Intelligent Community Forum Releases Ladders of Opportunity: Growing and Retaining Tomorrow’s Talent

New report focuses on building the workforce for the 21st Century economy

(15 December 2016 – New York City) – The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) today released a new research report, Ladders of Opportunity: Growing and Retaining Tomorrow’s Talent. It details how Intelligent Communities create a system and structure that prepares their children and youth for the high demands and entrepreneurial opportunities of tomorrow’s workforce.  The principles of workforce development are illustrated in depth by the strategies and experiences of four Intelligent Communities in North America, Europe and Asia.  

LaddersOfOpportunityCover.jpgA knowledge-based economy needs a digitally savvy workforce. That means not just attracting talent from other places but fostering local skills and constructive mindsets among children and youth who will be our knowledge workers five, ten and twenty years from now. Intelligent Communities take a strategic approach to turning their educational system into a ladder of opportunity extending from the elementary grades through entry-level jobs in the community. They do it in partnership with every level of the educational system and employers throughout the region.

“In the new knowledge-based economy of the 21st Century, one of the greatest resources a community has is its people,” said ICF co-founder Robert Bell. “In Ladders of Opportunity, we look at four communities – one in America, one in Canada, one in The Netherlands, and one in Taiwan – and share their best practices in developing their citizen into knowledge-based workforces ready to take on the challenges, and seize the opportunities, in the modern economy.”

The Ladders of Opportunity: Growing and Retaining Tomorrow’s Talent, is available for free for ICF Full Members on the ICF Website, and is available for purchase for non-members for US$450.
About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum (, headquartered in New York, is a global movement of nearly 150 cities, metro regions and counties with a think tank at its heart. 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 regions 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 membership is made up of 145 designated Intelligent Communities worldwide, which is represented by mayors and key civic leaders. For more information, go to For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum’s recent publications and programs,
Intelligent Community Forum Contact
Matthew Owen
Director of Operations
Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: +1 646-291-6166 (x105) -
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Newcommunities

Matthew Owen
Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum

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