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Smarter and more connected communities – that’s not just a pretty vision, far off into the future. They are being built now, often on the basis of a renewed and intelligent city infrastructure. These communities have numerous advantages over other cities. Some of the most successful ones are approaching their development in ways that change how they deliver services to residents, how those residents work, how traffic flows are managed, how public transportation operates, and how real estate resources are best utilized.

We want those attending Meeting of the Minds 2012 in San Francisco in October as well as those watching via webcast, to build a world where everything is connected, intelligent, and green: from office buildings and appliances to hospitals and schools. Citizens will play a central role in that new world, working together with business and government and achieving unprecedented levels of collaboration, productivity, and economic growth. And it can all happen without compromising the integrity of our natural systems or our fragile environmental quality.The design of Meeting 2012 was driven by inputs provided by our partners, a long list that includes seven private enterprises: Toyota, Schneider Electric, Philips Lighting, Qualcomm, AT&T, CH2MHill, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Savvy leaders (from public, private, independent sectors) come together to co-develop new models that can dramatically improve city management; drive sustainable economic growth; promote greener/cleaner development; and deliver a better quality of life for citizens. The conference identifies the ‘key ingredients,’ which constitute the essential ‘recipe’ for success – and recognizes the unique and different roles played by government, innovative businesses, and NGOs.

As described in the occasional tweets @meetoftheminds, Meeting 2012 participants will all find out which cities have put innovation into the heart of their initiatives – and which ones are already hard at work developing more resilient systems and smarter institutions. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore new collaboration models, including those which harness the power of emerging technologies that can stimulate development (and revitalization) in our communities. They will also learn what enables politicians, city workers, businesses, and residents to reach new levels of economic, social, cultural and environmental development.

Among the many questions which Meeting 2012 will consider, two stand out for immediate consideration:

The line-up of innovators who have already confirmed their participation, along with the first thought leadership resources recently posted, highlight unique perspectives and help to ensure that a vigorous debate around these questions and more takes place during those days on the Bay in San Francisco.

Even before Mayor Edwin Lee opens the first session on the morning of October 10, there are four special tours convening for Meeting participants throughout San Francisco, including a private session inside the widely acclaimed California Academy of Sciences.

Creating smarter and better-connected urban communities requires using our collective intelligence. By that we don’t only mean the ‘wisdom of the crowds.’ It also means taking maximum advantage of the infrastructure already in place, such as wireless networks and their intelligent networking capabilities. The aim is nothing less than weaving together people, services, community assets, and information into strong and pervasive solutions.

Meeting of the Minds 2012 convenes in San Francisco from October 9 – 11, 2012. Save the Date on your personal calendar!

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