To Relieve the Burdens of Living
On October 27, a delegation from New Taipei City, Taiwan (which for the uninitiated is NOT Taipei) literally and metaphorically crossed the Bridge.
That afternoon, New Taipei City, along with members of the Top7 communities of the Year, walked toward the Scioto River in Central Ohio, through the streets of Dublin. Dublin is a testament to the concept of “New Urbanism” and a case study in political will and vision. We slowly came to the foot of the US$23 million Dublink Bridge, the largest “S” shaped walking bridge in North America. It is breathtakingly beautiful and the only bridge in North America – or the world – named after a fiber optic telecommunications network! A municipally built one at that.Read more
“Never-Heard Of” Communities are Best Bets for Smart City/Intelligent Community Best Practices
Can global “No-Name” cities act as some of the world's best models as smart and Intelligent communities? You bet! Look at the current list of the SMART21 cities and the TOP7 Intelligent Communities this year to get a clue.
Among the world’s smartest examples include cities you may never have heard of before such as Whanganui, New Zealand; Townsville, Queensland, Australia; Elefsina, Attica, Greece; and Markham, Ontario, Canada. Each one of these cities offers initiatives, programs and governance examples that exhibit best practices that communities around the world can learn from or be inspired to emulate. From the 2022 ICF Smart21 list, you probably have only heard of four cities before: Adelaide, Belfast, Philadelphia, and Rochester. Some of you may have heard of two or three more on that list. But I bet most of you have never heard of the rest. But you should. They may have solutions, ideas and pathways leading to your next innovation staring you in the face.
The Great Return: After the Pandemic – will you work at home or back at the office – or both?
Recently, Elon Musk ordered his staff to return to a 40-hour work week or face termination. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citigroup and BNY Mellon, are just some of the financial institutions that have also declared their staff to return to work. Tim Smart, a reporter at the U.S. News wrote on March 22, 2022, “After grappling with the Great Resignation and the Great Retirement, the workplace is now facing the Great Return.” But what will it be like?Read more
How Does Innovation Drive Growth?
I’m excited and honored to be in Vietnam this week for the Top7 Conference - Post-Pandemic Recovery: How Digital Innovation Drives Growth in Our Community, an event that is helping to create a positive, peaceful future for our cities and our world. I would like to thank Binh Duong and Becamex for inviting us here to Vietnam’s first Intelligent Community for the conference. It has been a pleasure to watch Binh Duong continuously making progress and to be here to congratulate the city on its 25th anniversary. It will be good to see my colleagues from the Netherlands and Eindhoven, too. Eindhoven remains, 11 years after its achievement as Intelligent Community of the Year, one of the best examples of what can be done with innovation, cooperation and the power of the Trip Helix.
Our theme today is “How Digital Innovation Drives Growth.” We will ask our guests: what does that mean? And what kind of growth? Economic, social and cultural, political maturity and excellence? Yes, all of these! We should be proud that in Smart Cities and Intelligent Communities, governments also innovate and learn to provide better, timelier and more reliable services to their eager cities and towns.Read more
Leadership in Unconventional Times
Intelligent Communities focus their efforts on change for the better in an increasingly challenging, digital modern world. But what happens when times go from challenging to troubled or even outright catastrophic? What sort of leadership is required to guide and strengthen your community no matter what the times may bring?
How Do We Put Ourselves Back Together Again?
I wrote my last post, “Why Are We Falling Apart?” in response to a heartfelt editorial by David Brooks of The New York Times. Confronting today’s epidemic of inhumane behavior in America – reckless driving, unrest in schools, fights on airliners, hate crimes and murders – he asked, “What the hell is going on?” His plaintive and honest answer was “I don’t know.”
In my post, I explained why I thought we have been falling apart – not just recently but gradually for the past 40 years, and not just in the United States but in fellow industrialized nations around the world.
But understanding reasons is only gets us so far. What matters is what we can do about it.Read more
The Cities of Great Virtue - Part One
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – General Sun Tzu
Good Friday (April 15, 2022) – Sun Tzu is one general that Vladimir Putin evidently didn’t consult.
Luck has hit the Russians like a dry sponge the past six weeks. That is, they have been struck lightly by it and seem oblivious to the nails driven into the hands and feet of their soulmates across the border. But in the wake of this war on cities – this crucifixion of cities like Mariupol, Kharkiv and Volnovakha – those of us who smugly thought we knew anything about the dark side of human nature have also found ourselves on the wrong end of our intelligence. We need to now reconsider much about our own “security” and what it really means. “War will surprise you,” another general, Dwight Eisenhower, said. He was wise to note it with such Zen precision. Because it will try your soul if you even are watching it through social media combat.Read more
Why Are We Falling Apart?
When I first saw the Grand Canyon many years ago, I asked myself the question that every visitor asks. How did this great big, amazingly beautiful hole in the ground get here?
The answer is a story that defies intuition. The Colorado River snakes through the region and lies now at the bottom of the immense canyon. Like all rivers, it carries small bits of stone that chip away at the riversides and river bottom, one tiny spec at a time. Keep that up for a few centuries, and the river slowly deepens its channel.Read more
AI Versus Workers? It’s Up to Us.
The advancements in artificial intelligence of the past few years have been mind-blowing. They have given rise to much research and analysis about the future of work. They have also given rise to a lot of nonsense. The trick is to figure out which is which.
On one side of the argument are respected academics and global consulting organizations. In their tremendous book, Race Against the Machine, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson offered dire predictions of the increasing power of AI and the erosion of jobs it will bring. Their advice? Don’t fight it – instead, figure out how to work with technology change to get the greatest benefit as individuals and as a society. There have been dire predictions about how big job losses will be, but the best-informed numbers come from the McKinsey Global Institute. They predict that automation will eliminate only 5% of today’s jobs. But it will also have an impact on 60% of total jobs. On average, workers in those fields spend one-third of their time doing routine work, and routine labor is the easiest to automate. So, no matter what you do for a living, it would be wise to buckle your seat belt.Read more
Enlightened Tribalism – Part One: "We Come in a Good Way"
“Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” -Voltaire
The violence you saw on January 6 in the USA was not accidental. The violence was the point! Donald Trump used violence like a mobster to work over the American electorate and to let them know that next time it would be worse if they didn’t play along. Time will tell if the most robust of democratic nations and its oldest living republic will manage through the political plague. So far, the chisel to cut the stone for a new monument to civil unity seems dulled.
Political violence has been a tactic of every disgruntled, bullying ideologue or insurgency for as long as we have organized ourselves into communities. We saw it recently in Afghanistan. Despite the effort of people like ICF Visionary of the Year Amirzai Sangin to bring the nation into a new era through broadband communications, civil progress was thwarted.Read more