By Michael Dixon
While there is always interest in the exciting innovations in cities – such as intelligent transportation systems – the backbone of any city operation is comprised of efficient water pipes and reliable electrical wires.
The availability, delivery and consumption of natural resources like energy and water is far more important to cities than a new fleet of busses. Optimizing resources is particularly relevant for cities because of their impact on both livability as well as resilience. Continue Reading »
By Laurent Auguste
With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities have proven to have the winning model.
But the massive influx into cities leads to higher population densities, greater complexities and increased pressures on local resources, such as water.
In the future, successful cities will be those that have created local and global access to Big Data as sources of new game-changing dynamics. New city models will turn the passive pipes of city infrastructure into active ones, transcending their current use and freeing up yet untapped value.
By Charity Wayua, Ph.D.
I come from a family of educators. So when it came to choosing a career, it was natural for me to go into education. My vocation, though, is research. I study educational systems so that I can help re-imagine what they can be.
Few places can benefit as much from this kind of research than Africa, where I grew up and now work as a scientist at IBM’s new Research lab in Nairobi, Kenya. Africa is a paradox. It has seen tremendous growth during the past decade.
And yet half of the children in Africa will reach adolescence unable to read, write or do basic math. Two-thirds of those who don’t receive schooling are girls, because many of them have to stay home and take care of their younger brothers or sisters. Continue Reading »
By Osamuyimen T. Stewart, Ph.D.
The World Health Organization estimates that almost 10,000 cases of the Ebola virus disease have been reported since the latest outbreak was first reported in March 2014, resulting in more than 4,800 deaths. According to the WHO, widespread and intense transmission is occurring in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, while localized transmissions have occurred in other countries, such as the U.S.
Of the many daunting challenges facing local governments and aid organizations as they try to contain and manage the virus is the collection and analysis of information — current and insightful data about the situation on the ground, such as the needs of affected people, the supplies and services they require and the need for education to address socio-cultural obstacles.
If we can map all the data, we can figure out what needs to be done and who we need to partner with to get it done. Continue Reading »
By Jia Chen, PhD
In the most popular eldercare home located in the heart of downtown Beijing, there are more than 10,000 applicants waiting for one of its 1,100 beds. The waiting list is currently 100 years long as only a few beds open up each year.
By the end of 2013, there were more than 200 million people over the age of 60 in China, accounting for 20% of the elderly population worldwide, making it the country with the most senior citizens in the world.
China is also the country with the fastest growing aging population. It’s projected that the elderly population will grow by 10 million per year in China and reach over 400 million in the next 20 years. It took the United States 79 years to double its elderly population from 7% to 14% of the total population. It will take China only 27 years to achieve the same growth. Continue Reading »
One year ago, IBM, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Fund for Lake George announced the Jefferson Project, an ambitious effort to model the entire lake – its depths and shoreline – to get a holistic and accurate view of everything happening in and around one of the United State’s pristine lakes.
The goals of the project are multifold and include understanding and managing the complex factors impacting the lake, from invasive species, pollution, and other factors, to developing a template to use in other fresh water bodies around the globe. Continue Reading »
By Michael Dixon
By 2030 the urban population on the planet is projected to reach almost 5 billion. This unprecedented growth gives rise to new challenges for city leaders seeking to grapple with long standing gnarly problems while encountering unprecedented complexity in new ones.
Emboldened by the levels of service they now take for granted from the private sector, people are demanding more from their cities. They are seeking a better quality of life through access to more and better services, at increasing levels of cost effectiveness. Continue Reading »
By Ingrid Haftel
Big data is all the rage these days – from helping doctors diagnose patients by using analytics to sift through decades of historical information to allowing marketers learn how to better personalize experiences for customers. But there often isn’t the chance for citizens to see how data might affect their everyday lives up close and personal.
Here at the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), we wanted to show citizens how data provides a critical lens for exploring and understanding the design issues that matter, like community health, safety and sustainability. To do this, we devised the upcoming exhibition Chicago: City of Big Data. Opening today, the exhibition explores the digital age of urban design and shows Chicago the effects of Big Data on the city’s lifeblood.
The exhibition strives to demonstrate the potential that urban data has to improve Chicago and, by extension, cities worldwide. We show citizens where urban data comes from by examining the city’s digital infrastructure and how it is used by architects, planners and citizens as part of their design process. As urban data increasingly influences modern architecture and urban planning, data becomes one of the most valuable materials of 21st century design.
What happens when you ask an entire continent to illustrate its challenges and opportunities in photos?
That’s exactly what IBM’s newest research lab wanted to find out. IBM Research – Africa, which opened its doors last November, was created with an ambitious mission: to conduct applied and far-reaching exploratory research into the grand challenges of the African continent by delivering commercially-viable innovations that impact people’s lives. Though it opened with clear objectives and an understanding of many of the infrastructural concerns across the continent, the Lab wanted a more personal understanding of the challenges.
“We quickly realized that if we were to make a difference in Africa, we needed to operate outside of the walls of the lab,” said Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya, Director, IBM Research – Africa. “While we benefit from 25 PHDs from some of the world’s best universities, it is crucial that we enter a dialogue with the people who best understand their own realities.” Continue Reading »
Tune in today between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time and 8:00 p.m. for live action for IBM SmartCamp Finals in San Francisco. Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and IBM executives talk about the state of the startup world today and then eight young companies compete for the global Global Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Click here: