To have Canada acknowledged as the world’s leading Intelligent Nation or “i-Nation” because a sufficiently broad base of Canadian communities, large and small, have all won international awards as the world’s leading Intelligent Communities.
The global Intelligent Community Forum defines the principal characteristics of an Intelligent Community as: Broadband Connectivity, Innovation, Knowledge Workforce, Digital Inclusion, and Marketing and Advocacy. Intelligent Communities of the Year inevitably achieve above average rates of economic growth, job creation, social diversification and environmental innovation, an attractive result that is encouraging an increasing number of civic leaders to adopt i-Community strategies.
Transforming Canada through a world class national framework and infrastructure to achieve i-Nation status will reverse our comparative global decline in innovation, productivity and broadband communications. It will enhance our leadership in delivering a strong and sustainable “triple bottom line” of economic, social and environmental performance throughout the evolution of the Knowledge Age and we will create new hope and economic opportunities for all Canadians.
What does an Intelligent Canada look like?
- Canadians living in the north, or in aboriginal communities, and throughout Canada have access to our best interactive and diagnostic health, learning and training, and business development services …….. all available without leaving home.
- Global companies invest in Canada thanks to the unparalleled quality of place and advanced low cost open access ultra broadband communications that supports an array of talent working in an environment conducive to collaboration and innovation.
- Open access ultra broadband infrastructures facilitate new health caregiver support systems that will dramatically expand support for patients with cancer, diabetes and other debilitating ailments. Ageing with dignity in the home through enhanced caregiver support becomes a reality and healthcare costs per capita decline significantly.
- Intelligent buildings, smart grid and other environmental initiatives reduce the carbon footprint of our communities, contributing significantly to Canada’s environmental goals.
- New forms of telepresence collaboration stimulate collaborative research, innovation, the creation of new young companies and improved competitiveness of others.
- Intelligent transportation is a reality with reduced environmental impacts, improved service, shorter travel times and fewer accidents.
- Educators provide a more engaging and interactive learning experience to meet the diverse needs of learners making the dream of “classrooms without walls” a reality. Learning truly takes place beyond the classroom, tailored to each individual’s own unique style, pace, place and time. Virtual collaboration between parents and teachers really works.
- Advanced forms of entertainment and information services are connected to community home entertainment centres presenting new ways to watch hundreds of cultural, sporting, news and other events.
- Business collaborates with the arts and cultural communities to define new frontiers in digital media thanks to a competitive blend of creativity and technology that produces new products, services, investments, international trade and employment opportunities for all Canadians.
Progress – the i-CANADA Vision Today
Excitement and interest in i-CANADA has continued to grow since the launch of the i-CANADA Vision eighteen months ago.
The Honourable David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick, is the Chair of i-CANADA’s Governors Council, a select executive direction-setting organization comprising Premiers, Mayors and CEOs. More than 60 opinion-leaders sit on i-CANADA’s Advisory Board, coordinating national best practices. Communities and their elected leaders and other officials from coast to coast are now participating and striving for Intelligent Community status. Other supporters are debating issues on the i-CANADA social network and in the media.
During the past year, i-CANADA has assembled a system of proven models, frameworks and processes to assist communities at all stages of becoming an Intelligent Community. A committee of experts from the public and private sectors has created what may be the world’s most detailed community measurement and assessment system. It is now being used across Canada to allow communities to determine where they are on the scale of Intelligent Community development, benchmark themselves against others and establish milestones for their future progress. Further tools bring communities into alignment so that social and business groups, united in a Vision and with a unified action plan, can drive forward.
As these communities accelerate, they acquire the sustaining strength to support social progress and create the World’s Leading Intelligent Nation.
Bill Hutchison – Chair, i-CANADA
Barry Gander – Co-Founder, i-CANADA
Cindy Gordon – Vice-Chair, i-CANADA