Introducing Cisco, Schneider and Earth Rangers.
March 21st, 2014

Cisco is a proud supporter of Earth Rangers and during the tour this afternoon you will see why. And why did we chose Earth Rangers to collaborate with?

We believe that sustainability and technology have become synonymous.

Businesses and governments around the world today are pressured by four major shifts

rapid shifts in social demographics, economic pressures, environmental challenges and the rapid pace of technology innovation. Read More

Announcing our Canadian partnership with Schneider Electric
March 21st, 2014

photoThe first day of spring seems like the perfect time to formally announce a Canadian partnership which will create new opportunities for sustainable development and innovation. Today, together with Schneider Electric, we announced a Canadian partnership that will create new opportunities in the development of smart buildings and smart communities across Canada, and have a positive impact on the environment by improving energy efficiency.

Appropriately, we announced our Canadian partnership at Collaboration for a Sustainable Future at the Earth Rangers Centre for Sustainable Technology, one of the most efficient buildings in the world Read More

New Cisco IoE Innovation Center a Catalyst of Opportunity
March 5th, 2014

Today it was my pleasure to participate in one of the most exciting announcements so far this year: Toronto has been selected as the location for one of four global Cisco Internet of Everything (IoE) Innovation Centers, and will serve as a global hub for thought leadership and solutions development that will capture the value and imagination of IoE. Read More

FCM: Technology for a Sustainable Future
February 15th, 2014

From opening speech at FCM’s Sustainable Communities Conference.

ronCisco shares your passion for a greener and more sustainable future and we are proud to be tonight’s event sponsor. Canada is poised to be a nation of innovation by capitalizing on the many positive opportunities around us, and we see Cities playing an instrumental role in this transformation.

Cities are the foundation—and are at the intersection of:

.urban innovation,
.economic prosperity,
.social and cultural qualities,
.and environmental sustainability. Read More

The Security of Networked infrastructure and Intelligent Communities
December 20th, 2013

This is the first of a short series of blogs on topics that continue to be raised in my travels and interactions with customers and stakeholders of intelligent communities. Very often, our discussions focus on cost and funding models, stakeholder engagement, energy and environmental matters, economic opportunity and growth, and security and privacy matters. As we see more and more communities as well as the infrastructure industry try to wrap their minds around the technology infusion into their daily operations; these and other topics are proving to be valid topics for discussion and focus of the most frequently asked questions.

Myself and pretty much everyone else interested in smart buildings and smart cities, has written about the impact the Internet of Everything will have on economic development, social innovation, and environmental sustainability. In a matter of years, we will find more than 50 billion smart objects able to communicate freely over what we know to be the Internet today. This trend of converging people, process, data, and things on the Internet has led to an explosive growth of available bits and bytes that can – and will – be mined and put to good use to impact and improve our daily lives.

skynetThe reasons for embracing technology as a tool to help to redefine our communities and create new opportunities for all its constituents are ample, increasingly understood, and requires little debate. However, when everything gets connected, and the phenomena of “big data” shapes how communities are run, how we consume services, and how everyone and everything communicates with one another, one starts to wonder if we’re heading to a world of “Skynet” or “WALL-E”.

So the questions is: How do we prepare ourselves for a converged, hyper-connected world that depends on data and computers to run our lives?  Read More

Smart Cities, good or bad.
December 7th, 2013

This was written in response to a live debate hosted by the Economist on Smart Cities. Two debaters at the opposite site of the spectrum–one making a living of his argument how big IT companies aren’t doing our Cities any favors; and one with strong IBM roots that believes in the emergence of IT for the betterment of our future communities.

“Are Smart Cities empty Hype” is debated on Economist Debates until December 13th, 2013.

I’ve been following the “Smart City” movement for quite some time now, and often it seems we’re trying to turn this into a black and white debate. Either, one believes that some evil technology companies try to destroy our Cityscape as they forge technology into our every day lives for only their own economic benefit. Read More

Smart + Connected in Canada: An Intelligent Communities TweetChat
November 26th, 2013

If you have been following the building and technology industry the past few years, it will come as no surprise to hear that Canada is a leader in smart cities. From coast to coast – literally – from Fredericton to Magog to Toronto to Stratford to Edmonton to Vancouver – Canadian cities and businesses are deploying some of the most advanced building systems in the world.

COTF3(3)

We must be doing something right. And we’d like to talk to you about it. Read More

Ahead of the Technology Game: Above and Below Ground
November 13th, 2013

as published in: Canadian Mining Magazine (Print)
By Rick Huijbregts
Fall 2013, Page 31

There’s no disputing that advancements in technology can help transform an industry. We’ve already seen it in industries like real estate, where running an IP network through buildings during construction can provide the infrastructure for things like automated thermostats and remote controlled lighting and blinds.

But where does the mining industry fall on the spectrum of technological innovation? Read More

The Twenty-one Smartest – Intelligent Communities
November 11th, 2013
On Monday October 21st, the ICF (Intelligent Community Forum) announced the 2014 “Smart 21″. The ICF selects 21 communities after an in-depth review of 100s of submissions by towns, cities, and regions from across the world that demonstrate excellence in innovation, broadband adoption, and digital inclusion to positively effect economic and social conditions for all its stakeholders.
Canada always has provided numerous great submission, but for the first time we see 6 out of 21 submission to be Canadian. Read More
Why we need free Wi-Fi in our cities
October 10th, 2013

The National Post occasionally publishes an “everything you need to know about a complicated issue” feature, and last month I read about free public Wi-Fi but I couldn’t help thinking that there’s nothing complicated about it.

The article examines Councilor’s Josh Matlow’s push to install free public Wi-Fi in public spaces around Toronto. The article discusses several reputable cities that have experimented with free Wi-Fi including New York, Brisbane, Tel Aviv, Edmonton and Fredericton. Mayor Brad Woodside of Fredericton, a pioneer in providing free public basic Wi-Fi may have said it best: Read More

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