What can I do to build a smarter future?

Have you ever had an idea so perfect that you know it could improve the lives of many people, only to be left feeling frustrated by not knowing the right person to tell?

If this is you, then you may be interested in a unique opportunity to help shape the smart city of the future.

CityVerve is the UK’s Internet of Things demonstrator, a project set in Manchester that is investigating how to create a connected city using technology to meet the complex needs of people. The aim is for CityVerve to be a blueprint for smart cities worldwide.

Working on this Department for Culture, Media and Sport initiative are 21 partners, including OS, Manchester City Council, Manchester Science Partnerships, the University of Manchester, Cisco, BT and other tech players, and they are appealing to people all over the country for good ideas that can raise the standard of how we live and operate in our urban areas.

This appeal is reminiscent of JFK’s famous ‘ask not what your country can do for you…’ speech, which helped swing the American election his way. Only it is: ‘ask not what your city can do for you, ask what you can do for your city’, and it is perhaps in the spirit of asking ‘what can I do?’ and bringing everyone into the solution where the future of smart cities lie.

This is a sensible move to make smart cities inclusive, a statement from CityVerve that says we all have a role to play. What’s more, by opening smart cities up to everyone, CityVerve is surely acknowledging how good ideas are not exclusive to any one person or company. Sure, some may have more ideas than others, but what this is really saying is that anyone can have a good idea, and you may be sitting on a game changing idea that they can help turn into a reality.

It’s easy to sit on the side-lines and not participate, but this is one of those rare moments where you are presented with the opportunity to make a profound and lasting effect on how we live. If your idea can work in Manchester and be successful, then it can work or be adapted to work where you live. So, please tell them how your idea can make your life and the lives of others easier. It doesn’t matter if the idea is complex or simple, CityVerve wants to hear it.

Email your ideas to smartcity@manchester.gov.uk  before midnight 12 July 2017.

Find out more about CityVerve: www.cityverve.org.uk

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