Toward Smarter Communities

As the McKinsey Global Institute asks: “Imagine the communities of the future – will people navigate from place to place with ease, or will the streets be chaotic and gridlocked? Will communities be healthy and sustainable places to live, or will environmental problems spiral? Will communities be able to provide adequate housing, infrastructure, and services to keep up with the needs of surging populations?”

The journey to becoming a smarter community is about finding ways to make life better for the citizens who live there, based on each community’s authentic culture and heritage, where technology is used as an enabler for transformative change. While many communities are only beginning their journey whether the place is a town, city, county or metro area, and may not know where to begin and every community is different,  the challenges faced by leaders are often quite similar. Toward Smarter Communities brings together leaders to learn, share and grow together for this very reason.

The Toward Smarter Communities initiative is based on a platform proven by Spark Growth in collaboration with Dr. David Ricketts, chair of the Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator series and an Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH). These include invitation-only workshops designed to spark creativity in defining and refining initial strategies, bringing best practices and learnings from around the “Smart” world to the government leadership arena. For key decision-makers, they are an opportunity to learn from and co-design your “smarter community” strategy solutions with your peers, build relationships, and understand best practices for digital innovation as you work alongside expert industry partners.

The Florida Toward Smarter Communities launched in Tampa, Florida at the Synapse Innovation Summit in January 2019. Synapse Innovation Summit Looks “Toward Smarter Communities”

Becoming a “Smart City” is not about a specific technology, but rather about working smarter to meet the needs of the citizens who live in your community. In addition to the specially convened workshops for multiple municipality leaders, Toward Smarter Communities provides a framework and processes for individual communities to understand more clearly what being a smarter community means. An agile process develops collaborations while identifying the best courses of action and existing assets that could align with your efforts to more clearly determine where to begin in your community.  

With the wide breadth of possibilities in your Smart Cities projects – where do you even begin in your community? At Spark Growth, in response to our work with city leaders and industry partners we are excited about the Toward Smarter Communities initiative to help you navigate the complexity of your situation and focus on meeting big “smart” goals with high impact for your community without getting lost in the details or the sparkly aspects of the latest technology gadget.