Intelligent Community Forum invited by State of Louisiana to improve economic opportunities in state’s towns and cities through use of broadband and sustainable social development

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Free Master Classes in Natchitoches on September 27th and Lafayette on October 11th

New York City – September 3, 2013 – The Intelligent Community Forum has been engaged by the state of Louisiana to support cities, towns and parishes in using broadband technology to deliver economic opportunities that lead to new jobs, investment and sustainable social development. The Forum will conduct a series of two-day Master Classes, followed by community participation in a self-test program and mentoring. The Master Classes are based on best practices honed through the Intelligent Community Forum’s global Intelligent Community Awards Program, and 15 years of identifying and sharing best practices from 119 designated Intelligent Communities.

The free Intelligent Community Forum Master Classes in Natchitoches on Sept. 26 and Lafayette on Oct. 10 have been made possible through a grant from the Louisiana Division of Administration’s Office of Information Technology and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Effectively using broadband levels the playing field for all communities. It offers every community the opportunity to move from the periphery to the center of what the Intelligent Community Forum calls “The Broadband Economy.” A community can create new types of companies – even industries - by encouraging innovation, attracting new investment and enabling small companies to become global exporters. Adequate broadband may also ensure that schools have access to the latest information tools and reference sources. Web-based tools also increase overall community involvement in new initiatives. Ultimately, the Intelligent Community Forum seeks to re-energize cities, towns, parishes and regions for the new century.

Each Intelligent Community Forum workshop mixes tutorials and case studies with interactive discussions centered on proven actions that will improve a community’s economic future.

Following the workshops, seven Louisiana communities will be selected to participate in the Intelligent Community Forum’s Self-Test Program and receive an analysis and individualized reports at no cost. The Intelligent Community Forum will report back to the selected communities on how well they perform. The Self-Test Program is often the first step toward becoming an Intelligent Community followed by addressing the five Intelligent Community Indicators:

  • Broadband: household penetration rate and policies and programs to increase use
  • Knowledge Workforce: digital educational skills, student-to-PC ratio in schools, and availability of higher education
  • Innovation: policies encouraging business startups, business incubation, interactivity on municipal Web site, and availability of seed capital, grants and loans
  • Digital Inclusion: Internet availability, public-access computers, and digital literacy training for adults
  • Marketing & Advocacy: an economic development strategy with effective marketing to share the community’s story with the world, while advocacy builds a new vision of the community from within

Additionally, three communities will be selected for mentoring by the Intelligent Community Forum to prepare them to submit applications to the annual Intelligent Community of the Year Awards Program, if they chose to do so.

To attend the Intelligent Community Forum Master Classes or request information
Louisiana community leaders who are interested in applying to attend the free two-day Intelligent Community Forum Master Classes or would like more information can contact Diana Simek, Vice-President of Economic Development for the Coordinating and Development Corporation at (318) 632-2022 or dsimek@cdconline.org. The Coordinating and Development Corporation is a private, member supported, economic development organization, headquartered in Shreveport, with offices in each of the 10-parishes it serves in Northwest Louisiana.

About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology (ICT). To help communities build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts events, publishes books and white papers and produces a globally-recognized, high-profile international awards program. Since 1999 the Intelligent Community Forum has become an international movement that has attracted the attention of global political and technology leaders, community activists, thinkers, media observers and academic institutions that study the Intelligent Community Forum and its communities. In 2012, the Intelligent Community Forum was invited to speak at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Oslo. The Intelligent Community Forum Foundation consists of 119 cities and regions that have been designated as Intelligent Communities and which participate in an ongoing global dialogue to strengthen local economies. Also in 2012, the Intelligent Community Forum published “Seizing Our Destiny” a book chronicling the progress of its Top7 Intelligent Communities of that year. For more information, go to www.intelligentcommunity.org

Robert Bell, the Intelligent Community Forum co-founder who will teach the Master Class workshops in Louisiana, discusses the project in a brief video below.

Media contacts:

Robert Bell
Co-founder
Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: 1-917-715-0824
Email: rbell@intelligentcommunity.org

Paul Brent
Senior Communications Specialist
market2world communications Inc.
Phone: 1-613-256-3939
Email: paul@market2world.com

Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum
See other pages related to IC Indicators Louisiana Master Class Press Releases

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