New York, NY, April 9, 2015 – The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) today announced that it has named Dr. Chih-Chiang (Jason) Hu (pictured right), Vice Chairman of the Want Want Group and a former three-term mayor of the city of Taichung, Taiwan, as its Visionary of the Year for 2015. The Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year Award is presented to an individual or an organization that has taken a leadership role in promoting broadband technology and applications as an essential and transformative human utility, and whose work has had global impact on the entire Intelligent Community movement. Dr. Hu was cited for his decades of work in government service, including what it called his “revolutionary leadership” of Taichung as Mayor and his work as his nation’s Foreign Minister.
Under Dr. Hu’s leadership, Taichung City partnered with telecom companies to increase broadband accessibility to over 90% of its population, fostered alliances between the city’s 23 universities and high-tech industries to generate a workforce with extreme digital and vocational skills, and initiated transformative urban development projects, including the Calligraphy Greenway, a nature path through the city celebrating culture and commerce and the construction of a new performing arts center and opera house, which is Asia’s largest. His vision for transforming an industrial economy into one that combines culture, sustainability and growth led to Taichung being named the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year. Ironically, Dr. Hu was turned out of office by a narrow margin in the most recent municipal elections.
Discussing its selection of Dr. Hu as the Forum’s Visionary of the Year, ICF co-founder Lou Zacharilla said, “Dr. Hu is a rare individual and a true community revolutionary who helped transform Taichung from the ‘Mechanical Kingdom’ to the world’s most Intelligent Community in 14 years. His knowledge and embrace of culture, business, environmental programs and his belief in democratic political power made his city a challenger for cultural leadership in Asia. His fearless approach to new ideas for urban life led to a collaboration among the city’s universities and a unique type of governance and balance between Taichung’s robust high-tech manufacturing sector and its often-neglected agricultural districts. His work while in office has served to help ‘future-proof’ Taichung and its economy into the future.”
Upon hearing that he was receiving the ICF’s award, Dr. Hu commented, “I am very grateful for the ICF ‘Visionary of the Year’ award that has been bestowed upon me. I’ve known for a long time that anyone in public service or business must have vision, or otherwise one cannot answer the call of his responsibility. Therefore, after serving more than thirty years in government in various positions, I feel extremely honored to be recognized by the Forum with this prestigious award. Finally I can say: ‘I have not wasted my life!’”
Dr. Hu will accept his award and deliver the keynote address during the 2015 Intelligent Community Awards Dinner, the culmination of ICF’s annual Summit. The 2015 Summit takes place from 8-12 June in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The ICF Summit is an annual gathering of mayors, chief administrative officers, chief information officers and economic development officers from cities, states and regions around the world. The Summit continues the dialogue of the world's most dynamic communities around ideas for using information and communications technology to build prosperous, inclusive and sustainable communities. More information about the 2015 is found at www.ICFSummit2015.com.
More about Dr. Chih-Chiang (Jason) Hu
Dr. Chih-Chiang (Jason) Hu grew up in Taichung City, attending Taichung Municipal First High School prior to studying at the National Chengchi University, graduating with a degree in Diplomatic Studies in 1970. His graduate education included studies at the University of South Carolina, the University of Southampton, and finally at Balliol College at the University of Oxford, where he received his PhD in International Relations in 1984. He served as a professor at the Sun Yat-Sen Institute for International Studies until 1990, when he entered into government service.
Dr. Hu worked a variety of government positions through the 1990s, serving as the Director General for the Government Information Office from 1991 to 1996, a representative the ROC government in the United States in 1996, the Director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington, D.C. in 1997, and finally as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1997 to 1999.
In 2001, Dr. Hu returned home to Taichung City, running for mayor. In a three-way race, he won with over 49% of the vote. He served for fourteen years as Mayor of Taichung, during which the city and county of Taichung merged in 2010. This merger created a huge metropolis uniting completely different economies: a major seaport city where 70% of employees work in services, and a rural county where 50% work in industry and agriculture is a significant source of income. The city’s leadership, under Mayor Hu, was determined to create a whole much greater than the sum of its parts, ushering in a period of prosperity for the community that continues today. Click here to read more about Taichung City, Taiwan: the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year.
ICF has presented the Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year award annually since 2005. Previous recipients include Suneet Singh Tuli, the founder and CEO of Datawind, Ltd.; Blackberry Founder Mike Lazaridis; Australia's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy; Finland's former Minister of Communications Suvi Linden; New Brunswick (Canada) Premier Shawn Graham; Andre Santini, Mayor of Issy-les-Moulineaux, France; Scot Rourke, CEO of OneCommunity in northeast Ohio; Pedro Cerosola, Mexico's Secretary of Communications and Transportation; Amirzai Sangin, Communications Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; and the founders of Wikia, Angela Beesley and Jimmy Wales.
About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum (www.intelligentcommunity.org), headquartered in New York, is a global movement of 134 cities, towns and regions. As an international think tank and Foundation, ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology (ICT). To help cities and towns build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts global events, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program. The Forum has two Institutes in North America dedicated to the study of the movement, with more institutes planned. Global leaders, thinkers, and media observers follow and participate in the ongoing global dialogue initiated by the Intelligent Community Forum. In 2012 ICF was invited to participate at the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo and in 2014, its model and work was 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.” The Forum’s Foundation has an association made up of 134 designated Intelligent Communities worldwide, which is represented by mayors and key civic leaders. For more information, go to www.icf-foundation.org. For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum’s recent publications and programs, www.intelligentcommunity.org
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