Why suburbs are where innovation will happen

They have unrecognized strengths for adapting to a disrupting economy

By Scott Fadness | Governing

It was back in 1997 when Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen coined the phrase “disruptive innovation” to describe a process that transforms an industry in which expensive and complicated processes have been the norm. Disruptive innovations introduce simplicity, convenience, accessibility and affordability. Today we face another period of disruption as technologies like the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence spread.

This time of transformative technological change is already having significant impact on all facets of government. What will economic-development strategies look like in an Internet of Things economy? How will first responders and social-services caseworkers harness data to deal with some of our communities’ most pressing social ills? How will public infrastructure evolve to meet the needs of the disruptive innovation that is occurring in transportation? How will local governments learn to adapt to the pace of disruptive innovation that is occurring all around them?


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