3rd Mercier Seminar on “The World Most Innovative Cities”

On January 15th, nearly 100 students heard and shared their opinions about the World Most Innovative Cities in the past, in the present and in the future with leadership of Dr. Tim Jones, the Program Director of the Future Agenda, the World Largest Open Foresight Initiative.

Dr. Jones shared his insights on this global innovation research program which is looking at not just on which companies are the most innovative but also which cities are the most innovative, on how we can take lessons from the past and see how they can help us inform what we want to do and make our cities set to growth.

He also explained the elements on whether or not a city is moving things forward whether that’s technology, or from learning or from academia. He stressed on the importance of being an innovative city that is about whether a city is taking a global role not just regional role, is it connected, is it attracting talent, its about sharing some insights around what makes a city more innovative than another, what makes people to work together in a city, is it openness, is it tolerace or collaboration, and which cities are going to be the leaders around the world in the future.

Dr. Jones emphasized on taking insights from the innovation leaders from the past 10-15 years on what makes an organization the most innovative, and what are the common elements around the world that the cities have seen as their challenges in terms of their ambitions of being safer, being smarter, being more accessible.

He brought examples of the cities that really having impact today such as San Francisco and Boston that are always on the top list, but also other cities like Stockholm, Copenhagen, Bangalore that are having significant impact. He also mentioned Santiago in Chile, Nairobi in Africa as cities that are increasing being seen as the tech hub and having great potential to be an innovative city.

This engaging seminar followed by a Q &A space for students where they shared their ideas on how their City, Toronto, needs to be changed in terms of being the leader in innovative cities, what the key issues we are facing now as a society and what seem to be the solutions.