|Flickr Creative Commons, Jere Keyes|
How do you prepare your community for the future? That is ICF’s mission: to offer insights, based on the experience of other places, that help you position your city, metro region or county to be one of the winners – economically, socially and culturally – in a century of enormous change.
But what kind of future, exactly, are we talking about?
It’s a good question. Whatever the future holds, you can feel it coming at you. You can reach into your pocket or handbag, where you keep your phone, and touch it. Twenty years ago, digital technologies were an entertaining diversion from the business of life. Today, they run the economy. They shape politics and public discourse. They determine who wins and who loses in the job market. They turn unknowns into stars and, as evidenced by the #MeToo campaign, can topple giants.
But what does the digital future look like? I am indebted to W. Brian Arthur of the Sante Fe Institute for an article in the McKinsey & Company quarterly newsletter, which does a wonderful job of painting a picture. He wrote for a business audience, and I take the liberty here of translating it into community terms.Read more
First the ICF London Summit News: our program is online. Remember that until you finish reading.
Depending on how you look at today (4 January 2018) there is good news, disturbing news or information that you can use to make up your mind what kind of news it is.
It is certainly good news if you are a CEO of a FTSE 100 company. Today is being called “Fat Cat Thursday” in and around London. According to the High Pay Centre, a British think tank, while pay for CEOs in Britain actually fell in 2017, each has already earned the gross annual salary of the average full-time employee in Britain. They will have earned £28,758 by late afternoon today. https://tinyurl.com/yc76wds5Read more
A Weekly Update on ICF’s 2018 Summit & Intelligent Community of the Year Awards
Last week I returned home from Vietnam & from London, where I met with one of our hosts, David Brunnen of Groupe Intellex, to review our pending 2018 Summit. David has been writing extensively about broadband issues and the “smart to Intelligent” concept as it applies to England for several years. As you will recall, he and his colleagues attended the last few ICF Summits and, after deliberation, the group decided to bring the ICF event to London in a time when the nation heads into uncharted waters and the future of its cities will be very different – in perhaps the best possible way.Read more
|Bui Cong Duy|
I am on my way back to Vietnam, where the new city of Binh Duong is proudly hosting its second Smart City conference, a Hackathon and performing a multi-committee review of their submission – and the results – from the nation’s first nomination for a city to become one of ICF’s Smart21.
While they did not reach the Smart21 for 2018, they are celebrating the fact that they mobilized to begin the climb up that hill in an attempt to become Vietnam’s first Intelligent Community. And their submission was quite impressive, according to our Analysts.
Can they do it? Can they get all the way up the hill?
They certainly can. The will is there, the support is there at all levels and they understand something that their great violinist, Bui Cong Duy could share with them.Read more
I should have seen it coming when "friend" became a verb.
I refer, of course, to the ability to friend someone on Facebook. But while Facebook may be in the hot seat right now in the US and Europe, I am not interested in turning up the temperature. Rather, I am interested in what "friending" says about us and this thing called the internet.
Would you go into the town square and start sharing your most intimate secrets with total strangers? Then why do you do it on the internet?Read more
Victor Frankenstein is a fictional character who created life from a collection of spare parts in an 1818 novel by Mary Shelley.
Mark Zuckerberg is a Harvard dropout who founded a company that went from zero users and zero revenue in 2004 to more than 2 billion monthly users and nearly $28 billion in revenue today. That makes him a living (if alarmingly young) legend.
Kevin Roose tied the two neatly together in a New York Times editorial, "Facebook's Frankenstein Moment." It's well worth reading, because it presents the best imaginable example of a challenge that will face the place you live in the next 20 years.Read more
You probably don’t read the same nerdy stuff I do – but have you noticed the number of news stories about “wage stagnation” lately? The term means that the economy may be growing again, but average wages are not. The headline statistic in the US is that the average wage today has the same purchasing power as the average wage in 1979. In other words, the average worker has been standing still, economically, for nearly 40 years. In the UK, the bottom 90% of earners (which is most of us) had more or less the same income in 2012 as in 2000. In Germany, the bottom 90% earned less in 2008 than they had in 1992. In seven European nations, the average worker has seen wages fall every year since 2009.
And you’ve been wondering where all this populist anger is coming from?
Cities are not static geographic entities. They are constantly changing environments where people live, work, explore and raise their families. They also have constantly changing requirements and must be resilient to challenges, sometimes threatening and others slowly transforming them. Communities of all shapes, sizes and locations share some common challenges that make them similar.Read more
In Melbourne, an application called “Ask Izzy” provides the homeless with daily, on-demand updates on the locations where food, accommodations and social services may be accessed for free or at huge discounts. The application is well received because it keeps the information it receives from the homeless population strictly personal and confidential through use of smartphones, which over 75% of Melbourne’s homeless population have access to. Access to the Internet is highly affordable since they use the free Wi-Fi available in the central area and access free commercially promoted chargers. Many of their smartphones come through donations and as recycled models that can access the Ask Izzy site. Coupled with this site is another online application called “Go Digi” that helps homeless and unemployed Australians to learn how to use the Internet and develop digital skills, access information, mentors and other resources. In order to rise out of perpetual homelessness and poverty, Go Digi attempts to support the urban poor with options for self-improvement, especially to bridge the digital divide. Through mentorship and encouragement, people can seek opportunities to develop digital skills and identify opportunities for employment and housing, all the while creating a sense of self-worth.Read more
In 2010 I was invited to visit Eindhoven in The Netherlands. My accommodations for the visit was to stay in their new Smart Home developed with Phillips and other Dutch technologies. It was explained to me that I was the first tenant of this new, unique smart house and the data generated from my visit would help researchers in exploring the convergence of computing, communications and their new products in a unique residential environment. I would be a test case experiencing all levels of the new ubiquitous technologies in terms of tele-working, distance healthcare, tele-communicating, distance education, tele-shopping and entertaining in this unique residential ecosystem. The demonstration site would also generate data and reports during my visit, especially from an independent living perspective, with distance care-givers monitoring my health and activities while in the smart home. I would be monitored on how I coped with the smart home’s automation, communications, entertainment, education, health and security systems. Despite the many changes in technology since then, these are still the same key areas that smart houses would likely offer its tenants, today and into the future.Read more