the Democratization of the Smart City

Smart City initiatives around the world are emerging along somewhat divergent spectrums. On one side, large companies such as: Cisco, IBM and Siemens are positioning multimillion-dollar platforms to city governments. And, on the other side, civic hackers are building grassroots ecosystems of applications from the ground-up.


While IoT and data infrastructure provided by the likes of Cisco and IBM tend to be secure and scalable, they are also: closed-off, expensive and take months or years to deploy.

Whereas, on the city streets, the speed of innovation spawned by startups and digitally connected citizens is far outpacing the efforts of their larger counterparts.

The Big Data Landgrab, Are You Missing Out?

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague the other day about the value and price of big data.

He posited that as more people and companies figure out the value of big data, the price of buying datasets will go up, and thus a market opportunity exists to start snapping-up datasets.


I disagreed with him.

I argued that the value of data is relative and supply is inelastic, meaning data is going to continue to be generated regardless of its market price – and much of it will be available free. Therefore, price will approach zero in the long run.

So who’s right?

Big Data for Global Change and Development


In the last three years, several technology trends in have begun to intersect. First, social networks took-off, led predominantly by Facebook and Twitter. The data being created in real-time by these networks is exploding at exponential rates. While most of the world has been focused on how to harness “Social Data” for everything from building corporate brands online to monitoring social uprisings across the world, something else has taken place beneath the surface.


The technology and infrastructure required to manage and analyze this data is evolving in significant ways. Open Source Projects have spun-out of Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others that enable a community of developers the ability to store and analyze enormously large sets of data at relatively no cost. The corporate world has long used data and analytics to be more competitive but now this technology has matured and is available to the masses.

How We Can Depolarize Congress

The Speaker of the House is not only one of the most influential positions in our country, but also one of the most polarizing. It is also a position that is not directly elected by the American People.

The Speaker of House is put in place by the majority party and derives his or her power from the institution of the House, the House Rules if you will. You can guess who makes the rules.