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Sustainable Cities & Technology: Insights & Final Thoughts from Meeting of the Minds 2012

I had the opportunity to attend Meeting of the Minds in San Francisco last week. It was an amazing event that brought together thought leaders from the world’s most innovative organizations to spotlight fresh ideas in urban connectivity and sustainability.

The emerging themes centered around innovation, leadership, and enabling connectivity. While there and after the first day of sessions, my team had the pleasure of catching up with Gordon Feller, director of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Public Sector Practice, Urban Innovations team and convenor and co-founder of Meeting of the Minds, to capture his insights. Check out the video:

In the opening remarks at the event, Gordon spoke about how this conference was different. We were encouraged to keep cell phones, laptops and tablets on because the major theme was about being connected and sharing innovative ideas. The audience was encouraged to actively engage in social media and take copious notes.

We also heard leaders talk about how cities are looking to technology and other innovative solutions to enable sustainability. For example, Jon Walton, CIO of the City of San Francisco, talked specifically about the city’s journey to the cloud and how cloud solutions are enabling this complex city by the Bay to do more with less. Several other city leaders addressed the issue of data in motion and how data analytics can essentially transform areas such as mass transit.

One of the key things that I will take away from this conference is how connectivity, which includes connecting cities to citizens in order to improve services and connecting agencies to agencies in order to break down those silos across government, can fundamentally revolutionize how we view cities of today and tomorrow. Conferences like this provide real-world examples from today’s leadership and give us inspiration for tomorrow so that we can see how technology can help improve operational efficiencies, stimulate the economy, and help improve department agility, among other things.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Meeting of the Minds, which will be in Toronto. Click on the image below for all the details, and hope to see you there!

Finally, in closing, if you’d like more information on Cisco® solutions pertaining to government and leading urban innovations around the globe, please visit the Cisco IBSG Urban Innovations page and the Cisco Government page.

 

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