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Intelligent Community Forum Names Australia’s Stephen Conroy as its 2012 Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year
Published Monday, March 26, 2012

(New York, New York, 26 March 2012) – The Intelligent Community Forum, a New York-based think tank dedicated to studying the use of information and communications technology to create the community of the 21st Century, today named Australia's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, as its Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year for 2012. ICF selected Senator Conroy for his critical role in the transformation of Australia’s future. According to ICF, Senator Conroy has demonstrated extraordinary commitment and passion in attempting to enable the development of a digital age infrastructure in one of the world’s most promising and unique nations. Even before its national broadband policy, the Senator’s thinking on the subject enabled several Australian communities to achieve Intelligent Community status.

Senator Conroy has been invited to deliver the Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year address at the conclusion of ICF's annual Summit. The awards luncheon will be held at New York City’s Steiner Film Studios, beginning at Noon on 8 June. Admission is by invitation only or by sending an email request to orly@intelligentcommunity.org

About Senator Stephen Conroy
Senator the Honorable Stephen Conroy was appointed Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in November 2007 and added Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Productivity in September 2010. He also serves as the Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Senator Conroy is dedicated to using media and communications to foster innovation and growth among all sectors of the society. He has had an active involvement in the Australian communications portfolio for over ten years.

Senator Conroy said he was honored to accept the award and was proud of the benefits the National Broadband Network (NBN) would deliver to all Australians.

"I want to thank the ICF for their support and for their recognition of the Government’s vision to transform Australia’s economy through the delivery of affordable, high speed broadband," Senator Conroy said. “The NBN will support a new wave of digital innovation that will change the way Australians live, do business, receive services and connect with the world. The NBN will improve efficiency and boost access for Australian businesses; it will deliver better health and aged care services, better online education, and improved access to government services.”

Senator Conroy has a broad range of portfolio responsibilities, not least the famed National Broadband Network, the largest nation-building infrastructure project in Australian history. The NBN is considered by ICF and others the enabling foundation for Australia's digital economy. Other responsibilities include overseeing Australia’s digital television switchover, regulating e-security and cyber-safety, and safe-guarding the radio frequency spectrum. Recently, Digital Productivity was added to his portfolio responsibilities.

According to ICF Co-founder Louis Zacharilla, "ICF looks for people who dare to transform communities—often dramatically—despite enormous resistance and obstacles.  We recognize Senator Conroy as a kindred spirit for his effort to enable Australia to benefit from the ‘Broadband Economy.’ The enormous talents and intelligence of the communities of Australia will now be harnessed in a way that, thanks to his absolute tenacity and determination, will have economic and social benefit for generations.”

Past Honorees
ICF has presented the Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year award annually since 2005. Previous recipients include the founders of Wikia, Angela Beesley and Jimmy Wales; Amirzai Sangin, Communications Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Pedro Cerosola, Mexico's Secretary of Communications and Transportation; the New Partnership for Africa's Development, a multinational educational collaborative; Scot Rourke, President and Chief Executive Officer, OneCommunity (Northeast, Ohio, USA), Andre Santini, Mayor of Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, former New Brunswick (Canada) Premier Shawn Graham, and, in 2011, Finland's former Minister of Communications Suvi Linden.

About ICF
The Intelligent Community Forum is a New York-based think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community. Whether in industrial or developing nations, communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and progress increasingly depend on broadband communications and other access technologies.

In the 21st Century community, connectivity is changing the definition and experience of communities: threatening established ways of life while also offering powerful new tools to build prosperous, inclusive economies. The Intelligent Community Forum seeks to share the best practices and success of the world's Intelligent Communities in adapting to the demands of what it calls “the Broadband Economy” by conducting research, hosting events, publishing books and newsletters and producing an international awards program. ICF’s publications include Broadband Economies (2008), Future Cities (2009) and an annual report on the year’s Top Seven Intelligent Communities.

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