Video and audio recordings of my lecture for the Urban Systems course at Aalto University in February have now been produced. While I was in Finland teaching in another department, I was asked to lecture on Smarter Cities.
Here’s the abstract that was sent in advance:
The popularization of the Smarter Cities movement coincided with IBM’s campaign originating from 2009. The Smarter Cities ideas was an outgrowth from the Smarter Planet initiatives, which had emerged from the IBM Global Innovation Outlooks beginning in 2004.
This speaker was a consultant at IBM involved in Smarter Cities engagements, while simultanously conducing research into Service Systems Science.
The evolution of ideas both outside and inside IBM are reviewed, through a history of (i) systems sciences; (ii) service science, management, engineering and design (SSMED), (iii) service systems science; and (iv) smarter planet and smarter cities. Looking forward, the prospects for the (v) cognitive era and a (vi) service systems thinking is outlined.
(volume boosted 3db, 79MB, 1h22m24s)
|H.264 MP4||[1280×720 417Kbps m4v]
|[1280×720 3779Kbps m4v]
|WebM||[1280×720 316Kbps webm]
|[1280×720 3604Kbps m4v]
As a quicker reference, the slides may be useful if fast-forwarding to a specific section is desired.
daviding May 29th, 2016
One of the benefits of the IBM’s Smarter Planet vision(s) is its encouragement to think about the 21st century world from a fresh perspective. The rise of the service economy — which is not the same as the service sector — calls for the nurturing of talents with different emphases. While curricula typically have a strong grasp of agricultural systems (developed since, say, 1600 A,.D.), and industrial systems (since, say, 1850 A.D.), the science of service systems is still emerging.
A study on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education by a 2007 National Academies committee published recommendations in 2008 for professional science master’s education that is interdisciplinary in character. Such an investment in curriculum change has been proposed as a good use of stimulus funding in the U.S. In concert, 8 of 10 students expressed a wish for universities to revamp their traditional learning environments in the Smarter Planet University Jam conducted in spring 2009 .
In 2008 and 2009, the focus has shifted to primary and secondary school education, convening another National Academies committee centered on K-12, with a report due in 2010. Jim Spohrer — formerly the Director of Almaden Services Research, and now the Director of IBM Global University Programs — updated me on his current thinking about a potential design for education on Smarter Planet Service Systems.
|Systems that move, store, harvest, process||Kindergarten||Transportation|
|1||Water and waste management|
|2||Food and global supply chain|
|3||Energy and energy grid|
|4||Information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure|
|Systems that enable healthy, wealthy and wise people||5||Building and construction|
|6||Banking and finance|
|7||Retail and hospitality|
|9||Education (including universities)|
|Systems that govern||10||Government (cities)|
|11||Government (regions / states)|
|Higher education||Specific service systems|
|Professional life||Specific service systems|
Jim is following confirmation of the effectiveness of a Challenge-Based Learning approach by the New Media Consortium as “a strategy to engage kids in any class by giving them the opportunity to work on significant problems that have real-world implications”. I liked his ordering of systems into three levels:
daviding January 12th, 2010
I was listening to Sam Palmisano’s talk on “A Smarter Planet” as part of the Technology and Foreign Policy discussion at the Council for Foreign Relations — the audio version, because I prefer to not sit at my computer to watch the video. He said that as the world gets “flatter”, smaller and more interconnected, the planet is becoming smarter. Smarter means that …
… digital and physical infrastructures of the world are converging.
Three advances in technology are driving this change.
The talk continued with a discussion about how much waste — in energy, gridlocked traffic, supply chain inefficiencies, unsystemic healthcare, and water usage — in the physical world might be reduced through acting smarter. In the pure information world, financial institutions were able to spread risk, but not track risk, which undermined confidence in the markets.
I follow the ideas coming from IBM more closely than most people. I’ve also had the benefit of studying businesses for three decades(!) in various academic contexts. This has led me to reflect on the conjoined ideas on technology and business that have coevolved with me over the past decade. Some significant themes have included:
Formal, historical records of IBM’s directions are clearly documented in annual reports. I’m not an IBM executive, so my academic research is unlikely to impact corporate reports. However, it’s undeniable that my continuing on-the-ground engagements with clients and ongoing conversations with key thinkers inside IBM have shaped the way I see the world. From an academic perspective, I’ve moved closer to Normann (2001) in the view that economic progress is related to technological progress.
The effect of technology is — and always has been — to loosen constraints. As a result of technological development, what was not possible becomes possible. Or what was not economically feasible becomes so. [p. 27]
Each of the four themes are described below. Three themes are historical perspectives. The fourth continues to emerge with my current ongoing research.
daviding December 30th, 2008