IBM Smarter Cities Challenge: People’s Insights Volume 2, Issue 12


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This week, we distill insights around the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge - a collaboration between IBM and local governments to co-fund technology-based solutions to city-specific urban challenges.

100+ thinkers and planners within MSLGROUP share and discuss inspiring projects on social data, crowdsourcing, storytelling and citizenship on the MSLGROUP Insights Network.

Every week, we pick up one project and do a deep dive into conversations around it -- on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself but also on the broader social web -- to distill insights and foresights. We share these insights and foresights with you on our People’s Insights blog and compile the best insights from the network and the blog in the iPad-friendly People’s Lab Quarterly Magazine, as a showcase of our capabilities.

For more, see:

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IBM Smarter Cities Challenge: People’s Insights Volume 2, Issue 12

  1. 1. crowdsourcing | storytelling | citizenship | social dataPeople’s Insights Volume 2, Issue 12IBM Smarter CitiesChallenge
  2. 2. People’s Insights100+ thinkers and planners within MSL- In 2013, we continue to track inspiringGROUP share and discuss inspiring proj- projects at the intersection of social data,ects on social data, crowdsourcing, story- crowdsourcing and storytelling, with a fo-telling and citizenship on the MSLGROUP cus on projects that are shaping the FutureInsights Network. Every week, we pick up of project and curate the conversations Do subscribe to receive our weekly insightsaround it — on the MSLGROUP Insights reports, quarterly magazines, and annualNetwork itself but also on the broader reports, and do share your tips and com-social web — into a weekly insights report. ments with us at @PeoplesLab on Twitter.Every quarter, we compile these insights,along with original research and insightsfrom the MSLGROUP global network, intothe People’s Insights Quarterly Magazine.We have synthesized the insights from ouryear-long endeavor throughout 2012 toprovide foresights for business leaders andchangemakers — in the ten-part People’sInsights Annual Report titled Now & Next:Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engage-ment. People’s Insights People’s Insights People’s Insights weekly report quarterly magazines Annual Report Volume 2, Issue 12, Future of IBM Smarter Cities January - March, 2013 Citizenship Challenge
  3. 3. What is the Smarter CitiesChallenge?IBM launched the Smarter Cities Challenge to urban challenges. Through the Smarter Citiescollaborate with local governments and co- Challenge, IBM aims to help 100 cities acrossfund technology-based solutions to city-specific the world address urban issues with $50 million worth of IBM technology and expertise.Source: fastcompany.comIBM focuses on cities that collect data, and leverages its own technology and expertise to integrate citysystems and solve problems. As former IBM-er Adam Christensen blogged:“Cities have tremendous opportunities to use data, connectivity, and sophisticated software tools to knowthemselves better and improve their efficiency and effectiveness as providers of services and engines ofeconomic growth.”The Smarter Cities Challenge was launched as a three-year initiative in 2011. By the end of 2012, IBM hassent 300 experts to work with 60 cities around the world. Winners of the final phase of the challengewere announced in November 2012.How it worksCities applied to the challenge online over threeyears and IBM announced 20 to 35 winners eachyear.Blogger Itir Sonuparlak noted:“In order to receive the funds and the expertise,the cities had to be prepared to match IBM’sinvestment with their own commitment of timeand resources. The submissions that were favored Source: IBM Smarter Cities Challengeincluded urban concerns that could be addressedusing “smarter” technologies, the availability of A team of IBM experts visits each winning city anddata, and cities that demonstrated a record of spends three weeks working with local authoritiesinnovative problem solving.” to analyze the city and recommend smart city solutions. 3
  4. 4. Fast Company’s Ariel Schwartz wrote: simulation of an urban city and the challenges it faces. As Fast Company’s Ariel Schwartz noted:“The program… will give $250,000 to $400,000worth of services to each city selected through the “Cities considering the application process mightcompetitive grant process. Those services may want to take a look at IBM’s CityOne, a cityinclude access to City Forward (an IBM tool which simulation game intended to help developers andallows cities to analyze and visualize data across city planners deal with issues related to climatesystems), workshops on social networking tools, change, electrical grid management, banking andtime with top IBM talent, and assistance with more. The game could, in other words, help citiesstrategic planning.” pinpoint problems that might be alleviated with a little help from IBM.”In addition, cities are also introduced to the IBMIntelligent Operations Center, a robust tool thatmonitors and manages city services, in its effortto create smarter cities.Writer Heidi Schwartz noted:“These pilots leverage IBM technology and willcombine high volumes of data from sensors anddatabases (aka “Big Data”) with a layer of analyticssoftware. This infrastructure will allow officials tovisualize and manage operations more efficiently.” Source: IBM CityOne Trailer: A Smarter Planet GameWriter Rachel King pointed out: In their journey to make cities smarter, IBM“Essentially, IBM’s concept is to build a new user experts address urban issues ranging frominterface that exists between inhabitants and their city.” administration, citizen engagement, economic development, education & workforce,To demonstrate the capabilities of its technology, environment, public safety, social services,IBM created the game CityOne – a virtual transportation and urban planning.Source: Volume 2, Issue 12, Future of IBM Smarter Cities January - March, 2013 Citizenship Challenge
  5. 5. Then, IBM documents the experience andlearning from each city into an executive reportor case study and shares this on the SmarterCities Challenge website – giving other cities andthinkers the opportunity to explore solutions.Jen Crozier, Vice President of IBM GlobalCitizenship Initiatives, shared:“While the first two years of the program wereabout building expertise and connecting cityleaders, the third year of the program will focus Source: triplepundit.comon synthesis, and the ways in which the lessonslearned from one city can be combined with thosefrom another, to yield unexpected insight into the Data, crowds and smart citieschallenges facing cities.” Entrepreneurs, organizations and governments are keenly exploring the use of data, connectedIBM’s purpose objects and crowdsourcing to make cities smarterThe Smarter Cities Challenge is an evolution of – especially as cities become more crowded andboth IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative to address congested.sustainable development, and also the IBMCorporate Service Corps pro bono consultingprogram to assist governments in developingcountrieswith projects that intersect business,technology, and society.The challenge reflects IBM’s vision of usingtechnology to connect, monitor and analyzesystems to create smart systems – smarter grids,smarter traffic management, smarter cities,smarter healthcare, smarter food distribution andso on – to achieve economic growth, sustainable Source: fastcompany.comdevelopment and societal progress. IBM’s City Forward is an open interactive platformAs such, Smarter Planet is a part of both IBM’s that allows people explore city data and discussbusiness strategy as well as its CSR strategy. findings with the City Forward community.Edward Boches, Chief Innovation Officer at IBM has also created the community Peoplead agency Mullen and professor at Boston for a Smarter Planet to connect thinkers andUniversity, noted: changemakers around this challenge.“It’s a tagline, an ad campaign, a social mediaprogram, an attempt to educate customers andinfluencers, a library of thought leadership, anemployee motivational program, and a clearlydefined corporate mission. Most importantlyit’s a way to sell IBM and its services by framingthe importance of, and the need to, harnessthe intelligence in the world’s and a company’sconnected data.”Blogger Mary Catherine O’Connor wrote: Source: City Forward Introduction“Does this grant project mark the dawn ofphilanthropy 2.0? Or is it a handy tool for IBM to Governments too are opening up data andmarket its services to urban leaders? It’s both. And problems to entrepreneurs, coders and citizens,for IBM, it’s also a way to advance its Smart Planet with challenge platforms like Code for America,platform, which is all about building more efficient and Challenge Post in the U.S. andsystems through analytics, sensor networks, cloud Spark Central in the UK.computing, building automation and other systems.” 5
  6. 6. Anthony Townsend, director of research at the Finally, several entrepreneurs have launchedInstitute for the Future, argues that cities have a projects to crowdsource ideas on how cities canlot to gain by opening up to citizens: prepare for the future (see our People’s Insights report on TED’s The City2.0 platform).“Why can’t the technology that makes the Web anintuitive and interactive, yet deeply personalizedand social realm, be grafted onto the physical worldin a similar fashion?...“In the coming decade each city must strive to be asgood a civic laboratory as it can be. It must providea physical and social support system for hackersand entrepreneurs to experiment within.” Source: Volume 2, Issue 12, Future of IBM Smarter Cities January - March, 2013 Citizenship Challenge
  7. 7. People’s Lab:Crowdsourcing Innovation & InsightsPeople’s Lab is MSLGROUP’s proprietary comment on other people’s content andcrowdsourcing platform and approach that collaborate to find innovative solutions.helps organizations tap into people’s insights forinnovation, storytelling and change. The People’s Lab crowdsourcing platform and approach forms the core of our distinctiveThe People’s Lab crowdsourcing platform insights and foresight approach, which consistshelps organizations build and nurture public of four elements: organic conversation analysis,or private, web or mobile, hosted or white MSLGROUP’s own insight communities, client-label communities around four pre-configured specific insights communities, and ethnographicapplication areas: Expertise Request Network, deep dives into these communities. The People’sInnovation Challenge Network, Research & Insights Quarterly Magazines showcase ourInsights Network and Contest & Activation capability in crowdsourcing and analyzingNetwork. Our community and gaming features insights from conversations and communities.encourage people to share rich content, vote/ Learn more about us at: |
  8. 8. For People’s Lab solutions,