ICF Global Summit 2020



The ICF Summit Comes to Dublin, Ohio, USA!

About ICF and the ICF Summit

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) studies and promotes the best practices of the world’s Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology. To help communities build prosperous economies,
solve social problems and enrich local cultures, ICF conducts research, hosts events, publishes and produces a high-profile international awards
program. Over the last 20 years, ICF has become an international movement that attracts the attention of global leaders, thinkers and media observers.

The ICF Awards Program

Through its awards program, ICF has recognized more than 180 cities and regions designated as Intelligent Communities in an ongoing global dialogue to strengthen local economies. These Intelligent Communities gain global recognition and access to an international network of peer communities. 

The awards program culminates each year at ICF’s Global Summit with the naming of the Top Intelligent Community.

Taoyuan, Taiwan was named Intelligent Community of the Year
at the 2019 ICF Global Summit in New York.

Summit Theme: From Smart to Intelligent

You probably know what a Smart City is. “Smart” is about applying technology to make cities work better, faster and cheaper.  It is like automating a factory.  Install the sensors, cameras, computers and network connections.  Integrate them all with software, big data and artificial intelligence.  Better data leads to better decisions, and automation lets you do more with less labor.  It’s a win for the city, its residents and taxpayers. 

But cities, of whatever size, are not just collections of technology and infrastructure.  They are stories, living and breathing.   They have their roots in the first decisions of people to settle in that place, to group together by a riverbank or lake or ocean, or at a sheltered place where roads crossed and both water and fuel could be found.  The visible parts of the city – and today, the invisible elements of the digital web being weaved within it – are the outward signs of an inward spirit.  The life of a city, the spirit of the place, begins with its people. 

That’s why, at ICF, we don’t think that being Smart is nearly good enough.  We think the real journey of the place called home should be from Smart to Intelligent. 

Intelligent means something more.  It means engaging local universities and technical schools, entrepreneurs and established businesses as partners in planning and carrying out projects.  What can be sourced in the municipality or the region?  Where is there expertise that can help?  It also means engaging the public in helping determine how and where innovation in a community should happen. 

Intelligent takes longer.  It is more complicated, because it requires so many different players to work together.  But it improves the odds that the solution will actually solve a problem that matters, and that the solution delivers benefits far beyond its scope.  Benefits like building the capacity of local companies in the fast-growing technologies of the Internet of Things.  Like giving birth to a new university or community college department that turns out graduates skilled in those technologies.  Like making the innovation project something that citizens think and talk about, take pride in or worry about, increasing their commitment to their community. 

In the end, the time spent saves money and time by avoiding investment in the wrong things and tapping local expertise to solve local problems.  It also generates a return on that investment that is vastly greater than any technology project.

So, by all means be as Smart as your ambition and budget allow. But why settle for Smart when your community can learn what it takes to become Intelligent? Join us at the Summit and take home lessons to take your community to the next level.

Who Attends the Summit?

  • Leaders of Smart21 and Top7 Intelligent Communities

    • Mayors, City Managers, CIOs, Economic Development Directors, Innovation Officers

  • Smart City/Intelligent Community Industry Partners

    • Sectors including Technology, Digital Media, Education, Economic Development, Healthcare and other related business sectors.

Summit Attendees at the 2015 Global Summit in Toronto.

From Smart City to Intelligent Community

The ICF Summit is unlike any ”smart city,” urban planning or economic development conference you will attend.  It is an intimate setting, perfect for networking and has four takeaways that people have been coming for since 2004 to learn how to go from “smart city” to Intelligent Community and true, sustainable growth:

  • Leads.  The economic development matchmaking sessions connect you to New York tech companies, investors and other cities.

  • A Proven Method for Growth. Meet officials from cities, counties and metro areas who have faced similar challenges and tried the ICF Method as the centerpiece of their growth and sustainability policies. Today they are known around the world for their success and quality of life.

  • Inspiration.  Workshops, awards programs and inspiring examples teach, encourage and reinforce your community’s journey, and support your path forward.

  • International Opportunities. McKinsey estimates that 80% of the world’s trade will cross international borders within 10 years.  Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Solow proved that 80% of economic growth comes from technology innovation.  The ICF Summit brings together cities and towns from Canada, Taiwan, Scandanavia, Europe and South America and has been the direct route to international opportunities in the innovation economy for nearly 180 of them.



More information about the 2020 Summit will be coming soon. 

June 16, 2020 at 9am - June 18, 2020 | Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Matthew Owen ·