Big Data Alone Isn’t Enough to Spark City Innovation

October 15, 2014 2 Comments

This post was published by E Republic in the City Accelerator Blog.

Cities are complex places that can lack the infrastructure and processes to stitch together their constituencies. Today, cities are innovating, but many times that innovation is laser focused around data, big data and getting more data. This only gives us a glimpse of the reality regarding citizen experiences within a city. In short, big data by itself is insufficient for innovation.

In a guest commentary for the City Accelerator, Ceasar McDowell, President of the Interaction Institute for Social Change and Professor of the Practice of Community Development at MIT, argues we must bring together the public to gain a holistic picture of the problems in our cities and the solutions needed to build communities that are economically healthy.


  • Cynthia Silva Parker says:

    Yes! Your story gives us a great analogy. We have to create opportunities for people to touch and feel each others’ experiences in order to make sense of the data and build “treatment plans that allow the body to heal.” The body politic sure needs healing!

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