August 16, 2012
Kate Pope Hodel, KCSourceLink
KCMO City Council hears progress on MBIT Playbook
“This is not just about Google or any other broadband provider. We need to become a connected, smart, innovative community.”
Mike Burke and Dr. Ray Daniels, co-chairs of the Mayors’ Bistate Innovations Team, presented the results of the team’s deliberations to the Kansas City, Mo., City Council this afternoon. The MBIT developed a playbook to guide the community’s actions around innovation and to capitalize on the introduction of Google Fiber.
“Successful Internet economies are 90% sociology, 10% technology,” Burke said as he began describing what’s in the playbook. “We need to capitalize on what’s been given to us. We are the only city in the country and one of the few in the world that will have gigabit speed to the home. But that’s a fleeting advantage. I wouldn’t count on having that advantage for more than a couple of years.”
The playbook was built on organizing principles including building a community of interest, digital inclusion and global leadership. It’s organized around four cornerstones:
Universal access and capacity, especially for households with children
Drive innovation through demonstration, be the testbed for innovations.
Expand economic opportunities
Establish global leadership
Work on ideas from the playbook has already begun. For instance, Gigabit Summits have started a global dialogue with similarly situated cities around the world, and Kansas City has taken a leadership role. And a group of committed partners have submitted a grant request to the EDA for the Proof of Concept Lab.
Education was a major thrust of the project. Dr. Ray Daniels talked about the unlimited potential in the education field. “There will never be a replacement for high quality teachers, but the opportunities that fiber opens up for students of all ages is almost unlimited,” Dr. Daniels said. “Kids use technology all day long, they come to school and we tell them to turn it off. We have to find new ways to teach, new ways for students to learn.”
Next steps include identifying leadership to keep the momentum going; ensuring that all neighborhoods are included in the Google fiber project; and continuing to work on the playbook initiatives.
Mayor James and city council members thanked the MBIT for their work and pledged to assist in getting the word out to communities.
For a recorded version of the session, go to the City of KCMO