Winnipeg beat out six other communities around the world including two Canadian cities to win the top honour as the Most Intelligent Community of 2021. The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) is a think tank with a global network of cities and regions. Its mission is to help communities in the digital age find a new path to economic development and community growth—one that creates inclusive prosperity, tackles social challenges and enriches the quality of life for everyone in a community. Every year it initially chooses 21 communities across the globe striving to embrace these ideals, then narrows it down to the Top7 communities.
Virtual site visits were conducted with communities, where ICF adjudicators met with business and community leaders, government officials and educators who are creating change through programs or projects that drive greater connectivity, engagement, innovation and sustainability in Winnipeg.
The submission and a virtual site visit was led by Economic Development Winnipeg and the City of Winnipeg in collaboration with several partners across business, industry, educational institutions and the Province of Manitoba.
“We’re proud that ICF recognized our city for the strides it has made and continues to make. It speaks volumes about what can be achieved in Winnipeg and reinforces this a great place to live, work and build a company,” says Economic Development Winnipeg President & CEO, Dayna Spiring. “We know our strong collaborations across businesses, industry, education and government means positive change can happen quickly. We can credit that to our tight-knit community that repeatedly comes up with innovative ways to solve problems.”
This is another accolade for Winnipeg in 2021, which recently grabbed international and national attention for being named one of The World’s Greatest Places of 2021 by TIME and one of the Top 20 Best Locations to Invest by Site Selection magazine.
“This win has been in the making since 2014. Our city has done a lot of work in that time to make sure we are a more connected, inclusive, engaging, innovative and sustainable city—one that is making every effort to ensure there are plenty of opportunities for success for anyone who chooses to live and build a life here. We are ecstatic that ICF has recognized all the hard work we have done, and we’re thrilled with this honour,” says City of Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman.
A special thanks to our government, industry, business and education partners who provided success stories for our submission and virtual site visit including, the Province of Manitoba, Sisler High School, RRC Polytechnic, RBC, GoodLocal.ca, North Forge Technology Exchange, Tech Manitoba, Cypher Environmental, The University of Winnipeg (Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre), University of Manitoba (Smart Park) Ubisoft Winnipeg, SkipTheDishes, Farmers Edge, PayWorks and Bold Commerce.
This is the first time Winnipeg has been selected as the Most Intelligent Community by ICF, but it has made the Top7 list three times (2014, 2016, and 2018) and was chosen as a Smart21 Community nine times since 2011, when Winnipeg started developing submissions for the award.