Join Jonathan Reichental for an in-depth discussion in this video Palo Alto Apps Challenge, part of Smart Cities: Solving Urban Problems Using Technology.
(upbeat electronic music) - [Man] In governments around the world, broadening the opportunities for people to participate is a key issue. - What people really want is in-depth answers to things, and I think making a more transparent city where citizens have easy access to data allows us to give that. - We tried something a little different a few years ago, and this was called, we called it the Palo Alto Apps Challenge.
It ran over six months, and effectively, what we said was we're going to have a competition. We'll give you some targeted goals, we'll invite lots of people to participate, we're going to give you the data. And at the end, we'll have some winners, who will have created a community-useful solution using data from the city. We had over, well over 100 teams participate, and then we had three winners. And one of the winners became a business and today is a successful business.
They have revenue. I couldn't be more proud of the fact that we convened and created a platform for innovators to be able to not only contribute to the community but to create economic value and create a product that they could sell to other communities. As a consequence, I started to get phone calls from other governments and people saying, hey, how did you do that, and can you give us the details? And for a few days I was happy to do that. But after about two weeks, it became clear to me that this was not sustainable.
And so I worked with a colleague and over a few weeks we wrote a book, we wrote The Apps Challenge Playbook. The book is available today, it can be downloaded from our city website, and it's free. And it's being used in many countries around the world. - We're in the beginning stages of what I think could be dramatic change in the future. - Palo Alto's a real leader.
So what we do in Palo Alto, other cities look at, and then adopt. So if you come up with something here, our 65,000 residents will be immediately impacted and you'll have made their lives better. And then other cities in the region look around and say, oh, that's what Palo Alto's doing, and then they try and copy it. And that actually spreads worldwide. So you could have an effect on millions of people's lives by working here and figuring out how to make the average citizen's life better through technology.