By Anita Gaffney, Administrative Director, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
I’ve often puzzled over the meaning of the word “smart.” When someone observes, “He is smart,” my mind instantly races for a definition of the word “smart.” Does it mean they’ve read a lot? Surfed a lot? Were they born with an innate encyclopedic knowledge about a wide variety of topics? Maybe they just have the confidence to speak up and share their knowledge no matter how vast or limited.
After considering this word for some time, I think being “smart” means that you have some measure of experience and that you draw on that experience as you move through your daily life. Maybe the combination of experience and knowledge enables one to be able to make the intelligent connections. A smart person can extrapolate the outcomes and implications of a situation based on their experience of a previous situation.
Experience + knowledge + critical thinking = smart.
It’s something to ponder.
I’m very proud of the fact that Stratford has been named among the top seven intelligent communities in the world. What a coup! I’m often asked what it means to be named among the top seven intelligent communities. To extrapolate from the individual to the community, I suppose that a smart community is one that uses its collective experience to inform how it operates today and how it will develop in the future. An intelligent community benefits from the great diversity of voices and backgrounds that contribute to its collective knowledge. It benefits from debate and discussions over the future of the community and it benefits from the leadership that has the confidence to articulate that future.
How do you define a smart community?