School News

The Intelligent Community Forum named the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2015 during the Third Annual Institute for the Study of Intelligent Community Global Symposium at Walsh University. This select group of communities will now be in contention for the prestigious designation of Intelligent Community of the Year in June 2015.

"We have started the search for Toronto’s successor.  More important, our analysts have selected 21 communities that have shown progress in their attempt to make the leap to Intelligent Community status.  The Revolutionary Community theme for 2015 is perfect for this group.  Not all of them are cities, towns or regions that people immediately think of as 'tech cities.’  Tech is not all there is to a great community.  Some are aspirational but all have launched programs that are innovative, and will do something that most cities, towns and regions have been attempting since the broadband economy emerged: launch a successful and full-scale full revolt against brain drain and the creation of industries that will produce jobs."

ICF noted that last month the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Labour Organization detailed a growing job crisis. A report to G20 Employment Ministers stated that there is a sizeable job gap coupled with deterioration in the quality of jobs. 600 million jobs will be required in the next 15 years just to cope with an expanding population.100 million people are already unemployed.

The Smart21 Communities of 2015 is comprised of five communities from the United States, four communities from Australia, four communities from Taiwan, three communities from Canada, and one community each from Brazil, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya and New Zealand.  Perhaps surprisingly, no European or Chinese community appears on this year’s list.  Thirteen communities reappeared on the list, with the ICF’s first Kazakhstani city making the Smart21.

 Intelligent Community Forum Smart21 Communities for 2015

The announcement of the Smart21 list was made at the kickoff dinner for the 3rd annual Intelligent Community Symposium at Walsh University Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community in North Canton, Ohio, USA. The Symposium attracts international experts in the fields of education, technology, and business to discuss successful strategies for building prosperous and sustainable communities.  The event featured Google’s Education Evangelist Jaimie Casap and Tim Jones, Toronto’s legendary social entrepreneur and CEO of Artscape.  Jones coined the phrase "placemaking" and helped foster a global practice in the field.

The Symposium also marked the launch of the Institute’s Leadership Academy, a course designed to educate students, community leaders and ICF movement "champions" on the Intelligent Community Indicators.

Evaluation of Intelligent Community Forum Awards Program nominations is based on the five Intelligent Community Indicators, which provide the conceptual framework for understanding all of the factors that determine a community's competitiveness and point to its success in the broadband economy. In addition, the Awards are guided by this year’s theme, The Revolutionary Community, which focuses on the study of urban and regional planning and how it is impacting the way people live, work and create in their cities and towns. 

The Smart21 Communities of 2015 will next provide more detailed data through an extensive questionnaire, which is evaluated by an independent research firm. The seven highest-scoring cities or regions will then be named the Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year, on January 22 in Taichung City, Taiwan, the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year. In June of 2015, at an event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year, one community will be chosen to succeed Toronto as the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year.