Systems Thinking for Smarter Cities

This talk will discuss IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative, principles of Systems Thinking as applied to cities, and insights gained from a year long project conducted in partnership with the City of Portland, Oregon, as they developed their next 25-year city strategy.

Justin M. Cook is the Manager of Foundational Research for IBM Corporate Brand System Strategy. His group focuses on executing challenging projects to advance IBM Smarter Planet thinking and leadership skills. One such project, conducted in partnership with the Mayor and urban planning office of Portland, OR, is IBM System Dynamics for Smarter Cities. This “systems thinking” tool models the long term dynamics of a broad range of city functions as a complex system of systems. Mr. Cook’s work on Smarter Cities has led to multiple conference papers including one on the economic dynamics of smarter cities and another covering the factors that influence development of smart grid electricity distribution in the urban environment.

Previously, Mr. Cook was a Business Development Manager for IBM Research working to commercialize sustainable technology assets. He drove opportunities in data center energy efficiency, water desalination, and solar power. Mr. Cook also held the position of Global Business Development Executive, Global Technology Systems working to launch a new venture in the Small/Medium Business market.

Prior to joining IBM, Mr. Cook spent eight years as a management consultant and took a lead role in two successful start-ups including Silver Oak Solutions. He has a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.