Cities in focus – Copenhagen

Denmark is the second happiest place in the world, the easiest country to do business in and one of the most digitised economies and societies in the EU.

The country’s small and integrated population is quick to adopt new technologies, making Denmark an ideal location for companies looking to develop and test new technologies before expanding internationally.

85% of Denmark’s population is online and actively using digital services. Less than 2% have never used the internet, and only 3 out of 10 lack digital skills. Denmark’s tech-savviness and robust IT infrastructure provide the country with a solid foundation for becoming a leading tech ecosystem.

Denmark has a global footprint in software development. Some of the most used programming languages like C++, TurboPascal and Visual Prolog have been developed by Danish researchers. In addition, many global software companies like Skype, Tradeshift and Unity have been created in Denmark.

5 mobility companies transforming Europe’s cities

By 2030 more than 750 million people will live in megacities. City populations worldwide are growing, and so is the need for stable, sustainable transport systems.

Unreliable mobility ecosystems pose a risk to health and safety and exacerbate social inequality by limiting access to jobs, healthcare, and education.

For cities to become greener, smarter and more inclusive, pressing mobility challenges such as congestion, pollution and accessibility need to be addressed. To do so in a sustainable manner, city officials, innovators, entrepreneurs, corporations and SMEs need to come together and co-develop innovative solutions and policies.

Nitrous joins Global Innovation Collaborative to speed economic recovery in the cultural and creative industries

June 1, 2021 – Today, the Global Innovation Collaborative (GIC) announced the launch of its Creative Cities Challenge to speed economic recovery in the cultural and creative sectors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GIC is a partnership between the Cities of Berlin, London, New York City and Paris, along with Bloomberg Associates, Nitrous and Microsoft. The GIC is looking for long-term, sustainable and equitable solutions that will support these critical sectors rebound from the pandemic.

How can cities reignite their creative and cultural industries?

“The creative industries are critical to the sustainable development agenda. They stimulate innovation and diversification, are an important factor in the burgeoning services sector, support entrepreneurship, and contribute to cultural diversity,” says Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General at UNCTAD.

Cultural and creative industries are instrumental in mediating global digital transformation, driving inward investment and enriching the lives of individuals and communities.

Without these industries, cultural, economic development, equality and poverty alleviation SDG’s targets are unlikely to be met.

Last November, the UN declared 2021 the “International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development”.

Cities in focus – Cape Town

As populations grow, cities across Africa are increasingly implementing tech and data-driven solutions to tackle urban development and sustainability challenges.

For a while now, smart cities have been seen as a solution to addressing urban challenges and bridging digital divides across Africa.

Throughout the past decade, we have seen a certain ease of implementing newer technologies across Africa as cities often do not face challenges and costs associated with maintaining legacy technologies. Impactful tech solutions are currently being developed and scaled quickly and efficiently.

Cities in focus – Nairobi

By 2050, the number of people living in cities will increase by 2.5 billion. Almost 90% of those people will live in either Africa or Asia.

Today, Cairo, Lagos and Kinshasa already have populations well over 10 million, making them mega-cities. Other cities like Johannesburg and Nairobi are following suit.

Most of Africa’s urbanisation, however, will happen in medium-sized cities.

The rapid rate of urbanisation presents a unique moment for African cities. If managed well, these cities could be cradles of innovation and opportunities; however, if not, they may face long term development challenges.

Miami 2.0 in the making

“How can I help?”, this was Mayor Suarez’s response to a tweet suggesting Silicon Valley moves to Miami. Miami’s tech ecosystem had been already steadily growing over the last 15 years; the tweet just attracted the attention the city needed.

Mayor Suarez has been proactively promoting Miami as the next central tech hub. His politics are focused on developing an entrepreneurial, innovative and nurturing business ecosystem. Suarez believes that people looking to create great companies and thriving communities want two things – to feel welcome and not pay much tax. He is not only talking the talk; he is walking it.

Returning to the office sustainably

As a result of the pandemic, companies have had to adjust their work models and foresee that the future of work may differ from what was pre-pandemic. As lockdowns ease, we now have the opportunity to reimagine our workspaces and company cultures.

As a result of decreased travelling and consumption throughout the pandemic, carbon emissions have fallen, and air quality has improved. Digitalisation has spread across all industries, which has helped maintain efficiency and replicate some essential elements of in-person communication. Some of us have found that remote working provides flexibility and empowerment; others can’t wait to return to offices.

It is now coming close to the time when we need to make intelligent decisions about defining and executing a sustainable return to work. In order to do so sustainably, we need to consider our teams, environment and our business goals.

Is your company a disruptor or a constructor?

Disruptive companies enter markets to challenge and often replace industry incumbents. While they offer great scale and opportunities, they might highlight a risk to established public services if not executed properly.

Take, for example, Uber.

The gig giant’s offer was appealing to both its drivers and customers. Customers could order a taxi which cost less than most alternatives and arrived quicker. Drivers could work on a self-employed basis from anywhere, whenever they liked and use their own car.

Uber’s business model was based on recruiting many drivers to meet increased demand, at no additional cost to the company. The company started off in San Francisco and after gaining popularity and investor backing, expanded globally.

Although a success story, Uber has faced many regulatory hurdles around the world. The company has also been criticised by the taxi industry and endured backlash from both its drivers and consumers.

Growing Nigeria’s tech talent ecosystem

Nigeria has the youngest population in the world, which can reach 733 million by 2100. It also has the most prominent tech ecosystem in Africa. Yet, there is a shortage of tech talent.

According to the UN, countries with rapidly growing numbers of young consumers will be scarce in the next century. Estimates show that there will be a global shortage of more than 85 million tech workers by 2030 – an excellent opportunity for Nigeria to grow its tech talent; however, currently, 33% of the Nigerian population is unemployed.