During our recent briefings for new ICF jurors, one the most frequently asked questions was “how do we measure a big city, such as New Taipei against a small one, such as Mitchell?” Our answer is simple. We use a universal sports analogy to make it clear.
As it is with people so it is with cities and communities. Being small creates an inferiority complex that either leads to a despondent resignation of one’s status, or a powerful will to look at it as an opportunity to overachieve. ICF jurors are tasked with looking at the bigger heavyweights of the Top7 and the smaller overachievers in this year’s group and determining which one has done the most to excel at each of the six criteria.Read more
When: June 9, 2015 (12:30 PM)
Where: MaRS Discovery District; 101 College Street, Toronto
Last year was the inaugural event of ICF’s first B2B and B2G Matchmaking Session and it was quite a success! The room was full and we had a waiting list of appointments. See the photos below. It was quite exciting and there was a lot of buzz!
In 2008 Columbus, Ohio (USA) was named the #1 “up and coming city” in the United States by Forbes magazine. This surprised people. Most people did not know where Columbus was and those who did associated it with poverty, lack of digital inclusion and the flight of its gentrified and middle-classes from its urban center. There was the impression that Columbus, the capitol of the state of Ohio, was rusting away. Bitten by the fangs of a post-industrial collapse, Columbus was a place where, if you were born poor, you had only a 5% chance of getting into the top fifth percentile of wage earners, which nearly guaranteed a long, mainly miserable life. Your relief was hoping that nearby Ohio State University might win its football games. You could at least live a success vicariously. It was ironic. In a state (Ohio) that headquarters America’s national Inventors Hall of Fame, Columbus scored low on Richard Florida’s “creative index” list. Even Columbus’s Smart21 nomination form to ICF pointed to the disappointing ranking (#61) as one of its challenges. In 2008 it promised itself and the world more.Read more
Do you know anyone who is never-ending fountain of new ideas? I have known, enjoyed and been worn out by a few of them. The same is true of US President Franklin Roosevelt. He delivered one of the greatest backhand compliments in history when we said of British Prime Minster Churchill, his friend and fellow wartime leader, “Winston has fifty ideas a day, and one or two of them are rather good.”
We need these people to stretch the boundaries of what is possible. We also need to respect the many ways in which those boundaries can come snapping back on us. In our book, Brain Gain: How Innovative Cities Create Jobs in an Age of Disruption, my colleagues and I wrote about the disruptive educational innovation known as the massively open online course or MOOC. The vision is truly revolutionary: instead of attending a high-priced university, you take courses online from all of the great universities at a fraction of the cost. Three privately-funded MOOC companies were launched in the US in 2012, and universities around the world quickly followed with their own course offerings.Read more
The best part of this Intelligent Community “thing” for me is to see the patterns of the new energized community emerging. To do it, you have to learn to connect dots. After all, “Creativity,” as Steve Jobs said, “is just connecting the dots.”
The dots were linked again for me this past weekend in the Oceania galleries of New York’s Metropolitan Museum and in Mitchell, South Dakota. One of the happiest days of my life was nearly 35 years ago when I first became a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It made me feel as if I had totally joined the City of New York. All of it. I now had the privilege of walking into that majestic building on Fifth Avenue and roaming the world as I pleased, as my heart and mind dictated. I could be curious and learn endlessly (my idea of heaven). It was a thrill and, looking back, it was the deliverance of “quality of life” that Manhattan had always promised. This feeling has continued to make all the difference about whether I live here or somewhere else.Read more
One of the elements of the year-long process of bringing forward an annual list of Intelligent Communities is the physical evaluation of each of the Top7 Intelligent Communities. This is an important part of the selection of the Intelligent Community of the Year and is taken very seriously by the evaluators, the Jury and the communities being evaluated. It is important to physically validate each community’s application, make eye to eye contact with the authors of the submission and better understand what they believe makes their city and community work in terms of an Intelligent Community.Read more
The year 2008 was a good one for the Intelligent Community of Tallinn, Estonia. In recognition of the amazing efforts that vaulted the city from post-Soviet depression to “Baltic Tiger,” according to The New York Times, ICF added Tallinn to its list of the Top7 Intelligent Communities for the second year in a row.Read more
There is an intellectual eruption taking place in a tiny corner of the New York publishing world that is a microcosm of the big battle underway for the hearts and minds of people in cities worldwide. As behemoths slide into being with trending names like “Broadband Economy,” “Singularity” and “Gigabit City” to take hold of the economy, our imagination, and then push with increasingly uncomfortable force against the personal destinies of larger and larger numbers of people, places and leaders, the impact of two decades of digital life are being felt. Some call it “disruption” and, having named it think they’ve tamed it and take a seat at the next clichéd seminar. But the words “disoriented and dispossessed” seem more accurate ways to describe what a generation of “smart” risks leaving us with if we are not mindful.Read more
“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice,” an aerospace engineer once said to me. “But in practice, I find that there often is.”
Those two short sentences sum up a lot of wisdom about the net neutrality debate.Read more
Why do people go to conferences, summits, seminars and roundtables? Why don’t we just sit in the comfort of our homes, sit back and turn on our Skype, WebEX or GoToMeeting online meeting services and do it all from there? Well, it’s clear that we no longer need to be at every meeting or every event. Skype, WebEX and any other media that provides an Online Webinar and meeting service will do just fine in most cases. And when they work, we praise technology from saving us from yet another trip.Read more