As threat of global downturn demands new approaches, ICF offers solutions with new book and announcement of 2013 list of world’s most intelligent places

“Seizing Our Destiny” book title inspired by Riverside California’s transformation into a model city for high tech innovation and economic recovery

Riverside, CA – 21 October 2012 – With the International Monetary Fund scaling back its global growth forecast for 2012 to 3.3 per cent from 3.5 per cent and warning that risks of a serious global economic slowdown are “alarmingly high”, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) is offering communities worldwide, and their mayors, municipal administrators, economic development executives and educational institutions a new solutions playbook entitled “Seizing Our Destiny”. The launch of the group’s new book, available now on, coincides with the announcement of ICF’s 2013 list of Smart21 Communities.

“Seizing Our Destiny” will be formally introduced during ICF’s annual announcement of the Smart21 Communities of the Year, taking place in Riverside on October 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time).

The book’s title is inspired by Riverside California, the 2012 Intelligent Community of the Year. As documented in “Seizing Our Destiny”, Riverside was a once proud gem of California’s “Inland Empire,” which suffered in the post industrial period to become a poor and undereducated, under-serviced bedroom community. It lost its identify in many ways. However, as the book reports, it transformed its economic and social prospects in little more than a decade. Today it has a good wireless telecommunications network, offers high-speed Internet choices, has the fastest access speeds in America and is a major research center. It is a model of innovation in the local government sector, with its “virtual city hall” access and technology collaboration among the city, private sector and academic institutions. It regained its self-esteem as a result. Riverside has attracted new foreign direct investments, including over $13 Million from Winston Global Energy in China, transforming the University of California at Riverside into a major research center for battery and clean energy research.

“As we announce the list of Smart21 Intelligent Communities for 2013, we are inviting them on a journey of self-discovery over the next year to see which of them can, like Riverside, show themselves to be worthy of next year’s Intelligent Community of the Year honor,” said ICF Co-founder Louis Zacharilla. “What these communities show is hope and heart in the face of global economic and social challenges. Like our book, these are stories worth sharing with the world.”

ICF exists to encourage best practices and to recognize communities that are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and progress increasingly depend on broadband communications.

The Smart21 of 2013
The 2013 Smart21 honorees include 8 from Asia, 7 from North America, 5 communities from Europe, and 1 from Latin America. One-third are communities that appear on the list for the first time. For the first time in history, Albania and New Zealand have communities on an ICF list. Of the 2013 list, 13 have appeared among the Smart21 before, which is typical of the ICF’s awards programs, as communities continue to demonstrate progress in their quest to be named Intelligent Community of the Year. The Smart21 of 2013 list includes:

  • Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  • Castelo de Vide, Portalegre District, Portugal
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  • Hsinchu City, Taiwan
  • Jiading New City, China
  • Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • Mitchell, South Dakota, USA
  • Oulu, North Ostrobothnia, Finland
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Prospect, South Australia, Australia
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Stratford, Ontario, Canada
  • Taichung City, Taiwan
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Taoyuan County, Taiwan
  • Tirana, Albania
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Wanganui, New Zealand
  • Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

The Smart21 announcement is the first stage in ICF's annual Intelligent Community Awards cycle. Based on nominations submitted by communities large and small from around the world and research conducted by ICF, the think tank selects 21 finalists with the potential to become one of the Forum's Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year. The Smart21 list is announced at least 60 days before the selection of the Top Seven and promoted to the world's media by ICF and the communities involved. Gaining a place among the Smart21 is considered a badge of honor as well as the first step to greater recognition as an Intelligent Community.
A video announcing the Smart21 of 2013 and the rationale behind the awards will be available on ICF’s Web site at at 9:00 PM (EDT) on Sunday 21 October. A live Web stream from Riverside’s historic Mission Inn, site of the announcement, will begin at approximately 8:00 PM (EDT) / 5:00 PM (PST). The Smart21 were selected from among candidates large and small and in some cases includes counties and regions. ICF makes no distinction based on population or geography, noting, “We are all in this together.”

About the Intelligent Community Forum
Whether in industrial or developing nations, all communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and progress increasingly depend on broadband communications. For the 21st Century community, connectivity is a double-edge sword: threatening established ways of life on the one hand, and offering powerful new tools to build prosperous, inclusive economies on the other. The Intelligent Community Forum seeks to share the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities in adapting to the demands of the Broadband Economy by conducting research, hosting events, publishing books and newsletters and producing an international awards program. For more information, go to

Intelligent Community Forum Contacts
Louis Zacharilla
Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: +1 917-715-0711
Email: [email protected]

Paul Brent
Senior Communications Strategist
market2world communications inc.
Phone: 613-256-3939
Email: [email protected]


Matthew Owen
Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum

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