model and work was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which, according to the American government, was "aimed at creating a more flexible and responsive system of workforce development to meet the needs of employers looking to fill 21st century jobs.” The Forum’s Foundation has an association made up of 145 designated Intelligent Communities worldwide, which is represented by mayors and key civic leaders. For more information, go to For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum’s recent publications and programs, visit For more details about the Intelligent Community Forum Canada,

Intelligent Community Forum Contacts
Matthew Owen
Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: 001-646-291-6166 x105

Louis Zacharilla
Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: (M) 001-917-715-0711 (O) 001-212-249-0624

Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum
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