BD COHNsulting works with i-Canada and municipalities throughout the country, as well as abroad, for assessing their “intelligence” status and helping them embark upon effective programs towards enhancing their attractiveness civic and business residents and achieving a strong competitive position in the national and global context.Throughout history, communities have been the locus of progress thanks to the enrollment of their citizens towards common goals and the economies of scale, the protection and the support provided by the communal ecosystems, with their business excellence, social cohesion and quality of learning, working, playing and living.Intelligent communities are those communities that are capable of ensuring high quality of learning, working and living thanks to strong digital workforce and entrepreneurial drives ensuring effective mass–usage of modern digital services for education, business support, civic activities, recreation and health. This can only be done on the basis of enlightened governance, wise utilization of the communal environment, and smart infrastructure in matters of financials, utilities, broadband fixed and mobile communications, plus a highly developed spirit of collaboration and continuous innovation.A community is not a “machinery” – it is a living social entity having functioning organs, a beating heart, a brain and, hopefully, intelligence and adaptive capabilities for ensuring a good life. Effective evolution in a dynamically competitive world requires strategic leadership based on proper knowledge of the state of the community, what it needs to improve and how well it progresses.
In many respects iCAT is also a “democracy tool” because it makes the community programs more visible and enables better accountability. Basically, it enables and empowers the community to active participation in its planned evolution.
Several rural and urban communities in Canada and abroad have been assessed using iCAT, leading to the development of strategies enabling communities to accelerate the pace of their evolution towards becoming world-recognized intelligent communities capable of providing outstanding social and economic benefits to its residential and business “citizens”.
The major benefits of iCAT assessments to municipalities stem from the fact that iCAT:
- Maps region/country and its municipalities’ positions on evolutionary journey towards being recognized as Smart Communities
- Engages and mobilizes community leaders and key players of all ages and from all parts of the community’s sectors
- Clarifies the vision for the communities
- Prioritizes the areas requiring action for better collaboration and further developments
- Enhances the communities’ strengths with a consensus on where to focus efforts
- Prepares for planning of community economic and social developments on the basis of a shared reality-anchored vision
- Measures progress and enables learning and adjustments for more effective and efficient results
Finally, smart competitiveness is a matter of will, attitude, planning & methodical execution.