Making Estevan an Intelligent Community

Making Estevan an Intelligent Community

In the age of technology that we are living in, there is a desire for cities like Estevan to adapt and become smart cities. With the help of Sask I.N.C., a non-profit start-up that helps Saskatchewan entities with innovation, knowledge and resources, the City of Estevan is going a step further to become a recognized Intelligent Community, through the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) 

Now you may be asking yourself: what is an Intelligent Community and how is it different from a smart city? To start, a smart city is a city that simply uses technology to provide services and solve city problems. An Intelligent Community however goes beyond that and cultivates a culture that uses smart technologies in creative and innovative ways for problem solving and future planning. The result is a competitive advantage over other communities, that will attract investment and help promote economic growth.

“Moving from a smart community to an intelligent one, is about engaging local people, entrepreneurs and established businesses as partners in planning and carrying out innovation projects.” Explained Susan Letsche, CEO and Founder of Sask I.N.C., who has helped Estevan become recognized with ICF. “The method ICF uses is centered around social & cultural growth and economic growth. The social and cultural growth is around sustaining, including and engaging the public and the economic growth is about innovating, working, and connecting.”

The Intelligent Community Forum is a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its center.  Its mission is to help communities in the digital age find a new path to economic development and community growth. The ICF Method was developed based on studies of how communities respond to the disruptions of digital technology and use it to grow their economies, societies and cultures.  

With the announcement of Estevan as an Intelligent Community, Estevan will become the first community in Saskatchewan to be recognized by ICF. As a member of ICF, Estevan will also be eligible to submit an application to be considered as the Intelligent Community of the year. The Awards Program, which is run by the New York-based think-tank, will name its 22nd Intelligent Community of the Year at the 2021 ICF Global Summit in October 2021. Prior to the summit, ICF will be announcing the Smart21 Communities of 2021, which will become part of ICF’s network of over 180 Intelligent Communities around the world, and will receive media coverage, investment inquiries and independent validation of their community’s progress.