Cities Energy & Green Tech Internet of Things

Before Going Too Jetson, Self-Driving Car Companies Should Ask Two Key Questions

Google's autonomous car project got the industry going, but just about every automaker now is getting in on the act. (photo courtesy Shutterstock)

We are once again in the midst of buzz and hype with regard to an innovative mode of transportation–the self-driving car. To Tesla and Google, Mercedes-Benz and Apple, Nissan and Audi and the myriad other companies looking to get us to take our hands off the wheel, I offer up this yellow light of branding caution: Don’t let your own excitement short-change your assessment of how it will really play in the market.   More

Cities Society Techonomy Events

Program Director Ross Reflects on Detroit

Tiana Epps-Johson presents at Techonomy Detroit 2015 on "Civic Engagement & The New Digital Divide"

Highlights of Techonomy Detroit: CEO Mark Bertolini of Aetna on community based healthcare, inequality and the responsibility of CEOs. He dresses like a rock star and among CEOs, he is one. Talks ranged widely over tech and what it can do in places like Detroit. But local activist Lauren Hood reminded us "What's missing is that the people most impacted by this technology are not in the room, and that model gets replicated on any problem we have."   More

Analytics & Data Cities Society Techonomy Events

From Techonomy Detroit: How To Hack Our Way to Better Cities

Can We Hack Our Way Pic 915

As access to data and technology becomes democratized, a civic tech movement is burgeoning to help government make cities more responsive and livable. Detroit CIO Beth Niblock joined Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick for a discussion on "Hacking Our Way to the Cities We Need,” along with Danish architect and author Thomas Ermacora, investor and entrepreneur Jon Gosier, and Microsoft Technology and Civic Engagement leader Dan’l Lewin. Transparency and apps are making all the difference in Detroit, as well as in Barcelona, Chicago, Kampala, London, Nairobi, and Philadelphia. But too many cities still haven't gotten the memo.   More

Analytics & Data Cities Startup Culture

Civic Jazz in the New Maker Cities

San Francisco's Market Street Prototyping Festival was a breakthrough moment for civic innovation.

The civic innovation movement began when cities started opening up data. Citizens found new pathways to help generate local energy and growth. Now the movement is getting support from the White House and extending to cities around the country. Communities are getting engaged, and Maker Cities are the result.   More

Analytics & Data Business Cities Global Tech Transportation

A Less Congested Future: Technology for Moving People, Businesses, and Cities

Urban Engines so-called "space-time engine" can model cities like Sao Paulo, here, to analyze and optimize urban transportation.

Accelerating urbanization is leading to clogged transportation networks, but the clever use of data can smooth our city systems. Powerful tech tools—from the Internet of Moving Things to the computational and sensing capabilities of smartphones—can help reduce congestion. Modeling and data-driven systems will define the future of urban transport.   More

Cities Government Manufacturing Techonomy Events Transportation

Geared up for Techonomy Detroit Tuesday 9/15!

Simone Ross oversees Techonomy's conference programs.

On September 15th our FOURTH Techonomy Detroit conference hosts fantastic thinkers and leaders for conversations about how tech is changing companies, work, cities and countries. Speakers include Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, plus leaders from Google, IBM, Microsoft, and numerous other companies. And 41% of our speakers are women!   More

Cities Global Tech Jobs Startup Culture

The Global Rise of an Entrepreneurial Generation

Hindriks developed Jobbatical not in Silicon Valley for New York but in Tallinn, Estonia. (Photo via Shutterstock)

A connected world and periods of economic upheaval have redefined the aspirations of an entire generatiom. The Millennials are now seeking new ways of working and living interesting lives. The traditional global nerve centers are being augmented by a long lineup of cities working to attract fresh waves of modern talent. Individuals in far corners of the earth are creating products that impact billions of people. Jobbatical is a company started in Estonia which enables this trend to expand further.   More

Cities Learning Partner Insights Society

How City Programs Can Broaden Access to the Innovation Economy

The Englewood Blue accelerator provides training and internships in a historically-disadvantaged Chicago neighborhood.

A wide range of programs for entrepreneurship, training, and mentoring are emerging in cities around the United States. They hope to revitalize historically disadvantaged communities, broaden economic opportunity, and make cities better places. It's a 21st century brand of governance, politics, and civic engagement.   More

Cities Learning Society

Making Detroit a Movement: The Power of Narrative

Building a narrative for Detroit

Throughout history, certain cities at certain moments in time have had an outsized impact. Think about Detroit’s future, built on a rich legacy of innovation and diversity, in terms of a movement—of individuals as well as companies, nonprofits, and public sector institutions. What would really help is a well-crafted narrative.   More

Cities Transportation

The Techonomic Pleasures of Renting a Bicycle in Austin

Austin's Excellent Bike System Philip Arno Photography /

As the on-demand economy grows, people increasingly rent things just when they need them, with services like TaskRabbit, Uber, Airbnb, and RideShare. And urban bicycle rental services are burgeoning. In Austin, Texas recently, I discovered the one there is impressively well run. It integrates just the right cyber and physical elements to deliver a glass-smooth experience.   More

Cities Jobs Techonomy Events

I Love Detroit

At last year's TE Detroit--Brookings' Jennifer Bradley, TaskRabbit's Stacy Brown-Philpot, WEF's April Rinne, and NUY's Arun Sundararajan.

It’s been amazing to watch the change in Detroit the past four years. In late 2011 when we started thinking about organizing a conference in Detroit, even Detroiters thought we were a little nuts. Eventually people responded with enthusiasm, especially those from out of town who were fascinated by the provocative location. Four years later, the entrepreneurial energy is going full force. Startups are burgeoning, cultural institutions are arising, and in general Detroit is a place to be. And we're still going strong. Our speaker line up for Techonomy Detroit on Sept. 15 includes Mayor Mike Duggan, Carl Bass of Autodesk, Mark Bertolini of Aetna, McKinsey's Michael Chui, Jennifer Crozier of IBM, Esther Dyson, Jim Fallows, Andrew Keen and Charlene Li.   More

Cities Internet of Things

Build It and They Will Drive

(Image via Shutterstock)

The University of Michigan and nearly 50 industry partners including Ford, General Motors, Qualcomm, State Farm Insurance, Toyota, Verizon, and others are betting that if you build it, self-driving cars will come. That take on the classic line from Field of Dreams applies to a gigantic new facility for proving, testing, and promoting such cars. Or, as the facility’s creators put it on their website, “the foundations of a commercially viable ecosystem of connected and automated vehicles for moving people and goods.” The new 32-acre facility, called Mcity, opened this week in Ann Arbor and will serve as an auto industry ecosystem for use by anyone researching autonomous vehicles.   More

Cities Techonomy Events

Reflections from Ross: I Love Cities, and Our Upcoming Techonomy Detroit

The Detroit skyline. (Image via Shutterstock)

I spent the long weekend in the Rocky Mountains surrounded by a bunch of very smart people, from many walks of life. It was a bit of a schlep to get to, but perhaps there’s something about the mountain air that clarifies one's thoughts. It certainly gave me ideas for our remaining Techonomy programs this year. The mountains also reinforced my affinity for cities and anything related to them. I appreciate the great outdoors, which in turn makes me appreciate cities even more. There’s little that beats seeing the Manhattan skyline after a few days away. Speaking of cities ... our FOURTH Techonomy Detroit is coming up September 15.   More

Cities Techonomy Events

Streetline’s Zia Yusuf on Using Data to Take the Pain Out of Parking

When it comes to driving, we spend a lot of timing thinking about navigating from point A to point B, but often forget about point C, which is where we park, says Zia Yusuf of Streetline. “It’s estimated that 25 to 30 percent of traffic in the city is caused by people looking for parking,” Yusuf said at September's Techonomy Detroit conference at Wayne State University. Streetline is working to solve that problem. Through a system of sensors and consumer- and business-facing apps, the smart-parking company enables cities to instate dynamic pricing that adjusts automatically to demand.   More

Cities Techonomy Events

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey: Tech Can Help Cities Make Better Decisions

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the new tech gadgets, gizmos, software, and systems coming out, but as Jack Dorsey says, “At the end of the day, technology is really just a tool. That’s all it is. And great tools … allow us to focus on things that are more meaningful to us.” Dorsey spoke at the Techonomy Detroit conference at Wayne State University in September, explaining why citizens should voice their support for tech that has a positive impact. Civic-minded technology, he said, promotes better decision-making and leads us to “a stronger economy … and a stronger civic society.”   More

Cities Startup Culture Techonomy Events

Startups, Cities, and Sustaining Innovation

The ideas are flowing fast, as is the money. Young (and old) the world over are increasingly drawn to entrepreneurship, and inventive tech solutions are emerging everywhere. Is “Silicon Valley” a spirit rather than a place? What makes a city attractive for company incubation? Is this energy likely to continue, or will cities like Detroit have trouble sustaining it? Will the successful companies of the future stay put or move elsewhere? In this session from our Sept. 16 Techonomy Detroit conference, angel investor Jill Ford, Josh Linkner of Detroit Venture Partners, VegasTechFund's Andy White, and Venture for America's Andrew Yang join moderator Andrew Keen examine how cities can grow and retain talent and innovative companies.   More

Analytics & Data Cities Techonomy Events

The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance

What is citizenship in the digital age? Policy experts Susan Crawford of Harvard University and Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution discuss themes from Crawford’s new book about civic engagement, innovation, and the role of tech and the Internet for Detroit and other major cities.   More

Cities Techonomy Events

Hiking, Biking, and Responsive Transit

From bike lanes to the hyper-loop, how do you build an intelligent urban transit infrastructure that offers efficient mobility? How do we knit together the various modes of transit to form robust, sustainable transportation systems that serve the city and its citizens? Ford's Don Butler, Jeff Olson of Alta Planning + Design, Shiva Shivakumar of Urban Engines, and Streetline's Zia Yusuf tackle look at how tech is transforming the way we get around town in this Techonomy Detroit session moderated by Fast Company's Greg Lindsay.   More

Cities Techonomy Events

Open Data Opens Opportunity

The digitization of everything and access to vast databases of information means we can measure more of the world. It also means we can change what we measure—about city functions, services and the economy. New opportunities are emerging to cultivate innovation, build new services and unlock economic value. Agencies across the country are opening doors to a data treasure trove hidden for years. In this session from our Sept. 16 Techonomy Detroit conference, Alex Alsup of LOVELAND Technologies, David Behen of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, McKinsey's Michael Chui, NYU's Joel Gurin, and Tony Scott of VMware examine how data can unlock business opportunities and speed progress for cities and citizens.   More