Tag Archives: Internet

I’m no scientist…

…but I’m not stupid either.
shutterstock_153806906The environment and, more specifically, climate change are among the greatest challenges we face in the world (right up there with economic challenges, political instability, health, safety, and social inequality). In the last 140 years, our global temperature has risen 0.83°C. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred in the last 40 years, at a rate of roughly 0.15 – 0.20°C per decade, and the speed of temperature change is accelerating. This seemingly little increase is having serious impact on the environment and our lives: melting ice caps; rising sea levels that jeopardize the mere existence of islands and sea shores around the world; and severe weather patterns that cause devastating storms, droughts, and flooding. To put this in perspective, a one- to two-degree drop was all it took to plunge the Earth into the Little Ice Age.

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Great Scott ! Hover boards and flying cars.

Back_to_the_Future_Video_Game_by_PrincessCakeNikkiIt is 2015. October 21st.  4:29pm. Many of us are in great anticipation of where and when the Delorean with Marty McFly will appear. Yes, it’s the year in which he is coming from the past to save his children. It so seems that it happened right during and at the Jimmy Kimmel show. Notice Marty’s and Doc Brown’s disappointment as they find out that there are no such things as hover boards or flying cars.
Marty astutely asked “What have you been doing in the past 30 years?”.
Well, Marty, let me explain how busy we have been. Continue reading

The Future of our Smart Communities (1) : Youth

One year ago, Cisco Canada and FCM signed a collaboration agreement focusing on the betterment of Canadian communities through the application of innovation and advanced technologies. Over the past year, we’ve had numerous exciting engagements with the FCM and its members; highlighted by the creation of a Municipal Video and Collaboration Network that currently is in pilot-mode with the Executive Directors for the FCM. Continue reading

Change is inevitable: don’t fight IT – embrace IT.

changeIn the last week few weeks I have had the pleasure to speak on the topic of organizational change in front of human resource professionals. I made an effort to link the technology (r)evolution we find ourselves in the middle off; the changes in the way we expect to work and interact with our customers and colleagues; and the corresponding work spaces in which we seek to be productive, happy, and health.
Technology is changing at an ever increasing pace. Continue reading

Talking with Polytechnics Canada

This is my script for tonight’s dinner key-note at the Polytechnics Canada annual meeting. Surely, it’ll sound very different tonight.
Thanks Anne and Nobina for inviting me tonight to speak with you briefly at today’s Polytechics Canada Annual meeting dinner.
As you may have detected, I came with a slight accent. That’s right: I am one of those 20% Canadians that wasn’t born in Canada. My place of birth is in the Netherlands. It is here where I graduated almost 20 years ago from the Polytechnic University in Tilburg. Now, don’t get confused by the naming…though my old school’s name translates into “University”, it was a College as we know them here in Canada. Continue reading

Infrastructure Modernization–every Bridge needs a Switch

Public infrastructure is a key driver of a Nation’s success, particularly for a prosperous economy. Infrastructure plays an essential role in supporting global economic competitiveness (trade corridors), safety and security (borders), public health (water, housing), environmental protection (clean air, clean energy and public transit).

“Modern and efficient public infrastructure is key to supporting the Nation’s most important economic and environmental goals and to building strong and prosperous communities”, says Infrastructure Canada.

More than $ 48 B was allocated between Building Canada Plan and Canada’s Economic Action Plan to provide some much needed long-term investment to upgrade and revitalize Canada’s infrastructure (2007 – 2014). With the end of this funding coming near, a new Long-Term Infrastructure Plan is being prepared that would continue the investment in Canada’s infrastructure. Continue reading

Innovating Transportation, Mobility with ICT Networks

Last Tuesday (Sept. 18th), I was invited to speak with Laura Di Battista about the importance of the Information Highway as an essential infrastructure for every community and every country. Canada has a long way to go, and is not necessarily recognizing broadly the importance of ICT networks as critical utilities for the success of our Nation.

Listen to Canada’s CBC Radio 1, “Here and Now” — interview with Rick Huijbregts on “Building the Information Highway”

The interview was an introduction to Cisco’s participation in EVERGREEN BRICKWORK’s MOVE 2012 exhibition. For several months – until October – EBW will showcase innovations in matters of infrastructure, mobility, and transportation. For several Tuesdays in a row – until October 11th – EBW is hosting INNOVATION TALKS where different voices from the community, government, and business are asked to openly share their thoughts on the future of mobility in increasingly denser communities.

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The Future of Canada’s Infrastructure

It is an important week for “infrastructure” in Canada. Starting today (09-10-2012), Regina will be hosting the second-ever National Infrastructure Summit. Hunderds of delegates from the public and private sector will come together to not only discuss the state of Canada’s infrastructure, but also to explore opportunities and solutions in finance, policy, innovation, and citizen engagement. The summit is followed by FCM’s gathering of the Municipal Infrastructure Forum. The Forum is an informal body bringing infrastructure experts together with municipal and business leaders to exchange ideas, build consensus, and provide input to the federal government.

Infrastructure is the backbone for Canada’s economic success and quality of life. The roads and bridges we use to move ourselves, our goods, and our services; the electrical grid we need to power our economy and lives; the water infrastructure that is required to deliver healthy and quality water; all are critical to the fabric of a Nation—especially in a country that is falling behind in productivity and innovation. Berry Vrbanovic [Past President at the Federation for Canadian Municipalities] says: “The last few years have seen important investments in our infrastructure that have helped slow the rate of decline and given us hope for our future. However, Canada is at a tipping point; either we continue moving forward with the job of re-building or we fall further behind as crumbling roads, traffic gridlock and sky-high housing prices cost our economy jobs and growth.” Continue reading

Clicks and Mortar: Innovating Infrastructure

Billions (in Canada) and Trillions (around the world) of dollars are being spent each year on the development and renewal of our infrastructure. Roads, bridges, homes, and [commercial, industrial, and institutional] buildings make the physical fabric of our communities. A small, yet growing portion, of this global spending goes to the systems that make this infrastructure work; such as security, mechanical, electrical, and transportation systems.

These systems have always been part of the DNA of the underlying infrastructure for our communities (nothing new there). However, the difference is that they are becoming smarter and more capable to have a profound impact on the performance of the infrastructure. Where historically these systems were subservient to the bricks, beams, and concrete they were housed in; it now seems they are being elevated in importance. The intelligent systems have now the ability to make our infrastructure come to life – and provide greater value to those that depend on it.

The great enabler of this shift is the world of information and communications technology (ICT), and more specifically the Internet and IP networks. Networks become the new addition to the DNA of our infrastructure. We have seen already numerous examples where connected and smarter infrastructure has the ability to positively impact economic, social, and environmental sustainability. My blogs have covered several of these examples, and please keep reading them as there are more to come.

The trend of smarter and more connected infrastructure is unstoppable as every sensor, device, system (and user) will become a node on the Internet and its worldwide networks. We [as in leaders in the construction, design, development, ICT industries, and many other stakeholders] have now the stewardship to channel this transformation into a direction that is repeatable and sustainable. Together we have the ability to (re)build the fabric of our communities through the intelligent use of technology and innovation. As we see this technology and innovation converge with bricks and mortar, we will end up with infrastructure that meets our, and our children’s, rapidly growing expectations in a resource constraint world.

At Cisco Plus in Canada on Wednesday May 16th, a selected group of leaders in the infrastructure industry (architects, engineers, developers, builders) will gather to discuss the implications of “clicks and mortar”, and the opportunities it will provide to all that are interesting pursuing them. The future is here, let’s now optimize and monetize it, together.

When you are visiting Cisco Plus, please attend also the Business Session “Managing Unprecedented Change with Business Transformation” by Sandy Hogan (Cisco Vice President of Americas Business Transformation) on Wednesday May 16th at 11am EST.