NYC fills smart city advisory council with leaders from Ford, Google, Microsoft and others

Twenty-two leaders from private technology companies and community groups will advise on smart city projects spanning from "drones to blockchain."

NYCx, New York City’s technology development and tech engagement program, has added 22 leaders from the tech community to its new Technology Leadership Advisory Council.

The roster adds weight to NYCx with leaders like Allen Blue, the co-founder of LinkedIn, Keith Scott, the chief technology officer of Microsoft, and executives from Ford Motors, IBM, Google, DocuSign and others. Mayor Bill de Blasio has directed the council to advance NYCx’s mission to test new technologies — “from drones to blockchain,” according to the city — in different zones of the city and develop smart city tools. 

“With NYCx, we are engaging tech community leaders to ensure that new technologies are making New York the fairest city in the world,” De Blasio said in a statement.

The Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer launched NYCx last October with Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño directing its initiatives. NYCx has already opened the city up to tech startups and innovators with two “moonshot challenges” that aim to fight climate change through cleaner transportation and another that is using the city’s Governors Island to develop faster and more efficient high-speed wireless solutions.


In a press release, Gamiño said that the council will give input on the moonshot challenges as well as the program’s co-lab challenges, which connect startups with locals to create solutions for neighborhoods. The ambition is to create thought leadership that accelerates OneNYC, a strategic plan to improve equity and quality of life across the city. 

“I’m thrilled that we’ve assembled a cohort of technology luminaries and key community leaders from across New York, and the broader tech ecosystem, who will work with us to develop new tools and tech that specifically address the needs of New Yorkers,” Gamiño said in statement to StateScoop Sunday. “With NYCx, we’ve presented a significant opportunity for these expert voices who bring their knowledge, experience and influence to help us creatively solve  community issues, that in some cases, are real-world challenges.”

Beyond advice, the city hopes to leverage the council’s network of IT industry connections and company resources to accelerate NYCx’s initiatives. Based on the roster, this support could come from venture capital groups, the city’s robust civic tech community or directly from the companies themselves. 

The council features top leaders in tech, entrepreneurship and venture capital, along with tech organizations representing local communities. Members of the council will provide subject matter expertise for NYCx with particular focus on helping the city use new technologies to accelerate achievement of goals outlined in the OneNYC plan. Members will also promote partnerships and tech sector engagement with peers in support of outreach and participation in NYCx and other city technology programs.

Long term, Gamiño said the collaboration is intended to foster equity by focusing residents, businesses and city officials on shared challenges.


“My hope is that the lasting legacy of this group will be a stronger and more meaningful relationship between the tech industry and NYC’s diverse communities,” Gamiño said. He added that the resulting “breakthrough ideas and solutions” of NYCx aim to support a fairer city for all residents. 

Microsoft’s Keith Scott said his participation is about furthering advances in smart cities, something the company is doing with its own civic tech innovation teams. 

“New York City is a vibrant, global, multi-cultural marketplace of ideas driven by entrepreneurial energy which makes it an ideal proving ground for new technologies,” Scott said in a press statement.

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