1. Citizens the drivers of city change

Citizens the drivers of city change

My colleague Patrik Regårdh, head of strategic marketing at Ericsson, concludes in a recent interview that information and communication technology (ICT) is a key contributor to city development and that we are only at the beginning of this positive development. I find it very intriguing to imagine where this might lead us.

It is true that ICT and mobile technology contribute to more prosperous, sustainable, and livable cities. But who is driving this evolution of the city? Who is in the forefront? Is it its businesses and entrepreneurs, or is it the city’s government and authorities? The result of the research done in our three Networked Society City Index reports tells us it is actually neither of these. Rather it is the citizens themselves who drive the change!

City dwellers like us are first to adopt new technologies. We use smartphones both for entertainment and to solve everyday problems. We use crowdsourcing to find missing people in our city or the best-rated coffee shop nearby. Thousands of big and small contributions make our cities more fun, safe and attractive. City authorities are fast to follow. Businesses are however lagging behind in taking advantage of the new business opportunities that smarter citizens with smartphones at hand are providing.

Do you agree?

Written by Monika Bylehn

In addition to a background in the finance industry and government, Byléhn has more than 10 years' experience in the telecom industry. Today, Monika is a Networked Society Evangelist and she is responsible for establishing a position of thought leadership for Ericsson on the issue of urban life.

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