OurCalling (www.OurCalling.org) is a Dallas-based organization that has created an interactive smartphone app that provides information and emergency alerts to some of the most vulnerable members of a community: the homeless.
OurCalling's app has a database of service providers for the poor, a list of resources such a clinics, food banks and rehab facilities, a calendar for volunteer opportunities, a way for individuals to report a situation where volunteers can go assist someone in need, and more. While it started in Dallas, they are currently working to expand nationally to provide information on services to homeless people all over the US.
Listen to this fascinating episode of The Intelligent Community to learn more about how OurCalling developed the app, the lessons they learned on building relationships, and their plans for what's to come with their mission.Read more
ICF Releases New Research Report on Secrets of Engaging Citizens in Creating Intelligent Communities
(October 11, 2018 - New York City) – The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) today released Creating Champions of Change: Advocacy for Intelligent Communities. The new research report shares dynamics, strategies and successful examples of Advocacy in action in four Intelligent Communities.
An Intelligent Community integrates smart people, facilities, equipment, data and policies into a united and common direction. Advocacy is that unifying element – gathering and aligning local initiatives in Broadband, Knowledge Workforce, Digital Equity, Innovation and Sustainability into a broadly shared and understood narrative. Momentum with intention. Successful Advocacy coalesces a community’s character and conveys a public identity to the world. It energizes economic development, investment attraction and business formation because the community has built a unique vision of its culture and its future.Read more
It is a natural tendency to resist change. Human beings like what they know and feel comforted by it. Change involves a plunge into the unknown, which brings discomfort, anxiety and even real fear.
The American author Mark Twain got it right when he wrote: "I'm all for progress - it's change I can't stand."
It is all too common for a community's leaders or groups of citizens to set themselves against changes that would ultimately benefit the community. The willingness to embrace change and the determination to help shape it, however, are core competencies of the Intelligent Community.
Few places naturally possess those competencies. They must be cultivated, often over years, through advocacy.
Advocacy is the ability to engage those leaders and citizens, as well as businesses and institutions, in understanding the challenge, identifying opportunities for positive change and ultimately becoming champions of that change. As stakeholders in the community, they learn to work together to build a unifying vision of the future, which expresses their best hopes and ideals.
Advocacy is the energy that powers every other element of the Intelligent Community. It is in some ways the most complex and challenging aspects of community development, but it is essential. In a representative government, if people do not understand the challenges they face and the need to adapt to those challenges, they will stand in the way of action. But if they embrace a vision of positive change, nothing can stop them.
Successful advocacy provides the foundation for the community's public identity in its outreach to the world. It energizes economic development, investment attraction and business generation, because the community has built a unique vision of its character and its future. In their own eyes, its people are no longer just living in one community among hundreds of thousands like it. They are in the best place to live, work, start a business, raise a family and pass their heritage to the next generation.
Intelligent Community Forum searches the world’s successful communities for solutions to help rebuild American prosperity
New York, NY - February 26, 2013 – As U.S. President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address, “there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it’s virtually impossible to get ahead.” In support of the President’s challenge to “build new ladders of opportunity”, the Intelligent Community Forum is offering five ways U.S. communities can seize their destinies to attract and retain high-value 21st century American jobs.Read more