Weekly Roundup: Highlights from two major conferences
A growing global mobile technology exhibition in Spain features a model city and interactive experience for exhibitors and attendees; Intel, Cisco, IBM among nation-wide climate change leadership recognized in Washington D.C.
GSMA Mobile World Conference in Barcelona
Between February 25th and 28th, more than 72,000 visitors from 200 different countries attended the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, the GMSA Mobile World Conference (MWC).
Featuring prominent keynote speakers and showcasing more than 1,700 companies, this year’s MWC included a real city street that “explore[d] how intelligent wireless connections are driving innovation in order to deliver economic growth, successful products, customer value and new business opportunities.”
Also new this year was the theme of Near Field Communication (NFC), a form of contactless communication between devices like smartphones and tablets that enables services ranging from electronic scooter rentals to lighting and music control in hotel rooms. Read more about the conference’s constructed smart city and the many uses of NFC here.
Many companies also used the conference as an opportunity to announce exciting new plans for the upcoming years. To highlight a few:
Micro-fuel cell technology: Telco giant Cable & Wireless and UK-based developer Intelligent Energy announced that they are working together on a project to replace mobile phone batteries with micro-fuel cell batteries.
Improved connected car technology: General Motors announced the launch of 4G LTE mobile broadband services in vehicles in 2014.
Open Web Devices: 18 operators at MWC announced their commitment to Mozilla’s Firefox OS. Firefox OS smartphones will be the first built entirely to open Web standards, allowing every feature to be developed as an HTML5 application.
2013 EPA Climate Leadership Awards
On February 28th, in conjunction with the Washington D.C. Climate Leadership Conference, the EPA announced the recipients of the second annual Climate Leadership Awards (full list here). Awards were presented to organizations across the U.S. “leading the way in the management and reduction of GHG emissions- both in internal operations and throughout the supply chain.”
Among the winners:
Intel Corporation was awarded an Organizational Leadership Award
- By the end of 2012, the company reduced GHG emissions to 60% below 2007 levels- well beyond its goal of 20%.
- Since 2008, Intel has been the largest purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S.
- 100% of Intel’s annual electricity use, over 3 billion KWh, comes from green power.
- Through server virtualization, Intel is saving an estimated 661 tons of C02 emissions each year.
Cisco Systems, Inc. was awarded a Supply Chain Leadership Award
- Cisco requests all of its suppliers to report to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), collaborates with them to help them meet their goals, and also uses third-party audits to monitor environmental impacts.
- Cisco is involved in a joint project with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, MIT, and International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative to develop supply chain data collection techniques for major electronics commodities.
- The company has achieved a 25% GHG reduction goal from a 2007 baseline.
IBM was awarded a Supply Chain Leadership Award
- In 2010, IBM established corporate responsibility and environmental management requirements for its more than 27,000 first tier global suppliers.
- In 2011, over 87% of its invited suppliers responded to the CDP Supply Chain project.
- The company reduced operational C02 emissions by 16% compared to a 2005 baseline.
Leave your comment below, or reply to others.
Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.
Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
I see the outcomes of Duke Pond as a representation of the importance of the profession of landscape architecture in today’s world. Once obscured by the glaring light and booming voice long-generated by building architects, landscape architects are steadily emerging as the designers needed to tackle complex 21st century problems. As both leaders and collaborators, their work is addressing the effects of rising sea level on coastal cities, creating multi-modal pedestrian and vehicular transportation systems to reduce carbon emissions, reimagining outdated infrastructure as great urban places, and as with the case of Duke Pond, mitigating the impacts of worsening drought.
AI has enormous potential to improve the lives of billions of people living in cities and facing a multitude of challenges. However, a blind focus on the technological issues is not sufficient. We are already starting to see a moderation of the technocentric view of algorithmic salvation in New York City, which is the first city in the world to appoint a chief algorithm officer.
There are 7 primary forces determining the success of AI, of which technology is just one. Cities must realize that AI is not the quick technological fix that vendors sell. Not everything will be improved by creating more algorithms and technical prowess. We need to develop a more holistic approach to implementing AI in cities in order to harness the immense potential. We need to create a way to consider each of the seven forces when cities plan for the use of AI.
In New Zealand, persistent, concentrated advocacy and legal cases advanced by Māori people are inspiring biocentric policies; that is, those which recognize that people and nature, including living and non-living elements, are part of an interconnected whole. Along the way, tribal leaders and advocates are successfully making the case that nature; whole systems of rivers, lakes, forests, mountains, and more, deserves legal standing to ensure its protection. An early legislative “win” granted personhood status to the Te Urewera forest in 2014, which codified into law these moving lines:
“Te Urewera is ancient and enduring, a fortress of nature, alive with history; its scenery is abundant with mystery, adventure, and remote beauty … Te Urewera has an identity in and of itself, inspiring people to commit to its care.”
The Te Urewera Act of 2014 did more than redefine how a forest would be managed, it pushed forward the practical expression of a new policy paradigm.