September 11, 2017

ImpactLABS Collaborates with the State of Rhode Island

Collaborating with Rhode Island

So many of the most precious and under-pressure things misbehave when it comes to honoring institutional geographic borders. We miss significant opportunities at resilience when we enslave too much of our thinking and doing to nation-state, state, city, and property lines.

People, water, weather, commerce, and culture often cross institutional geographic borders without any thought of them.

These ‘border crossings’ are both the lifeblood of creative, empathic, productive, profitable communities and the source of some chaos that can make life hard for a lot of people.

What if we are intentional in how we consider our crossings?

With this spirit in mind, some of the most innovative people and institutions in Rhode Island are reaching out across their state and their state border for cross-border collaboration.

Silicon Valley is hundreds of square miles of land, with dozens of cities and towns and an area greater than what would be a Coastal Ocean Cluster that ranged from Woods Hole through New Bedford and Fall River crossing the state border into Newport and Providence. Santa Clara’s competitive agenda versus that of Palo Alto is second order to Silicon Valley competing with the world.

This is something the East Coast should be emulating.

We are planning pilots with:

  • Rhode Island College’s famed LEED practitioners, instructors and students
  • RI Tech Collective sponsors and partners in their new immersive cybersecurity training programs
  • Brown University and their human-centered robotics and technology labs
  • Rhode Island School of Design and their upcoming classes on smart city design, urban resilience and IoT.
  • The City of Providence on a number of urban population health initiatives
  • The City of New Bedford on all things urban resilience and climate response.

The aim of these pilots is to establish resilience across and within our coastal ocean communities by addressing shared challenges in population health, ocean health, coastal resilience, resilient infrastructure and cities, and food security.

This collaboration with Rhode Island supports our commitment to establishing best practices for resilience in a number of grand challenge markets through a different approach to IoT. We are working for solutions that are both more secure and more agile. Data should be more trusted and distributed. Solutions should be people and operations centered, with machines and technology playing a supporting role. Finally, earnings and profit gains should be met with, and not at the expense of, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.