The deputy CTO for the New York City mayor’s office explains why a people-centered approach is key to smart cities, STEM programs, and any technology, and ultimately to a better society.
CNET and CBS News Senior Producer Dan Patterson sat down with the deputy CTO for the NYC mayor’s office Jeremy Goldberg to discuss why a people-centered approach is key to smart cities, STEM programs, and any technology, and ultimately to a better society. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Dan Patterson: What can other cities learn from NYCx in the Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge?
Jeremy Goldberg: So in this case we have some real time examples and it’s really proven to be a model, this Moonshot Challenge. We have four cities and four countries that joined us when we announced that the application was open in December. And these are some of the largest, most robust cybersecurity markets in the world, Israel and Helsinki and South Korea and many others. What we found is that there was not only a demand and an interest to understand the solutions because a lot of those countries and cities also have a very important small business community as well. When we think about the solutions and a program like this, not only is something translatable and scalable here in New York City, but you look at those big markets, there are a lot of the same challenges that entrepreneurs and small businesses face.
When we announced it, the response was really tremendous. Right out of the gate we could tell we were onto something. In a very short period of time we saw the number of applications and applications continue to increase. I’m thrilled to say, and our deadline is approaching, we have over 100 applications from companies and startups from around the world representing 35 countries. That is a really powerful, I think, demonstration of the type of program that we’ve developed here that provides access to insights, learning, user testing, scalability, but also a market that has a great need and a desire to continue to protect themselves and fend off these threats.
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Dan Patterson: When you look into the future, but not the far future, say the next 18 to 36 months of innovation not just here in New York City but other cities around the United States, where do you see innovation, Smart cities, IoT, big data, artificial intelligence? How will these emerging technologies change cities in the United States?
Jeremy Goldberg: So I believe we will transform and really become a better city and a better society and a better world with those technologies so long as people are a part of this process and taking a very human centered approach to any technology that we either have in our phone in our pocket or otherwise, if it’s a street lighting solution to keep a neighborhood safe at night or if it’s a STEM program that really helps to uplift communities who are looking for opportunities in the workforce. So long as we’re keeping people involved in this process and we’re making sure that we’re thinking about equity and accessibility and fairness, then I think we’re going to see the benefits and the opportunities for all people to really participate and to really help solve some of the biggest urban and economic and social challenges of our time. So tremendous opportunity if we are very thoughtful about the way that we engage with people in our country.