Smart21 Communities of 2020 Announcement in Rochester, NY, USA


Each year, the Intelligent Community Forum names the world’s most Intelligent Community

Click here to register.

This process starts with the announcement of the Smart21 Communities of the Year, semi-finalists for the award. The 2020 Smart21 Announcement will take place in Rochester, New York this October as part of a three-day conference on the digital revolution in cities and towns.

The event will bring together the founders of the ICF, representatives from Rochester area companies and organizations along with Intelligent Communities from around the USA and the world. Any city leader, stakeholder or business interested in smart and Intelligent cities is invited to attend this educational and fantastic networking event.

October 21: Welcome Reception at Rochester Institute of Technology MAGIC Center

17:30   Registration and Light Refreshments
    MAGIC Spell Studios - Lower Level Atrium
18:30   Welcome Address
    MAGIC Spell Studios - Theater
  • Dr. Ellen Granberg, Division of Academic Affairs, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • David Long, Director of RIT MAGIC Center
  • Louie Tobias, Director of Telecommunications & Special Projects, City of Rochester
  • Lou Zacharilla, Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum

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19:00   Reception & Tours of MAGIC Spell Studios
    MAGIC Spell Studios
19:30   Closing Remarks
    Lower Level Atrium
  •  Louie Tobias, Director of Telecommunications & Special Projects, City of Rochester


October 22: Strathallan Hotel & Spa Cityview Ballroom (8:00 - 17:00)

8:00   Registration



Welcome Session


Speakers include: 

  • Baye Muhammad, CEO, Rochester Economic Development Corporation
  • Mark Buckley, Interim CIO, City of Rochester
  • Louie Tobias, Director of Telecommunications & Special Projects at City of Rochester
  • Lou Zacharilla, Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum

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9:15   Panel Discussion: From Idea to Business 

What does it take to turn an idea into a thriving business? This session will bring together local experts in economic development and entrepreneurship to discuss best practices and resources in commercializing an innovation and ensuring that the business thrives.

Speakers include: 

  • Vinnie Esposito, Empire State Development
  • Joe Fargnoli, New York Space Alliance
  • Matt Hurlbutt, Greater Rochester Enterprise
  • Tom Schryver, Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement
  • Norman H. Jones, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Services, City of Rochester (Moderator)


10:15   Networking Break
10:35   Community Partners in Local Business Development

Speakers include: 

  • Veronica Dasher, Rochester Gas & Electric
  • Mark Murphy, Greenlight Networks
  • Joe Rizzo, Rochester Gas & Electric
  • Louie Tobias, Director of Telecommunications & Special Projects at City of Rochester (Moderator)


10:45   Panel Discussion: How Cities are Driving Regional Economic Change Beyond City Limits

ICF’s 2020 Summit theme will be about the techniques by which the small-to-midsize city, and the small neighborhood or district within a major city, can develop a vibrant economy, stronger society and richer culture. Learn how Ontario (Canada), Ohio cities and Rochester are driving regional economic change beyond the city limits.

Speakers include: 

  • Dan Circelli, Connecting Windsor-Essex, Ontario, Canada
  • Chris Gould, Bluewater Regional Networks, Inc.
  • Glen Norton, Economic Development Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Peter Portheine, Becamex
  • James Senall, NextCorps
  • James Stifler, Hudson, Ohio, USA
  • John Jung, Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum (Moderator)  

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Sponsored by:


12:15   Lunch Break

Sponsored by:

13:15   Breakout Sessions:
    Workshop Option A:
Data Access, Use and Transparency in Criminal Justice and Enforcement Systems
First Floor Ballroom
  Workshop Option B:
Digital Equity in Theory & in Practice
Century Club First
Floor Ballroom

  Workshop Option C:
Mission-Driven Infrastructure
Century Club Second
Floor Ballroom

Join experts from Measures for Justice (MFJ), the Rochester Police Department (RPD), and RIT's Center for Public Safety for a discussion about the use of criminal justice and enforcement data. In this interactive session, panelists will explore the state of criminal justice data inside the US, discuss different strategies for making local data more transparent, and answer your questions about best data practices. You'll learn about MFJ's efforts to collect, clean, and publish comparative county-level criminal justice data sets and how the RPD creatively uses enforcement data to analyze its operations and communicate to the public.

  Public libraries provide communities with access to computers and the internet while their doors are open and 24/7 wifi access in the vicinity of the building. But what happens to those who aren't able to get to the library & don't have internet access at home? We all know that the digital divide is a real issue but what can we do to work towards equitable internet access for all? Andrea Snyder will provide both theory and practical information about how we can work towards equitable internet access for all, including advocacy, community awareness building, and practical programs. She will speak about her work with the Finger Lakes Digital Inclusion Coaltion as well as with the public libraries in the rural communities of Western New York State.   The dawn of the 4th Industrial Revolution is here, and the world has an opportunity to create infrastructure for equity. This breakout session will focus on how a collective mission-driven strategy brings focus to how local and global collaboration can unify rather than divide citizens.


Speakers Include:

  • Dr. Gipsy Escobar, Measures for Justice
  • Nick Petitti, Rochester Police Department
  • Irshad Altheimer, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Harriet Fisher, City of Rochester (Moderator)




Speakers Include:

  • Andrea Snyder, Pioneer Library System
  • Patty Utaro (Moderator)


Speakers Include:

  • Clayton Banks, CEO, Silicon Harlem
  • Lomax Campbell (Moderator)


14:35   Networking Break
15:05   The Local Society for Information Management (SIM) Chapter and It's Connection to the Community
  • Bruce Leidal, Chief Information Officer, Carestream


15:15   Panel Discussion: What Does the Smart City of the Future Look Like & How Do We Get There?

What does the smart city look like from the perspective of a city’s chief information officer? This session will bring together the established NY City CIO Workgroup discuss how cities can leverage data and technology to transform government operations and services.

Speakers include: 

  • Bob Cacace, City of Yonkers, New York, USA 
  • Dr. Kenny Chen, Taoyuan City, Taiwan
  • Doug McCollough, City of Dublin, Ohio, USA
  • Dave Prowak, City of Syracuse, New York, USA 
  • Luis E. Taveras, Ph.D, City of Buffalo
  • Meghan Cook, Center for Technology in Government



Sponsored by:


16:25   Remarks from the 2019 Intelligent Community of the Year: Taoyuan, Taiwan

Speakers include: 

  • Dr. Kenny Chen, Taoyuan City, Taiwan
  • Li Wen (Ema) Hsieh, ICF Institute, Taiwan
  • John Jung, Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum

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16:40   Closing Session

Speakers include: 

  • Louie Tobias, Manager of Special Projects DES Telecom at City of Rochester
  • Lou Zacharilla, Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum

Louie_Tobias.jpg     Lou_Zacharilla.jpg

17:00   Transition to Reception

October 22: Arbor at the Port (17:30 - 20:00)

17:30   Cocktail Hour
18:00   Dinner
19:00   Welcome from Rochester Gas & Electric and the Announcement of the Smart21 of 2020
19:30   Closing Remarks



Click here to register.

Learn about the Smart21 Communities of 2019 and previous years.

2020 ICF Smart21 Global Cities Announcement Conference Sponsors


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2020 ICF Smart21 Global Cities Announcement Conference Event Partners





October 21, 2019 at 6:00pm - October 23, 2019 | Eastern Time (US & Canada)
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