Durham, Ontario to Co-host the Intelligent Community Forum’s Top7 Conference on 19-20 June

(27 April 2023 – New York City, NY, USA & Durham Region, ON, Canada) – On 19-20 June 2023, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) and the Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario will jointly present the 2023 Top7 Intelligent Communities Conference: Better Together – Building a Strong Region from Diverse Communities. The two-day hybrid conference features live and online events in the Durham Region, culminating in the announcement of the Top7 Communities of 2023.

The Top7 Communities are chosen from among the Smart21 Communities of 2023 to be finalists in the yearly Intelligent Community Awards. In October 2023, one of these seven communities will be named the Intelligent Community of the Year at ICF’s Global Summit. The Durham Region was one of the Top7 Communities of 2022 and is a Smart21 Community again this year.

“The Durham Region has been on the Intelligent Community journey for a number of years, developing strategies and building partnerships to carry it out,” said ICF co-founder John Jung. “With the Top7 Conference, the Region is formalizing its Community Accelerator program for creating an innovative and growing economy on a digital foundation and an inclusive, affirming society and culture to realize its potential.”

Registration is open at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/better-together-the-2023-icf-top7-conference-and-announcement-tickets-619410301887.

More about the Conference
The 1990s began what we might call the Digital Decades. Experts predicted that digital would give rise to a “flatter” economy – but they led instead to an epidemic of concentration: of people, money, innovation and economic growth clustering in big cities with famous names.

Today, that concentration seems to be easing. But it has rekindled interest in a proven strategy: a regional approach to development. Together, cities and towns can punch far above their individual weight to bring their people, companies and institutions new, inclusive prosperity and create dynamic economies open to the world.

At “Better Together,” you will see first-hand how eight cities, towns and rural communities on the outskirts of Toronto are welding their differences together into strengths through an Intelligent Community development program. Durham Region is working to build a dynamic regional economy that also contributes to and benefits from proximity to the Greater Toronto Area. It is activating economic assets including agriculture, automotive and clean energy. It is working to attract new innovators to an outstanding quality of life and to extend digital connectivity to all its businesses, organizations and people.

In this two-day hybrid conference, the Region will take you inside its developing story through tours of key sites in its municipalities. A daylong program will bring together economic developers, urban planners, IT experts and community leaders from many provinces and nations to share best practices in regional economic development, shared services and collaborative innovation. The day ends with announcement of ICF’s Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2023, finalists for the coveted Intelligent Community of the Year award to be presented in October in New York City.

More about the ICF Intelligent Community Awards Program
Candidates are evaluated based on six Factors that make up the Accelerator Strategy, which provides a framework for understanding how communities can build inclusive prosperity and grow social and cultural strength amid the disruptions of the digital age. This framework also guides ICF’s consulting and coaching practice for communities.

Nominations are being accepted now for 2024, and communities are invited to complete the questionnaire found at www.intelligentcommunity.org/index_questionnaire. By submitting it, they will receive a free Snapshot Report comparing their readiness and performance on six critical Success factors to ICF’s global data set of communities. The deadline to submit a nomination for consideration in the 2024 Awards Program is January 31, 2024. There is no cost to submit a questionnaire and receive the Snapshot Report.

About Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
The Regional Municipality of Durham, known informally as the Durham Region includes eight cities, townships and municipalities in Southern Ontario. Established in 1974, the region has focused on the strengths of each member community working together to build a safer, stronger and more comfortable place to live for all residents. The Durham Region’s blend of suburban and rural areas results in a diverse portfolio of economic strengths, as it features an impressive agricultural sector while also being a major center of the Canadian automotive industry. The region is also the Clean Energy Capital of Canada as the home of both Ontario Power Generation and Ontario Tech University’s Clean Energy Research Lab.

The Durham Region’s sprawling mix of suburbs and large rural areas has left gaps in connectivity for those in its remoter regions due to the high cost of installation. To address this issue, the Durham Regional Council adopted the Regional Broadband Strategy in 2019. After surveying the community and local service providers to learn more about costs and areas most in need of upgrades, the Council developed the Regional Broadband Network, an ambitious project that aims to build 700 km of fiber optic cable with off-ramps into each community. With the government handling the costs of the backbone itself, local internet service providers would be able to focus on delivering faster, more reliable solutions. Read More

About the Intelligent Community Forum
Starting in 2000 with a research project comparing cities in various nations, the Intelligent Community Forum (www.intelligentcommunity.org) created a unique, data-driven approach to development that puts citizens first while tapping the enormous economic and social potential of technology. In a world dominated by digital, ICF’s mission is to help communities create innovative, sustainable and growing economies, inclusive societies and affirming cultures open to the world. We do it for communities large and small, in urban clusters and outlying suburbs and rural places through training, consulting, assessment, certification and award programs. ICF believes that digital connectivity and technology create the opportunity for almost every community to develop a dynamic local economy and the social and cultural strengths that go with it – giving them all a chance to be great places to live, work, learn, grow, raise a family and prepare a sustainable path for the next generation.

The Forum sponsors Institutes in North America and Taiwan dedicated to the study of the movement, and national organizations in Canada and Taiwan, both home to many Intelligent Communities. In 2012 ICF was invited to participate at the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo and in 2014, its model and work were recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which, according to the American government, was “aimed at creating a more flexible and responsive system of workforce development to meet the needs of employers looking to fill 21st century jobs.”

For more information, go to www.intelligentcommunity.org/icf_membership. For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum’s recent publications and programs, www.intelligentcommunity.org.

Intelligent Community Forum Contacts
Matthew Owen, Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: 001-646-291-6166 x105
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Newcommunities

Victoria Krisman, Communications Manager, Intelligent Community Forum
Email: [email protected]

Matthew Owen
Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum
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