Nominations for the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) 2016 Intelligent Community of the Year Awards Program are now open. The 2016 Awards Program run by the New York-based think tank will name the 18th Intelligent Community of the Year in June 2016. The Intelligent Community of the Year is a community that is a leader in creating inclusive economic prosperity, solving social problems and enriching quality of life using information and communications technology (ICT). The 2015 recipient was Columbus, OH.
Communities large and small, urban and rural, in developing and industrialized nations are invited to apply, and will be evaluated using a methodology that gives large and small communities equal weight. Nominations are accepted from local governments, institutions, companies, non-profit organizations, national government agencies and consular offices. There is no cost to submit a nomination. On average, the Intelligent Community Forum tracks the progress of 400 communities each year through its own research as well as nominations submitted by communities.
“Our honorees have included cities of 10 million people and rural communities of 17,000,” said ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla, who oversees the Awards Program. “We seek to measure not how big or rich they are, but how creatively and effectively they are turning the broadband economy to their advantage.”
The 2016 Awards Program marks the first time Sustainability will be one of the indicators upon which nominating communities are evaluated. Included last year in a pilot program, Sustainability has officially been added as the sixth Intelligent Community Indicator.
In 2015, the Intelligent Community Forum focused 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 with its theme, The Revolutionary Community. ICF has decided to continue with the theme for a second year, extending it based on the lessons learned from the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2015.
“How do city builders plan for a future of economic, technological and environmental disruption?” asked co-founder John Jung, an urban planner by training. “The Intelligent Communities in our network have remarkable lessons to share with cities and regions around the world, and our 2016 theme gives them a chance to do it.”
Communities that have applied for the ICF Awards Program in the past will note that ICF has introduced a new, streamlined nomination form for the 2016 Awards Program. The nomination form presents a set of multiple-choice and short-answer questions, plus a small number of narrative questions requiring a more detailed explanation. The multiple-choice and short-answer questions will let ICF evaluate the state of progress in Intelligent Community development. The narrative questions offer a chance to explain specific projects and initiatives, and to share a community’s aspirations for the future. ICF believes that these changes will reduce the workload for nominating communities, ease the task of reviewing the forms by ICF’s analysts, and remove the unintended advantage that a purely essay-based form provides for native English-speaking communities.
The nominations form is posted here. There is also a community self-test to determine if a community could be a contender for an award. Nominations for the first stage of the program will close on September 23, 2015.