20 Reasons for Becoming an Intelligent Community

“There are few things in life that are free. Being recognized as an Intelligent Community may just be one of them.”

That was the beginning of the blog on August 5, 2015 about the benefits that communities can expect by successfully applying to be recognized as a SMART21 Intelligent Community via https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/nominations. I have often been asked what the benefits are from the unique ICF Awards Program and I have referred them to the original blog from August 2015. But three years later, I felt we needed to update the original. Besides, the original listed only 12 benefits. Today, we are listing an amazing Top 20 Reasons.

  1. There still is no cost to apply. We have been involved in these awards since 1999 and our current 170 communities have never paid for the awards and benefits they have received.
  2. In fact, if you are selected as a TOP7 Intelligent Community, ICF will provide free tickets to the Annual Summit in NYC and to the Awards Dinner in NYC for community leaders attending the event.
  3. Winning communities receive free “earned media” publicity through ICF’s media channels and social media.
  4. Winning communities are often promoted as part of ICF’s presentations, videos and podcasts worldwide.
  5. Intelligent Communities also tend to benefit from extensive viral communications about this recognition.
  6. Selected communities are granted the right to identify themselves as ICF-recognized Smart21 cities and Intelligent Communities,
  7. ICF Smart21 communities are extended the right to use its recognized logos for marketing purposes. ICF also create special Smart21 logos for these communities to use.
  8. Similarly, TOP7 Intelligent Communities and the Intelligent Community of the Year are recognized with different logos and are also granted exclusive rights to use the logos for marketing and identification purposes.
  9. ICF will write blogs and reference these communities in articles in industry, civic and technology journals and through global presentations throughout the year.
  10. These communities may also be referenced in books published through ICF.
  11. If the communities 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.
  12. Local media opportunities associated with the TOP7 site visit help to raise awareness of the community’s great achievement at the local level.
  13. SMART21 and TOP7 Intelligent Communities will be celebrated at an event at the ICF ‘s annual Summit.
  14. SMART21 communities may be featured on individual webinars and podcasts.
  15. SMART21 communities are invited to join the exclusive Intelligent Community Forum Foundation (ICFF), the association of Smart21 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. Your community cannot join this association unless it has qualified at least as a SMART21 Intelligent Community.
  16. In some countries such as in Taiwan and Canada, communities that apply and win a spot on the SMART21 list may begin to work within these affiliated ICF entities, gaining additional benefits from these domestic ICF related organizations in their countries.
  17. Through the Awards process, communities will learn what gaps, if any, it has, compared to other globally comparable communities. Benchmarking against other communities is a great benefit.
  18. 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.
  19. Members from SMART21 Intelligent Communities may be invited to be speakers at future SMART21 or TOP7 announcements, ICF’s Annual Global Summit and in other conferences, showcasing their competitive advantages as Intelligent Communities to the world.
  20. Cities, Towns and Regions that apply to be recognized as Smart21 communities will be exposed to ICF’s Intelligent Community indicators and can further learn what it takes to become investment ready communities to attract and retain jobs, investment and talent in their communities.

These 20 benefits, and more, are only available if you submit an application at: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/nominations.

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 TOP7 and finally as the Intelligent Community of the Year.

Any size of community can apply and be recognized, no matter how remote, as long as you are connected! Good luck. Submit by September 21 and learn if you made the SMART21 list the following month.

John G. Jung
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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