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Intelligent Community Indicators

In a study funded by the Province of Ontario, Canada, the Intelligent Community Forum defined five critical success factors for the creation of Intelligent Communities.  This list of Intelligent Community Indicators, as the study termed them, provided the first conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community's competitiveness in the Broadband Economy.   In its work since then, ICF has also identified a number of success factors for Intelligent Communities in both industrialized and developing nations. Intelligent Community Success Factors
 1.   Broadband Connectivity
Broadband is the new essential utility, as vital to economic growth as clean water and good roads.  Intelligent Communities express a clear vision of their broadband future and craft policies to encourage deployment and adoption.  
 2.   Knowledge Workforce
A knowledge workforce is a labor force that creates economic value through the acquisition, processing and use of information.  Intelligent Communities exhibit the determination and demonstrated ability to develop a workforce qualified to perform knowledge work from the factory floor to the research lab, and from the construction site to the call center or Web design studio.
3.   Innovation 
For business, broadband has become to innovation what fertilizer is to crops. Intelligent Communities work to build the local innovation capacity of new companies, because these produce all of the job growth in modern economies, and  invest in e-government programs that reduce their costs while delivering services on the anywhere-anytime basis that digitally savvy citizens expect.
 4.   Digital Inclusion 
As broadband deploys widely through a community, there is serious risk that it will worsen the exclusion of people who already play a peripheral role in the economy and society, whether due to poverty, lack of skills, prejudice or geography.  Intelligent Communities promote digital inclusion by creating policies and funding programs that provide “have-nots” with access to digital technology and broadband, by providing skills training and by promoting a compelling vision of the benefits that the broadband economy can bring to their lives.
 5.   Marketing and Advocacy 
Like businesses facing greater global competition, communities must work harder than ever to communicate their advantages and explain how they are maintaining or improving their position as wonderful places to live, work and build a growth business.  Effective marketing shares this story with the world, while advocacy builds a new vision of the community from within. 

The Intelligent Community Indicators provide communities with a framework for assessment, planning and development, as they work to build prosperous local economies in the Broadband Economy.  The Indicators also reveal the interactions that can create a "virtuous cycle" of positive change.  Broadband connectivity feeds the development of a knowledge workforce as well as creating the foundation of digital inclusion programs.  Both contribute to a rising level of innovation in the community as well as increasing demand for connectivity.  And Intelligent Communities make this wave of change the core "value proposition" in economic development marketing. 


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