Daniel Patrick Moynihan
If the cliché “Ignorance is Bliss” were true, legal marijuana would go up in smoke. Our ignorance would be sufficient to keep us happily stoned. In our state of Bliss, we would be sublimely governed, assured that our rights were fully secured and knowing that our daily bread would produce loaves plentiful enough for generations. Would World Peace be far behind for dummies and cafones?
But as that bothersomely observant Greek Plato said about ignorance and its consequences, “Those who believe they are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” (Write in your own association to modern times here. _________ I’ll wait.)
One of my heroes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was a sharp observer of the human community. He famously reported on the utter collapse of the family and the coarsening of our social relations. He concluded famously, “We have defined deviancy downward.”Read more
There are three ways a community enters the 21st Century and becomes an Intelligent Community. The first two are like choosing root canal. The third is the option to floss and brush.
Amirzai Sangin, the former Minister of Communications & IT for the Republic of Afghanistan makes an exclusive appearance at the ICF Summit on Thursday. Mr. Sangin was ICF’s Visionary of the Year in 2006 and has written a new book about his experiences in Afghanistan.
One: A region, community or an entire nation can swerve with near fatal consequences and smack into its moment of truth. It there meets the realities and requirements of the digital age. It is dragged out and hopefully recovers enough to be dragged in to the right lane. This collision often is the result of a total economic or social collapse caused by a tsunami. History does not always signal when it changes lanes. So the local industry begins to fade into the dusty pages of economic history without much warning. More often than not a company or a cluster of them, those upon which prosperity had been built, chases after some hot little trophy city in the Sunbelt. Or sails off to a country in Asia where the workers are still climbing toward the middle class and willing to work for unthinkably low wages. In this case, the community is in desperate shape and reaches out like a man caught swimming in a riptide. The good news is that if you do not panic and go laterally for a while, you can get out of a riptide.Read more
US President Biden has proposed a $109 billion, 10-year American Families Plan that seeks to build an economy that does more for working people and less for people who live on the returns from their investments. One part of the plan would fund free 2-year community college tuition for all students. In response, a recent article in The New York Times sets out to answer the question, “Does Free College Work?”
It’s a very American question, by the way, because our friends in Europe and other regions have been receiving largely free higher education for decades. Setting that aside, the article is worth reading for two reasons.Read more
“Our police are more trusted in our republic than our president.”
Here’s a “pop” quiz: name the source of that quote.
Hint: It does not come from an authoritarian leader of a country. Nor does it come from the United States in 2021.
It comes from representatives of the world’s most Intelligent Community: Tallinn, Estonia. It is part of a new podcast series that is my attempt to begin to get to the raw, poignant and seemingly intractable issues our communities continue to grapple with in this Era of COVID.
A city focused on environmental sustainability, one of six Factors in the ICF Method defining success for cities and regions in the 21st Century
(New York, USA and Tallinn, Estonia – April 6, 2021) – When Tallinn, Estonia was named the Intelligent Community of the Year in October 2020 by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), one factor in its selection was a commitment to environmental sustainability. In May of that year, Tallinn had been shortlisted by the European Commission as one of four finalists for the 2022 European Green Capital Award. The city followed up these achievements by launching a new brand as a Green Global City.Read more
Maybe it’s just me, but I keep thinking I hear the sound of “Smart City fatigue” setting in.
Since IBM coined the term and Cisco quickly followed its lead, there have been, according to the web, three generations of smart cities. There have been academic papers and workshops and massive conferences. Multinational, national and local programs have poured billions into projects. Technologies have been developed to improve how cities manage everything from energy, water, public safety and pollution to transportation, healthcare and tax collection. Consultants have prospered, IT systems sales have grown and CIOs have earned new respect. Now, after more than two decades of smart cities adoption, what do we have to show for all that investment?
Frankly, not much.Read more
In the 2016 Intelligent Communities Awards, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada was named a Smart21 Community. To build further on this success, the city created a task force to examine Hamilton’s infrastructure, identify gaps in its digital strategy across the municipality, and develop an action plan to make Hamilton a destination for investment.Read more
In the 2016 Intelligent Communities Awards, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada was named a Smart21 Community. To build further on this success, the city created a task force to examine Hamilton’s infrastructure, identify gaps in its digital strategy across the municipality, and develop an action plan to make Hamilton a destination for investment.
The Mayor's Intelligent Community Task Force was originally tasked with a two-year mandate to explore, discuss, and build upon Hamilton's existing digital infrastructure. A key priority was also to focus on the six factors of an Intelligent Community found in the ICF Method.
As we reach the two-year mark, the Task Force is taking stock of its achievements and identifying areas for future consideration. This report is intended to provide insight into the progress that has been made, and that has laid the foundation for the Task Force to continue to work towards its mandate. It is clear that creating a digitally enabled Hamilton is a multi-year, multi-partner journey that involves ongoing leadership and engagement from the Mayor and Council, City Staff, public sector partners, Academia, the private sector and external community organizations.
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