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

Cities Techonomy Events

How Tech Is Enhancing Citizen-Government Relationships in Cities

Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution (left) spoke with Harvard's Susan Crawford about engaging city communities in data-smart governance.

Cities enabled by sensors, mobile technologies, cameras, and big data will be better places to live, according to Harvard Law School Professor Susan Crawford’s new book, “The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance,” coauthored with Harvard Kennedy School’s Stephen Goldsmith. In contrast to the notion that tech will further enable the surveillance state or nefarious uses of data in cities, such as redlining in Detroit and Philadelphia, Crawford’s is an optimistic outlook. At Techonomy Detroit this week, Crawford, who also co-directs Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, discussed with the Brookings Institution's Jennifer Bradley various ways tech is enhancing urban living standards.   More

Cities Techonomy Events

Complex-Cities: The View from Mexico City

“City labs,” set up explicitly to advance progress, sharing and a digitally-enhanced economy, are emerging around the world. Defined by cross-sector collaboration, they are harnessing creativity, innovation, civic entrepreneurship and tech to re-build, re-vitalize and re-think solutions to crucial urban issues. At our Sept. 16 Techonomy Detroit conference, Gabriella Gómez-Mont spoke about her efforts to foster civic engagement in Mexico City in an interview with Justin Fox of the Harvard Business Review.   More

Cities Jobs Techonomy Events

Techonomy Detroit 2014: Full Video

Techonomy Detroit brings together leaders and thinkers from business, technology, government, and academia to better understand how to move the U.S., and the world, into an urbanized, technologized, inclusive future. Detroit’s travails symbolize issues faced by many American cities and to some extent the entire country. But this is also a city energetically seeking to revive itself. The birthplace of assembly-line manufacturing and technologized transportation, Detroit was once the innovation engine of the U.S. economy. There is no better place for a conversation on how our national priorities must change in a technologized economy.   More

Cities Partner Insights Startup Culture

How Three Idealists Became Ed-Tech Entrepreneurs

Evolve Team Photo

We’ll be the first to admit it: we are an unlikely trio of entrepreneurs. Two of us are black men who grew up in Detroit, left for college, and returned to the city. Two of us are young adults who dropped out of college due to a lack of guidance. Two of us are college advisors devoted to pushing opportunities to high school students and pushing students out of the hood. Together, we are all advocates of urban youth who share a vision and a drive.   More

Cities

Detroit Is Already a City of Drones

Detroit Aircraft founder John Rimanelli

Marc Andreessen—cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firms—recently penned an article for Politico entitled “Turn Detroit into Drone Valley.” In short, the focus of the article centered around the desire to develop innovation clusters in cities across the globe. It’s a recurrent theme throughout organizations like Techonomy: how to foster a spirit of innovation and embrace technological innovation, all while building upon the legacy strengths of a specific city or region.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Detroit Needs Talented People … and It’s Getting Them

Thanks in part to Venture for America, downtown Detroit has become a hotbed of startup culture. (Image via Shutterstock)

Detroit’s unique challenges have given rise to bold policy prescriptions and created a hotbed of opportunities. In 2012, a dozen smart, enterprising recent college graduates moved to Detroit. They were Venture For America Fellows, assigned to local startups to gain experience and contribute energy to Detroit's revival.   More

Cities Energy & Green Tech

Sharing Bikes Can Lead to A Sustainable World

The author wields one of New York City's iconic CitiBikes.

Alta Bicycle Share manages bike-sharing systems in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, Boston, Toronto, Melbourne, and other cities. In five years our bikes have been ridden more than 35 million miles on more than 25 million rides. That’s more than a billion calories burned, and with zero fatalities. But what seems like a fast-rising trend is really the result of decades of work by many people, communities, and visionaries who believed that the simple bicycle could be an economic, environmental, and quality-of-life panacea for modern society.   More

Cities Media & Marketing

Detroit’s LevelEleven Revs Sales Motivation

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What do you do as a manager when the conventional means of motivating your sales team—competitions, prizes, inspirational speeches—fall flat? How can you leverage technology to help rally and focus your team around company initiatives, product launches, and winning new business? LevelEleven CEO Bob Marsh set out to tackle these questions when he was at his former job as head of sales operations at consumer engagement platform HelloWorld. Before long, what began as an in-house project evolved into a promising product. “After about six months, we had signed up a dozen paying customers, including the Detroit Pistons and Comcast, so we knew we were on to something,” says Marsh.   More

Cities Partner Insights

How Sharing, RoboCars, and 3D Printing Can Reinvent Industrial Detroit

Detroit skyline illustration via Shutterstock

"The age of the industrial city is over, at least in the West, and it will never return," declared Edward Glaeser in his book “Triumph of the City.” Detroit, whose decline he blamed on the "extravagant success of Ford's big idea" that "brought hundreds of thousands of less-well-educated workers to vast factories," was Glaeser's best evidence. The Harvard economics professor might be right about Detroit’s past. But a Motor City renaissance is determined to prove him wrong about its future. And Detroit’s industrial character will almost certainly be the key to its rebirth.   More

Analytics & Data Cities Government

How Open Data Is Transforming City Life

(Image via Shutterstock)

Start a business. Manage your power use. Find cheap rents, or avoid crime-ridden neighborhoods. Cities and their citizens worldwide are discovering the power of “open data”—public data and information available from government and other sources that can help solve civic problems and create new business opportunities. By opening up data about transportation, education, health care, and more, municipal governments are helping app developers, civil society organizations, and others to find innovative ways to tackle urban problems.   More

Cities Startup Culture

How Detroit Turned Me into a Coder and Entrepreneur

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There are three things happening in my life right now that, frankly, would have shocked the college-aged Kate Catlin: I live in Detroit; I’m being trained as a coder; and I’m starting a tech company. All through college I was a gregarious environmental activist living in Washington State and happily climbing mountains every weekend. I dreamed of traveling abroad and leading political campaigns, or maybe a “social enterprise” like TOMS shoes. It almost gives me whiplash to look around now and ask, “What just happened?”   More

Cities Startup Culture

Hooked on Company-Building and Community in Detroit

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Entering my senior year of college after a summer working at an investment bank, I had decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. As I began thinking about how to become an entrepreneur, however, I was faced with the reality that I didn’t have an idea to launch straight out of college, and even if I did, I had no idea how to go about starting a company. I was an aspiring entrepreneur without experience, mentorship, or an idea. I had a problem. Then I heard about Venture for America, and it was the perfect solution to my problem.   More

Analytics & Data Cities

Wisely Harnesses Spending for a Local Business Guide

wisely-mike-vichich

Like most people, you probably read online product and service reviews with a healthy grain of salt. But if users doubt the credibility of online recommendations, how can sites that curate them earn consumers’ trust and loyalty? Michigan-based Wisely set out to do precisely that when it created a new kind of local discovery app that gathers real transaction data from customers, such as how much they spend at a restaurant, instead of subjective information like customer reviews. We spoke with Wisely co-founder and CEO Mike Vichich about what Wisely does for small businesses, and why building an “awesome” Michigan starts in Detroit.   More

Cities Energy & Green Tech

Snacking on Smog: A Building That Eats Our Pollution

milano-expo-2015-Palazzo-Italia

The latest foray into air-purifying architecture is a 9,000-square meter "urban forest" in Milan, set to be unveiled at the city's Expo Milano 2015. The massive smog-eating building, called the Palazzo Italia, will mimic the function and appearance of trees while also supporting the expo's theme of "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life." The secret of Palazzo Italia is photocatalytic concrete, a special substance that, when in contact with ultraviolet light, captures nitrogen dioxide pollutants and converts them into harmless salts that can be washed away with the next rainfall.   More