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Improving Citizen Services: San Antonio Continues to Set the Bar High

Have you ever gotten a parking ticket? What about a speeding ticket? If so, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to settle that ticket your way…a more efficient way…a way that would enable you to settle it when convenient for you and that wouldn’t require you to take the day off of work to drive downtown to go to court?

Well, if you lived in San Antonio, that would be an option.  Click on the image below to read the full story from News 4 WOAI out of San Antonio.

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Cloud: The Next Truly Transformative Innovation

From the IT Executive Symposium at Cisco Live 2012

We all dream of inventing the next breakthrough product, or creating the next company that no one can live without. The truth, however, is that innovation rarely occurs that way. Innovation isn’t just about invention—it’s about creating value. And it isn’t just important—it’s critical to a company’s growth and success.

Every few decades, something truly innovative occurs—a transformative development with global impact. The human species has pulled away from the rest of the animal kingdom predominantly because of our ability to communicate and collaborate. Every time we make a major improvement in the communication/collaboration arena, innovation accelerates at an exponential rate, and humankind moves forward dramatically. The printing press moved us from spoken transmission taking months, to printed materials that could reach the masses in weeks. The telephone gave us instant communication over any distance. The Internet moved us from paper to electronic processes. And today, we are on the cusp of the next truly transformative innovation: the cloud. Read More »

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San Francisco Bay Area’s Pioneers—Linking Technology and Public Policy

One of the best things about my job at CISCO is the opportunity to work with innovators in government, business, the independent sector, and nonprofits and examine the problems of urban communities in new ways.

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of supporting the launch of a new civic presence in our hometown of San Jose that does this very well: the San Jose office of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, SPUR San Jose. Read More »

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Video that’s viral and possibly even virile

Ah, the power of video.  Witness the virality (and virility?) of the Dollar Shave Club.

Seems like a revolutionary concept, doesn’t it?  And with that David vs. Goliath overtone, it’s downright catnip to the trodden, recession-weary masses.  But, guess what?  Budget blades have been done before.  Several times. (See www.razorsdirect.com, www.shaving-shack.com, not to mention drugstore knock-off brands.)

So, what made it different this time?

In a word, video.

(4.15 million views on YouTube in a month.)

You can call it social media, too.  Or just a sense of humor.  But the basic fact is, without the video, and the talent it showcases, Dollar Shave Club would not have the big brands shaking in their boardrooms.

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Transforming American Governance

In the midst of the debt crisis here in Washington, D.C., the nation teetered toward default, but eventually came to a compromise to avert that outcome. A recent article in The New Yorker likened the situation to “. . . members of an ordinance-disposal unit arguing about how to defuse a large ticking bomb.” Our nation faces a large—and growing—long-term fiscal imbalance driven by an aging population, which will dramatically increase healthcare and retirement costs.

The nation certainly faces other challenges: the continuing war on terror, increasing economic competition from emerging world powers like China and India, rising energy costs, environmental concerns, and other new and unknown problems and threats. Any one of these issues would provide a large enough agenda for a president and Congress. Their convergence creates an atmosphere of unparalleled complication for government management.

Overcoming these obstacles will require a “changed” government, a 21st-century government transformed to operate on demand. Read More »

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