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Leadership and Vision – Two critical ingredients for achieving regional resiliency

On May 24, 2012, the non-profit Sustainable Silicon Valley and its partners gathered at West Summit 2012, with hundreds of others, to explore interlocking themes: Global Trade, Regional Resilience, and Climate Volatility. The Summit featured high-caliber speakers and sponsors from corporations, governmental agencies, NGOs and educational institutions.

I was part of a panel entitled, “Leadership and Vision to Achieve Regional Resiliency,” which focused on the twin challenges facing cities — sustainability and resiliency. We honed in on best practices gleaned to date and how leaders can catalyze the deep transformation necessary to build a sustainable future. Read More »

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Singularity is approaching – and what does Central and Eastern Europe do about it?

What is singularity? The word has several interpretations in mathematics, geometry, natural sciences and technology. Increasingly, it is used to describe an exponential emergence of technological development with the potential of changing the world as we know it.

Singularity University (SU), located at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, was established in 2008 to create a global network of like-minded entrepreneurs, technologists and young leaders, dedicated to innovation and exploring the ways to singularity.

To make its efforts truly world-wide, SU launched a series of Global Impact Competitions, including one in Central and Eastern Europe, which is nearing its finals at the end of this week. Supported by Cisco, the competition reached thousands of university students, young entrepreneurs and business people in the region. Organizers were looking for innovative project ideas which could improve the lives of one million people in a 3-year period with the help of technology.

54 applications were submitted from eight countries, addressing issues of health, education or security. The minds behind the six most outstanding projects will get together on May 4th in Budapest, Hungary, to present their ideas and compete for the grand prize, an invitation to Singularity University’s summer course this year, worth 30 000 USD.  The jury will be chaired by noone less than Professor Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik cube.

So cross fingers for the finalists and their exciting ideas and watch this space to find out who wins later this week:

  • Agnieszka Gaczkowska, Poland: Drug waste – web-based service for used medicaments location and drug shortages alerts
  • Tamas Haidegger, Hungary: Hand Hygiene for a Healthier Planet- innovative education and objective control on personal hygiene
  • Vaclav Plevka, Czech Republic: Avoiding the Gridlock Incident in order to Keep the Conurbations in Operation
  • Bogdana Rakova, Bulgaria: LIVEstat- phone assisted healthy shopping
  • Daniel Ratai, Hungary: Leonar3Do the VR kit changing education, teaching and lifelong learning
  • Priszcilla Varnagy, Hungary: Be-novative: Conquering real-life challenges with creativity

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ATA 2012: Cisco Addresses Unique Needs of Nurses

“What I often feel today is, nurses nurse technology rather than nurse their patients.”

So says Cisco Chief Nursing Officer Curtis Dikes, a registered nurse in his own right, whose job at Cisco is to change that.

At the American Telemedicine Association’s 2012 meeting in San Jose, Dikes was kept fully engaged by attendees newly curious about Cisco technology and the customer-oriented thinking behind it.

“It’s not about the technology,” said Dikes during a break. “Technology is a conduit – part of the equation that enables a better care process.”

Do nurses have unique workflow requirements that warrant special attention? Yes, said Dikes, past president of the American Nursing Informatics Association. “Nursing has its specifics just like medicine.”

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Different Viewpoints, Greater Innovation

Inspiration: We all lose it from time to time. Sometimes we find it again in the strangest places, and other times, in the most obvious.

How many times have you gone into a meeting expecting minimal outcome only to have the light bulb go off after someone’s comment? Today, we have access to some of the brightest minds in the world thanks to collaboration technologies and virtual networking.  And as a result, the spark can come from anywhere.

Take for example the Bloodhound SCC (Super Sonic Car).  The ‘engineering adventure for the 21st century’ aims to not only build a car that can go 1050 mph, but to inspire and teach students about engineering, math, science, and technology. By using Cisco networking and video services, they are able to reach out to schools all over the world and inspire the engineers and scientists of the future.  This is much more exciting than local robotic car racing competitions held in the engineering schools during my university days.  And when a problem needs to be solved, engineers and scientists can come from anywhere—virtually—to provide different viewpoints to help troubleshoot.

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Recognizing Communities Around the World: Part 2

Last week I spoke with Louis Zacharilla and Robert Bell co-founders of the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF).  They were both very busy getting ready to announce the Intelligent Community of the Year at the Building the Broadband Economy summit in New York City June 6-8.

Each year, ICF presents an awards program for Intelligent Communities and the public-sector and private-sector partners who contribute to them.   

This year the 2012 Revolutionary keynote theme will be Intelligent Communities: Platforms for Innovation.  Innovation is one of ICF’s five Indicators, but the special theme will focus on how Intelligent Communities create uniquely powerful innovation ecosystems on a foundation of information and communications technology.   Innovation in Intelligent Communities brings together business, government and institutions in a dynamic partnership that produces results ranging from better and cheaper service delivery to citizens to the birth and growth of entrepreneurial businesses and vital new institutions.

There is a nice synergy between the Cisco Smart+Connected Communities and the Intelligent Communities recognized by ICF. 

This year’s ICF finalists include: 

  • Austin, Texas, United States
  • Oulu, Finland
  • Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • Riverside, California, United States
  • Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Straford, Ontario, Canada
  • Taichung City, Taiwan




 Do you know any communities that deserve to be recognized?

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