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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"Intelligent Community" NOT awarded to San Francisco

Brainy Title for the City is not the front-page headline in the San Francisco Chronicle. Instead, it is the headline in Glascow (Scotland not Montana for those of you wondering).

In these times of budget deficits, ICF chairman John Jung reminded BBC readers never to underestimate the impact of broadband on economic growth.

The Intelligent Community Forum ignored San Francisco this year as they have every year since the award was first issued. San Francisco may be the crown jewel of Silicon Valley and may have hosted the dotcom revolution, but the City of San Francisco apparently isn't doing enough for us to measure considering the, "factors that determine how competitive a community will be in the Digital Age":

Broadband Infrastructure
The term "broadband" identifies communications circuits that offer greater capacity than the conventional "narrowband" telephone circuit. As the Internet becomes the common platform for the internal and external operations of companies and institutions -- which are themselves increasingly communications-dependent and data-dependent -- broadband is fast becoming a determiner of competitiveness. An Intelligent Community is not content to leave its broadband destiny in the hands of the market. Instead, Intelligent Communities -

* Express a clear vision of their broadband future
* Craft public policies that encourage the development of broadband services
* Promote equitable access to them by organizations and individuals at all rungs of the economic ladder

Knowledge Workforce
Intelligent Communities exhibit the determination and demonstrated ability to develop a workforce qualified to perform knowledge work. This is not simply a matter of possessing universities able to crank out post-grads with science and engineering degrees. Effective development of knowledge workers extends from the factory floor to the research lab, and from the loading dock to the call center or Web design studio.

The creation of knowledge workers is one of the primary means by which Intelligent Communities ensure that the majority of citizens benefit from the Digital Age economy.

Intelligent Communities seek to foster or attract innovative businesses, because they are the ones that will grow in terms of employment and contribution to the tax base. These days, the word "innovation" tends to imply technology: the creation of tech clusters and the founding of the next Microsoft or Softbank. But innovation in other areas is just as powerful.

Innovation may mean finding a better way to serve customers, ship goods, make reservations, or deliver information. It is not the technology that matters -- it is the change it makes in people's lives. Intelligent Communities foster innovation with economic development programs, by creating an environment that attracts creative people, and by promoting the formation of, and access to, the risk capital that fuels new business growth.

Digital Democracy
Success in the Digital Age demands a social and political culture that welcomes change. The challenge facing communities is to convert change-resistant cultures into ones that welcome innovation, without losing the values and sense of identity that make them communities in the first place.

Intelligent Communities confront this challenge by creating a compelling vision of the benefits that innovation can bring, managing the negative consequences of change for segments of their population, and striving to bring the benefits of innovation to citizens who might otherwise be left behind.

Globalization of markets, capital flows and business operations puts a premium on the ability of communities to market their "intelligence." Intelligent Communities market themselves effectively, based on a knowledge of the competitive offerings of other cities and regions, clear understanding of what leading-edge businesses require, and a determination to deliver it.

- Bob Brigham
Online + Campaigns + Politics + Elections + San Francisco + News + Blogs + Presidential + Battleground + Senate + Congress

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