Creating More Sustainable and Innovative Cities, Regions, and Nations

September 22, 2011 - 3 Comments

Post by Gordon Feller, Director, Urban Innovations, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group

Perhaps more than ever before, public sector leaders are concerned about their organizations’ ability to respond to new policy and service demands, budget reductions, and the need to engage new technology platforms for innovation and service delivery.

This scenario is further complicated by today’s uncertain and volatile socioeconomic environment, and by the growing imperative to make sense of the complex interplays that link natural ecosystems with the infrastructures that move our energy, people, goods, waste, and water.

Resilence has become priority No. 1 for the public sector—both in terms of coping with unexpected shocks (economic, natural, environmental), and in having the agility and capacity to anticipate and address the risks and opportunities that accompany big transitions and socioeconomic changes.

These challenges and opportunities are major themes at this week’s Meeting of the Minds 2011 conference in Boulder, CO (September 22-23). Presented by Toyota, with global co-sponsorship by Philips, Deutsche Bank, and Cisco, Meeting of the Minds allows participants from the public, NGO, and private sectors to engage in lively discussions on how to “connect the dots” across key sectors: mobility, building systems, energy and water resources, and finance.

More than 200 leaders from a dozen countries will explore a rich variety of smart design, planning, policy, and technology innovations that enable cities, regions, and nations to respond to increasingly difficult challenges.

As a global sponsor of Meeting of the Minds 2011, Cisco and its global consultancy, the Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), have helped shape the conference agenda and will present recent thought leadership on topics including “The Resilient Society,” Urban Innovation, Connected Vehicles, and Work-Life Innovation.

A sampling of the conference’s wide-ranging agenda includes sessions on “Changing Cities—Changing Cars,” moderated by Bill Reinert, national manager of advanced technology for Toyota Motor Sales, USA; “Transforming Lighting/Physical Assets of the City—A Big Step on the Path to Sustainability,” moderated by Manuel Ooman, senior  director innovation alliances, Philips Lighting; “Great Urban Design—A Radical Act that Can Transform Cities,” moderated by Bill Moggridge, director of Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; “New Urban Revitalization Strategies,” moderated by Relina Bulchandani, global lead of the Cisco IBSG Connected Real Estate Practice; a keynote on “The Future of Smart Cities: Connected, Sustainable and Resilient,” presented by Nicola Villa, senior director, Cico IBSG European and Emerging Markets Public Sector Practice; and a keynote address by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

A live webcast of Meeting of the Minds 2011 will be available at the following website:

In addition, Cisco IBSG will introduce a variety of new thought leadership at the conference:

●   The Resilient Society—A new way to think about the next phase of public sector reform and the bigger challenges of policy reform, improving public sector performance, and driving innovation in a more open and connected world.

●   Connected Vehicles and Government— Governments now have the opportunity to work with other key stakeholders—insurance companies, automotive manufacturers, and service providers—to create a next-generation transportation business model around connected vehicles and a smart, connected traffic infrastructure.

●   “Smart+Connected City Services”—Innovative cities such as Busan Metropolitan City (South Korea) are now using the network to change the way cities are designed, built, managed, and renewed to achieve sustainable growth.

●   “Work-Life Innovation”—Now, more than ever, workers in every sector of the economy are opting for more collaborative and flexible forms of work that allow them to contribute when they want, from virtually anywhere, with almost anyone.

About Gordon Feller

Gordon Feller is a director of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Public Sector Practice, Urban Innovations team. Feller works with city leaders worldwide, in both public and private sectors. In this capacity he supports Cisco’s numerous China initiatives, while simultaneously leading Cisco’s new City Leader Program for Chinese mayors and city-based party secretaries.

Prior to joining Cisco IBSG, Feller was CEO of the Urban Age Institute (UAI), which fosters leadership and innovation among cities in the areas of strategic urban planning, policy, and management; and sustainable environmental planning and poverty reduction. For nearly 30 years, he has advised leaders of multinational companies, cities, NGOs / foundations, and national governments on urban development issues. His clients include The World Bank, United Nations, German and Canadian governments,The Rockefeller Foundation, IBM Corporation, Reuters, and United Cities and Local Governments.

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  1. Really ur article is a helpful post, i like it very much.

  2. an absolute innovation we should do in every sector of life, hopefully metropolitan cities in Indonesia immediately began planning and innovative today, as busan (south korea)

  3. The main issue in some companies lies with resistance to changes. This is obvious in companies whose leaders have still not embraced the rapidly evolving IT sector and accept them as being crucial to move forward.