Great Lakes Water Controversy

United-States-Map-2Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker  is proposing that the City of Racine be allowed to divert 7 million gallons of Lake Michigan water everyday as part of the Foxconn deal in southeast Wisconsin. However, conservation groups oppose the plan, and argue that it not only undercuts the Great Lakes Compact of 2008, but also such a diversion for private industry use is unprecedented.  Source: SSTi

This is another example of the growing struggle to jointly manage shared natural resources.   Many cities, both in the USA and Canada rest on the shores of the Great Lakes.  Who dictates that cities uses of their shoreline and access to the water.   In the past law suits have come around pollution claims of an up stream user contaminating the water for those down stream and many of those suits have held up in court with large reparations to the offending party.   While most cities try to regulate water usage for the greater good it becomes more concerning when private industry wants large scale access to those shared resources for their personal profit.   Complicating the matter even more is that multiple nations share natural resources like access to fresh water sources and the seas.

This rising crisis of global sustainability is bringing many of the Grand Challenges to the forefront of national agendas.   The world will need to create a new dialogue and ability to regulate and manage a court of appeals on a global level.   Ownership of shared natural resources will also be contested, as will, the issues of unsymmetrical distribution of many resources.   Today we have some internal bodies like the United Nations,   ICJ/HAG, and  G20 to name a few.   These can serve as models to learn from while exploring a more globally inclusive model to represent all nations.

I encourage everyone to follow and share stories about Natural Resource controversies,  appeals, and deals that will begin to set the precedents for the decades to come.   We all need to be alert to the lobbying forces of private interest over the greater good.

 

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Cybersecurity: An FBI Perspective

IMG_4068I attended a presentation by a former FBI executive director John Slattery.   He spoke about his experience across more than three decades with the FBI involving counter-intelligence work and the rise of cybersecurity.

The first part of the program covered his career with the agency that spanned from agent training, to field agent, to undercover agent, then the move into management and lastly really unique roles working in CIA HQ around joint FBI/CIA efforts.  His career included many external cases on counter-intelligence, as well as, some internal crisis within government agencies.

The second part of the session talked about real-world public examples in the private sector.  This part of the talk demonstrated how companies were at huge risks in terms of their security protocols and technology vulnerabilities.   Mr. Slattery talked about his current role consulting with both corporate and government parties around cybersecurity and internal security processes.

Key Take-Aways from the conversation that was covered in some depth.

  1. The top countries that are actively organizing and threatening America include:
    1. China
    2. Russia
    3. North Korea
    4. Iran
  2. Levels of espionage and intelligence gathering are as high as cold war era.
  3. Technology is being employed and developed as weapons of warfare.  Just like military arms and economics have been highly refined technology is the new frontier for waging conflict.
  4. Top areas of technology risks include:
    1. Planting or turning inside personnel to gather data and/or access to systems.
    2. Email / Phishing for data.
    3. Tunneling or hacking into systems.
    4. Big Data gathering of public data and network traffic for analytics
    5. The growth of IoT is creating a huge security risk for nations because of all the data and lack of security maturity in those platforms.
    6. The growth of the dark web and its capabilities.
    7. The use of social media to spread disinformation and shape public opinion by hostile groups.
    8. Security policies at all levels of society ( Government, Business, Social ) are not in place and lack maturity given the pace of technology evolution.
    9. Lack of funding to create national security assets to manage and counter the threat.
    10. Lack of public and business understanding of the threats and the scale of damage that can be inflicted upon public and private institutions.

The Q&A session ranged broadly across the topics above and current FBI investigations going on at the highest levels in Washington in terms of foreign powers disrupting our government.    A key message here was that foreign powers have been trying to do this forever,  it is just the level of sophistication is increasing exponentially.

Another key topic included the use of artificial intelligence employed in counter-intelligence.  There is great potential here in terms of pattern or anomaly identification across large sets of integrated big data.   The concern is that it will still take a thoughtful human interpretation of information to develop insight and provide the intervention plans required to stem the threat.

As the conversation started to cover what companies need to do it was clear that besides all the basic policy and technology infrastructure that security still must be lead by people.  Every situation has its own context that must be investigated and understood.   The other aspect that companies must address is that they provide the channels for employees to share concerns and have the ability TO ACT when this information is received.

See more international event photos in the gallery

 

Canada’s Manufacturing Supercluster

waving canada flag

On the heals of the top 9 supercluster proposals.  Ontario has been selected as the location for the Government of Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, which is part of a $748 million Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The supercluster will bring together small, medium-sized and large companies, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations to generate bold ideas, resulting in new jobs, groundbreaking research and a world-leading innovation economy.
The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster will develop next-generation manufacturing capabilities, such as advanced robotics and 3D printing. Ultimately, the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster aims to position Canadian companies to lead industrial digitalization, maximizing competitiveness and participation in global markets.
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(Photo: HE Canadian Press/Todd Korol)
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development,
“The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster will create new opportunities for all the companies involved, help create more than 13,500 new jobs in Ontario and across Canada, and add more than $13.5 billion [US$10.6 billion] to Canada’s economy over 10 years,” said Gould. “This is great news for Ontario’s economy, for Canadian innovation and for our society.”
Source: SSTi

Canada’s Focuses on Superclusters

waving canada flagCanada is demonstrating a commitment to growing its economy and creating middle-class jobs for its citizens by moving forward with an Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The initiative will leverage a federal investment of up to $759 million (CAN$950 million) to generate public-private partnerships in innovative industries across the country.

The first phase attracted more than 50 letters of intent, which represented more than 1,000 businesses and 350 other participants from all regions of Canada. The applicants put forward strategies to increase growth and create jobs across a wide range of innovative industries. Nine applicants have been prioritized and up to five will eventually be selected as Canada’s new superclusters:
  1. Artificial Intelligence-powered Supply Chains Supercluster; Quebec
  2. Building an Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster for Canada; Ontario
  3. Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster; British Columbia
  4. Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated (CLEER) Supercluster: Powering Clean Growth Through Mining Innovation; Ontario, with Quebec and British Columbia
  5. Mobility Systems and Technologies for the 21st Century (MOST21) Supercluster; Quebec, with Ontario, British Columbia and Atlantic Canada
  6. Ocean Supercluster; Atlantic Canada
  7. Protein Innovations Canada (PIC) Supercluster: Unleashing the Potential of Canadian Crops; Saskatchewan
  8. Smart Agri-food Supercluster; Alberta
  9. Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (SSRI) Supercluster; Alberta
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Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the nine successful supercluster applications during a cross-country tour.  “Our government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative has started conversations and created solid partnerships between government, the private sector, academia and communities,” said Bains. “In today’s knowledge-based economy, this collaboration is essential. Together, we are building the economy of the future, creating the jobs of today and tomorrow, and gearing up for global success that will benefit all Canadians.”
Source: SSTi
While many cities are looking at localized or regional cluster efforts,  Canada leads the way with a national vision to develop competitive advantage.  With a national plan they can focus resources on cluster objectives and integrate industry supercluster across the nation and potential globe.  With national representation, at the highest levels, leading the way it sets a precedent in terms of both approach and potential of advancement for the nation.  It also great a clear vision as a global brand to the industries they are looking to partner and lead in.

Mayors Lead in Driving Innovation

United-States-Map-2Calling out a few of over 35 cities that have advanced in the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition to create innovative solutions for shared problems faced by municipal governments.  With the struggle of the national administration to drive innovation state governors and city mayors are leading the way.

Austin Texas

In attempting to help the local homeless population, outreach workers in Austin, Texas, often struggle to catalogue, access and share information about individuals they interact with.  Forty-plus nonprofits and 20-some government agencies in Austin lack a central mechanism for accurate data sharing about the homeless individuals they serve.  In addition, to personal documentation such as medical records or even social security cards.  Technology has previously reported. Austin, however, is working on a pilot program that uses blockchain to make it easier for homeless individuals to provide information about themselves. City officials say this is likely a first-of-its-kind use case for blockchain, one with the potential to be scaled to other cities throughout the nation.

Cheyenne, Wyo.

The program that Cheyenne will soon pilot with support from Bloomberg seeks to speed up revitalization of these empty properties by matching their owners with local entrepreneurs in need of work space. City officials in Cheyenne have so far identified 17 vacant commercial buildings and 10 partially full buildings as candidates for the work, which involves creating a new website that would connect the owners and entrepreneurs and also potentially facilitate crowdfunding for their projects. The goal for Cheyenne is to have a pilot version of the site up by July, with a full-version to follow by early 2019.

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Is looking at existing city data to identify gaps in equality in the community, with an ultimate goal of working to facilitate change.  Their project is, in part, a citywide census of community data that has an ultimate goal of creating a mechanism for stakeholders in the city to apply for more grant moneys.   The goal to really work with the different segments of our community that are affected by poverty. We believe that out of this will come some great applications for our businesses to fill out one type of application for all of the funds that are available from nonprofits.

Philadelphia

Is eeking to find child-centered solutions for youth offenders that focus more on service-oriented solutions than on sending them to regular police precincts for booking.
To do this, Philadelphia wants to create a Hub for Juvenile Justice Services, one that would serve as a national model for how children are treated within the criminal justice system. The goal of the hub would be a “24/7 integrated service center that is trauma-informed and technology driven.  Staff at the hub would be trained in how to respond to youth and families, as well as on how to make referrals to prevention or other social service programs when appropriate. It would be a preventative, non-police facility to provide juveniles with both immediate and long-term access to social services and diversion programs.

Louisville, Ky.

Is launching a pilot program that would build on a recently installed gunshot detection system to quickly dispatch aerial drones to potential shootings.  This program, which has already made headlines, would likely be the first of its kind in the country, and it was developed as a collaboration between the city’s Office for Civic Innovation, its police department, and several community partners.  City officials said that through this program aerial drones could help officers investigate incidents by capturing critical evidence at crime scenes before investigators arrive. The mobile nature of the drones would also allay privacy concerns that arise from static cameras.
Source: govtech

Arizona’s Cybersecurity Taskforce

United-States-Map-2The state of Arizona is increasing its focus on enterprise-level security controls with the creation of a cybersecurity task force.
First year Governor Doug Ducey signed an Executive Order creating Arizona Cybersecurity Team, “ACT.”
The overall plan is to create a collaborative structure across the 22 members of executive branch-level officials .  It will also bring in representatives from the legislature, higher educations, local government, the private sector and other state agencies.  The goal is to protect Arizona from a cyberattack.
The team’s responsibilities include developing recommendations and advising the governor on cybersecurity issues; offering advice on federal resources available to fight cyberthreats; promoting public awareness of threats; fostering collaboration between government, the private and education sectors, law enforcement and others; and driving cybersecurity and IT workforce development and training at the higher education level.
Source: govtech

Michigan’s 100M Plan for Talent

United-States-Map-2
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder proposed a “Marshall Plan for Talent” last Thursday.
The proposal would drive STEM and technology focused tuition.  The money is coming from a state bond refinancing effort.
The plan includes $100 million:
  • K-12 education programs
  • Higher education programs
  • Existing state workforce development
  • Veteran’s education programs
  • Woman’s programs
The plan includes $100 million: (In addition to the state budget proposed last month)
  • $50 million for programs and new equipment for schools and universities
  • $25 million would support student scholarships
  • $20 million would fund career exploration programs
  • $5 million would help address a shortage in teachers in high-demand career fields
Source: SSTi