Chairman & Co-Founder
Intelligent Community Forum
Chairman and Co-Founder of the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), John is a professional, award-winning urban planner, urban designer, economic developer, author, visiting professor and global speaker on planning, development, urban design and economic development related issues, especially related to Smart Cities and Intelligent Communities.
He is the former President and CEO of several of Canada’s largest economic development organizations, including Calgary Economic Development Authority, Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance and Canada’s Technology Triangle in Waterloo. John is also a former urban planner, urban designer and developer in many cities, including Toronto, and advisor on urban development and economic development to global leaders around the world for over the past three decades.
In addition to chairing the global non-profit think tank, the Intelligent Community Forum in NYC, which he Co-founded with two US-based partners, John also founded the Canadian national non-profit, ICF Canada and acts as its inaugural Executive Director. John also speaks globally at conferences, Ted Talks, corporate gatherings as well as to city councils and university classes in Canada and around the world.
He has created several collaborative networks, nationally and internationally, including the Ontario Tech Corridor, as well as contributed to collaborative innovation ecosystems in several cities through his work with ICF and ICF Canada. He has been involved with other global boards, such as the World Teleport Board, World Trade Center Association as well acts as an advisor of several city-building related organizations, innovation startups and incubators and columnist for their publications. Recently he helped to form ICF Taiwan and the ICF Institute in Taiwan. John is also a former Board member of the University of Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre and the Canadian Urban Institute. He remains active at the local level as an advisor to CUI’s LS Networks and local associations, chambers and boards.
John has extensively written on topics related to planning, economic development and international smart cities for Canadian and global publications, and is an author and co-author of reports, books and articles widely read on these topics.
John’s extensive global exposure leading hundreds of international delegations, writing and delivering keynote addresses, and evaluating cities globally on behalf of ICF have helped to raise awareness of the Smart City and Intelligent Community movement and helped communities around the world to become better, more livable cities for their citizens.