Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

I’m not going to attempt the impossible and succinctly synthesize the entirety of day 1 of the NYC Smarter Cities Summit into one blog post. Instead, keep an eye out over the next few weeks for a series of blog posts delving deeper into the main themes and topics of the Smarter Cities summit. In the meantime, let me at least share the list of presenters and panelists from the first day (in order of appearance) since it isn’t listed anywhere else online:

  • Sam Palmisano, IBM CEO
  • Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, New York City (announcing his Connected City Initiative)
  • Ivan Seidenberg, CEO, Verizon
  • Melody Barnes, director, White House Domestic Policy Council
  • Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO, Partnership for New York City
  • Tom Brokaw (moderator)
  • James Douglas, Governor, Vermont and Chair, National Governors Association
  • Sonny Perdue, Governor, Georgia
  • Richard Ravitz, Lt. Governor, New York
  • Elizabeth Roberts, Lt. Governor, Rhode Island
  • Dr. Denis Cortese, President and CEO, Mayo Clinic
  • Garrick Utley, State University of New York

There’s simply too much valuable content from each presenter to synthesize into a single post. I recommend going through the many good insights shared via Twitter during the event. As video becomes available, we’ll feature it here on the blog.

I did, however, want to point out three big recurring themes I noticed from the day:

  1. The use of data and analytics to make improvements in a city. These range from driving down crime in New York, to transforming public education in Mobile, Alabama to or managing water resources in Galway, Ireland. On that point, IBM announced a new analytics center based in New York dedicated to looking at the issues facing cities around the world.
  2. The need for new kinds of public-private partnerships. Every speaker and panelist – from Melody Barnes to Tom Brokaw – touched on how creative public-private partnerships were the key to solving these complex metropolitan issues. But innovation will be required to form these new kinds of partnerships. It’s a tricky balance, and one we’ll need to discuss more in the future on this blog.
  3. The need for “systems thinking” to solve big macro issues. Dr. Cortese captured it best when he discussed how addressing the challenges nations and cities face with health care requires first a holistic systems thought. Health care, like public safety, transportation or education, requires long-term thinking to understand the broader issues and all the highly complex interdependencies with other systems. Basically, Dr. Cortese said, the health system could use systems engineers.

Much more to come on Day 2. Look out in the morning for a quick preview of the Breakout sessions and other discussions planned tomorrow.

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