The Summit was an opportunity for senior city leaders to explore Smart City solutions that are happening at the present time. However, as the end of the Summit grew near, the discussion became future-focused. What had we learned from the panelists and the conversations during the full-day event? What should we do moving forward to continue the progress that has been made in Smart City innovation?
While many suggestions were given, the theme can be summarized as a little less talk, a little more action. This includes:
- Codifying best practices by identifying common elements among successful Smart City integrations and building a model that can be replicated in other cities.
- Using maturity models as a tool to tell us where we are as a city and where we need to go. And also working on developing more actionable tools that can guide progress.
- Forcing people and different departments to begin working together, getting them out of their silos so they can understand the benefits of collaboration.
- Embedding Smart City solutions into the way that the city operates. By creating the right operational governance, the changes we make can survive the test of time.
- Focusing in on one big technology or big challenge that hasn’t been explored much, with the goal of working on it until a solution is nailed.
- Developing really good case studies that demonstrate to citizens the innovative and interesting technological solutions available, and how these solutions can impact their lives.
- Carrying collaboration projects beyond their close, where they do not end in an archived report but instead, are extended into new projects.
- Opening up data as well as sharing worst practices and lessons learned to help the wider global community.
- Expanding on the collaboration that is happening within cities to the kind of collaboration that happens across cities or across countries.
On that final suggestion, many participants recognize that there is some collaboration happening across cities and countries right now, but there are definite limitations. We have to learn how to share best practices and other information more efficiently. Also, while we may come together to discuss Smart City initiatives, it is often only for the sake of discussion, then we fall short when it comes to action.
Other cities and countries around the world have the same issues that we have, related to poverty, the environment, and taking care of our citizens. To find solutions, we must learn how to collaborate in meaningful ways and end the trend of innovation in isolation.