Executive Summary

In May 2017, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) and 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) hosted the inaugural CityXChange Summit, an event that brought together city leaders from around the globe with technology innovators to collaborate on solving tough urban resilience problems. CityXChange is based on the premise that cities and the technology industry have much to gain from each other, but too often lack the insight, tools and structures to collaborate effectively. CityXChange provides a venue and framework for bridging those critical gaps.

This Roadmap is a summary of key learnings and approaches devised during the inaugural CityXChange Summit 2017 and is intended to encourage successful city/tech collaborations more broadly.

The Goals of CityXChange

  • Provide a forum where city leaders, VCs, and startups can come together to discuss challenges and opportunities that city/tech partnerships face
  • Give city leaders an opportunity to “charge” the technology community to help find solutions to their specific resilience problems
  • Generate concrete and sustainable partnerships between cities and resilience-focused startups
  • Enable the sharing of insights and models across a wide network of cities and tech innovators, expanding opportunities for collaboration and improving success rates

CityXChange Summit 2017

The CityXChange Summit 2017 convened more than fifty participants from over a dozen countries, including startup founders, leaders from ten global cities, investors and other thought-leaders. Through a combination of plenary panel discussions, tech demos and breakout working groups, the programming was designed to identify and generate a deeper understanding of the core barriers to city/tech collaborations, and challenge city and tech participants to overcome those barriers and forge new partnerships.

The cross-sector working groups were anchored in real challenges presented by participating cities and followed a defined methodology to drive discussions toward potential new solutions and, ultimately, clear paths forward for implementation.

The CityXChange Methodology

  • Defining the Problem — The CityXChange working groups kicked off with each city presenting on a specific, pressing resilience challenge. Groups then worked to understand the deeper causes, impacts, and interdependences of those challenges. This helped each working group create a new understanding and definition of each problem, and the value.
  • Problem to Pitch — Cities developed a startup-style pitch to explain to the tech community how much economic and social value they can unlock by partnering to resolve resilience issues.
  • Pitch to Solution — Participants identified potential technology-driven solutions to the resilience challenges outlined in the pitch, and determined the economic value of solving those challenges.
  • Solution to Opportunity — Cities and tech leaders worked together to anticipate barriers to potential collaboration and develop sustainable models for solving the cities’ resilience challenges.

Next: CityXChange In Brief

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