Crowdfunding and other new investment models, the creation of a ‘millionaire ecosystem’, natural-language software that organizes a community’s information, and using a sector as a growth launch-pad were among the highlight topics at the most recent i-CANADA “Business and Bandwidth” conference in York Region. Karen Dubeau, Newmarket Chamber of Commerce vice-president and Director, i-CANADA, was part of a dynamic partnership in organizing the event, involving the Region, municipalities , Chambers of Commerce and small business enterprise centres..
The partners are now planning a ‘next step’ program to bring the municipal leaders together in an i-CANADA “Springboard” campaign, to accelerate the adoption of an appropriate regional ultra-high-speed network, suited to the region’s needs.
Speakers with nationally-relevant messages for other regions included:
Mark Romoff, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnership, who has a guide of municipal use of PPPs;
David Fell, Executive Director, Eastern Ontario Regional Network, who has successfully established a rural high-speed network;
John Longbottom, Country Executive, Smarter Cities Leader, IBM, who focused on the management of information;
Dave Williams, CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre, who described ‘hospitals without walls’ as a seed for expansion;
Pat Horgan, V.P. Manufacturing and Operations at IBM, who spoke about Watson-style analytics (referring to IBM’s Watson computer) for healthcare and other fields;
Sherwood Neiss, Co-Founder, The StartUp Exemption, and President Obama’s guide to Crowdfunding, who described the job-creating benefits of this new form of capital formation; Sherwood was introduced by Cindy Gordon, CEO of Helix Commerce International, who is Chair of the CATA/i-CANADA Crowdfunding initiative;
Rick Huijbregts, Vice President, Connected Communities, Cisco, who described ‘virtual centres of excellence’ and how any community can be a knowledge capital;
Chris Miller, CEO, Illuminomics, who showed in detail how communities benefit financially from investment in knowledge work and broadband;
David Jonah, CIO, ITWorld Canada and Cirilab, who demonstrated a model of how community sectors interact using an analysis based on automated searches of real-world sources;
Howard Solomon, Assistant Editor at ITWorld Canada, who described federal and provincial broadband initiatives;
John Campbell, CEO of Waterfront Toronto, who described the super-broadband system being constructed by i-Waterfront, and the “software glue” that is holds communities of the future together;
Darin Graham, CEO, ORION, who had a powerful message about the ROI from high-speed communications;
Jim Gragtmans, Principal, ET Group, who spoke about collaborative environments; it was Jim who provided the connection used by the speaker who opened the conference, Bill Hutchison…
Bill Hutchison, CEO of Hutchison Management International and Chair of i-CANADA, who joined with a live video greeting from Moscow, is applying i-CANADA methodology to help the Russians create a new Intelligent City. The project, south of Moscow, is a showcase of best practices in the effective use of broadband. Bill was thanked by Barry Gander, Co-founder of i-CANADA, who described our partnership opportunities around the world, where an amount equal to the entire Canadian economy is being spent every year on the creation of Intelligent Communities.
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The next conference involving i-CANADA is the Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA) event in Stratford Ontario on June 14th: