About the Summit
Cities and communities are now faced with the challenge of how to foster and enable innovation, as we move from a brick and mortar economy to an innovation-based economy. No longer are cities geographically limited – they are now connected to a global economy that can positively support and significantly impact their citizens. The paradigm of industrial production, while still paramount for continued success, is no longer the sole driver of economic growth. New paradigms for employment and business are emerging. They separate the historical physical connection between employees or business owners and business facilities.
The adoption of a virtual workplace, and the ability to work from anywhere, is radically changing how citizens work and live in cities while it simultaneously increases the number of virtual enterprises. While the demand for services from communities rises, the ability to meet those demands often does not. Cities are faced with the dilemma of trying to provide innovative, improved service and governance – but while limited by budgets and infrastructures that do not necessarily track the fast-changing world around them. How do cities enable innovation in their workforces and communities? How do cities innovate from within, to meet the ever-increasing, and highly dynamic demands of their citizens? Most importantly, how do the diverse stakeholders – who range from municipal leaders and infrastructure providers to end-user businesses and consumers – initiate the conversation to work together on viable solutions?
The 2015 Strategic Innovation Summit: Enabling Economies for the Future was convened on the campus of Harvard University to begin this critical discussion about what cities need to do, how to do it, and how to prepare for the rapidly-approaching future. The event was hosted by the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard with generous support from Dell. The Summit brought together senior leaders form a diverse array of segments to engage in a thought leadership discussion concerning the future of cities and the facilitation of their innovation economies. Participants included Chief Innovation Officers from several cities and large corporations, education professionals, and leading entrepreneurs.