The idea of cities evolving as living urban laboratories to test next generation logistics, mobility, and connectivity systems is the basis for the rise of interest in smart cities. In 2013, the American Institute of Architects published: Cities as a Lab: Designing the Innovation Economy. The paper was one of the first to position the built environment as a connectivity platform.
According to the Harvard Business Review post, The Business of Artificial Intelligence:
"The most important general-purpose technology of our era is artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning — that is, the machine’s ability to keep improving its performance without humans having to explain exactly how to accomplish all the tasks it’s given. Within just the past few years machine learning has become far more effective and widely available. We can now build systems that learn how to perform tasks on their own."Read More
From Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans and President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors:
"While Americans look to Washington and see chaos and dysfunction reigning across our country, cities in urban, suburban, and rural communities are thriving and remain our greatest laboratory for economic growth, innovative public policy, and results-oriented government. In fact, the economic power of our metropolitan regions is driving our nation forward, and this must be recognized and strengthened if we are going to continue to compete in a global economy. From our largest cities and suburban areas to our smallest rural towns, mayors don’t just talk and debate, they provide safer, stronger, healthier, and more inclusive communities. Successful mayors combine real results and transformative vision delivered in real time. That’s leadership."
The meetings and conventions industry is evolving into a global innovation distribution channel. Over the last decade, convention bureaus have been collaborating more strategically with their local and state governments, economic development agencies, academic and scientific institutions, and local business improvement districts to better leverage the value of conventions in their cities, especially those aligned with their regions’ high-priority growth sectors.
The collective goal among those private and public organizations is to attract more conventions in advanced and creative industries to help position their cities as economic and innovation accelerators, in an effort to attract outside corporate investment and talent more effectively in those industries.
Mayors across the U.S. are investing significant resources to develop what the Brookings Institution calls “innovation districts,” in an attempt to accelerate urban and economic development, catalyze job growth, and shift their cities’ reputations toward being incubators for progress.
These districts are also providing a new type of idea collision space during meetings and conferences for visiting organizations to engage local tech and creative thought leaders in different growth industries.Read More
Holland has raised the bar for tourism content marketing with a new 17-minute short film capping off the Holland: The Original Cool video series launched in 2013 to help increase U.S. visitation. Aside from its length, The Tale of Kat and Dog is also unique in tourism promotion based on its storyline about a young American female named Kat. During a business trip in Amsterdam, she’s tormented by memories of her dead brother who had always dreamed of one day visiting Holland.
The short film and 16 Holland Cool marketing videos preceding it would typically have been overly expensive for the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) to produce on its own. To gather the necessary resources, the NBTC formed the Holland Marketing Alliance in partnership with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Amsterdam Marketing — all of which are striving to boost U.S. traffic.
At the easternmost tip of Canada, Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland has received huge international exposure since opening in May 2013 due to its high luxury level and high concept architecture located in a wholly non-traditional travel destination.
The story begins during the years between 1999 and 2001 when Zita Cobb, who grew up on Fogo Island, exercised over $100 million in stock options as CFO of JDS Uniphase, a fiber optic company based in California.
The telecom industry crashed in 2001, which according to The Economist wiped out much more valuation than the dot com bubble burst. Cobb then spent a few years traveling around the world and investing in philanthropic projects before returning to Fogo Island in 2005.
A decade before Cobb became one of the wealthiest female executives in America, the Canadian government placed a moratorium on North Atlantic Cod fishing off the east coast of Newfoundland. Multinational trawler fishing had completely wiped out the fish stocks, and the moratorium decimated what remained of the local Fogo Island economy.
When Cobb returned home, she saw how corporate overfishing impacted more than the ability for locals to earn a living. It impacted their identity, their culture, their sense of purpose, and their trust in place. So she decided to create something of lasting value, embracing place and permanence to protect what she calls the “sacred capital” inherent in any community.
The result of that is Fogo Island Inn.
“The most important thing is place because human culture is attached to place,” she told me during the PURE Life Experiences conference in Marrakech last month. “Our ability to survive and flourish and make meaning all derives from place. We think we can master and flatten place, but in so doing we kill all the paths to enlightenment for ourselves.”