As we approach the 2018 Smart21 Announcement in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on October 25, 2018, there is an added twist to this event this year, a Community Roundtable. It will be a great opportunity for communities to showcase their cities, towns and regions, but equally important is the fact that these are all Canadian communities, big and small, urban and rural, that had previously been recognized by ICF’s adjudicators as a SMART21, TOP7 or Intelligent Community of the Year. They will each speak to what makes their community smart and intelligent and what some of their key challenges were and what solutions they applied to resolve these challenges. Some may even brag about how this process has helped their community focus their transformation to become smart cities and intelligent communities. And some may even boast about how their use of the brand as a SMART21 city or TOP7 Intelligent Community may have helped them attract investors, jobs and talent to their communities.
These case studies are an excellent opportunity for benchmarking and as significant examples for aspiring communities in Canada and elsewhere to learn from and potentially apply the lessons from these communities to their own communities. It is also an excellent opportunity for networking and for private sector vendors to connect with area municipalities. The agenda for this year’s Community Roundtable kicks off with a presentation by host city, Hamilton, Ontario, a 2018 TOP7 Intelligent Community. As presented by Glen Norton, Director of Economic Development for the City of Hamilton, he will discuss how Hamilton has become proud of its turn-around as a community driven with innovation, enthusiastic and supportive leadership, and new approaches to economic development. A Small Community Keynote Case Study will be delivered by Stratford Mayor, Dan Mathieson, a 2013 Top7 Intelligent Community. His community in Southwestern Ontario is a leader in innovation utilizing city-owned resources to propel the community into becoming a globally recognized innovation hub. In addition to its municipally owned broadband and WiFi services, the community collaborated with the University of Waterloo to develop its Digital Media campus in Stratford, strengthening its hold on the city as a leader in content, talent and entertainment along with the Stratford Shakespearean Festival and as a testbed for global innovations. Another Keynote address will be from another 2018 Top7 city, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Greg Dandewich, Senior VP of Economic Development Winnipeg will present Winnipeg as a leader in innovation, talent development and international collaboration. He will also explain how Winnipeg is utilizing its smart city infrastructure to be investment ready and to attract jobs, talent and investment. Finally, the last Keynote will focus on Toronto, the Intelligent Community of the Year in 2014, as presented by Toronto’s new Chief Transformation Officer, Michael Kolm. The City of Toronto has emerged as an international innovation powerhouse and is establishing new records for its technology sector growth and transformation. In addition, Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs are working to redevelop a 12-acre site along the Eastbayfront area known as Quayside, a cutting-edge approach that will impact the future of the Toronto waterfront redevelopment. Its lessons learned will help to transform many other communities throughout the GTA and beyond.
In addition to these four keynotes, case study presentations will take place by 8 other communities:
- Ottawa by Blair Patacairk, Vice President, Global Expansion, Invest Ottawa;
- Quebec City by Carl Viel, President and CEO, Québec International;
- Sarnia-Lambton by Chris Gould, Chief Operations Officer at Bluewater Regional Networks Inc.;
- Windsor-Essex by Dan Circelli, Director of Marketing, for Connecting Windsor-Essex;
- Surrey, B.C. by Geoff Samson, Manager of Strategic Projects for the City of Surrey;
- Kingston by Craig Desjardins, Director, Office of Strategy, Innovation & Partnership, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Kingston;
- Burlington by Mark Steffler, Manager of Burlington’s TechPlace; and
- Grey County, Ontario by Steve Furness, Senior Economic Development Officer for the county.
At the close of the Community Roundtable, ICF Co-Founders Louis Zacharilla and John G. Jung will moderate a Concluding Panel on the Lessons from the ICF Case Studies with panelists including Andrea McKinney, Hamilton’s CIO and Alyssa Lai, Project & Communications Coordinator for The Socrates Project at McMaster University. Following the Community Roundtable, Lou Zacharilla, assisted by John Jung, will announce the SMART21 Intelligent Communities for 2019 at a reception hosted by Calix Networks. The day would not be complete in Hamilton without hearing from Hamilton’s own Juno Award winning entertainer, Terra Lightfoot, who will close the session at the Studio in the Hamilton Convention Centre.
Special thanks to the Mayor of Hamilton, Fred Eisenberger, who is also the ICF Canada Chair, for allowing ICF Canada to hold its first Board Meeting in Canada in Hamilton on October 25. He will also open the event along with ICF Canada Board Member and event sponsor, Rob McCann, President of Clearcable Networks. John G. Jung will be Master of Ceremonies. For more information on the event, refer to: https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/smart21_of_2019_announcement