Technology has been the driving force of economies worldwide – but what about cities? Cities have to develop efficient operational models to provide services and infrastructure for their citizens; however, most services and infrastructure are built on a mixture of technologies that can span decades. Moreover, the rate at which cities have adopted new technologies has been historically slow, frequently with investments that are far out of balance with other important community needs.
Elected leaders are increasingly being asked about technology in the community such as residential broadband, how to welcome driverless cars, and how to embrace citizen-empowering health technologies. Citizens have come to expect rapid development and adoption of technology in their daily lives and in their businesses; they don’t wish to see lines drawn between the enterprise and the community. For residents and visitors, the expectation is for the city to meet ever-escalating demands. How do cities innovate and leverage technology to not only provide the services citizens need but also to build a model that supports the rapid growth required to attract and sustain highly successful inhabitants?
The 2017 Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator will help city strategic urban planners, chief innovation officers, technology officers, and economic development leaders establish strategies and an actionable digital plan. The 3-day program (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) is a hands-on, immersion accelerator for your city’s future where you will work alongside fellow city leaders, industrial experts, Harvard Fellows and researchers. Each day will focus on a specific level of your strategic plan.
The 2017 Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator is co-developed by the Fellows from the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard along with city leaders and industrial experts. We are excited that this Accelerator is co-hosted by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer of New York City. During the event, you will engage in informative case studies, peer-to-peer problem-solving sessions, and topical workshops designed to help you evaluate your current state and develop a plan to make your community an innovation leader for the future.
To ensure the learning and strategy translates directly into action, we invite two to three members from each cities strategic planning and technology team. This allows for the maximal transfer of knowledge, which will ensure that all aspects of your plan are considered. Our goal is to send each city home with a specific, actionable strategic digital plan for the future.
The 2017 Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator is an invitation-only program for senior-most executives in the public sector, technology, start-up communities, and higher education. It will be held at the HUB at Grand Central Tech, an urban technology incubator, and is co-sponsored by the City of New York. Acceptance to the Accelerator is based on the proposed team and a nomination letter by the senior-elected official for that city.