A New Digital Deal – Its been out there for a year!
Today it’s August 31, 2018. One year on… September 1, 2017 – the release date of the first edition of ‘A New Digital Deal’. Time to look back and to look ahead. A brief blog.
A New Digital Deal went live per September 1, 2017 – in print, to be followed by the e-edition a few months later. And here’s the balance today: Close to 5000 copies sold. Translated in Italian. Arabic translation being worked on. Importantly, the book has been received most positively. Many great reviews got produced by leaders in the so-called ‘smart city space’ . The book landed on the book shelves in the hundreds of offices of professionals, in the classes of universities, and the editor’s desks of many publications, radio & TV organizations. Keynote & book signings have been organized in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Copenhagen, Washington DC, Kansas City, Cleveland, Reykjavik, Riga, Paris, Brescia, Helsinki and Tampere. What a ride it has been. But beyond these shiny facts and figures there is depth.
I am proud and humbled to see the book doing so well. Yet the most important thing, to me, is to see the book help enhance a discussion among ourselves, within our communities, our cities, an exchange that is timely if not overdue: how do we deal with the next wave of digitally powered disruption and change? How do we actually leverage digital innovation for the better good, if we have come to accept (and that is one of the book’s basic premises) that positive outcomes are not an automatic given, but need hard work and coming together of societal stakeholders in order to harvest them? The book has in fact enhanced that debate. It has helped to depolarize a stand-off of tech optimists and ‘believers’ against those that can be considered distrustful of where digitalization is taking us. Synthesis of arguments was needed – and quite frankly, continues to be needed. The book has helped there. The many interviews and publications in the media across the globe have typically focused on this aspect of the book. Yet then there is the other chunk of the book. The ‘how-to’ component. If I get to work on a smart city program, or a community innovation strategy, how do I do that? What are the critical building blocks? How do I avoid the pitfalls others have stumbled into – and what are those pitfalls? This is where the book has proved to be of practical help to many around the world, and it has been heart-warming to learn how the book’s learning got applied, given the feedback from various smart city leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers and young professionals just getting started with their careers, doing so in this particular space.
As for the future of the book: the Arabic translation should see the light of day early 2019, with distribution throughout North Africa and the Middle East. The Arabic edition will be more than a translation only: together with peers in Dubai a Middle East focused chapter will be added to the book. The English and Italian version continue to do well. At one point I will have to revise the book. The latest insights on cyber risk management, blockchain, new examples of successful smart city partnerships – to name just a few – are all good reasons to revisit the content and update. I shall at some point in 2019. Yet the calls-to-action that follow from the book have impacted my personal professional journey also. It is my conviction that education, a reframing of some of our thinking, a conveying of experience, a build out of skills and competencies is what is needed most to get the digitalization and innovation strategies for our communities right. This is where and why I have founded TASC, the Academy for Smarter Communities. TASC, an initiative born out of the Rainmaking group of companies I am now part of, soft launches this September 2018, with high end, three day masterclasses being provided to the leaders, professionals, and executives responsible for innovation strategies in cities, large or small. Masterclasses facilitated by the best of the best worldwide. With leading cities as the anchors of TASC: think Amsterdam, Antwerp, Kansas City, Tampere, Dubai as a sample of cities that are part of the community we have built and that we continue to evolve. I am not only excited as to where the book has gone. Looking at TASC, I realize I should also be grateful where the book has taken me and my new team of peers… And for those of you who now want to have more information on TASC, please see www.tasc.world !
A New Digital Deal is needed more than ever. A New Digital Deal, the book, continues to be out there. A New Digital Deal is what ever more people have commenced work on. Lets continue together on that great journey.
August 31, 2018