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What City Leaders Can Learn (And Share) At Tech Summit In Louisville


Leaders from cities across the U.S. will descend on Louisville this week for a two-day event examining how emerging technologies can influence government responsibility.

The 2016 Summit on Government Performance and Innovation aims to provide elected officials and top city administrators a portal to share ideas and learn new ways to interact with residents through technology.

I spoke with Theresa Reno-Weber, the chief of Louisville Metro's office of performance and technology, about what she's expecting from the summit and where local leaders should look for guidance from their visiting counterparts.

Listen to our conversation in the audio player above.

What is it that Louisville is doing in these areas of tech and innovation that you consider to be on the cutting edge, that people want to learn about?

"Some of the things are more internal to city government. Many people have heard about our LouieStat that is helping to track the performance and operational metrics of each of our departments, and links to the strategic goals and plans of the city. Many city governments across the country are really interested to understand what that system is about and how it works. But folks are also coming to Louisville to learn about how we are dynamically planning and being engaged with our community partners.

What is Louisville looking to learn?

"We have a lot of great speakers lined up who are coming in, not only from other city governments, but we also have Steve Case, the founder of AOL, who is going to be speaking at the summit about the third wave of the Internet. So, if the first wave was AOL and the things they did to connect individuals with the internet and technology, and Facebook and Google is the second wave, he has a purview of what is coming next in the third wave and how that is going to change the way entrepreneurs and businesses use the internet to engage with individuals that will shape the way we live."

The city is looking at Google Fiber and these other next generations of internet and tech. How could these things shape the way you do your job and the city does its job?

"A lot of it that's really exciting for me for the work we're doing is trying to get more data information that can help us predict and analyze where people are going to be, how they're going to want to be engaged with, how we're going to need to make sure they have the things they need to live full lives, but also live lives that are have less friction.

"So, the things that get me excited are the predictive analytics from the data that we'll be able to gather using technology, using sensors, using the signal systems on our traffic lights across the community, using information that comes from new innovations that we put out there, whether it's smoke detectors in homes or GPS trackers on asthma inhalers, whether it's partnering with startups or new businesses within our community who are also looking to address social challenges that we face as a community.

"I believe part of that third wave of the internet will be the distilling of all of that information in to a way that it can be easily digested by government and other organizations to improve lives."

Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.