Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier
As D.C. produces more new technology, leaders want to make sure everyone gets a chance to benefit.
That’s the message that the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) and the city brought to SXSW last March and WDCEP will now follow up with their inaugural Inclusive Smart Cities Summit.
WDCEP, affectionally known as “The Partnership” by Emily Rasowsky, Director of Marketing & Communications for WDCEP, aims to drive business opportunities across all sectors, in part by creating meaningful connections between ventures. Lately, smart cities has become an important avenue of focus.
“We’re not just building a connective city with the coolest innovation—which we are,” Rasowsky asserts, “but we’re doing it so that it intentionally benefits and speaks to all people in the population.”
Hosted on September 12 at the US Institute of Peace free of charge, the Inclusive Smart Cities summit will break down innovation efforts through three specific lenses—transportation, the workplace, and the workforce—before convening for a collective panel about smart city ideals and initiatives in the city.
Understanding that the term “smart cities” has a broad scope, Rasowsky said WDECP wanted to focus in these areas, because this is where WDCEP has seen the most buzz and progression.
“Those three areas not only clearly define what we mean when we say smart cities, but also showcase some of the elements of DC and this multilayered approach to our city in a different way,” said Rasowsky.
Take for example, Starship Technologies, the small AI robot vehicles delivering groceries throughout the city. According to Rasowsky, one of the reasons Starship chose D.C. for their North American launch centered on the District’s ability to alter legislation focusing on autonomous vehicles in a relatively expedient four-month timeframe.
While WDCEP’s mission is focused locally, the summit will also incorporate smart city integration on a national and global scale. Panelists featured include representatives from Lyft, the U.S. State Department and Amazon Web Services.
Additionally, the Summit will also feature the debut of the PeaceTech Accelerator’s latest cohort in their accelerator program. Cohort participants from around the globe will provide demonstrations of their products at the event.