Winnipeg named a Top 7 Intelligent Community for 2021
Winnipeg, MB – For the fourth time in 10 years, Winnipeg has been recognized as one of the most intelligent communities in the world. The Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) list of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities includes cities from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Vietnam. This honour follows Winnipeg’s selection in February 2021 as a Smart21 Community of Year, which narrowed a competitive field of submissions down to the 21 most compelling cities.
This is Winnipeg’s ninth commendation from the ICF as a Smart21 Community since 2011. In 2018, 2016 and 2014, ICF selected Winnipeg as a Top 7 Intelligent Community, recognizing the city’s global leadership in technology deployment and effective data usage, digital innovation and advocacy, while demonstrating a commitment to using data to improve the quality of life of all its citizens.
The Smart21 are selected by ICF based on quantitative and qualitative data related to the six factors of the ICF Method. The ICF Method provides the conceptual framework for understanding the factors that determine a community’s competitiveness in economic, social and cultural terms.
“We are pleased to see the ICF recognize Winnipeg with this designation for the fourth time. It confirms Winnipeg is a collaborative, tech-savvy city and shows the world is taking notice of the fact that Winnipeg is one of the most forward-thinking places to live, work and invest,” said Dayna Spiring, President & CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg. “We know the global landscape is increasingly competitive when it comes to attracting new companies and a skilled workforce to any city. Winnipeg’s Top 7 finish shines a spotlight on the key advantages that set us apart. Our ability to innovate quickly to address today’s technology challenges means better solutions for tomorrow.”
Some of the differentiators that helped Winnipeg make the top 7 include:
- The city built a new economic foundation over the last decade by connecting industry, education and a rising technology sector after local business leaders, frustrated by poor broadband service, established the Manitoba Internet Exchange to attract internet service providers and reduce their operating costs.
- Partnerships with universities and community colleges and major employers created fabrication and digital equipment workshops to generate new products, new companies and new jobs.
- Innovation centers conducting joint research and development projects for employers from local farms to Boeing help reduce costs and pioneer new applications.
- Digital inclusion ranging from the public library system to programs for Indigenous communities that use digital technology to preserve culture and foster employment.
“Winnipeg’s continued recognition in the Intelligent Community Forum’s Top 7 is a great affirmation of the transformational work being done across many sectors of our city,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Being named to the international Top 7 list for the fourth time in 10 years and the ninth time for the Smart 21 list over the same period, is strong validation that Winnipeg is a consistent competitor with cities from around the world. With a population that is expected to continue growing to a million people, Winnipeg is truly a world-class place to call home.”
A large part of the growth, success and innovation Winnipeg has experienced over the last several years is due to the strong collaboration between the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, economic development agencies, grassroots organizations, industry and educations institutions. Our ability to get the right people around a table quickly has allowed us to make great strides in creating a better community for everyone.
ICF will announce the 2021 Intelligent Community of the Year from its cohort of 2021 Smart21 Communities at the ICF Summit in October 2021.
About Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the city’s lead economic development agency and champion for local growth. We use expert analysis to highlight the Winnipeg Advantage and prove why we are the best place to live, work and visit. Through the Tourism Winnipeg and YES! Winnipeg business development teams, EDW grows the local economy by attracting business, investment, events, meetings and people to our city. EDW is governed by a private-sector board and driven by the needs of the business community.
About the Intelligent Community Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum www.intelligentcommunity.org, headquartered in New York, is a global movement of 180 cities, metro regions and counties with a think tank at its heart and a mission to make everyone’s “hometown” a great place. Based on 20 years of research, ICF has developed a unique Method that communities large and small have used to develop prosperous and inclusive economies, strong societies and rich cultures amid the massive disruptions of the digital age. ICF conducts research, hosts events around the globe, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program. The Forum sponsors research Institutes in North America dedicated to the study of the movement, and national organizations in Canada and Taiwan, both home to many Intelligent Communities. In 2012 ICF was invited to participate at the Nobel Peace Prize conference in Oslo and in 2014, its model and work were recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which, according to the American government, was "aimed at creating a more flexible and responsive system of workforce development to meet the needs of employers looking to fill 21st-century jobs.” The Forum’s membership is made up of 180 designated Intelligent Communities worldwide. For more information, go to www.intelligentcommunity.org/icf_membership.
For more details on the Intelligent Community Forum’s recent publications and programs, www.intelligentcommunity.org.
For more information, please contact:
Corporate Creative Communications Manager
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Director of Communications
Office of the Mayor
City of Winnipeg