Economic Developers Association of Canada and Intelligent Community Forum Forge Partnership for the Benefit of Cities and City Leaders

(February 14, 2023 – New York City, NY, USA & Stoney Creek, ON, Canada) – The Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) and the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) announced today a partnership aiming to bring a new level of benefits to economic developers in Canada and in Intelligent Communities around the world. Through the partnership, EDAC and ICF will contribute content, expertise, and communication resources to each other’s professional development, training, certification, awards, and event programs throughout the year, and extend select benefits to each other’s members. The first collaboration of the partners will be joint production of “Turning Connectivity into Growth” (, a two-day online conference on February 22-23 that culminates with the announcement of ICF’s Smart21 Communities of 2023.

EDAC is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that, since 1968, has served as the national association of economic developers working to enhance professional competence, advance economic development as a profession, and contribute to Canada's well-being. With over 1,000 members from coast to coast, EDAC offers its members professional development – including the nationally recognized Ec.D. designation for economic developers – as well as networking opportunities, educational seminars and courses, and an annual national professional development conference.

“We are excited to partner with ICF,” said EDAC CEO Penny Gardiner, “providing additional benefits to our members including networking, sharing of ideas, professional development as well as additional accreditation opportunities towards our Ec.D. Designation.”

ICF is a research, consulting, and training organization pioneering new paths to economic and community development through digital technology for cities, counties, and regions around the world. In a world dominated by digital, ICF helps communities create innovative and growing economies, inclusive societies, and affirming cultures open to the world. Its work is based on 25 years of research with over 200 communities that have created a unique, data-driven approach to development that puts citizens first while tapping the enormous economic and social potential of technology. ICF delivers value through training and coaching programs, membership, networking community certification, events and awards.

“ICF is excited about the opportunities that this new partnership offers,” said John G. Jung, Co-Founder of ICF and Director of ICF Canada. “Canadian economic development professionals will be able to benefit from the international connections and programs that ICF brings to the table and ICF looks forward to meeting new EDAC members from across Canada. Currently, there are nearly 50 cities, towns, and regions across Canada that have met ICF’s criteria and were recognized as SMART21 cities or TOP7 communities and Intelligent Community of the Year. We look forward to continuing to engage with existing ICF-recognized Canadian communities and to help any new aspiring Canadian cities, towns, and regions to become Smart and Intelligent Communities.”


Penny Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer
Economic Developers Association of Canada
[email protected]

John Jung, Co-Founder
Intelligent Community Forum
[email protected]

Matthew Owen
Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum

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