The Inner Life as Public Policy – Part One
“I teach two things, suffering and the end of suffering.” Buddha
Over the years I have attempted to understand the “inner mysteries” of place. It has always been a core belief of mine that communities succeed or fail, as do sports teams, on what are called the “intangibles.” The unidentifiable or ineffable – call it “chemistry,” as they do in athletics – components. Hard to measure, impossible to see but felt like a breeze when things go along smoothly and like a sledgehammer on the chest cavity when they do not. To borrow a phrase from the American president’s inauguration speech in 2017, a sense of “carnage” seems palpable.
I prefer the word of the ancient wisdom traditions to describe these intangibles: the “soul” of a place.Read more
Going for the Gold of 2017
As the first hurricane-force storm sits just off from the Atlantic Ocean’s shores, the American Northeast Summer draws to a close. During its rapid course, I took some hours to look back on the ICF Summit in June, celebrate its highlights and to consider what it means as our movement goes forward into the next Awards cycle, with its conclusion this time on the big stage of New York.Read more
Kingston is one of Canada’s oldest cities, founded at a strategic intersection of lakes and rivers, with an historic waterfront and an employer base of Federal and Provincial agencies that attracts more government grants per capita than any other city in the nation. It has been ranked Canada’s third best place to live and smartest city, thanks to deployment of an open-access community broadband network supplemented with investment in the Eastern Ontario Regional Network bringing 10 Mbps service to rural neighborhoods. More than 90% of Kingstonians now subscribe to broadband. But the economy’s heavy dependence on public sector spending makes Kingston vulnerable to decisions made far away, and local government has developed a multi-faceted strategy to diversify its economy while maintaining the culture and quality of life that residents treasure.
It is aided in this undertaking by the presence of Queen’s University, a top 10 research institution and St. Lawrence College, a 2-year institution with schools of business, computer and engineering technology, health sciences and skilled trades. Queen’s University founded an office in 1987, called PARTEQ Innovations, to identify intellectual property and support its commercialization. PARTEQ went on to build Innovation Park, where academic, business and government researchers work to pioneer new technologies and bring them to market.
Innovation has a particular focus in Kingston. The public, business, education and government have rallied around a goal to make environmental sustainability its focus. Local government launched a community planning process that resulted in Sustainable Kingston, a plan that gave rise to a nonprofit of the same name. As a result, most research and commercialization focuses on greentech and cleantech, from the Federal GreenCentre Canada research lab to a Fuel Cell Research Centre and High-Performance Virtual Computing Lab. Successful businesses are also pioneering in automation, life sciences and health technologies. In addition to sustainability, the city launched a Kingston Culture Plan in 2010 to increase the impact of the city’s already sizeable arts and culture economy, both for its own economic value and its attractiveness to creative professionals. City leaders see these efforts as steps in social transformation, helping a community that is already satisfied with its lot in life to seize the vast potential of the broadband economy.
Labor Force: 90,000
Kingston Tourism: hwww.visitkingston.ca
Smart21 2009 | 2014
Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2014 named by Intelligent Community Forum
Taichung City, Taiwan & New York, New York – January 23, 2014 - The Intelligent Community Forum has announced the 2014 Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year. The Top7 list includes three from Canada, two from the United States, and two from Taiwan. "This year's Top7 group is unusual in that they represent only three nations. However, they collectively are a canvas that represents our movement. Each made it to the list by demonstrating how they have begun to fuse technology, culture and collaboration for economic sustainability. They have set a new course for other cities to follow. We look forward to welcoming them to New York in June for the selection of the Intelligent Community of the Year," said Lou Zacharilla, Intelligent Community Forum co-founder as he announced the Top7 at a conference hosted in Taichung City, Taiwan, the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year.Read more