Weekly Roundup: Highlights from two major conferences
Who will you meet?
Cities are innovating, companies are pivoting, and start-ups are growing. Like you, every urban practitioner has a remarkable story of insight and challenge from the past year.
Meet these peers and discuss the future of cities in the new Meeting of the Minds Executive Cohort Program. Replace boring virtual summits with facilitated, online, small-group discussions where you can make real connections with extraordinary, like-minded people.
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
This article was originally published on September 8, 2020.
Update for April 20, 2021:
After the murder of George Floyd we wrote this article as a kind of blueprint, a beginning to a new way of working with equitable resilience in our cities and beyond. Now, as the trial of Derek Chauvin comes to a guilty verdict in Minneapolis and the whole country reflects on the legacy of that verdict, we have to remember another senseless murder – another young Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of law enforcement, just miles from the courthouse. Again, Minneapolis is all of us. We have protested, we have voted. We stood up, we spoke out, we have raged about the anti-Black racism. We have seen people come together, we can feel a shift in this country. But there is so much more to do. No equity, no resilience.
-Ron & Stewart
Housing that is affordable to low-income residents is often substandard and suffering from deferred maintenance, exposing residents to poor air quality and high energy bills. This situation can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory health issues, and siphon scarce dollars from higher value items like more nutritious food, health care, or education. Providing safe, decent, affordable, and healthy housing is one way to address historic inequities in community investment. Engaging with affordable housing and other types of community benefit projects is an important first step toward fully integrating equity into the green building process. In creating a framework for going deeper on equity, our new book, the Blueprint for Affordable Housing (Island Press 2020), starts with the Convention on Human Rights and the fundamental right to housing.
Since the Great Recession of 2008, the housing wealth gap has expanded to include not just Black and Brown Americans, but younger White Americans as well. Millennials and Generation Z Whites are now joining their Black and Brown peers in facing untenable housing precarity and blocked access to wealth. With wages stuck at 1980 levels and housing prices at least double (in inflation adjusted terms) what they were 40 years ago, many younger Americans, most with college degrees, are giving up on buying a home and even struggle to rent apartments suitable for raising a family.
What makes it hard for policy people and citizens to accept this truth is that we have not seen this problem in a very long time. Back in the 1920s of course, but not really since then. But this is actually an old problem that has come back to haunt us; a problem first articulated by Adam Smith in the 1700s.