Innovation Trends Report: Networked Smart Cities

We are pretty lucky here at Weber Shandwick Minneapolis.

Every day we wake up in the top-ranked U.S. metro and work with world-class organizations, tackling some of their most pressing challenges.  We help clients keep in step with an incredible pace of change, as communications strategies and engagement campaigns forge into ever-newer territory.

This is particularly true within our global Social Impact practice – strategic thinking at the intersection of corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability and social issues.  In the Minneapolis office, social impact is integrated by leaders within each of our specialty groups and practice areas as we reach across our office and our global network to bring fresh insights to clients. To share some of that yield, we’re introducing the Innovation Trends Reports, a series to build awareness and fuel dialogue around multi-disciplinary and collaborative efforts by companies, foundations, nonprofits and governments to find creative responses to social problems.


In our first report, Networked Smart Cities, we analyze the opportunities contemporary urban development presents to our clients – and their potential impact on the challenges.  With 6.3 billion people on the planet by 2050, how might we source and scale innovations to ensure cities provide vibrant, equitable, sustainable, livable environments?

Cities are on the front line of addressing global development challenges, climate change, and rising population. They are not waiting for national governments or multilateral organizations to act. They are finding innovative ways to be dynamic, sustainable economic centers, while simultaneously working to improve the quality of life for their citizens.

From Dubai to Barcelona, Johannesburg to Mexico City, efforts by governments, businesses and citizens are demonstrating the promise of smart cities and public-private partnerships to drive efficiencies and improve the overall quality of life for all.  In the Twin Cities, as part of the White House’s Smart Cities Initiative, our city planners, non-profit leaders and industry professionals are teaming up with academic institutions such as University of Minnesota to address urban challenges and prepare communities for the future.

In subsequent Innovation Trends Reports, we’ll explore other developments shaping the future of social impact work that transforms how people, organizations and systems connect with each other to drive positive change.

We look forward to learning together with you.

Weber Shandwick is global and local. In Minneapolis, we spend our days crafting engaging, compelling, innovative content + experiences for clients big + small.