Rarely have I seen a mayor cry when receiving an award. But there I was, in London, on the angular stage of American Square, standing next to Mayor Jukka Mäkelä of Espoo, moments after announcing our 2018 Intelligent Community of the Year. It is always a thrilling event, much like a World Cup, with unexpected moments almost guaranteed and plenty of nationalism garnishing our celebration of our eclectic salad of communities.
Apparently as surprised as most everyone in the room, the mayor took the stage and greeted everyone on it. He took his trophy and looked at it for an almost uncomfortably long time before speaking. I realized that this was partly because he was in a minor state of shock and delight. He acknowledged his Top7 peers, whose long faces were not as long as I imagined they would be. Each had a classy smile on as they applauded. This said everything you need know about our Top7 this year.Read more
Binh Duong, Vietnam Journal – Part One
“History is always more exciting, inspiring and approximate of the truth when you focus on telling the story of the heroic ones of the tribe,” Michael Medved, Historian.
In my travel journal from December 2016, I wrote this about my first trip there to the aspiring Intelligent Community of Binh Duong:
Vietnam. The word stirs many images, feelings and opinions, especially as an American. Even now. Here for the first time, and it is gratifying to see the work and ideas of ICF being embraced and put into action. Hopefully the ICF Method will be remembered here as a unifying idea for the Intelligent Community of Binh Duong and for human communities elsewhere in the country. The ICF Method is being put to work in this place of great potential by some amazing people in the Smart City Office, the government and in academia. Many are becoming my friends. I am glad they are working with the Dutch (Eindhoven International Project Office) on this program, since Eindhoven is a former Intelligent Community of the Year and, more than most, totally grasps the “triple helix” method. (Hell, they practically invented it!) I believe these ideas and the “helix” approach can apply everywhere, although at various pace depending on a lot of things. Vietnam will be proof of it someday. The intent and seriousness are here. But as always, as is the case just about everywhere, there is a ways to go. I will say in my talk tomorrow that this place is someday going to be “the pride of Vietnam,” because I can feel that. And I am hopeful for that to happen someday sooner rather than later.Read more
“There are few things in life that are free. Being recognized as an Intelligent Community may just be one of them.”
That was the beginning of the blog on August 5, 2015 about the benefits that communities can expect by successfully applying to be recognized as a SMART21 Intelligent Community via https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/nominations. I have often been asked what the benefits are from the unique ICF Awards Program and I have referred them to the original blog from August 2015. But three years later, I felt we needed to update the original. Besides, the original listed only 12 benefits. Today, we are listing an amazing Top 20 Reasons.Read more
“The purpose of life is not to increase its velocity.” – Gandhi
My ancestors came to America from the southern regions of Italy and populated New York City, as well as many small towns in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania. It surprised people unfamiliar with the unique and specifically local and regional nature of Italy that, even though I am of Italian ancestry, I did not visit Venice in northern Italy until I was nearly 40 years old.
I was there for my honeymoon. It was a glorious, sunny day. The Grand Canal and especially the Rialto Bridge at dusk captured me like love itself, and though northern and southern Italy are as different as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, I knew I had, in some deep sense, returned “home.”
My new wife and I were headed to the site of La Fenice, the iconic opera house which had mysteriously burned to the ground in the late 1990s. She loves opera and I love walking in cities and meeting people.Read more
Planning Our Cities Through Humanizing Data - Data Driven Cities From a People-First Perspective (Part 2)
Part 2 of 2Read more
Planning Our Cities Through Humanizing Data - Data Driven Cities From a People-First Perspective (Part 1)
Part 1 of 2Read more
Why are we here today?
The Intelligent Community Forum, a global think tank headquartered in NYC, was started over two decades ago because the world was changing and as observers and active participants, we wanted to ensure nothing less than the survival of our species, the improvement of the quality of the lives of our citizens, the enhancements necessary to make our communities more livable and to ensure that our children and their children were educated and had access to an equitable opportunity for a lifestyle they deserved when they came onto this earth. We decided long ago that we needed to actively engage ourselves into this discussion and do everything that we could to help to make this happen. So, the burning question for you today is - why are you here today? We believe that you are here today because in your own way you, with your expertise and talent, also want to become more actively engaged in this discussion.
|City Center of Oulu - By John Jung|
During my recent visit to Oulu, the Capital of Northern Scandinavia and the beginning of the Lapland region of Finland, I visited the Oulu Museum of Art which was hosting an exhibit called “The Hype in the Arctic Silicon Valley”. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon and I had the opportunity to visit the exhibit with Juha Ala-Mursula, who today was the head of BusinessOulu, but at the time of the height of the exhibit’s focus around 2010, he was one of the lead Nokia executives in Oulu that was developing the wireless technologies on display. This was his first visit to the exhibit and like a child at Christmas opening familiar presents, his eyes glistened at the sight of his long-lost friends. “This is the Nokia 6000 Series; I recall my team working on this model and…” and he would be off in another time and place. “…and here is the Nokia E72………” He and his teams would continue to be proud of their accomplishments that raised this city at the southern end of Lapland into a technological force that few communities could boast about in the world.Read more
Total Telecom Becomes Media Partner of ICF Summit 2018, Centre for Cities Speaker Confirmed, and more!
An update on the ICF Summit – June 4-6 in London
Since the start of the new year, partnerships have continued to fall into place for the ICF Summit in London. The Summit’s organizing group, NextGen Events, reported that Total Telecom is an official media partner of the event. Total Telecom is a media organization which reports on telecom trends and news from and in the UK. Recent reports include one on broadband gaps in the UK and elsewhere. https://tinyurl.com/y8hq2rtqRead more
|Flickr Creative Commons, Jere Keyes|
How do you prepare your community for the future? That is ICF’s mission: to offer insights, based on the experience of other places, that help you position your city, metro region or county to be one of the winners – economically, socially and culturally – in a century of enormous change.
But what kind of future, exactly, are we talking about?
It’s a good question. Whatever the future holds, you can feel it coming at you. You can reach into your pocket or handbag, where you keep your phone, and touch it. Twenty years ago, digital technologies were an entertaining diversion from the business of life. Today, they run the economy. They shape politics and public discourse. They determine who wins and who loses in the job market. They turn unknowns into stars and, as evidenced by the #MeToo campaign, can topple giants.
But what does the digital future look like? I am indebted to W. Brian Arthur of the Sante Fe Institute for an article in the McKinsey & Company quarterly newsletter, which does a wonderful job of painting a picture. He wrote for a business audience, and I take the liberty here of translating it into community terms.Read more