Touting Our Top 7 Intelligent Community Contenders – Windsor and Stratford

Canada and Ontario are fortunate to have two communities named as the TOP 7 in the New York based Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) annual search for the Intelligent Community of the Year. Stratford and Windsor are both doing a fabulous job vying for the international award this year. For the past two years, Moncton and Fredericton, New Brunswick were Top 7 communities so some regions of Canada are receiving important international publicity around the ICF Awards as well as the local economic and social benefits that result from creating the world’s leading Intelligent Communities.

The three co-founders of the ICF are Robert Bell, John Jung and Lou Zacharillo, and a two-day assessment visit by one of them is part of the evaluation process leading up to the final award. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Robert Bell visited Windsor and I was invited to the Windsor event in my capacity as Chair of i-CANADA, along with our Vice Chair Barry Gander, to demonstrate i-CANADA’s support for Windsor. We were blown away by Windsor’s initiatives over the past four years, to recover from the collapse of the automotive industry by transforming themselves and creating a wide range of new economic and social initiatives. I took the following photo at the final dinner in Windsor showing Mayor Eddie Francis, Robert Bell in the centre and the Honourable Sandra Pupatello, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade. Leaders from across all sectors of Windsor attended the events and very effectively demonstrated the “Collaboration Ecosystem” that is fundamental to creating a Top 7 Intelligent Community.

Eddie Francis, Mayor of Windsor, Robert Bell, Co-Founder of the Intelligent community Forum and Sandra Pupatello, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade

Left to right: Eddie Francis, Mayor of Windsor, Robert Bell, Co-Founder of the Intelligent community Forum and Sandra Pupatello, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade

Lou Zacharillo visited Stratford two weeks ago for his assessment, and Stratford too put on an impressive show to demonstrate their community’s evolution by building on the human skills and assets around the Stratford Festival to create new digital media initiatives and also extending their economic base and social initiatives in to other sectors.

i-CANADA has signed letters of support for Stratford and Windsor as very important Canadian entries in this international competition because the goal of i-CANADA is to raise Canada to Intelligent Nation status through the initial creation of at least thirty communities, large and small, all competing effectively to be Global Intelligent Community of the Year. Achieving that goal will reverse the downward trend in Canada’s international standings in broadband, innovation and productivity. It will also create new prosperity for all Canadian citizens.

The Intelligent Community of the Year will be announced on June 3rd at the wrap up luncheon of the ICF’s annual conference in New York. For more details, to go I will be there … haven’t missed one since 2004 … and anyone else interested in creating intelligent or smart communities should also attend, particularly if you wish to achieve community and citizen benefits by leveraging today’s ICT revolution. See you there!

By the way, don’t forget to follow the amazing growth of i-CANADA through our LinkedIn discussions, starting with my article on What Does Intelligent Canada Look Like?

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