Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (8)–“Panel: Cities of the Future–smart, livable, both or neither?””

Pamela Tiller, Moderator, Nordic City Solutions, Hilde Tonne, Ramboll Group; Inger Gustafsson, Head of Silicon Valley office (at Nordic Innovation House), Vinnova (swedish government agency for innovation); Kristoffer Vik Hansen CEO Spare; Shcristian J. Kofod, Sustainability Manager, ROCKWOOL, Oyvind Birkenes, CEO Airthings

  1. Kofod: cities, 90% time spent indoors; 70% cities dealing with climate change; 15% of people live in energy poverty, including 40 million Americans; 82% Americans live in cities
  2. Birkenes: people spend more time indoors, so indoor air quality important to people; indoor air quality typically worse than outdoor
  3. Comment: much space in cities today is dedicated to transport–roads, parking lots; with better, efficient transport, more space is opened for people
  4. Tonne: for cities, need holistic planning, not just one sector (transport, health, for example); must ask people what they need. People want livable cities for themselves and their families. Competition between cities will be based on attractiveness of livability
  5. Privacy, Christian J. Kofod, moving from Nordic to USA regions, amount of noise, especially in hotels; need to develop privacy when we are in public areas
  6. Comment from Airthings panelist, some cities afraid to monitor school air quality, because they know it’s bad.
  7. Inger Gustafsson, Difference between Nordics and American approaches; in Nordics, role of government is for the citizens, not to cover something that private sector can’t or won’t. Also, Nordic public sector has money, from taxation; have money to fund projects, provide incentives for sectors to come together; business case is for cooperation, for opportunities, and for knowledge, to cooperate and bring sectors together. Can bring cities closer together.
  8. Kofod: outsiders need to see USA not just as one market, but many differences
  9. Hansen, business case for livable cities desire by people will come; example Arpanet designers didn’t think of Snapchat application, in the same way, these smart platforms may provide opportunities we don’t even conceive of yet
  10. USA contribution to Nordic culture? Birkenes, need USA innovativeness, “craziness,” willingness to take risks
  11. Tonne: value USA communities’ “community spirit” that can do things in new ways, like crowd-funding, crowd-sourcing

Liveblogging the 2019 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (7)–“Keynote: “Livable Cities–the key to world leadership in human happiness””

Hilde Tonne, Chief Innovation Officer, Ramboll Group, Keynote: “Livable Cities–the key to world leadership in human happiness”

  1. “Human Needs Meeting Technologies = Happiness”
  2. in 2050, 6 billion people will live in cities, two-thirds of world’s population; movement of people into middle classes, especially in Asia and Indian; 60% of land for new urban areas, not yet planned (thus a chance to make people happy, in livable cities, worldwide)
  3. Ramboll Group has Innovation Accelerator unit; example work, “hyperlocal scale, air quality”–“where I live” (representative Julia); example, Singapore high rise building; example, Copenhagen partnering with Movia, “transportation as a service”; example, healthcare in Hamburg, robotic logistics, takes 10-20% of workload from healthcare professionals; example Tampere Finland, autonomous transport; example Copenhagen waste-to-energy plant, built with ski slope on roof (combining happiness with energy efficiency).
  4. “Livability is enabled by technology,” not the main goal technology itself

Liveblogging the 2018 Nordic Innovation Conference, Seattle (6)–Nordic Smart Cities Movement

AFTERNOON FIRST PANEL: “Changing the World from its Northeast Corner I–The Nordic Smart Cities Movement”


Six panelists: Bernt Reitan Jenssen, (CEO, Ruter AS Oslo); Johan Bjorklund, (Ericsson, VP GM Smart City and Market Development); Knut Eirik Gustavsen, eSmart Systems; Teemu Lehtinen (Chief Digital Officer, KIRA-digi project); Goran Sparrman (Seattle Department of Transport)

  1. Jenssen: Oslo Ruter video on public transit, real problem: we pick up people from where they don’t want to be and take them where they don’t want to go. Want to change the public transit industry; example no tickets, just get billed by the month. Focus on user experience.
  2. Bjorklund: Smart Cities like telecom used to be; exciting, but nobody knows quite where it’s going; in 10 years, much more useful technology will be available than the purpose-built today; business model on smart cities using citizen data won’t really work–people are starting to get creeped out about how their data is being used; thus challenge–how do we use this data for peoples’ well-being, rather than being used by those who would monetize it
  3. Goran Sparrman, Seattle Department of Transport: Seattle maybe most dynamic economy in USA today, yet also many social impact issues–transport; equity; housing; Seattle: we view ourselves as the high-tech capital of the United States (sorry, Silicon Valley!); yet developing technology and how it impacts us, so guiding principles: traffic systems; social equitable, affordability of transportation systems; engagement and empowerment on transportation, housing, growth. Q&A: important to deal with data gathering and privacy.
  4. Knut Eirik Gustavsen, eSmart Systems: “Cities have to grow from within”; each city has different needs. If you want a smart city, it has to come from within. His company, practical in approach; want to show things work. Smart small; be practical; help city administration build from within. Q&A: Norway has highest concentration of electric vehicles (EV), straining the grid, EV issues a surprise.
  5. Teemu Lehtinen, Finland: (see; Models as 3D “digital twin” in open data for companies and citizens) Work on quick, experimental projects with 40% government funding, 60% from companies that apply. Q&A: Openness, open standards are key. Ex: mobility/transportation–Finland company WHIM app makes for better user experience
  6. Kris Hanssen, Nordic Semiconductor: Oslo-based company with R&D in Norway, Finland, Poland, USA; “World leader fabless semiconductor”; launched ultra-lower power short-range wireless communication. Only about 10 years, smart phones have come out, and peoples’ lives have changed from these devices, like paying bills with them. So we may have similar and maybe even more positive experiences from smarter devices to come.

Attending professional conferences: Dispatch from European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

I have been thinking about professional activity lately, and the place of professional conferences. I’ll post about that topic another time, in more depth.

For now, I’ll just note that in calendar year 2016, I have attended eight conferences. Four of those have happened since the Fall semester started in August 2016.

I will reproduce in this post the headline and lede from my dispatch for Network World, on the   11th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, held in September 2016 at Jyväskylä, Finland.

[Click the link above or here for the whole article.]

Triple-helix touted for tech growth

Liveblogging 2016 Intelligent Community Forum Summit-Day 2-John Swanson musician

At Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)Summit 2016, Day 2.

At the Center for Information and Communication Sciences, we are vitally concerned with the social impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). That’s why the “smart cities” movement worldwide is of interest to us, and an area in which we do research and development.

At the end of a long, serious program of social and economic development sessions, the ICF organizers treat the delegates to one of a series of “cultural and artistic presentations” scattered throughout the conference program.

Now on is singer John Swanson, playing acoustic guitar and singing.

John recommends Dick’s Den, as the best jazz in Columbus, Ohio.

The locals say there is a thriving arts scene in the city. Worth looking at and for, if you can find the time in your professional schedules.


Liveblogging 2016 Intelligent Community Forum Summit-Day 2–Keynote by Bob West

Now at Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)Summit 2016, Day 2.

At the Center for Information and Communication Sciences, we are vitally concerned with the social impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). That’s why the “smart cities” movement worldwide is of interest to us, and an area in which we do research and development.

Bob West, Managing Director, CareWorks Tech

Characteristics of Intelligent Cities:

  • Leverage technology
  • Efficient
  • Economical
  • Competitive
  • Attract and Retain Business
  • Inclusive Prosperity

Older model of security: Outside the wall is dangerous and bad, inside the wall is safe and good. West says that wasn’t true then, now even less–too simplistic a view for our own good, especially for cities and communities.

From a city perspective: access to systems, by whom, for what–these are the key security questions.

Security, like governance, should be built into everything you do in a city context.

They do lots of scenario planning. “What if?” exercises. It’s a comprehensive approach, involving everybody in the city administration.

Security Smart Cities site


Answer to Question: Five most important things in city computing security?

  1. Have security as part of governance
  2. Write security policy
  3. Make sure people know the policy (the problem is managing peoples’ behavior)
  4. What does my architecture look like; so what’s the security component of the architecture (must have a sound computing architecture; foundational, integrating security as part of the foundation)
  5. Be prepared to deal with security issues, and breaches–they will happen

Liveblogging 2016 Intelligent Community Forum Summit-Day 2–Top 7 (Intelligent Community) Session #2: Montreal

Back at Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)Summit 2016, Day 2.

At the Center for Information and Communication Sciences, we are vitally concerned with the social impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). That’s why the “smart cities” movement worldwide is of interest to us, and an area in which we do research and development.

Now the Top 7 (Intelligent Community) Session #2: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Robert Bell, Co-Founder of ICF, with Harout Chitilian, Vice President, Executive Committee, Montreal

Bell’s introduction: Montreal had many assets, yet its economic growth lagged Canada, and all the major cities in Canada. Then a new city administration, that streamlined 12 city departments down to four.

Chitilian: Montreal stressed in 2013, especially with backlash to corruption; had gone through three mayors in 16 months or so. Current visionary mayor Denis Coderre elected in 2013. Started strategy for smart city, with investments in innovation and human capital.

Bell: difference between collaboration and consultation; the joke is “consultation” means we ignore you, but look polite while we do it.

Chitilian: cultural celebration of 375 year anniversary of foundation of city. Montreal also funds many local development projects. Voted on 161 projects; many already done.

Response to question: what about affordable housing? Needs cooperation of city, provincial, federal governments. Goal to build almost 5000 affordable housing units; also work to regulate existing housing so as to combat slumlords.


Liveblogging 2016 Intelligent Community Forum Summit-Day 2–Cooperating Across Borders in the Metropolitan Area

Back at Intelligent Community Forum Summit 2016, Day 2.

At the Center for Information and Communication Sciences, we are vitally concerned with the social impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). That’s why the “smart cities” movement worldwide is of interest to us, and an area in which we do research and development.

Here is the session I’m covering now, with summary from the ICF conference program:

Cooperating Across Borders in the Metropolitan Area

Robert Bell, Co-Founder, ICF
Ben Blanquera, Vice President, Delivery and Experience, Columbus Collaboratory
Chris Murray, City Manager, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Paulo Manoel Protasio, Chairman, R3ZIS
Tom Weisner, Mayor of Aurora, Illinois, USA

In a global economy, scale is a competitive advantage. Midsize and small Intelligent Communities build scale by creating a cooperative ecosystem that extends across municipal and county boundaries. It reduces unproductive competition among neighbors, leverages local strengths, open external markets and attracts inward investment. A visionary approach to politics is needed to ease fears, align motives and inspire action, as well as share understanding of the opportunities available in the broadband economy. How do effective leaders bring this ecosystem into being?

In final words, the panelists are emphasizing the importance of leadership, not just of organizations and players in the space, but especially of the individuals who represent those groups.

Building relationships–and trust–are seen as crucial components. Amazing to me how often these complex issues come back to some fundamentals of leadership and professional relationships.

Liveblogging 2016 Intelligent Community Forum Summit in Columbus Ohio

I am back at the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) annual Summit. This year it’s being held in the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year, Columbus Ohio.

Previously the Summit conference was held in ICF’s homebase, New York City. Last year they began moving to the previous year’s winner, so held the Summit in the 2014 winner, Toronto, Canada.

The opening session is on International Economic & Business Development:

Keynote: International Economic & Business Development

Secrets of international development at the city and region level.

Moderated by Louis Zacharilla, Co-Founder, ICF

The mayors have different approach, yet all agree that the city will have the image that it sees for itself; if it is high on itself, that will be its image; if it has a poor sense of esteem, that will be its image.

Mayor Pisasale of Ipswich says “education is the key.”