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Ryan Prox, Special Constable, Vancouver PD

Ryan Prox, Special Constable, Vancouver PD

By Ryan Prox

The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, once said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” To keep communities safe, police need to stay several steps ahead of criminals and engage crime on a proactive basis rather than the traditional reactive model. This has been the approach of the Vancouver Police Department.

Since the deployment of investigative big data analytics software from IBM and geospatial mapping  software from Esri in 2009, the Vancouver PD has been able to spot where crime is headed, and, in many cases, help stop it before it otherwise would occur. Property crime rates have dropped city-wide per 1,000 residents by 24 percent and violent crime rates have decreased by nine percent from 2007 to 2011. Here are videos about the project.

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By Steve Hamm

Steve Hamm, IBM Writer

Steve Hamm, IBM Writer

In an event that some observers say marked a shift in the history of computing, China has for the second time placed a machine atop the list of the world’s highest-performing supercomputers. The MilkyWay-2 system was designed and developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology.

For a group of legislators and science and technology leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. today, the news of China’s triumph, which came on Monday, served as a wake up call about the importance of investing in national competitiveness. “American national security and competitiveness depends on the US not falling behind in this critical area of science and technology,” said Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14).

Hultgren was one of a group of Congressmen who are crafting the American Supercomputing Leadership Act, a bill aimed at funding research in high performance computing at the national laboratories. Yet it was clear from remarks made by a scientists and government officials at the event, “Cognitive Computing: A New Way of Thinking,” that for the United States to retain its leadership in computing a collaborative effort involving not just government but academia and industry will be required. Eric Isaacs, director of the Argonne National Laboratory, cautioned that science and research “should not be funded in stovepipes.” He called for the creation of co-design centers, where people from multiple government agencies, universities and private companies can work together on the most challenging problems facing humanity.

To read more about the era of cognitive computing, download a free chapter of the coming book Smart Machines, by IBM Research Director John Kelly, at http://www.cup.columbia.edu/static/cognitive.

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Jeff Rhoda, General Manager, Global Government and Education, IBM

Jeffrey Rhoda, General Manager, Global Government and Education, IBM

By Jeffrey Rhoda

Governments have always been great at collecting data. From the smallest regional municipality to the largest country in the world, public sector organizations cull vast amounts of information to balance the needs of their residents and businesses and ensure ongoing economic growth.

With the global economic recession lingering, government leaders are under continued pressure to make better choices, deliver results and demonstrate greater accountability.

Take, for instance, the data collected and utilized by government taxation departments. The reputation and integrity of an entire government can be at risk if the public questions the credibility of the data produced or processed by this department.

The Finance & Local Taxation Bureau of Ningbo, a seaport city in the Zhejiang province in China, was drowning in data – data that was mostly unreliable and varied. To remedy the situation, the bureau leaders instituted a new system that structures and extracts data in real time. Continue Reading »

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Karen Parrish, Vice President, Industry Solutions, IBM

Karen Parrish, Vice President, Industry Solutions, IBM

By Karen Parrish

This week, professionals from around the world are attending eHealthWeek to discuss trends, innovations and solutions to address the ongoing challenges in healthcare. There certainly won’t be a lack of data and discussion about cost, wellness, aging populations and dealing with chronic conditions. While there are plenty of opinions, what’s missing from this deluge of points of view is a holistic approach to meeting needs of individuals – an approach IBM calls Smarter Care.

We’ve known for decades that health and social systems are interdependent and have a critical impact on each other. Yet the complex matrix of public and private stakeholders in the health and well-being of citizens still operate largely within silos, providing separate and disparate care.  Continue Reading »

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Alfred Vanderpuije, Mayor of Accra, Ghana

Alfred Vanderpuije, Mayor of Accra, Ghana

By Alfred Vanderpuije

This week at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, leaders will come together to discuss Africa’s future. One of the three focus themes is the importance of ‘Strategic Infrastructure’ as a foundation for the continent’s growth. As Mayor of Accra and Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, I would say that there are few areas as crucial for infrastructure investment as cities.

Buoyed by an emerging oil and gas industry and a rapidly growing consumer class, Ghana’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. Investors are flocking to the country’s capital Accra to take advantage of new business opportunities and become part of this success story. Mastercard recently identified Accra as one of Africa’s top cities in terms of economic growth potential over the next few years. Local and foreign firms are also driving a number of urban development opportunities such as Ghana Cyber City, King City and Appolonia City which aim to set up modern, high-tech hubs within and around Accra. Continue Reading »

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Takreem El-Tohamy, GM, IBM Middle East and Africa

Takreem El-Tohamy, GM, IBM Middle East and Africa

By Takreem El-Tohamy

There’s a wonderful word in Swahili that I think expresses one of the imperatives for the future of Africa. The word is “harambee.” It means pulling together, collaborating and supporting each other. I believe that one of the key factors in the ability of African countries to create sustainable and equitable economic growth will be the emergence of innovation ecosystems. Harambee perfectly captures an essential element of such ecosystems—the ability of institutions and individuals to pull together and build a mutually supportive environment.

Innovation ecosystems are complex organisms that are difficult to create yet tremendously powerful when they work. Think Silicon Valley. They require a melding of all of the capabilities of governments, businesses, financiers, universities, and individuals. Together, these organizations and individuals provide the web of support that makes it easier for startups to launch and grow quickly, and for established companies to innovate more aggressively. With that kind of support, African entrepreneurs and businesses will find it easier to produce new products and services, or even create whole new industries. You can think of an innovation ecosystem as a collective intelligence—harnessed for the good of society. Continue Reading »

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Larry Bowden, Vice President, Web Experience Software, IBM

Larry Bowden, Vice President, Web Experience Software, IBM

By Larry Bowden

 When people talk about “social” adoption, the conversation usually doesn’t shift to government. But maybe it should.

 Today a growing number of cities and counties are embracing social technologies to create “Smart Communities.” According to the World Foundation for Smart Communities, these are communities that make a “conscious effort to use information technology to transform life and work within a region in significant and fundamental, rather than incremental, ways. This transformation is beneficial to the community and attracts local participation and cooperation among community groups, government, business and education.”

 At its core, a Smarter Community has the ability to deliver exceptional “citizen experiences” and services – something the City of Windsor, and the County of Essex, Ontario, are doing right now. Continue Reading »

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Deepak Advani, Vice President, Business Analytics, IBM

Deepak Advani, General Manager, Cloud and Smarter Infrastructure, IBM

By Deepak Advani

The Internet Age has made it possible for dramatic amounts of information to be available at our fingertips. And as capacity expands and accessibility grows, we push ever closer to the  Internet-of-things, where our physical and digital worlds are tightly coupled and leveraged.

With the ability to generate, share, store and access increasing amounts of data – Big Data – the challenge soon becomes one of management and analysis. Left alone, the mountains of seemingly disparate information are useless. But when mined intelligently, they become treasure troves of insight that can unlock benefits, such as improved customer service, equipment-saving predictive maintenance, and new business opportunities, to name a few. Continue Reading »

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Rick Padinha, GM, IBM Global Operations and Delivery Excellence

Rick Padinha, GM, IBM Global Operations and Delivery Excellence

By Rick Padinha

I’m one of those people who bleed IBM blue. I started working for the company in 1969 at the office in Huntsville, Ala., where we supported NASA, the US National Aeronautics and Space Agency. I have held many IBM jobs since then, but, from my point of view, the the central theme of my career and the core reason for IBM’s success today are both rooted in the work we did for NASA in the 1960s and beyond.
For NASA, we designed and built some of the key components of space exploration programs spanning from the early unmanned launches through the trips to the Moon and, ultimately, the Space Shuttle. But, even more importantly, we also helped pioneer the science of systems integration. That’s the process of understanding a big problem or task and bringing together a wide variety of expertise and technology to create a masterful solution to solve a customer’s business problem. Continue Reading »

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Terry F. Yosie, President and CEO of the World Environment Center

Terry F. Yosie, President and CEO of the World Environment Center

By Terry F. Yosie

Environmental issues are big, thorny problems. Scarcities in water, food and raw materials are too complex for any single company or non-governmental organization to solve on its own.  In order to make a difference, it’s necessary to collaborate with like-minded partners to achieve shared goals.

Collaboration is a normal feature of customer-supplier relationships, government-business partnerships and initiatives with universities and other partners. It’s also typical for organizations looking for new business models that can sustain profitability while addressing societal needs, natural resource management, product and service innovation, and differentiation of brand value, to name a few.  Collaboration can spur organizations to redefine their business purpose by utilizing society as another kind of R&D lab for innovation.  Continue Reading »

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