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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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Angel Petisco, CIO, Miami-Dade County

By Angel Petisco

Most organizations would be surprised if they understood the vastness of the data they’re sitting on at any given point. But the magic happens when that data, through proper analysis and mining, is converted into useful information.

That’s what we’re doing in Miami-Dade County. Using IBM Big Data analytics we’re able to provide a greater level of service to our residents by bringing together information from more than 35 different municipal government departments and agencies. Sharing information in this way will help us solve traffic congestion challenges, improve law enforcement by helping to solve crimes faster, and reduce water waste improving the county’s stewardship of natural resources. Ultimately, such improvements to our operations will allow us to save significant costs and identify new ways to spur economic growth and job creation. Continue Reading »

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Sylvie Spalmacin-Roma, Vice President, Smarter Cities, IBM Europe

By Sylvie Spalmacin-Roma

If you run over a pothole or perhaps a train is delayed on your morning commute, what do you do? It’s unlikely that you would pick up the phone to call the city to report it or attend a meeting on the topic being held by your local government.  The more likely scenario is that you would take to social media to mention the location of the pothole or express your frustration with the delay.

Today’s citizens can be seen as engaged but in a very different manner.  Twitter, Facebook and other social channels serve as a 24/7 town hall meeting for an increasing number of us digitally connected citizens.  Social listening and analysis can be a valuable tool for cities.

People are passionate about their commute. Love it or hate it, we have much to say  about it. The most recent IBM Social Sentiment Index looks at sentiment in traffic around several European cities in France, Netherlands, Spain and Germany. Continue Reading »

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Ed Cole, Executive Director, Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee

By Ed Cole

Earlier this year, the New York Times ran an article in which it called Nashville, Tennessee – the “it” city.

The coverage was an exciting and complimentary tribute to Nashville as a culturally-rich, fast growing metropolitan region. The Times highlighted the culture with music and trendy restaurants, and the economic health of the region attributing that in part to our, “mix of employers in fields like health care management, religious publishing, car manufacturing and higher education, led by Vanderbilt University.”

For all the accolades in the Times piece, there was mention of a very real problem in our “it” city – the need for better transportation. 

How are we going to get to enjoy all the city has to offer, the live music venues, the parks, the museums, or the chic social gatherings, if our roadways are choking with congestion?       Continue Reading »

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Naveen Lamba, Global Smarter Transportation leader, IBM Global Business Services

By Naveen Lamba

Circling for a parking spot, worrying about feeding the parking meters, and ultimately wondering if you should just turn around and go home. These are familiar feelings for anyone who has ever had to find a parking spot in a hurry. Not only is it frustrating, but the time spent looking for parking also contributes to traffic congestion – some research suggests 30 percent on average – and air pollution.

Parking is an area of transportation that had seen little innovation until a just a few years ago. With today’s technology – from sensors to smarter meters to advanced analytics – cities can reinvent parking to help reduce congestion and make our cities more livable. 

Enter Streetline, a Silicon Valley start-up that provides Smart Parking solutions to cities, garages, airports, universities and other private parking providers. The company is the creator of Parker™, a free smartphone app that guides drivers to available parking spaces in real time.

The company won the 2010 IBM SmartCamp, a global entrepreneurship program that identifies early stage start-ups in the Smarter Planet industries. Through this program, Streetline had access to a global network of experts and advisors. Since then, Streetline and IBM have continued working together.

(Next week IBM will host the 2013 Global SmartCamp Finals in New York City.) Continue Reading »

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Stand on a busy big-city street corner at lunch time and you will witness a chaotic scene. Thousands of people are walking every which way, getting on and off buses, descending to subways, riding in cars, and walking in and out of buildings. Where did all these people come from? And where are they going? Until now, such questions were unanswerable–mysteries of the city. But no more.

Today, thanks to deep analytics, we can for the first time understand the complexities of cities in motion.

IBM Researchers have developed analytics software that provides accurate and meaningful information about massive numbers of peoples’ movements. These insights can be used by city managers to plan new transit routes, improve the efficiency of current transit systems, and coordinate the various transportation modes with a goal of making moving around in cities a lot more convenient and comfortable. The project, Insights in Motion, is a so-called First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) collaboration with transportation officials in Dubuque, Iowa, and Istanbul, Turkey.

A paper about Dubuque’s piece of the project, Dubuque Smart Travel, was presented Jan. 16 at the annual meeting of the  Transportation Research Board.

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Bob Sutor, Vice President of Business Analytics, IBM Research

By Bob Sutor

Millions of people took to the roads and skies to visit friends and families for the holidays in 2012. In fact, according to AAA, this was the busiest holiday travel year since 2006, with 93.3 million Americans traveling.

The news is encouraging to leaders across the travel industry, many of whom are looking for innovative ways to improve and enhance the customer experience. One area getting particular attention is mobile computing. Advances in technologies and services should take more guesswork out of travel and pave the way for increased, more stress-free and smarter travel.

Mobility is transforming the way we live and work, and how we engage with our community. And its effect on the travel industry is no different. In an industry that can instantaneously be impacted by the economy, weather, and world events, mobility creates immense opportunities to address these issues and put important information at travelers’ fingertips when they need it most. Continue Reading »

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By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications

During the past year, we’ve profiled nine exceptional “People for a Smarter Planet” who exemplify the spirit of change, innovation, creativity and curiosity that lie at the core of building a smarter planet. They are inventors and researchers, academics and executives, thought leaders, dreamers, risk-takers, pioneers.

These individuals come from a wide range of fields and possess an array of interests and expertise. What they all have in common is a passion for their work and a commitment to make the world a better place.

They include Ruhong Zhou, whose avian flu research may help prevent a global pandemic; Dave Bartlett, IBM’s smarter buildings guru; Bill Reichert, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist with novel advice for entrepreneurs; and sustainability expert Sarah Slaughter.

If you haven’t met them yet, here are nine People for a Smarter Planet you should know.

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