How can public-private-partnerships accelerate smart city initiatives? On the morning of January 31 I joined Voice America radio for a talk with other smart city experts. Click here or on the coffee cup below to listen to the show: The American Society of Civil Engineers graded America’s infrastructure only a D+ and estimated that over 3 trillion US$ is needed to upgrade it to modern standards. However, traditional financing sources are often inadequate. How do City leaders find resources for municipal services? Are innovative public-private-partnerships such as City Innovate and Superpublic San Francisco one means to achieve this? The key points from the round of experts and radio host Bonnie D. Graham were: Smart Cities are not about gadgets, sensors or self-driving cars. They are about creating meaningful services for residents. Smart city administrators must become smart city technologists. Public-private-partnerships need to be mutually beneficial or they will not last. Public-private-partnerships combine skills and resources of both the public and private sectors. Social issues & resiliency are taking a front seat for cities.
Switzerland is a location to consider for startups! It offers so much more than only chocolate. Its main advantages are the central location in Europe, great talent, a vibrant & growing startup ecosystem and excellent quality of life and work! If you are a startup and are wondering where to open an office in Europe; you should consider Switzerland and the Zurich region. I recently did a live webinar to make the case for SAAS: Switzerland as a service for startups. See my presentation here. The recording of the webinar can be watched here. Welcome to Switzerland! Where chocolate is as good as the startups there.
Superpublic San Francisco is officially open! This morning the founding partners of Superpublic San Francisco officially opened the lab. We were honored by GSA General Services Administration Administrator Denise Roth, San Francisco San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, City Administrator Naomi Kelly, Supervisor Mark Farrell of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, City Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath, University of California Berkeley’s Prof. Susan Shaheen and City Innovate Foundation Co-Founder and Executive Director, Kamran Saddique. Superpublic brings together the innovation forces of the federal, state and city government with private industry, startups and university researchers to solve urban problems thru open innovation: We employ our own methodology using user-centered techniques, innovation sprints and consistent community outreach to accelerate the time it takes for public organizations to learn, to research about a problem, to prototype and to document the findings in white papers and policy recommendations. These are invaluable tools for cities to educate themselves on issues and possible paths to their solution and to build capacity within city governments to tackle urban problems. The findings …
BRIDGE SF brings public, private, non-profit, and academic institutions together to drive innovation for a better tomorrow in cities. Organized in conjunction with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office and the University of California, Berkeley, City Innovate invites policymakers and leading innovators for a four-day event focused on citizen-critical issues. Topics among others are: Mobility in Cities (City of San Francisco, City Innovate and MIT Media Lab) City Planning Best Practices (University of California Berkeley and UI Labs Chicago) City Infrastructure of the Future: (ID3 and CivicMakers) Urban Sensors (City of Los Angeles and Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University) Global City Knowledge Transfer (U.S. Department of Commerce and National Resource Defense Council) The Digital Age of Manufacturing (City Innovate) Clean Energy (City of San Francisco and Intelligent City Forum) The full program of the event can be found here. An event brochure can be downloaded. Registration for the Bridge SF Summit here. Looking forward to meeting you at the Bridge SF Summit 2016!
I had the chance to spend a few days in Hong Kong in the spring of 2015 at the invitation of the Hong Kong trade development agency Invest Hong Kong. My first visit after many years and naturally I was looking forward to understand what initiatives the Hong Kong government was undertaking and how high the entrepreneurial spirit was. The spirit is high! Driven by the realization that starting your own business may in fact be less risky than a corporate job: The banking crisis of 2008 and international headquarters moving to Shanghai and Beijing brought about a new generation of Hong Kong entrepreneurs – those who seize the day to build a new generation of businesses. The government is highly supportive (events several times a week, financial incentives for foreign startups to open offices in town, a once-a-year show for startups), first corporations created their own incubators (e.g. Swire Group’s Blueprint or Accenture’s FinTech lab), and a grass-roots entrepreneurship scene has emerged. I was impressed by the spirit and the very concerted effort “from Hong Kong …
WEF Study shows Swiss Startups to be among the most innovative in the world.
We brought 10 selected hi-potential startups to New York and they got to pitch before a full house. Really enjoyed that evening – great energy and a great impression made by Swiss startups in the “Big Apple”. Since then, one of the startups set up their New York office in the space where we held the event: Flatev. … running the show that night: David Weber, project manager for the event at the City of Zurich and myself, MC for the night.