This week I had a chance to speak with Boyd Cohen, an author and urban strategist focused on the areas of urban innovation, sustainable development, entrepreneurship, smart cities and the Internet of Mobility. He’s lived everywhere, he’s published 3 books (Climate Capitalism, 2011; The Emergence of the Urban Entrepreneur, 2016; Post-capitalist Entrepreneurship, 2017) and speaks regularly in the smart city space globally. Currently based in Barcelona, Boyd co-founded IoMob in 2017, a blockchain startup seeking to decentralize the mobility sector by providing an open protocol for the Internet of Mobility (IoM).
It was super interesting drilling down on his current project, IoMob, a tech mobility startup combining open source and blockchain technology to aiming to decentralise mobility. They are talking with significant players in the mobility services sector and are due to beta test in global blockchain mega hub, Singapore, later this year.
My biggest take away was the optimism Boyd has that entrepreneurs now have the tools and technology to address some of our intractable urban problems, through collaboration and smart partnerships between city administrators, entrepreneurs, educational institutions, commercial players and civic organisations. Great ideas come and go, but Cohen says if we can work to nail the execution of ideas, encouraged by city leadership, who are in a position to create a framework for entrepreneurs to work with them and other partners, including private, to solve issues such as waste, congestion and climate change, we will go a long way to securing a better future.
We talk about the challenges faced by urbanisation, and how these challenges can be met by local entrepreneurs who are now able to tackle current issues by tapping into hubs like FAB Labs, which inhabit cities globally. Fab Labs provide widespread access to modern means for invention. They began as an outreach project from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), and has now morphed into a collaborative and global network. All Fab Labs share common tools and processes in order to build a global network which has become a distributed laboratory for research and invention. Machines available to use by any team accessing the Lab include 3-D Printers, laser cutters, milling, scanning and digital sewing machines.
Cohen brought up several interesting projects where local entrepreneurs are working collaboratively both locally and globally to solve local problems. His own start up is testament to this, and if successful, will be a game changer in the urban mobility issue. If they pull it off I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more from Cohen in the future.
He is also the current Executive Director of the Blockchain Cities Alliance which launched in June 2018. He’s coming to Australia and New Zealand in early September to give a keynote at the Melbourne’s Blockchain Centre, the details of which are in the show notes below. Any one who ones to touch base with Boyd, please just connect with him on his social media handles below.
Hope you enjoy the episode.