Kent M. Swig’s Introductory Speech

Topic: From Science Fiction to Future-Making in Real Communities: The City Research Studio

Given by: Kent Swig

Good afternoon. I’m Kent Swig, MAS board member and President of Swig Equities.

For those of you who attended last year’s inaugural Summit for New York City, you witnessed the debut of the exciting online platform called “Betaville.”   Since the launch, we have seen the democratization of urban planning take hold, as Betaville blossomed and is being deployed in various civic, cultural, and creative applications in seven cities worldwide.  Amazing.

Betaville, a place for creative consensus building about the urban fabric, was only the beginning of a more comprehensive set of future-making capabilities. Now, we’ll hear from the innovators whose shared vision brings us next stage of development in practice for Betaville, the Situation Research Studio.

CARL SKELTON is the founding director of the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute, where he also directs the academic programs in Integrated Digital Media. His experience spans public multimedia art, community organizing, and software development for cultural and civic applications.  Carl has two books forthcoming on Betaville — Soft City Culture: The Betaville Project and The Multimedia Programming Fakebook.

DR. NORMAN JACKNIS is a globally recognized expert in government innovation and transformation.  He is currently director of Cisco’s open innovation and strategic advisory group — IBSG Public Sector Group. Before joining Cisco, Norman served more than ten years as CIO and commissioner of Westchester County, NY government, where he was responsible for all of the government’s technology, Internet and broadband activities, as well as technology-based economic development. In addition to the County, he provided these services to municipalities and other non-profit community organizations.  Prior to his public service, Norman had diverse experience as an executive in the software industry, with emphasis on Internet applications and distributed computing.

Gentlemen, the citizens of Betaville can’t wait to hear what’s next! Please join me in welcoming Carl Skelton and Dr. Norman Jacknis.

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