Remember Susan Lucci?
Star of the long-running daytime drama All My Children, Lucci was nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series NINETEEN times before finally winning in 1999.
By that time the win hardly mattered. The fact that she’d received the nomination so many times marked her a consummate professional, and one of the best in her genre.
You know where we’re going with this, right?
So our hometown of Stratford didn’t win the Intelligent Community of the Year award.
But we finished in the Top 7 for three years in a row – a pretty spectacular feat for a town of 32,000, especially when you consider the competition from heavy-hitters like the actual winner Taichung City, Taiwan, that giant mega-city down the 401, and the home of Angry Birds, Oulu, Finland.
So what’s an “Intelligent Community”?
The Intelligent Community Forum is a New York-based think-tank that’s been promoting the benefits of broadband connectivity for economic and community growth since 1995.
Each year they invite applications from communities seeking recognition for their work in stimulating and promoting the broadband economy by being named “Intelligent.”
You can read all about the Intelligent Community Indicators on the ICF website, but here’s the topline:
- Broadband connectivity (the new essential utility – like clean water, roads, and, you know, air)
- Knowledge workforce (how are you attracting and/or building knowledge-based workers?)
- Innovation (how do you help local businesses innovate?)
- Digital Inclusion (how do you keep people from getting left behind?)
- Marketing and Advocacy (telling the world your story, and getting your community to believe in it from the inside)
The ICF begins by selecting 21 candidates (the “Smart21”) from hundreds of submissions received each year. Those 21 are then narrowed down to the “Top7,” from which the winner is ultimately chosen.
So, like Susan Lucci probably said, the real honour is in being nominated – and we’re proud as heck to be living and working in one of the world’s Top 7 Intelligent Communities. Go, Stratford!