Edited and prepared by Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU

Great interview with José Quádrio Alves. José is a Vice President in CGI’s Strategic Industry Consulting. He leads CGI’s Global Future Cities and Regions initiative, addressing multiple industries, sharing CGI’s Future Cities Vision and Best Practices with clients around the world. In doing this, he led development of innovative consulting tools and methodologies that have been successfully used in practice.
During his career Jose Quadrio Alves developed expertise in Management Consulting and Systems Integration across multiple industries, while managing both global virtual teams and local consulting teams in Iberia.
He started his professional life as an electronics engineer, and developed his business consulting and solutions expertise as a Consulting Principal in IBM.

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

I am leading CGI’s Future Cities and Regions initiative, a instantiation of Digital Transformation for Cities and Regions. Within this initiative there are five important areas I am focusing on:

1.      Innovation and eco-systems: in this area we help cities and regions bring innovation to the way they engage with citizens, encouraging citizen participation, supporting new businesses to install in their region and building an eco-system of City/Regions partners;

2.      Future Cities Methodology: this is a methodology to help cities align their initiatives roadmap to a sustainability strategy and a set of quantifiable objectives that help measuring the success of strategy implementation;

3.      Funding for Future Cities: in this area we help cities to craft funding strategies that can help them support their strategy and initiatives roadmap

4.      Replication of knowledge: the main objective here is to avoid the “reinvention of wheel”, meaning cities should re-use what has already been successfully done and not trying to re-invent what others have already done. Here the eco-systems concept is still valid, with a wider scope…

5.      City Enablement Platform: an integration platform that brings together multiple solutions cities have built or will be building is an important challenge for the Future. We believe in adopting open standards and open source technologies as a way to pursue this objective.

How was the last 12 months, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?

We have done remarkable progresses in areas like the Methodology, Funding (especially in diverting cost efficiencies to innovation projects) and Replication of Knowledge, we have been progressing well in helping to build city eco-systems (and building our own eco-system), but we (and the market, I believe) are still behind the curve in bringing the “City Enablement Concept” to live. Hopefully this will be an area of progress in the near future.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans are fundamentally around helping cities to build a better future and focusing on improving the way CGI engages with Cities/Regions in the five areas above. Specifically in helping to build eco-systems that really foster innovation and economic sustainability  and finding solutions to build City Enablement Platforms that can help Cities tear down silos and better serve their Citizens.

What will you be talking about at this event? (brief taster)

I will be talking about City / Regions ecosystems. Introducing the imp[ortance of eco-systems in economic sustainability, discussing the relevance of diversity in ecosystems and potential governance models to make this eco-systems as effective as possible and sustainable for the future. Also hope to bring some examples/case studies to illustrate the ideas I will be putting forward’

What inspired you to attend it?

My main inspiration to attend was the relationship with the City on Tampere, where CGI has a long lasting relationship and some very interesting case studies. The focus the City is doing on their Smart Tampere project, working with a local eco-system but also with a wider eco-system including other Finish cities, is also an inspiration, and I hope to also learn from their experience.

Just as an example of the work we have been doing with the City of Tampere, have a look at the following video case study:https://youtu.be/w9DbcfxIYsI

Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?

Difficult to mention all of them, Future Cities/ Smart Cities is a very visible topic nowadays. Just a few examples: World Economic Forum, Guardian Cities, Open and Agile Smart Cities, Future Cities Catapult, Covenant of Mayors, 100 Resilient Cities and on and on…

How can people find out more about what you are working on?

They can follow me on twitter: @jqalves or on linkedIn:linkedin.com/in/quadrioalves or, of course, through CGI’s Future Cities web page: https://www.cgi.com/en/governments/future-cities

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

Just that I am looking forward to attend Mindtrek and network with all other attendees. This will certainly be  a great opportunity to give back a part of what I have been learning in the exciting Future Cities domain and, of course, also learn  or in person during the event. Of course I will also be available to respond to any questions or suggestions from your readers through the social media contacts provided above.

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