Venture Smarter in partnership with Verizon, Jamaica Center, Blue Star, Zebra, SmartLink and other community partners hosted a Digital Districts luncheon to focus on Smart Cities. The discussion explored the current challenges, pilots, and solutions in New York City. Verizon introduced the group to a connectivity solution for connectivity. LinkNYC described their Public Private Partnership for a project to transform old telephone booths into Wifi enabled kiosks. 

The coalition for Jamaica lead shared challenges and lessons learned in projects across Queens. The innovation by his group has attracted the interest of one of the leading ecosystems for Comprehensive smart cities implementation, Dubai. The attendees learned how Dubai creates a value chain to support workforce training. For example, current construction workers are trained in new technologies because Robotics and automation are playing an increased role. The port authority representative presented current operational challenges in implementing smart cities solutions. There are multiple stakeholder buy-ins, and opportunities exist for innovation that can solve transportation problems.

Financial Solutions and their integration in Smart cities were presented as a chance. 

Overall the luncheon ended with the following challenges as an opportunity for project and pilot for the Venture Smarter community. 

  • How to Address Training and Education gaps in user engagement for Smart solutions?
  • How to Get stakeholder buy-in to improve Digital Literacy? 
  • Implementing a Digital District pilot in Jamaica with the meeting participants