Webinars and Resources

Webinars Series from ICF

Through our extensive Awards Program, ICF has developed a network of nearly 150 cities and regions – large and small, urban and rural – on five continents. This network of communities recognized by ICF are those that have risen to the challenges of the broadband economy and emerged as models leaders in the Intelligent Community movement. Now, with our three webinar series: Broadband Agendas, Innovation Agendas and New Connected Countryside, we aim to share their best practices with other communities around the world, proving a guide for their own paths to becoming an intelligent community.

With each webinar, attendees will hear from ICF Foundation member communities as they share projects they created that have produced economic, social or cultural innovation. It may be a successful effort to connect education and business to generate new tech companies, or digital applications that solve social problems, or a way to give global exposure online to local culture. The ICF archives are full of such examples, and it is time to give our members a chance to share their best practices with you, and show you the steps to take to foster the innovation needed to propel your community on the path to intelligence.


  • The Economic Case for Municipal Broadband (March 1, 2018)Broadband_Agendas.png
    • When cities and counties decide to invest in broadband networks, they face the same business-case challenge as private-sector carriers. The city or county has usually arrived at this point precisely because the private sector does not see an attractive case for investment, so how is government going to do what business cannot? Government's advantage as a network builder is not anti-competitive behavior: it is that government and the community gain economic benefits from the network that a private-sector company cannot tap.


  • Gigabit Networks After Google (December 12, 2017)Broadband_Agendas.png
    • Google Fiber was announced at the end of 2012 after the company had introduced a fiber network build in the Kansas City metropolitan area in the US. The company subsequently announced expansion to US cities including Austin, Provo, Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Salt Lake City and San Antonio. But by October 2016, all expansion plans were put on hold, though Google Fiber continues to serve 69,000 TV and 450,000 broadband subscribers. What had once seemed the unstoppable rise of "gig networks" suddenly seemed in doubt.


  • Municipal Open Access Networks (September 28, 2017)Broadband_Agendas.png
    • Open access for broadband is a powerful idea. Communications companies have traditionally designed, built, owned and operated their own infrastructure, whether it is copper wires, cell towers, coaxial cable or fiber optics. In the open access model, a third party builds and owns the infrastructure – and in some cases provides basic transport-level communications service – and communication companies purchase capacity on it to deliver broadband, voice and video services. The communications carriers continue to own the relationship with the customer but no longer bear the capital costs of the network.


  • Five Hidden Truths About Network Development (August 17, 2017)Broadband_Agendas.png
    • Building a municipal, county or regional broadband network is a big challenge, even after you obtain the financing and clear the legal and regulatory hurdles. Decision-makers and stakeholders become consumed with issues of rights of way and technology platforms, partners and competitors, capital investment and user adoption. From planning and construction to the start of service and expansion, network developers always learn many hard and hidden truths that they wish they had known at the start.


  • Local Government: Leader or Supporting Actor? (May 11, 2017)Innovation_Agendas.png
    • Innovation in the Intelligent Community requires government to rethink its role in the political, economic and cultural network that makes up a community. They significantly expand the definition of what government does – from roads to broadband, permits to partnerships – but must exercise care to nurture development across institutions and companies without trying to determine outcomes. In this Webinar, municipal leaders share their experiences at redefining what their governments do and how they do it.
  • Connecting Education to Innovation (February 22, 2017)Innovation_Agendas.png
    • The ICF Innovation Triangle depends in part on the active engagement of educational, cultural and other institutions, with universities and colleges the most frequent partners. What are the secrets of effective engagement with educational institutions that yield genuine progress at innovation? This Webinar explains the necessary steps in identifying opportunities, building trust and generating real collaboration among educators, business and government.
  • How to Create an Innovation District (November 30, 2016)Innovation_Agendas.png
    • Many communities choose to focus their public-private innovation programs on the creation of a physical home for innovation. What are the key components of a successful innovation district? What time and resources are needed? How can the success that occurs within that “innovation island” reach beyond it to the entire community or region? In this Webinar, you will learn from communities with track records of success in the development of innovation districts.


  • Intelligence from the Ground Up (November 22, 2016)NCC-Logo-350.png
    • Parkland County is a county-sized municipality that has applied the open-access network model – pioneered by urban centers from Stockholm to Dublin, Ohio – specifically to meet the needs of a rural region. Located on the western border of Edmonton, capital of Alberta Province, and only hours from the province’s vast oil sands extraction industry, Parkland County is prosperous. In 2012, the county completed the core of a network of 18 communication towers, ten in the west and eight in the east. In this Webinar, hear how Parkland County implemented this program.


  • To Be or Not to Be (Intelligent) (November 15, 2016)NCC-Logo-350.png
    • At the turn of the new century, Stratford had a reputation for being quaint, cultured and out of the way, home to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and a 90-minute drive from Toronto, the business capital of eastern Canada. The Festival is a home-grown success story in cultural tourism. Founded in 1953, it became the largest employer in the city and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in local economic activity in ticket sales, restaurants, lodging and culture. In this Webinar, find out more about how Stratford continued its path to intelligence and become a home of innovation.


  • What are the Impacts of Innovation? (September 27, 2016)Innovation_Agendas.png
    • What are the impacts of innovation at the local level? Sustainable economic growth, job creation and increasing prosperity are the goals. But when communities pursue innovation as an exercise in collaboration, the impacts can include better quality of life, the retention of young talent, cost savings and greater community spirit. In this Webinar, you will hear how communities measure and prioritize the different impacts they hope to achieve.
  • How to Foster Innovation (July 26, 2016)Innovation_Agendas.png
    • How do cities and regions begin creating an innovation economy? What are the essential elements and how are they assembled to create an ecosystem that drives continuing innovation in the private, public and institutional sectors? In this Webinar, you will hear from two communities on different continents about how they have fostered innovation that generates prosperity.


More Information

If you would like more information on these webinar series, or if you are from an ICF community and would like to present in a webinar, please contact Matthew Owen at [email protected].


The following videos include webinars hosted by ICF Nations and educational pieces about various Intelligent Communities around the world.

  • How Does Taiwan Do It? (December 2020)
    • Since early 2020, local and national leaders around the world have been tasked with facing the challenges of COVID-19. The level of success has varied – with some nations able to keep the impact of the virus limited, others face widespread disruption in the health of their citizens and the strength of their economies. One nation, though, seems to have risen above the rest in terms of the best response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Taiwan. At the end of October, Taiwan celebrated 200 straight days without a locally transmitted case. So how does Taiwan do it? ICF worked with ICF Taiwan to develop a two-part roundtable series to explore Taiwan’s successes, and to share the best practices with you.

Part 1: All Citizens Matter – Responding to Citizens’ Needs

Part 2: How does Taiwan contribute to the global community with Smart Healthcare solutions?

  • How BC Communities Can Leverage the Smart Revolution (February 2018)
    • ICF Canada hosted this free Webinar, featuring Purdue Professor Roberto Gallardo and ICF’s Executive Director, Robert Bell, who were joined by panelists from across British Columbia. John G. Jung, ICF’s Chairman and Co-Founder and Susan Stanford, Executive Lead, Ministry of Citizens' Services, Victoria, BC co-moderated the session. Learn from industry experts what B.C. communities, including rural and remote communities, need to consider when starting on their journey to benefit from the Digital Economy and become a Smart Community in B.C.


  • How BC Communities Can Get Involved in the Smart Cities Challenge (February 2018)
    • ICF Canada hosted this free Webinar, with John G. Jung, ICF’s Chairman and Co-Founder, moderating the session. Hear from Infrastructure Canada on the goals and process of the Challenge and from panelists from across British Columbia and other parts of Canada who will highlight their experiences in their communities behind a unique idea, discuss examples of strategic partnerships, and opportunities for First Nations in the Challenge. Audience members were invited to ask questions of the panelists and Infrastructure Canada participants.


  • Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge (January 2018)
    • Hear from Gerard Peets, Executive Director, Infrastructure Canada, on the goals and process of the Challenge and from panelists from across Canada who will highlight their experiences in rallying their communities behind a unique idea, discuss examples of strategic partnerships, and opportunities for First Nations in the Challenge. Audience members were invited to ask questions of the panelists and Infrastructure Canada participants.


  • Smart Resilience Technology – Future Ready Canadian Communities (November 2017)
    • Resilience is "The ability of assets, networks and systems to anticipate, absorb, adapt to and rapidly recover from a disruptive event or shock." The frequency and intensity of disruptive events, stresses and shocks to communities across Canada is increasing. The sustainable development of the economy, society and the environment of Canadian communities depends on them being resilient to these changes and continuing to deliver services that attract business and deliver an enriching way of life for citizens. Emerging "smart communities technologies" offer attractive social and economic benefits for the development of Canadian communities at all scales, but very few of them address the resilience challenges they face. This webinar examined what the resilience challenges to Canadian communities are and how municipalities can better understand them, intelligently incorporating new innovations in Smart Resilience technology that can make them Future-Ready, enabling their sustainable development.


  • Does a Robot Want Your Job? (September 2016)
    • The truth is that every technological revolution has wiped out whole categories of employment. But every one has also created substantial economic growth, just as the current one is doing. Here’s a generally unappreciated fact: when the economy grows, that money does not just disappear. It is cycled back into the economy in the form of demand for new and better products and services. That demand creates jobs, and on a national or global basis, we are all better off.


  • ICF Renaissance Dialogues – Dr. Norman Jacknis (October 2015)



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