The democratization of innovation makes it easy for people to be anywhere they want in physical form while having a digital presence elsewhere in virtual and simulated environments, seeding new economies and cultures.
Cities, by definition, have inherent advantages for experimentation, much like complimentary ecosystems for research and development. Cities are also where the young converge to socialize, co-create, and experiment across physical, simulated, and blended environments and realities. You can observe this trend emerging in cities all around the world. According to McKinsey's research, more than 50% of the world’s population today lives in cities. In the next 13 years, 600 cities worldwide will dominate with 65% of the global GDP growth.
Many of these cities may not be on anyone’s radar or even on the map today and will emerge from nothing—think Vegas, Dubai, Doha, and Nairobi. Many of these new cities will come from the developing world, where new networks and technology infrastructure can be built without the constraints of historic structures or legacy systems.
Climate change and people’s awareness and desire to live a healthier lifestyle will also attract people to beautiful and resource-rich places. Innovation and collaboration can happen anywhere at any time as we are consciously connected and within reach.
Today, there are initiatives with significant public and private investments behind intelligent buildings and smart cities that will redefine how we interact with each other and our environments. Buildings will become sensitive, thoughtful, and responsive to their inhabitants and the environment.
Don’t be surprised if building façades become interactive and offer content and services that are contextually aware and tailored to their revolving audiences. Imagine the size and implications of data and intelligence that will likely be generated and processed.
And women should be at the forefront of every step taken towards democratization of innovation.