How OneNYC is the city's guidepost for business technology engagement

NYCx, part of Mayor de Blasio's OneNYC plan, uses technology to improve the way we live, support a thriving economy, and create good-paying jobs, says CTO Miguel Gamino.

This is the second interview in a series of videos with New York's CTO Miguel Gamino. The other videos may be found here:

Gamino: The beauty of NYCx is it's a program built to facilitate the surfacing of these issues consist with those goals and that plan, and then mobilizing the tech community to help us achieve them. So, NYCx in the current moment dovetails to the OneNYC plan on kind of some of those specific points. It will continue to contribute to other elements of the plan over time as those things continue to surface into the plan.

We're talking a little bit about education to the public about the plan and the good work that we're doing in New York, to at the end of the day make tech work for people. That's our mantra. The other thing that's happened though, we're also beginning to change the conversation we're having with agencies and making them see the opportunity to use us to facilitate that tech mobilization towards some of their concerns, that ultimately push on OneNYC goals, they push on the objective of fairness in New York City. So we're getting some internal movement happening, or some acceleration I should say, where some agencies ... I had two meetings just this morning on the topic of how ... We at an agency have some challenges or have this thing we want to do differently or innovatively. How can we engage the tech industry, and the beauty is we've built the structure that is ... I also sometimes describe it as a Swiss Army knife, right? We pull out the part of the tool that's relevant to the question being asked of us, or the problem statement being presented to us and then bring technology to bear to help contribute to the solution.

Patterson: So, a little bit about business and the digital transformation of business, particularly your partners. How are you working with different industries? Not just the tech industry, but different types of business in New York to accomplish some of these goals?

SEE: IT leader's guide to the rise of smart cities, volume 2 (Tech Pro Research PDF download)

Gamino: Well, one of the great things I very immediately recognized when I got to New York City, was the strength. The beauty of this city is its diversity, and that's a word that gets tossed around a lot, but if you want to see what it really means, spend some time in New York City because that diversity exists in every aspect of life, right? You have diversity of food, you have diversity of neighborhoods and backgrounds, you have diversity of people, not just who they are what they look like and where they came from, but where they want to go I think is also very interesting. And, we have a tremendous wealth of diversity of industry. So to your question about, how do we get other industries involved? You know if you look at ... I've also been quoted in the past as saying, "Tech isn't a thing, it's everything." It's the future of ... it's not an industry of its own alone, it's the future of most every industry. Those that are going to thrive in their own industries are likely going to accomplish that through the use of technology, data, and those sorts of elements.

So when we think about the tech industry in New York, we're not limited to thinking about the Googles and Facebooks and Microsofts of the world. We have huge financial sector, finance industry, median entertainment, food, just about every industry on the planet has a significant presence, if not some version of a headquarters or a center of gravity in New York City, and if they're all working on a technology angle to their industry, then that creates a wealth of resource for us. We can not only engage with the technologists at these technology companies, but the technology folks at these non-tech industries that are just as important to the economy, and the realities of New York City, but also provide some really interesting perspectives to how some of these problems might get solved. Right? And they are also consumers of it.

They also often live here, work here, play here, have kids in New York schools, and all of those sorts of things. So it's also not just tapping them for their technical expertise. That might be nuanced in an important way because they're the technologist at a financial firm, but also they live in the realities of the city and have that deep perspective of what really matters here.

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Image: iStock/cla78

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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