The city and Experience Economy..

I was recently asked to share my perspectives on how technology might impact a city 2040 .  I themed the paper “The place to be experienced” focusing on the experience for the citizen as one of the factors in attracting inward investment.  I would be interested in views from others on the paper below:


The overall experience of the city will determine how vital the place is to the global citizen or business. Experience includes: the physical place both natural and man made infrastructure; the social aspects and the technology. Experiences through the technologies will be present in some form in all aspects. The technology experience will be made possible by the explosion of real time data, new communications, cognitive computing, internet of things and 3D technologies.

Citizen experiences

As the millennials become the dominant population of the city, their impatience and intolerance will drive innovation of city or business services.   Through extensive automation and access to individual insights from vast amounts of data, each interaction is personalised to the individual. The services will be available at the moment determined by the individual and dependable to create enduring trust.

Value for the service provider will be in attracting the attention of the individual, earning their trust and creating personalised experiences that can be monetised. Focusing on these unique experiences will require automation of all routine activities using technologies such as Internet of Things. 3d printing will accelerate the automation of manufacturing.

New businesses and business models

The business models that make these experiences possible will monetise a small fraction of all  interactions. Businesses will continue to innovate services and goods that transition individuals into paying clients. Drawing on extensive ecosystems of experts and SMEs, the service providers will use technology to provide integrated individual experiences.[1]

The ethics of these businesses will be an important determinant in their success.

New technology skills and types of jobs

The new jobs will emerge to analyse data and identify meaningful insight. Data analysis, information engineering and scientific skills will be required along with the ability to use a new range of data tools. The process for monetisation of insight by creating experience for individuals will be another critical skill.

The proliferation of cognitive computing technologies will demand a new set of technology skills. The ability to teach the system domain knowledge will be a new skill set that is little understood today. For example, collating, organising the knowledge into a consistent and unambiguous form.

The traditional value of IT in automation of routine activities will continue to be vital. The data from these systems will continue to provide the context for the new data. IT professionals will continue to create, enhance and maintain these automation systems.

Keeping these systems secure and dependable will be critical skill and focus of the authorities.

Explosion in real time data

These future businesses will be made possible by the explosion of real time data. It is estimated there is approximately 4 zetta (1021)[2] bytes of data today and this will grow at 50% per annum. This growth is driven by the reducing cost of technologies such as sensors, and cameras. This raw data combined with existing data will allow the context to be creating and insights identified.

This data will also create technological challenges to be overcome – for example coping with the growing uncertain or incorrect data.

Cognitive Computing

Advanced in traditional data analysis technologies will continue to provide value in optimisation of systems and automation of processes.

The emergence of a new class of systems – cognitive computing will allow step change in the types of applications. Learning and inherent pattern recognition capabilities of cognitive computing  will require a new skills to teach the system rather than programme the system.

Internet of Things

Internet of things combines data communications technology advances with big data, and cognitive computing. This allows automation of ever increasing range of human activities to relieve individuals to focus on more creative roles. Competitive cities will use Internet of Things to optimise the use of existing infrastructure and capture new data.

3D Printing

3D printing will allow a range of products to be instantly manufactured locally with minimal costs.

[1]Curve: From Freeloaders into Superfans: The Future of Business – Nicholas Lovell


One thought on “The city and Experience Economy..

  1. Cities will continue to be organized around the basic, core services we all need every day: housing, transportation, work, eating and entertainment. Technology will impact all these areas – but clearly some more than others. Housing likely not so much, but work and transportation will be hugely changed. Smart / Driverless cars will perhaps have the largest impact of all over the next 25 years.

    Cities will continue to grow in size and wealth as population urbanize and smaller cities lose the battle for jobs and wealth to the mega cities. 51% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. That figure is 75-80% in developed countries.

    Urban growth requires a rethink of basic infrastructure and services all enabled by the topics Rashik discusses. The relentless drive of change demands response, and innovation enables creative, efficient and effective solutions. More for less is an eternal objective and technology certainly plays an important role in delivering affordable and scalable solutions.

    Just think back 15 years. Before the iPhone, before Google Maps, before the Oyster card t a time when we had to visit travel agents to book a trip, fish money out of our pockets to hop on the Tube, had to carry around an A to Z in London to not get lost. It seems like ancient history, but in less than a single generation city life has hugely changed… all thanks to technology.

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