The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) today announced the opening of nominations for the 2016 Intelligent Community of the Year Awards Program. The 2016 Awards Program run by the New York-based think tank will name the 18th Intelligent Community of the Year in June of that year, a community that is a leader in creating inclusive economic prosperity, solving social problems and enriching quality of life using information and communications technology (ICT). The 2015 recipient was Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Communities large and small, urban and rural, in developing and industrialized nations are all invited to apply, and will be evaluated using a methodology that gives large and small communities equal weight. Nominations are accepted from local governments, institutions, companies, non-profit organizations, national government agencies and consular offices. There is no cost to submit a nomination. On average, the Intelligent Community Forum tracks the progress of 400 communities each year through its own research as well as nominations submitted by communities.
“Our honorees have included cities of 10 million people and rural communities of 17,000,” said ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla, who oversees the Awards Program. "We seek to measure not how big or rich they are, but how creatively and effectively they are turning the broadband economy to their advantage.”
The nominations form is posted at www.intelligentcommunity.org/nominations. There is also a community self-test to determine if a community could be a contender for an award. Nominations for the first stage of the program will close on Wednesday, September 23, 2015.
ICF Introduces a New Nomination Form
Communities that have applied for the ICF Awards Program in the past will note that ICF has introduced a new, streamlined nomination form for the 2016 Awards Program. The 2016 ICF Awards Program nomination form presents a set of multiple-choice and short-answer questions, plus a small number of narrative questions requiring a more detailed explanation. The multiple-choice and short-answer questions will let ICF evaluate the state of progress in Intelligent Community development. The narrative questions offer a chance to explain specific projects and initiatives, and to share a community’s aspirations for the future. ICF believes that these changes will reduce the workload for nominating communities, ease the task of reviewing the forms by ICF’s analysts, and remove the unintended advantage that a purely essay-based form provides for native English-speaking communities.
“Our academic analysts, Institute leaders and international jury have all contributed to the revamping of the nomination form,” said co-founder Robert Bell, who manages the analytic process. “In 17 multiple choice and short-answer questions, as well as 6 narrative questions, it lets a community showcase its achievements and share its aspirations for the future.”
ICF will be conducting a series of orientation webinars to provide an overview and answer questions regarding the 2016 Awards Program nomination forms. The webinars are free to attend and will take place on July 23, July 28, August 25 and August 27. Interested communities are invited to attend to learn more about the ICF Awards Program.
The 2016 Theme: From Revolution to Renaissance
In 2015, the Intelligent Community Forum focused on the study of urban and regional planning and how it is impacting the way people live, work and create in their cities and towns with its theme, The Revolutionary Community. ICF has decided to continue with the theme for a second year, extending it based on the lessons learned from the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2015.
“How do city builders plan for a future of economic, technological and environmental disruption?” asked co-founder John Jung, an urban planner by training. “The Intelligent Communities in our network have remarkable lessons to share with cities and regions around the world, and our 2016 theme gives them a chance to do it.”
This second phase of ICF’s examination of urban and regional planning, called From Revolution to Renaissance, will continue the research that has been ongoing since last year.
More information about the theme can be found on the Nominations page at www.intelligentcommunity.org/nominations.
The New Criteria: Sustainability
The 2016 Awards Program also marks the first time Sustainability will be one of the indicators upon which nominating communities are evaluated. Included last year in a pilot program, Sustainability has officially been added as the sixth Intelligent Community Indicator.
Improving current living standards, while maintaining the ability of future generations to do the same, is at the core of sustainability. Throughout human history, economic growth has always involved the consumption of more resources and the production of more waste. As humanity begins to push up against the limits of the ecosystem to provide resources and absorb waste, we need to find ways to continue growth – with all of its positive impacts on the community – while reducing the environmental impact of that growth. Read more about the Sustainability Indicator. Click here for all of the Intelligent Community Indicators.
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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