Winnipeg to co-host the Intelligent Community Forum’s Smart21 Communities of 2022 Announcement on February 24

Announcement to be part of a half-day conference, “From Conflict to Community” using the ICF Method

(New York, NY, USA and Winnipeg, MB, Canada – February 3, 2022) – The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) in partnership with Economic Development Winnipeg will co-host a February 24 online conference, From Conflict to Community: How Cities and Regions Can Restore a Culture of Human Connection. The half-day virtual conference also features the announcement of the ICF Smart21 Communities of 2022.

The announcement of the Smart21 Communities starts the 9-month journey towards naming the 2022 Intelligent Community of the Year, the community that best exemplifies the success factors of the ICF Method. Seven of these 21 communities will go on to be named Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year in June, and one will be named Intelligent Community of the Year at the ICF Summit in October. The City of Winnipeg was the 2021 Intelligent Community of the Year.

“Winnipeg began working with ICF in 2011,” said ICF co-founder Robert Bell. “Through our award program and analytics, city leaders absorbed the ICF Method and applied it with growing skill and impact. It was exciting for us to see them, year by year, build an innovation ecosystem and nurture a knowledge workforce to power it – but never neglect the social and cultural concerns that can strengthen progress or hold it back. In this joint conference, we focus on those concerns through the lens of reconciliation - something our communities and nations need today.”

“We are thrilled to be part of an ongoing conversation about how Winnipeg and other regions can learn from one another – to work smarter and more collaboratively to build a community that is connected, innovative, inclusive, engaging and sustainable for all its citizens. I think this conference will provide a lot of insights into different ways of achieving those goals,” said Economic Development Winnipeg President & CEO Dayna Spiring.

ICF will continue to explore the theme, From Conflict to Community, throughout the year with a series of webinars and podcasts featuring speakers from intelligent communities around the world. More information will be announced during the Smart21 event.

Registration is now open at This event will be free to attend, but registration is required.

More about the Theme and Planned Sessions
We live in a time of political, social and economic turmoil, made worse by nearly two years of pandemic. Around the world, nations, regions and communities struggle to master contention, conflict and outrage among people divided by social standing, economic status and core beliefs. Forty years of technological innovation have transformed how we live, earn a living, learn, play, entertain and engage, creating vast new opportunities and new understanding of our shared past. The same waves of change are currently leaving millions behind, economically, socially and culturally. The conflict and anger in civil society is hurting our ability to connect, collaborate and govern.

In this free, three-hour online conference, the Intelligent Community Forum and its 2021 Intelligent Community of the Year, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, begin a yearlong journey uncovering lessons and sharing best practices for managing conflicts, reconciling past wrongs and rebuilding the trust that makes communities work.

Planned Sessions Include:

Lessons from Historic Conflicts that Help Build a Better Future
Leaders of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg and the Carter Center in Atlanta share lessons about how parties locked in conflicts can find a path to reconciliation and a new future.

How Broadband Access Unites and Divides Us
The pandemic revealed the essential role of broadband today. It also exposed as never before the dire consequences of the digital divide and the explosive impact of social media in spreading misinformation, fear and outrage. Panelists discuss what the pandemic has taught them about making broadband access more equitable and managing its downsides.

Reconciliation and the Power of Community Diversity
Winnipeg is on a journey of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples across its community after centuries of prejudice, mistreatment and marginalization. Municipal and Indigenous leaders discuss the challenging process of building a civic understanding amidst historic abuses.

Engaging with Rage: Finding a Path Out of Conflict
In the past two years, municipal leaders have faced an outpouring of anger, harassment, threats and even physical danger from constituents pushed to the edge by the pandemic and the broader social divisions of our time. We hear their stories and discuss with psychologists how rage can be engaged with and channeled to more productive use that builds community rather than tearing it down.

The Smart21 Communities of 2022 Announcement

The ICF Smart21 Announcement is the first stage in ICF's annual Intelligent Community Awards cycle. Based on Intelligent Community Index questionnaires submitted by communities large and small from around the world, ICF selects 21 semi-finalists with the potential to become one of the Forum's Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year, and then finally the Intelligent Community of the Year.

The Smart21 list is promoted to the world's media by ICF and the communities involved. Gaining a place among the year's Smart21 is considered a badge of honor as well as the first step toward greater recognition as an Intelligent Community positioned to prosper in the broadband economy.


More about the ICF Intelligent Community Awards Program
Candidates are evaluated based on six Factors that make up the ICF Method, which provides a framework for understanding how communities can build inclusive prosperity and grow social and cultural strength amid the disruptions of the digital age. This framework also guides ICF’s consulting and coaching practice for communities.

Nominations are being accepted now for 2023, and communities are invited to download the questionnaire from By submitting it, they will receive a free Snapshot Report comparing their readiness and performance on six critical Success factors to ICF’s global data set of communities. The deadline to submit a nomination for consideration in the 2023 Awards Program is January 23, 2023. There is no cost to submit a questionnaire and receive the Snapshot Report.

About Economic Development Winnipeg
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the city’s lead economic development agency and champion for local growth. It uses expert analysis to highlight the Winnipeg Advantage and prove why we are the best place to live, work and visit. EDW’s YES! Winnipeg business development team promotes the city as the ideal location for new business, expansion, investment and top talent. EDW’s Tourism Winnipeg team is the city’s official destination marketing organization leading efforts to attract visitors, special events, sports, meetings and conventions to Winnipeg.

About Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Winnipeg is the capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba, located in the center of the North American continent. Winnipeg’s economy is dominated by agriculture, energy, manufacturing and a growing tech scene. Over the past decade, the city has built a new economic foundation by connecting industry, education and a rising technology sector. Winnipeg’s digital transformation began when local business leaders, frustrated by poor broadband service, established the Manitoba Internet Exchange to attract internet service providers and reduce their operating costs. Today, it has seen major investments in greater connectivity by private sector companies including a $400 million investment by Bell MTS for all-fiber connections across Winnipeg. Strong collaborations with universities, community colleges and major employers have created everything from large fabrication labs to digital equipment upgrades and micro-credential workshops that generate new products, new companies, and new jobs. Innovation centres conduct joint research and development projects with global impact across major industries from agriculture and life sciences to transportation and distribution. Digital inclusion begins with the public library system and continues through valuable community programs that use digital technology to provide economic opportunities for Indigenous communities and foster greater understanding. Balancing tradition and ambition, Winnipeg keeps building a high-potential future for its people. Read more

About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum (, headquartered in New York, is a global network of 185 cities, metro regions and counties with a think tank at its heart and a mission to make everyone’s “hometown” at great place. ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize the opportunities presented by broadband and digital technology. To help cities and regions build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts events around the globe, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program. The Forum sponsors research Institutes in North America dedicated to the study of the movement, and national organizations in Canada and Taiwan, both home to many Intelligent Communities. In 2012 ICF was invited to participate at the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo and in 2014, its model and work was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which, according to the American government, was "aimed at creating a more flexible and responsive system of workforce development to meet the needs of employers looking to fill 21st century jobs.” For more information, go to For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum’s recent publications and programs,

Intelligent Community Forum Contacts
Matthew Owen, Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum
Phone: 001-646-291-6166 x105
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @Newcommunities

Victoria Krisman, Communications Manager, Intelligent Community Forum
Email: [email protected]

Matthew Owen
Director of Operations, Intelligent Community Forum
See other pages related to Smart21 Press Releases Winnipeg

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