Insights · November 23rd, 2012

This book, Millennial City is being released first as a serial blog. The book is a collaboration with Dennis Walsh and this blog is Part 3 of Chapter 8. We will publish Millennial City as an e-book when the serialization is completed. The book grew out of conversations that Dennis and I have had about the future of cities, sustainability, and the millennial generation. We think that these three domains, if you will, are coming together to create a new future – and just in time we hope.

CHAPTER Eight – Part 3
by Dennis Walsh and Glen Hiemstra

Americans are ready to be inspired.

Straight up: While not all cities are created equal, great competition should bring out the best in them. More than ever cities are watching technology trends. Technology is moving fast. That’s inspiring.

Geospatial visualization of data and the integration of mobile devices is coming. Some cities have already created real-time applications for vehicle fleet tracking but those innovations are scratching the surface of what’s to come. The trend is how mobile power is harnessed and prioritized. IT leaders will focus more on how people do their jobs and interact with technology in their lives.

Just as railroads and the telegraph changed cultures and economies, within a couple of decades the information technology revolution has transformed cities. For instance, intuitive and smart technology has become common in the travel industry, especially as commercial travel has become more accessible.

Smart City San Diego powers San Diegan lifestyles by providing a blueprint for continuous innovation and a foundation where consumers can determine new ways to create, conduct, and consume resources. San Diego is poised to become the foremost resource-conscious region in the country. As part of its mission, the city has identified efficiency and renewable energy objectives designed to support California’s goals for achieving 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. That’s really inspiring.

But travel … that’s another story that is totally uninspired. Road warriors know anything can happen when on the road. Air travellers are calling for technology solutions. Going through security can be a giant pain. There are delays and adjustments. Flight delays happen all the time. What to do with free time? Diet and exercise can be challenging. Luggage can disappear.

To begin, online or mobile booking and check-in makes travel smoother. But keeping up with the constant movement in the technology can be challenging for travel providers. Automated transit using near field communications (NFC) and identity management systems ease how people move around in travel hubs.

NFC has real potential that’s held the attention of big-name companies forever. It works like a contactless payment card integrated into a phone; similar to Bluetooth users can simply touch to establish a connection. More than 100 NFC pilot projects have taken place all over the world. It’s on track to go mainstream in a few years with social media applications in the works. There’s an option to run a profile based on variables the user provides interests, likes and dislikes) while still chatting with them in a bar.

When it comes to identity management systems, a true “designed-for-the-cloud” solution, CloudAccess Identity Management addresses business and resource issues associated with cloud computing. It’s designed to operate in multi-tenant cloud environments for any size organization, reducing the cost and complexity of extending internal infrastructure.

And finally, augmented reality will revolutionize the industry as more and more travelers prefer access to up-to-date peer-reviewed travel and destination information at their fingertips. What travel and mobility innovations would inspire you?

[Glen Hiemstra is the Founder of, and curator of Dennis Walsh is a sustainability futurist from Canada best known for his work as the first publisher of green@work. Contact us through]

Millennial City
Nikolas Badminton – Chief Futurist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

Contact Nikolas