ITU150 in November: ITU as a Platform for Innovation

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Innovating with Olga: How will technology transform our cities?

It is predicted that 66 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050 – this will put increased pressure on services and the environment as we rapidly approach 9 billion global citizens. Increased connectivity will help cities adapt to this growing demand through the deployment of Smart Sustainable Cities, which will bring new benefits and opportunities to industries such as healthcare, transportation and education. Dr Olga Cavalli (@olgacavalli), ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee vice-chair, ISOC Argentina President, and lecturer at University of Buenos Aires, explains how technology will improve urban efficiency and quality of life.

Though I’ve only been using it for the past decade or so, I can’t imagine my life without the Internet. I rely on it to do my job, to connect with my friends, and keep up to date with news and events from around the world. But realistically, the Internet is in its infancy – we are only scratching the surface of what is possible. Current technological development is opening up new opportunities for how we connect with each other and the world around us. This increased connectivity will drive the evolution towards Smart Sustainable Cities, where services will be powered by information and communication technologies (ICTs) to increase environmental efficiencies and improve our quality of life. Things like turning your household heating on from your mobile device or commuting to work with a self-driving car will become a reality in the near future – and soon, we won’t be able to imagine living life any other way.

I have been working to bring this ‘connected living’ to Argentina in various capacities over the past 10 years. As vice-chair of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), President of ISOC Argentina, lecturer and electric and electronic engineer, I’ve helped to coordinate critical building-blocks including developing critical ICT infrastructures and policy in poor and rural areas, as well as the transition from Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) – a vital step towards the deployment of Smart Sustainable Cities.

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