March 16, 2016  |  permalink

Five Things You Need to Know About the Future of Cities


Global Real Estate Insight asked me what their readers need to know about the future of cities. This is what I told them.

1. The world is fully urbanised already.
You just haven’t noticed. It has become trendy in recent years to say the world is half-urbanised because more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. But given the water, energy, data, food, and transport infrastructure required to make this state of affairs possible, the remaining half more or less exists to serve the needs of city-dwellers. We have transformed the world’s rural landscape into a network of highways, dams, farms, feedlots, oilfields and data centres that are helpfully out of sight.

2. Slums are the cities of the future.
Help them, don’t bulldoze them. The planet’s urban population is expected to double between 2005 and 2050 to more than 7bn people. But urban land cover is expected to triple during that time, which means we are poised to cover more of the planet in the next 30 years than in all of human history. Most of that will consist of informal settlements and slums. Our great urban challenge will not be building gleaming new cities from scratch, but giving these people the rights and the means to gradually transform these places into world-class cities in their own right, just as Dickensian London and Gangs of New York-era Manhattan grew into the world-class cities they are today.

3. Mobility is destiny.
The shape of cities is defined by the state-of-the-art in transportation at the time of their construction. The layouts of Jerusalem, Venice, London, and Los Angeles each respectively bear witness to this. Arguably, the state-of-the-art today is the smartphone, which enables its owner to seamlessly locate, understand, and pay for multiple modes, while empowering transportation providers in ways that have never existed. The rise of Uber and its rivals has already changed how people perceive and use cities – with small but significant impacts on real estate prices. Google is already thinking long and hard about how autonomous cars might do the same. Mobile devices, urban mobility, and social mobility have all become entwined.

4. “Old people, in big cities, afraid of the sky.”
That is the future, according to science fiction author Bruce Sterling. And he is not wrong. The combination of mega-urbanisation, longer life expectancies, and climate change will have far-reaching, often disastrous effects on cities, especially if we fail to develop new models for developing, deploying, and financing new infrastructure. Solar panels on every rooftop and Tesla batteries in every basement sound great, but who is going to pay for them after a hurricane or typhoon has ravaged New York or Manila yet again?

5. Cities are ultimately good for you.
Physicists Geoffrey West and Luis Bettencourt have made waves arguing that cities grow stronger, faster and better the bigger they get – roughly an extra 15% better every time they double in size. They have measured this increase in patents, wages, productivity and whatever else they can find data for. Clearly, this is not true for every city – maybe not for Lagos, definitely for London. West and Bettencourt argue this disparity has to do with cities’ ability to bring large, dense, diverse concentrations of people together in space and time. The Tube does that; Lagos’ traffic does not. The continued growth of London is a good thing, but only if it continues investing in necessary infrastructure and commits to granting all of its residents the right to use the city. The future has never belonged to ghost towns, gilded or otherwise.

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January 25, 2016  |  permalink

Interbrand World Changing Speaker Series


Last week, I had the honor of delivering the first talk in this year’s World Changing Speaker Series at Interbrand — the brand consulting behemoth responsible for the identities of Microsoft, Samsung, Nissan, and Xerox, among others (at least according to its Wikipedia page). At the invitation of Danny Robertson and Natalie Silverstein, I held forth at top speed for an hour on the future of cities, travel, tourism, mobility, work, and social networks. I was stunned and gratified at how many of their colleagues stuck around to listen on the eve of a blizzard. Thanks again for having me.

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January 23, 2016  |  permalink

GE Look Ahead: What Challenges Will Engineers Face in 2050


Look Ahead — an online publication sponsored by General Electric and produced by The Economist Group — recently asked me what will be the greatest challenges most engineers will face in 2050. My response:

Call me a pessimist, but I believe engineers will be in a race against time and climate change to replace destroyed and failing 20th-century infrastructure—roads, power lines, pipelines, etc—with new technologies, materials and networks out of necessity.

Hurricane Sandy in 2012 not only exposed the weaknesses of America’s coastal infrastructure, but also the inability of local governments to afford replacements in the face of increasingly frequent storms. Meanwhile, the back-to-back-to-back typhoons Pablo, Yolanda and Glenda in the Philippines exposed just how difficult it will be for developing nations to physically rebuild ahead of the next storm.

The greatest challenge for engineers will be developing and deploying more resilient solutions at scale, whether that be solar micro-grids, new transportation alternatives and, (hopefully), cheap, transformative infrastructure that hasn’t been invented yet.

Please click through for further thoughts from luminaries at GE, the Institute for the Future, and more.

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January 21, 2016  |  permalink

Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association


Way back in September, I kicked off the annual conference of the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association with stories about four possible futures of autonomous cars — a Google utopia, dystopian gridlock, coping with catastrophic climate change, and just-in-time delivery bots. The video of that talk has finally been posted, which I encourage you to watch by clicking here. (Privacy settings forbid me from embedding it above.) Fast-forward to the 11:00 mark to skip the throat-clearing remarks. Enjoy.

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January 14, 2016  |  permalink

Microsoft and The Changing World of Work

I’m honored to be featured in “The Changing World of Work,” a series of videos produced by Microsoft Office Envisioning and PopTech. From the introductory blurb:

The world of work is changing. On the one hand we have incredibly high levels of worker disengagement and there are dire predictions that up to 50 percent of the jobs in the United States are at risk of automation in the next two decades, but on the other hand we have new companies creating value faster than at any point in human history, and we can all feel the potential. The closer we looked, the more we realized that the way we work has not kept up with the rapid pace of change in the world. To understand what was happening, PopTech and Microsoft Office Envisioning spoke to experts on the subject from around the world. Join us on our journey of discovery.

I appear in the video above, “The Social Workplace,” along with my Harvard Business Review co-authors Ben Waber and Jennifer Magnolfi. You can find the entire series here.

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January 07, 2016  |  permalink

Revolution of the Present


Revolution of the Present, a documentary directed by Marc Lafia and starring such notable thinkers as Saskia Sassen, Doug Rushkoff, Manuel De Landa, Michael Hardt (and well, me) hits the Internet for free next week on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Vimeo — I tried embedding it above, but you’ll just have to click through to watch. What is Revolution of the Present about? I’m glad you asked:

Humanity seems to be stuck in the perpetual now that is our networked world. More countries are witnessing people taking to the streets in search of answers. Revolution of the Present, the film, features interviews with thought leaders designed to give meaning to our present and precarious condition. This historic journey allows us to us re-think our presumptions and narratives about the individual and society, the local and global, our politics and technology. This documentary analyzes why the opportunity to augment the scope of human action has become so atomized and diminished. Revolution of the Present is an invitation to join the conversation and help contribute to our collective understanding.

As Saskia Sassen, the renowned sociologist, states at the outset of the film, ‘we live in a time of unsettlement, so much so that we are even questioning the notion of the global, which is healthy.’ One could say that our film raises more questions than it answers, but this is our goal. Asking the right questions and going back to beginnings may be the very thing we need to do to understand the present, and to move forward from it with a healthy skepticism.

Revolution of the Present is structured as an engaging dinner conversation, there is no narrator telling you what to think, it is not a film of fear of the end time or accusation, it is an invitation to sit at the table and join an in depth conversation about our diverse and plural world.

I’m the one at the dinner table ranting about the Brand Called You. Bon appetit.

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January 04, 2016  |  permalink

Speaking & Events

I speak frequently about the future of cities, work, mobility, and occasionally the future of the future itself. Past events include the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Clinton Global Initiative, and LSE Urban Age. I speak frequently to companies (McKinsey, Microsoft, KPMG, Deloitte, Intel, Interbrand, Ericsson, AECOM, SNCF, Fiat Chrysler), organizations (the OECD, U.S. State Department, New Cities Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts), member associations (CoreNet, Urban Land Institute, Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) and universities (Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Princeton, the Asian Institute of Management).

Below is the current list of past and future appearances, always bound to change. If you’re interested in helping to arrange a speaking appearance, please send me an email. A complete list of speaking topics can be found at Speakers Spotlight.

April 6, 2017. Marseille, France.

March 28, 2017. Oslo, Norway.

February 24, 2017. San Diego, CA.

February 22, 2017. Chicago, IL.
IC Bus Innovation Summit.

February 2, 2017. Toulouse, France.

January 17, 2017. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
World Future Energy Summit.

December 13, 2016. New Orleans, LA.
National Association of Home Builders.

November 22, 2016. Bordeaux, France.

November 15, 2016. Dallas, TX.

November 4, 2016. Tokyo, Japan.
Cities on the Move.

November 1, 2016. New York, NY.

October 26, 2016. Cambridge, MA.

October 20-21, 2016. Tokyo, Japan.
World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Summit.

October 18, 2016. Los Angeles, CA.

October 14, 2016. Miami Beach, FL.
Harvard Business School.

October 12, 2016. San Antonio, TX.
University of Texas-San Antonio.

September 27, 2016. Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

September 21-22, 2016. Ann Arbor, MI.
SmithGroup JJR.

September 20, 2016. London, United Kingdom.
Cushman & Wakefield.

September 19, 2016. Atlanta, GA.
CORE Network.

September 16, 2016. Holland, MI.

September 15, 2016. Irvine, CA.
Urban Land Institute.

July 13, 2016. Boston, MA.

June 21-22, 2016. Montreal, QC.
New Cities Summit.

June 17, 2016. New York, NY.
Columbia GSAPP Durst Conference 2016.

June 15, 2016. New York, NY.
Urban Design Forum: New Ideas for Urban Freight.

June 10, 2016. Brussels, Belgium.

June 7, 2016. Trenton, NJ.
PlanSmart NJ Summit.

May 26, 2016. New York, NY.
Urban Salon.

May 26, 2016. New York, NY.
WorkTech 2016.

May 18-20, 2016. Leipzig, Germany.
International Transport Forum 2016.

May 11, 2016. Providence, RI.
Providence Committee on Foreign Relations.

May 10, 2016. Indian Wells, CA.
California Travel Summit.

April 28, 2016. San Francisco, CA.
Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers.

April 26, 2016. Strasbourg, France.
The Automobile Forum.

April 12, 2016. New York, NY.
Fordham University.

April 4, 2016. San Antonio, TX.
Trapeze User Conference.

March 31, 2016. Washington D.C..
Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

March 24, 2016. New York, NY.
Messe Frankfurt.

March 23, 2016. New York, NY.
Columbia University GSAPP.

March 7, 2016. Newport Beach, CA.
American Automotive and Leasing Association.

March 4, 2016. Manila, the Philippines.
Asian Institute of Management.

March 2, 2016. Manila, the Philippines.
Urban Land Institute Philippines.

February 11, 2016. London, United Kingdom.
Transport for London.

February 10, 2016. London, United Kingdom.
New London Architecture.

February 9, 2016. London, United Kingdom.
Royal College of Art.

January 22, 2016. New York, NY.

December 8-9, 2015. King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia.

November 21-22, 2015. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Expo 2020.

November 18, 2015. Pasadena, CA.
California Transit Association.

November 17, 2015. New York, NY.

November 12-13, 2015. Cambridge, MA.
Disrupting Mobility.

November 10, 2015. Zurich, Switzerland.
The Circle.

November 9, 2015. Paris, France.
New World Forum.

October 27-28, 2015. Eden Prairie, MN.

October 22, 2015. New York, NY.
Municipal Art Society Summit.

October 20-21, 2015. Singapore.
Abraaj Annual Forum.

October 14, 2015. London, United Kingdom.
Cities on the Move.

October 7, 2015. New York, NY.
Center for Architecture.

September 30, 2015. York Regional Municipality, ON.
York Regional Council.

September 28, 2015. Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
ILTM Americas.

September 22, 2015. San Antonio, TX.
Texas Travel Industry Association.

September 16, 2015. London, United Kingdom.
Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.

September 14, 2015. Nashville, TN.
Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association.

September 4, 2015. Los Angeles, CA.

June 18-19, 2015. Prague, Czech Republic.

June 9-11, 2015. Jakarta, Indonesia.
New Cities Summit.

June 2, 2015. New York, NY.
The Happiness Industry: Book Discussion with Will Davies, Greg Lindsay, and Melissa Aronczyk.

May 28, 2015. Bursa, Turkey.
Bursa Innovation and Design Summit.

May 20, 2015. Seattle, WA.

May 19, 2015. Redmond, WA.
Microsoft Research.

May 15, 2015. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

May 6, 2015. Orlando, FL.
University of Central Florida Real Estate Conference.

May 5, 2015. Miami, FL.
eMerge Americas.

March 12, 2015. Cambridge, MA.
MIT & Iceland Naturally.

February 20, 2015. Washington, DC.
U. S. Department of State.

February 20, 2015. Washington, DC.
Global Solution Networks.

February 19, 2015. Fort Worth, TX.
Fort Worth Lecture Society.

February 12, 2015. Orlando, FL.
Association of Energy Services Professionals.

January 30, 2015. San Francisco, CA.
Gehl Studio.

January 27, 2015. Berkeley, CA.
University of California.

December 11, 2014. Minneapolis, MN.
Made in Minnesota: Celebrating university innovators.

December 9, 2014. New York, NY.
Influx and Exodus: Two Conversations on Urban Density.

December 3, 2014. New York, NY.
Re-Programming Mobility: What Do Smart Phones and Self-Driving Cars Mean for Future Cities?

December 2, 2014. Cambridge, MA.
Harvard Graduate School of Design.

November 24, 2014. New York, NY.
Frog Design.

November 19-21, 2014. Santa Fe, NM.
“Acting Locally, Understanding Globally.” Santa Fe Institute.

November 12, 2014. New York, NY.
Urban Salon: NYC Transportation in 2030.

November 11, 2014. London, United Kingdom.
Grimshaw Architects.

November 11, 2014. London, United Kingdom.

November 10, 2014. London, United Kingdom.
Airport Operators Association.

October 23, 2014. New York, NY.
Jane Jacobs Forum.

October 22, 2014. Brooklyn, NY.
Makeshift Society.

October 10, 2014. Ottawa, ON.
Canada Council for the Arts.

October 9, 2014. Baltimore, MD.
Element Vehicle Management Services.

September 28-30, 2014. Los Angeles, CA.

September 22-23, 2014. Toronto, ON.

September 16, 2014. Detroit, MI.
Techonomy Detroit.

July 28, 2014. Los Angeles, CA.
Global Business Travel Association.

July 14, 2014. New York, NY.
Center for Architecture.

June 27-30, 2014. Aspen, CO.
Aspen Ideas Festival.

June 23-25, 2014. Denver, CO.
Clinton Global Initiative America.

June 20, 2014. Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions.

June 19, 2014. Dallas, TX.
The Purpose City.

June 18, 2014. Mississauga, ON.
Element Fleet Management.

June 17, 2014. Dallas, TX.
New Cities Summit.

June 16, 2014. Dallas, TX.
Ericsson & UN Habitat.

June 10, 2014. Chicago, IL.

June 4, 2014. Venice, Italy.
STREAM Lectures at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

June 2, 2014. Montreal, QC.
Canadian Automobile Association.

May 21, 2014. New York, NY.
Internet Week New York.

May 20, 2014. Seattle, WA.

May 20, 2014. Seattle, WA.

May 16, 2014. Angeles City, Philippines.
Clark Aviation Conference 2014.

May 13, 2014. Manila, Philippines.
The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

May 8, 2014. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

April 25, 2014. Chicago, IL.
American Society of Landscape Architects.

April 22, 2014. New York, NY.
The New York Times’ Cities for Tomorrow

April 11, 2014. New York, NY.
Mobilities in Cities: From Visible to Invisible.

April 9, 2014. Toronto, ON.
Smart Cities Canada.

April 1, 2014. New York, NY.
Extrastatecraft: A Salon with Keller Easterling.

March 22, 2014. New Orleans, LA.
Sun Life Financial.

March 10, 2014. New York, NY.
Youth Think Tank: The Next Big Ideas from the Next Generation,” 92nd St. Y.

March 6, 2014. Mountain View, CA.
Cities on the Move.

February 27, 2014. New York, NY.
Smart Law for Smart Cities.

February 14, 2013. Los Angeles, CA.

January 30, 2014. New York, NY.
When Computers Take Over The City,” World Policy Institute.

January 16, 2014. Garden City, NY.
Build a Better Burb: ParkingPLUS Design Challenge.

January 14, 2014. Calgary, AB.
City of Calgary.

December 10, 2013. Washington, DC.
Atlantic Council 2013 Strategic Foresight Forum.

November 25-26, 2013. King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia.

November 20, 2013. London, United Kingdom.
WorkTech13 London.

November 18-19, 2013. Miami, FL.
NEST Forum.

November 3, 2013. Baltimore, MD.
Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit.

November 1, 2013. New York, NY.
Building the Digital City.

October 22, 2013. Las Vegas, NV.
CoreNet Global Summit.

October 12, 2013. New York, NY.
NYU Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference.

October 3, 2013. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
WorkTech13 Buenos Aires.

September 27, 2013. Reno, NV.
Design Matters 2013.

September 26, 2013. Sydney, Australia.
CoreNet Sydney Symposium.

September 23, 2013. Niagara Falls, ON.

September 19, 2013. Atlanta, GA.
Global Workspace Association.

September 17, 2013. Bolingbrook, IL.
Will County Center for Economic Development.

August 20, 2013. New York, NY.
Tech Tuesdays at the Seaport: Five Ideas To Change The City.

July 18, 2013. New York, NY.
World Policy Institute Political Salon.

July 11, 2013. New York, NY.
IIDA Facilities Forum.

June 28, 2013. Los Angeles, CA.
Extreme IDEAS: Runway.

June 21, 2013. Prague, Czech Republic.
reSITE 2013.

June 20, 2013. Istanbul, Turkey.
Urban Land Institute.

June 19, 2013. London, United Kingdom.
Urban Land Institute Europe Trends Conference.

June 18, 2013. Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Urban Land Institute.

June 11, 2013. Los Angeles, CA.
UCLA cityLab

June 4-5, 2013. Sao Paulo, Brazil.
New Cities Summit

May 22, 2013. Los Angeles, CA.
Extreme IDEAS: Architecture at the Intersection.

May 16, 2013. New York, NY.
WorkTech13 New York.

May 15, 2013. Atlanta, GA.
Brownfields 2013.

May 13, 2013. New York, NY.
“Which Cities Will Survive the 21st Century?” New America Foundation.

May 7, 2013. Rapid City, SD.
Rapid City Chamber of Commerce.

May 2, 2013. New York, NY.
World Policy Institute: Around the Table.

April 22-23, 2013. New York, NY.
Assocation of Corporate Travel Executives.

April 17-19, 2013. Tempe, AZ.
“Urbanization, Sustainability, Resilience, and Prosperity” Workshop, Arizona State University.

April 1, 2013. New York, NY.
New York University.

March 20, 2013. Ontario, CA.
State of the City 2013.

March 11, 2013. Boston, MA.

February 21, 2013. Angeles City, Philippines.
Clark Aviation Conference.

February 20, 2013. Manila, Philippines.
The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

December 6, 2012. London, United Kingdom.
London School of Economics: Urban Age.

November 20, 2012. Princeton, NJ.
Princeton University School of Architecture.

November 15, 2012. Barcelona, Spain.
Smart City Expo World Congress 2012.

November 7, 2012. Menlo Park, CA.
The Institute for the Future 2012 Technology Horizons Conference.

November 1, 2012. Boston, MA.
The Boston Society of Architects.

October 13, 2012. Brooklyn, NY.

October 12, 2012. New York, NY.
Columbia University: The Global Street.

September 25, 2012. New York, NY.
Columbia University GSAPP.

September 19, 2012. Moncton, NB.
The 2012 Air Cargo Logistics Symposium.

September 2, 2012. Salzburg, Austria.

July 26, 2012. Los Angeles, CA.
CoreNet Los Angeles.

June 4, 2012. New York, NY.
Cornell University.

May 21, 2012. Haifa, Israel.
Intel Labs Future of Work 2012 Summit

May 16, 2012. Louisville, KY
Kentucky CCIM

May 15, 2012. Kansas City, MO.

May 11, 2012. New York, NY.
Fordham University Smart City Symposium. Open to all. RSVP required.

May 3, 2012. New York, NY.
World Policy Institute 50th Anniversary and Celebration.

May 1, 2012. Seattle, WA.
Commercial Brokers Association.

April 27, 2012. New York, NY.
New York University.

April 23, 2012. New York, NY.
World Policy Institute & Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. “The Future of the City.” 6:30 PM.

April 19, 2012. New York, NY.
Studio-X X-Cities 4, featuring Living PlanIT and Songdo IBD. Free and open to all.

April 18, 2012. St. Petersburg, FL.
American Real Estate Society.

April 10, 2012. New York, NY.
Studio-X X-Cities 3, featuring IBM’s Guru Banavar. Free and open to all.

April 5, 2012. Hillsboro, OR.
Intel Labs 2012 Trendspotting Summit.

March 29, 2012. Albuquerque, NM.
Albuquerque Downtown Action Team.

March 28, 2012. Albuquerque, NM.
Bookworks. Discussion and signing. Free and open to the public.

March 20, 2012. New York, NY.
Studio-X X-Cities 2. Free and open to all.

March 14, 2012. New York, NY.
School of the Visual Arts.

March 12, 2012. Muscat, Oman.
The Sindbad Lecture.

March 11, 2012. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Middle East Facilities Management Association.

March 9, 2012. Providence, RI.
Brown University Urban Affairs conference.

February 21, 2012. New York, NY.
Studio-X X-Cities series. Free and open to all.

February 15, 2012. Washington, DC.
Research In Motion.

February 14, 2012. New York, NY.
Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream. Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

January 24, 2012. Seattle, WA.

November 14, 2011. New York, NY.
World Policy Institute Political Salon.

November 10, 2011. New York, NY.
L2 Innovation Forum.

November 7, 2011. Montreal, QC.
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives.

October 31-November 1, 2011. London, United Kingdom.
The Airport Operators Association.

October 20, 2011. New York, NY.
Asia Society New York. Registration required. Open to all.

October 14, 2011. Phoenix, AZ.
CCIM Live.

October 13, 2011. Ottawa, ON.
Ontario Professional Planners Institute.

October 5, 2011. New York, NY
Columbia University, Committee for Global Thought.

October 4, 2011. Destin, FL.
Gulf Power Economic Symposium.

September 27, Washington D.C.
The National Building Museum. 6:30 PM. Reading and discussion. Admission required; open to all.

September 20, 2011. New York, NY
Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

September 18, 2011. Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Book Festival. 4 PM at Brooklyn Historical Society Library. Free and open to all.

September 17, 2011. Queens, NY.
“Foreclosed” Open Studios. 12-6 PM at MoMA PS1. Open to the public.

September 15, 2011. Champaign, IL.
TEDxUIllinois. Free; visit the site to request an invitation.

September 3-4, 2011. Decatur, GA.
The AJC Decatur Book Festival. Open to the public.

August 29-30, 2011. Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Medical Travel Meeting Brazil.

June 29-30, 2011. Chicago, IL
The Clinton Global Initiative: CGI America.

June 18, 2011. Queens, NY.
“Foreclosed” workshop presentations. 2 PM at MoMA PS1. Open to the public.

June 7, 2011. New York, NY.
The New York Public Library. 6:30 PM. Discussion and signing. Free and open to all.

June 6, 2011. Washington D.C.
Intelligent Cities Forum.

May 23, 2011. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
DIFC Economics Workshop.

May 11, 2011. Denver, CO.
Metro Denver Aviation Coalition.

May 10, 2011. Denver, CO.
Tattered Cover Book Store. 7 PM. Reading and discussion. Free and open to all.

May 7, 2011. New York, NY.
Pecha Kucha #11, “The Dimensions of a New City.” 11:29 PM at the Old School Gym, 268 Mulberry Street.

May 7, 2011. Queens, NY.
“Foreclosed” preliminary presentations. 2 PM at MoMA PS1. Open to the public.

May 2, 2011. Chicago, IL.
CoreNet Global Summit.

April 28, 2011. New York, NY.
The Frequent Traveler Awards.

April 20, 2011. New York, NY.
Talking Books with the Architectural League of New York. McNally Jackson Bookstore, 7 PM. Free and open to all.

April 14, 2011. Brooklyn, NY.
The Futurist and Kite Flying Society of Galapagos Art Space. 7 PM. Registration required. Open to all.

April 13, 2011. Memphis, TN.
FedEx Corporation.

April 12-13, 2011. Memphis, TN.
Airport Cities 2011.

April 11, 2011. Memphis, TN.
Davis-Kidd Booksellers. 6 PM. Free and open to all.

April 8, 2011. New York, NY.
PSFK New York.

April 5, 2011. Los Angeles, CA.
Architecture and Design Museum.

April 4, 2011. San Francisco, CA.
World Affairs Council of Northern California.

April 1, 2011. Berkeley, CA.
University of California Architecture Research Colloquium.

March 31, 2011. Portland, OR.
Powell’s City of Books.

March 30, 2011. Seattle, WA.
Town Hall Seattle.

March 29, 2011. Irving, TX.
The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.

March 24, 2011. Kankakee, IL.
The Kankakee Public Library.

March 23, 2011. Chicago, IL.
The Book Cellar.

March 22, 2011. Chicago, IL.
The Chicago Council of Global Affairs.

March 21, 2011. Cambridge, MA.
Harvard Bookstore.

March 20, 2011. New York NY.
The Left Forum.

March 16, 2011. Atlanta, GA.
Atlantic Station.

March 11, 2011. Louisville, KY.
Greater Louisville Inc.

February 23-24, 2011. San Francisco, CA.
Global Green Cities of the 21st Century.

October 18, 2010. Shanghai, China.
2010 China Innovation Forum.

October 1, 2010. New York, NY.
“Cities and Eco-Crises,” Columbia University.

August 25-28, 2010. Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Medical Travel Meeting Brazil.

August 2, 2010. San Carlos, CA.
Singularity University.

June 9-10, 2010. Las Vegas, NV.
Realcomm 2010.

April 21-23, 2010. Beijing, China.
Airport Cities 2010.

April 1, 2010. Champaign, IL.

September 15, 2009. Atlanta, GA.

April 28-29, 2009. Taipei, Taiwan.
International Aerotropolis Conference.

Posted by Greg Lindsay  |  Categories: Events  |  Comments

December 27, 2015  |  permalink

The OECD’s New World Forum

In November, I was honored to participate in the 7th annual New World Forum (Forum Nouveau Monde) at OECD headquarters in Paris. Fortunately (or unfortunately) held just days before the terrorist attacks, the Forum grappled with the most pressing social, political and economic issues facing its members (i.e. the world’s developed nations). I was asked to moderate one panel on the future of inequality with the OECD’s chief statistician, Martine Durand, Oxfam Mexico executive director Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Bangalore Political Action Committee founder Ashwin Mahesh, former director of the UNDP’s Human Development Report Khalid Malik, and Colombian politican Clara Rojas Gonzalez. The video of our session is above; here’s the session description:

It seems that the world is becoming more and more unequal, no matter the level of development and the growth rates Knowing that the disparities are of a multidimensional nature and extend well beyond the differences of income, what are the relevant indicators of inequalities that economic policies should be taking into account? What happens in the long run when wealth is being concentrated in the hands of fewer players? What is the link between inequalities, growth and political system? What could be done for the largest number to benefit from progress and how could a dynamic of middle classes, factor of equality and integration in our societies, be encouraged?

Needless to say, we were able to solve inequality in 90 minutes flat.

I was also fortunate to speak on a second panel about the future of human labor (apres robots, les deluges), the video for which is below:

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December 19, 2015  |  permalink

“Disrupting Mobility” at the MIT Media Lab

Last month, I was privileged to be master of ceremonies for “Disrupting Mobility,” the first in what will hopefully be an annual series of conferences devoted to connected transportation. Organized by the City Science Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California at Berkeley, LSE Cities at the London School of Economics, and the Berlin-based Innovation Centre for Mobility and Social Change (Innoz), it was the best convening yet of the private companies, public sector officials, and academics grappling with how real-time information and coordination is changing how we move through cities. From the conference site:

The rise of the shared-economy has completely disrupted existing products and services in the urban mobility space. Peer-to-peer mobility services like Uber and Lyft have challenged the taxi, livery, car share, and mass-transit establishment. Disruptive innovations like this have the power to not only redefine industries, it can bankrupt companies as well. The shift from analog to digital cameras eventually led to the demise of Polaroid. The mass adoption of personal computing saw the end of industrial manufacturers like Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Technologies like VHS tapes, landlines, and even encyclopedias all have been uprooted with the introduction of new technologies. More recently, Airbnb has disrupted the travel and hotel industry by increasing the supply of options for people to stay and providing matching services. The Disruptive Mobility Summit brings together leaders from academia, industry, and government to discuss the role of disruptive innovations within the mobility networks.

As MC, I had the pleasure of hosting several panels, including an Ed Glaeser-Adam Greenfield-Janette Sadik-Khan-Anthony Townsend-Philipp Rode battle royale — the video is embedded at the top of the page. Here are two more:

• (Below) The opening session, featuring welcoming remarks from the MIT Media Lab’s Ryan Chin, Cal’s Susan Shaheen, LSE Cities’ Philipp Rode, and Innoz’ Florian Lennart, followed by keynotes and a panel discussion with Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez, Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff, and the Media Lab’s own Kent Larson.

• (Bottom) “Technology Disrupting Mobility,” with brief keynotes by AutonomousStuff’s Guy Fraker, Walmart’s Donald High, MIT’s Sertac Karaman, Fontinalis Partners’ Gabe Klein, and Bandwagon’s David Mahfouda.

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December 16, 2015  |  permalink

PopSci’s Futuropolis: The Future of Vacations

Popular Science editors Lindsey Kratochwill and Breanna Draxler invited me to appear on this week’s “Futuropolis” podcast to discuss the future of travel and vacations. As they explain:

Vacations are supposed to be about relaxation and rejuvenation, but anyone who has stood in the crowded lines at an amusement park or waded through the hordes of people at Disneyland knows that this is not always the case. In this episode of Futuropolis—the 12th and final episode of season 1—we set out to see how technology might help shape better vacations in the future.

Transportation will inevitably get faster and cheaper, but we also hope it will be without jet lag. Hotels might transform their own furniture to make your room just the way you like it. And don’t worry—the good ol’ postcard isn’t going anywhere (aside from your Grandma’s mailbox).

With our look back at the Popular Science archives, you can join us in the cockpit of the Concorde in 1973, before the supersonic plane would first carry its commercial passengers.

Beyond these basic improvements, we want to know about some of the loftier goals. We talk space tourism with Phil McAlister, who works with commercial spaceflight at NASA. Virtual reality executive producer Christine Cattano explains how technology can entice and enhance our experiences of a place. And futurist Thomas Frey describes machines that could enable you to relax on a beach, from the comfort of your couch.

But vacations aren’t just about relaxation, they’re also about status, says Greg Lindsay, a researcher, futurist and journalist. He says we’ll soon be inventing destinations with deeper and more authentic experiences than we can even imagine today.

Buckle your seatbelts, loyal listeners.

The complete podcast is embedded above; I appear around the ten-minute mark.

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About Greg Lindsay

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a contributing writer for Fast Company, author of the forthcoming book Engineering Serendipity, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next. He is also a senior fellow of the New Cities Foundation — where he leads the Connected Mobility Initiative — a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, and a senior fellow of the World Policy Institute.

» More about Greg Lindsay

Articles by Greg Lindsay

New Cities Foundation  |  October 2016

Now Arriving: A Connected Mobility Roadmap for Public Transport

Inc.  |  October 2016

Why Every Business Should Start in a Co-Working Space

Popular Mechanics  |  May 11, 2016

Can the World’s Worst Traffic Problem Be Solved?

The New Republic  |  January/February 2016

Hacking The City

Fast Company  |  September 22, 2015

We Spent Two Weeks Wearing Employee Trackers: Here’s What We Learned

Fast Company  |  September 21, 2015

HR Meets Data: How Your Boss Will Monitor You To Create The Quantified Workplace

Inc.  |  March 2015

Which Contacts Should You Keep in Touch With? Let This Software Tell You

Inc.  |  March 2015

5 Global Cities of the Future

Global Solution Networks  |  December 2014

Cities on the Move

Medium  |  November 2014

Engineering Serendipity

New York University  |  October 2014

Sin City vs. SimCity

Harvard Business Review  |  October 2014

Workspaces That Move People

Inc.  |  April 2014

The Network Effect

Atlantic Cities  |  March 2014

How Las Vegas (Of All Places) May Be About to Reinvent Car Ownership

Wired (UK)  |  October 2013

How to Build a Serendipity Engine

Next American City  |  August 2013

IBM’s Department of Education

The New York Times  |  April 2013

Engineering Serendipity

Fast Company  |  March 2013

Swedish Modern Comes To Town

Fast Company  |  March 2013

Working Beyond the Cube

Fast Company  |  December 2012/January 2013

Imagine Air Travel Without Hassle: Surf Air Can

» See all articles


December 07, 2016

AECOM and the Future of Cities

December 02, 2016

Reading the “City of Trump”

October 31, 2016

The 2016 Fall Speaking Season

October 30, 2016

Now Arriving: A Connected Mobility Roadmap for Public Transport

» More blog posts