Greg Lindsay's Blog

October 07, 2017  |  permalink

Have Deck, Will Travel

As the leaves begin to turn, I’m finally taking a break from a frenetic summer and early fall of speaking. After wrapping up the spring with trips to Bangkok and Zurich (where I met the team behind the phenomenal Projket Interim) I’ve stuck closer to home — or at least to North America. A few highlights:

• Most recently, I was in Chicago for the Big Ideas Summit hosted by Procurious, a British social network for procurement professional (the people who run the world’s supply chains). My talk — the very short version of which is posted above — focused on “engineering serendipity,” and both unknown knowns and unknown unknowns. (I gave a similar talk earlier in the month to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada in forest fire-choked British Columbia.)

• The week before that I was in Denver, then Victoria (British Columbia) speaking about the future of cities. In the case of the former, I was the opening keynote for this year’s RE/MAX Commercial Symposium, where I used Amazon’s HQ2 RFP as a prism to examine how cities and CRE prefernaces are changing. The next day in Victoria, I spoke at the inaugural Platform retreat hosted by the American Society of Interior Designers about how new mobility options, shared workspaces, and networks are transforming cities.


• In August, I moderated back-to-back events in San Francisco for Intel and Ford, both focused on the future of mobility. The former hosted an intimate press event to discuss its “Passenger Economy” report on the $7 trillion economic impact from autonomous vehicles by 2050, while Ford invited more than a thousand people to Fort Mason for its “City of Tomorrow Symposium.” As seen above, I was invited to moderate a panel on mobility-as-a-service, and how we go about actually building such a system. (Also on the mobility beat: in September I spoke the Columbus Partnership as part of their efforts to implement the Smart Columbus plan, which won the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge.)

• But the highlight of the summer were back-to-back appearances in Colorado Springs and Albuquerque in late August. The first was for a brief talk to the senior leadership of Deloitte’s Technology, Media, and Telecommunications practice on how we might rethink the idea of what a “smart city” is. For example, rather than through solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall into your suburban home, what if we could convince institutional investors to build thousands upon thousands of Alejandro Aravena’s “half-built” homes in exchange for a 50-year on the solar electricity collected from their rooftops?

From there, I drove to Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico for an unclassified, but off-the-record workshop on the world in 2035. I can’t divulge many details until the final report is published, but it was exhilarating to spend the day in the presence of so many brilliant people trying to invent the future. More soon, I hope.

• The rest of the fall is a bit quiet, with one great exception. Next month, I head to Los Angeles for the inaugural edition of LA CoMotion — a five-day festival of new mobility in the Arts District downtown. As director of strategy, my job is make sure the whole is greater than the sum of its many very cool parts. With only five weeks to go until Nov. 15-19, we’re in the home stretch. You can get a taste of what I’m thinking in the video below. See you on the other side.

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a senior fellow at NewCities and the director of strategy of its offshoot LA CoMotion — an annual urban mobility festival in the Arts District of Los Angeles. He is also a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.

» More about Greg Lindsay


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Articles by Greg Lindsay

CityLab  |  December 10, 2018

The State of Play: Connected Mobility in San Francisco, Boston, and Detroit

Harvard Business Review  |  September 24, 2018

Why Companies Are Creating Their Own Coworking Spaces

CityLab  |  July 2018

The State of Play: Connected Mobility + U.S. Cities

Medium  |  May 1, 2017

The Engine Room

Fast Company  |  January 19, 2017

The Collaboration Software That’s Rejuvenating The Young Global Leaders Of Davos

The Guardian  |  January 13, 2017

What If Uber Kills Public Transport Instead of Cars

Backchannel  |  January 4, 2017

The Office of the Future Is…an Office

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

» See all articles