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

Government Jobs Techonomy Events

Why Institutions Need to Wake Up to a New American Dream

(From left) David Kirkpatrick, Carol Goss, Danae Ringelmann, Elizabeth Shuler, and Philip Zelikow

Philip Zelikow says we’re on the cusp of a change “comparable to 1880 or 1890 when the economy was about to fundamentally transform. This should be a really bright era.” Yet Gallup polls show that Americans are more pessimistic about the future than ever. And even a Techonomy panel discussion offered a less-than-optimistic view of the future for the middle class.   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 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

Jobs

Rebuilding the American Dream in a Global, Networked Economy

(Image via Shutterstock)

Despite strides in jobs and the economy, Americans remain pessimistic about their future, according to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. Three-quarters of respondents said that they are not confident that their children’s generation will be better off than their own. More than half reportedly believe that a growing income gap between the rich and poor undermines the American dream. The fact is that technology and globalization are changing our way of life. While enriching us in many ways, these transformative forces have eliminated secure jobs and eroded economic security for millions.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare

Our Era of Preventive Genetic Screening: Brought to You in Part by Mary-Claire King

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Two decades ago, Mary-Claire King made one of the most important contributions to modern healthcare when she discovered the first gene linked to breast cancer. Now, she’s trying to one-up herself. King, a genetics pioneer who won a major scientific award this week from the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, has issued a call to change how we think about gene testing in an approach she believes will prevent cancer, not just catch it early. (And if you’ve never met King, the fact that she’s using her award to shed light on a serious public health need rather than to celebrate her own career tells you a little something about her character.)   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

Manufacturing

Tahoe-Reno Will Be the World’s Battery Capital

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Tesla's $5 billion Gigafactory will be worth nearly $100 billion to Nevada over 20 years, according to the state's Governor Brian Sandoval and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who announced plans to build the lithium-ion battery plant in the northern part of the state in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. In return, Nevada is expected to allow Tesla billions of dollars in tax breaks.   More

Jobs Manufacturing

People Are Still More Adaptable Than Robots

The Baxter robot from Rethink Robotics may not displace as many middle-class jobs as feared.

The media and pundits have exaggerated the threat robots present to human workers' livelihood, claims labor market scholar David Autor. Reporting on ideas Autor presented at a recent bankers' conference, New York Times writer Neil Irwin sums up the argument: "Even as computers have gotten better at rote tasks, they have progressed far less in applying common sense."   More

E-Commerce Government

Can Uber Reroute Germany to a Shareable Future?

(Image via Shutterstock)

In "The Zero Marginal Cost Society," economic theorist and writer Jeremy Rifkin coins the term Collaborative Commons to describe the "digitalized space where providers and users share goods and services" in the emerging "shareable economy." It's no surprise then that Rifkin casts as shortsighted the German court system's decision this week to ban in that country the low-cost UberPop service from Uber, the global carsharing service. In response to a lawsuit filed by Taxi Deutschland in Frankfurt, the court ruled that Uber lacked legal permits to pick up passengers.   More

Media & Marketing

Detroit’s Stik Helps Companies Find Their Biggest Advocates

The Stik team, with Detroit's Comerica Park in the background

When we have important “life administration” decisions to make—getting a loan or a new health insurance plan—we often turn to people we know and trust. A Detroit startup called Stik is asking, “What if businesses could use the Internet to better harness the power of recommendations and benefit from the emerging ‘reputation economy?’” Stik’s end-to-end solution helps businesses grow through referrals, and lets consumers discover businesses they can trust using a new form of social advertising.   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

Global Tech

New Microsoft Chief Sets Sail for China

(Photo: LeWeb Paris 2013)

It’s become a sort of rite of passage for CEOs of major tech firms to visit China after moving into their job, which looks set to happen again with a September trip to Beijing set for Microsoft’s new top executive Satya Nadella. Tim Cook traveled to China just 6 months after taking the reins from Steve Jobs as Apple’s CEO in 2011, and has visited the country several times since then. Even Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo visited Shanghai earlier this year, just months after the social networking giant’s New York IPO, despite saying earlier that China wasn’t a market where his company could do business.   More

Techonomy Events

Techonomy Taps Detroit’s Magic on Sept. 16

When Techonomy's Chief Program Director Simone Ross first proposed in late 2011 that we consider doing an entire conference in Detroit, I was a little confused. Detroit? Isn't Techonomy all about cutting edge, shiny, new, transformative technologies and the things being transformed? Why head to America's most distressed big city? But Simone convinced me to head there with her before Christmas that year and I, like her, became captivated. Techonomy is back in Detroit for our third annual Techonomy Detroit conference on Tuesday, September 16, because it turns out to be the perfect place for a "techonomic" discussion about a number of trends everybody needs to understand better.   More