We <3 NY
This Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are the culmination of ICF’s annual awards cycle. Representatives from all seven of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities for 2012, academics, consultants, techies and policymakers will attend the annual Building the Broadband Economy summit. ICF’s website describes the confab like this:
The ICF Summit is an international gathering of mayors, chief administrative officers, chief information officers and economic development officers from cities, states and regions around the world. Produced in partnership with the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, it is a unique opportunity to learn from the world’s most dynamic communities how to use information and communications technology to build prosperous, inclusive and sustainable communities.
It’s a packed itinerary of seminar sessions, networking events, onstage Q&As with community representatives, presentations for the “Coolest App” contest, working meals, keynote addresses (including this year’s ICF Visionary of the Year, Senator Stephen Conroy, Australia’s Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy).
Oh, and a little thing they call Intelligent Community of the Year.
It’s a no-lose situation
As one of this year’s Top Seven communities, Stratford will have a dozen representatives on hand (three of them officially with the City, the rest coming down on their own time as a show of support for Stratford’s IC objectives) plus another six civic representatives from other communities in southwestern Ontario.
Not that it’s all about that top spot. We’re actually already there – as one of the world’s Top Seven communities, we’ve really already ‘won’. It’s just that each year one town, city or region stands out as the exception. Sort of like winning the championship, but one player is named Most Valuable Player.
So really, it’s a week of celebration of the Top Seven, lots of mingling and sharing stories and ideas, and coming away with renewed vision and refined strategies for how communities can prosper in the digital economy.
In fact, the Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA) is forming a plan to submit nominations for ICF designation as an Intelligent Region representing 2.7 million people in 22 communities. With three ICF veterans in the mix (Waterloo, Windsor-Essex and Stratford) there’s certainly momentum out there to make a show of force in the near future.
In the meantime, make sure you have Twitter fired up and poised for some great news coming out of New York this week.