Updated: Jul 19/18 | By: Chris Herbert
And It Begins!
Tomorrow will be an interesting day as Silicon Halton members and key leaders from the Town of Oakville meet to discuss “Smart Cities” and the Town’s plans to revitalize the downtown core starting in 2019.
How’d This Meeting Surface?
In May, I met with some key town leaders to discuss ways in which Silicon Halton and the Town could connect and collaborate.
My goal was, and continues to be, for local technology companies and professionals to be an integral part in planning and shaping Oakville’s future.
We decided that the first step would be to have a meetup on the topic of “Smart Cities”. Key members of the Town’s leadership team, and WSP, will be updating a group of Silicon Halton members on plans to revitalize the downtown core starting in 2019.
Major infrastructure upgrades like those planned for downtown Oakville are critical moments in time and an opportunity to reflect on the needs of the community and the role technology, in part, can play. It’s also an opportunity to bring interested parties and stakeholders together to collaborate and work together … especially local citizens and entrepreneurs.
Why Is This So Important?
There are many reasons why this meetup is important and why local groups, people, organizations and companies need to connect and collaborate together in new and better ways.
- First, perhaps you’ve noticed that storm clouds are starting to form. The thunder you hear is the rhetoric and threats coming from south of our border. Lightning has hit the steel and aluminum industry already and there is the threat of a 25% tariff on auto imports.
- Second, another clap of thunder is disruption. While an overused buzzword, disruption is ushering in new business models and companies that are changing how we travel (Uber), where we stay (AirBnB) and what we watch (Netflix). All are leveraging data, the cloud, software and the internet to create, deliver and capture value… and create jobs.
- Third, the competition for talent and the race to lead in key emerging technology fields such as artificial intelligence, security, internet of things, additive manufacturing, robotics and autonomous vehicles is now happening between countries and not just companies. What country isn’t trying to be the leader in AI or Fintech? How do we compete against mega economies, such as China, where two AI companies recently raised over $1B in venture capital alone? We have less people, less resources and maybe we’re a bit complacent to boot.
What is a Smart City Anyways?
Is it technology that makes a city smart? Nope, in fact it can create the opposite effect. A smart city is one that establishes a community culture where connectivity, collaboration, cooperation, co-creation, innovation and shared success is baked into the way we think, feel and work… together for people with varying needs including people like Ron whom put this video together for us.
The reality is no one person or organization will make a city smart. Collectively we can and should work together so we can weather the storm and show the world how its done! Why not?
- [NEW]: LinkedIn Discussion Thread: “What do you think makes a City, or Town, Smart?“.
- ACE Coworking Founder Nancy Fornasiero and Oakville Mayoral Candidate Julia Hanna weigh in on smart cities and the role local technology entrepreneurs and professionals can and should play. Read it here.
- Author and motivational speaker, Siobhan Kukolic, covered the the Smart City meetup. Read her article: “How the Town of Oakville and Silicon Halton are Getting Stronger.
- Silicon Halton member Brett Gillett, and founder of Curious Orbit has build an Ask Oakville Alexa App. Read it here.
- How to be Smart(er) in Mid-Sized Cities in Ontario
- What Makes a Smart Town?
- Silicon Halton’s TU20 Cup Smart Cities Winner Reflects on the Contest
- My scores for this year’s Smart City TU20 Cup contestants
- TU20 Cup
(Image Source: TechTarget)
Chris Herbert is a social entrepreneur. His current ventures are: Silicon Halton, Mi6 Agency and TechIgniters. He's a former squash professional and passionate about helping entrepreneurs, technology companies and professionals achieve success. He's a proud Canadian and plans to make Halton region the greatest place on the planet to live, work and play.