Each Community Accelerator® course includes video instruction, community case studies, comprehension tests and a rich array of additional content. Buy access to a single course for only US$99.95, or register for the full series of seven courses at a discount. Click below to register and pay for your course(s) or see below for volume discounts. Or use your promotional code for free or discount access:
- Free for employees and partners of ICF Community or Organizational Members >> Request your member code
- Discounted for EDAC members, who earn 5 points toward Ec.D. certification for completing all courses
Buy access to all seven courses at a discount from the regular price. Best deal! US$559.95, 20% off the full $699.95 price.
Digital Challenge, Digital Opportunity
In this first course, you will learn how 40 years of digital transformation have created today’s economy, disrupting jobs, driving economic reward to those with skills and knowledge, and concentrating economic power in major cities. At the same time, almost unnoticed, it has created the foundation of a “distributed economy” that opens up opportunities to energize economic development in every community. Cities and counties around the world have turned that distributed economy to their advantage - and yours could be one of them. US$99.95. Free for ICF Members using your promotional code.
Engaging the Community in Positive Change
The second course introduces the six-step Accelerator Strategy for leveraging the distributed economy to bring inclusive economic, social and cultural growth to your community. It explains how to revitalize and expand community engagement by tapping the creativity and passion of residents, and shows how cities in North America and Europe have used digital tools to engage citizens and power innovation-based economic development. US$99.95. Free for ICF Members using your promotional code. Take a sample mini-course for free.
Connectivity: Foundation for Digital Opportunity
The third course explains the power of broadband to drive economic growth and offers five strategies for changing the risk calculation of private-sector carriers in ways that attract new investment in competing networks. It offers examples and policy advice from cities of every size on attracting private-sector investment or competing successfully with commercial ISPs when required. It also reveals the power of municipal data centers to generate economic development from broadband and digital technologies. US$99.95. Free for ICF Members using your promotional code. Take a sample mini-course for free.
Knowledge Work: Building a Ladder of Opportunity
Today's economy demands a higher level of skills and knowledge in every job, and education has become the leading determiner of personal prosperity. The fourth course teaches how cities and regions can engage primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities with local government and employers to turn education into a ladder of opportunity. It offers examples from multiple countries and communities of different sizes on the successful integration of education and employment to lift up their people while supplying the talent their employers need. US$99.95. Free for ICF Members using your promotional code. Take a sample mini-course for free.
Innovation: Building an Ecosystem for Growth
Innovation produces 80% of economic growth, which is why every city or county needs an innovation strategy to drive growth, to sustain it and to solve the problems that growth brings. The fifth course outlines two paths to true prosperity: one for economically strong communities in need of a better quality of life, and one for communities that need to overcome stagnation and trigger growth in a digital-dominated economy. It offers examples from multiple countries and communities of different sizes on smart city programs, the creation of a start-up economy and helping established businesses innovate their products and services. US$99.95. Free for ICF Members using your promotional code. Take a sample mini-course for free.
Inclusion: Overcoming the Digital Divide
The more successful a city or county is at creating a knowledge-based, innovative economy, the more people it will tend to push to the margins of society – unless digital inclusion is part of your path to progress. The sixth course examines the needs and concerns of offline residents and the three major barriers to inclusion they face. It shares imaginative examples of digital inclusion programs that will expand your understanding and ambition. US$99.95. Free for ICF Members using your promotional code. Take a sample mini-course for free.
Sustainability: Quality of Life, Engagement & Growth
Cities and regions embrace their role in making a more environmentally sustainable future. But are they realizing all the benefits that sustainability programs can deliver: a more resilient infrastructure, a better quality of life, deeper citizen engagement in the future and a new wave of economic growth? US$99.95. Free for ICF Members using your promotional code.
How to take the courses
On Your Own. Become an Intelligent Community developer by purchasing the seven-course bundle or taking courses one at a time. Accelerator Training will equip you to understand your community’s unique situation, assets and challenges, and share lessons from other places that have accelerated their progress, regardless of location or size.
In a Group. ICF provides special pricing for group sales. This is where Accelerator Training offers great value, because you can share appropriate courses with others. You can, for example, share the course on workforce development with educators, or the innovation course with business or nonprofit leaders. The content will help create a common understanding and validate your plans from the example of other communities. It will empower a broad coalition of leaders to carry your development strategy forward., allowing you to share the Accelerator content with colleagues and partners to create a common understanding and engage broad participation in your development strategy. Contact ICF for group pricing
Free for ICF Members. ICF member communities and companies have access to all the Accelerator Training courses at no cost. Contact ICF to obtain a member log-in – or if you are not a member, to learn the full benefits of membership.
What will you learn?
If you’re ready for the details, here is what each of course in the Accelerator Program will teach you.
Course 1 | Digital Challenge, Digital Opportunity
- Learn how 40 years of digital transformation have created today’s economy, disrupting jobs, driving economic reward to those with skills and knowledge, and concentrating economic power in major cities.
- Analyze the sharp economic inequality and social divides created by these dramatic changes, and how they shape the present and future of your community.
- Discover how digital transformation has also, almost unnoticed, created the foundation of a “distributed economy” that opens up opportunities to energize economic development in every community.
- Analyze the success of cities in turning the distributed economy to their advantage and evaluate how their examples could apply to your community.
- Apply what you have learned to begin envisioning positive change in your community, leading to inclusive economic, social and cultural growth.
Course 2 | Engaging the Community in Positive Change
- Learn the Accelerator Strategy for leveraging the distributed economy to bring inclusive economic, social and cultural growth to your community.
- Discover how to revitalize and expand community engagement by tapping the creativity and passion of residents.
- Evaluate how cities in North America and Europe have used digital tools to engage citizens and power innovation-based economic development.
- Apply what you have learned to identify new opportunities to use community engagement to achieve your goals for economic development and social and cultural growth.
Course 3 | Connectivity: Foundation for Digital Opportunity
- Learn why all local governments need a broadband strategy.
- Discover how private-sector carriers think about opportunities in your community and learn five different methods for influencing them to invest in broadband.
- Evaluate how communities in the US and Canada have attracted private-sector investment in broadband using one of these five methods.
- Evaluate the actions of a rural US city that went into competition with private-sector carriers, ultimately winning a legal battle for the right to deliver internet, voice and TV services.
- Understand the role of municipally owned data centers in broadband networks and the opportunities for economic development they create, based on the experience of a small American city.
- Apply what you have learned to assess your community’s connectivity needs and envision steps you can take to improve your situation.
Course 4 | Knowledge Work: Building a Ladder of Opportunity
- Understand the need to build a skilled workforce in your community to benefit from an economy where education determines personal prosperity.
- Analyze how education can contribute to economic development and economic development priorities can enrich education.
- Learn how to engage primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities with local government and employers to turn education into a ladder of opportunity.
- Evaluate innovative programs for lifetime learning at the high school, college and university level in multiple countries and learn from their examples.
- Analyze the educational assets and partnerships in your community and identify missing parts of the ladder of opportunity.
Course 5 | Innovation: Building an Ecosystem for Growth
- Learn to select the appropriate innovation strategy for your community to deliver the results of greatest value to employers and citizens.
- Gain an understanding of the advantages, deliverables and limits of smart city innovation programs.
- Map the key relationships and development stages of successful smart city innovation projects.
- Gain an understanding of the key elements of a public-private innovation system that drives the growth of existing businesses and the creation of new ones.
- Map the critical relationships and processes that turn the local economy into an effective innovation system.
Course 6 | Digital Inclusion: Overcoming the Digital Divide
- Gain an understanding of who offline citizens and businesses are and their reasons for remaining offline.
- Analyze the three major barriers to digital inclusion and how they affect your city or region.
- Map programs that address each of the barriers based on the experience of successful cities and regions.
- Identify examples of programs that motivate businesses to engage in online customer outreach, marketing and sales.
- Address the long-term financial viability of programs to address the digital divide for individuals and organizations.
Course 7 | Sustainability: Resilience, Engagement & Economic Growth
- Compare the most popular sustainability programs identified by ICF with programs in your community.
- Expand your understanding of what well-designed sustainability projects can achieve for your city or region to include gains in resilience, cost reduction, greater engagement and economic growth.
- Identify specific strategies to make sustainability programs deliver resilience, engagement and growth.
- Map a high-impact sustainability plan to achieve multiple goals for your city or region.
ICF offers additional services to accelerate your community’s progress, from objective assessments to customized presentations and workshops and ongoing coaching for development teams.