Stories From Innisfil

Welcome to Innisfil Accelerates. A podcast about the people and technology transforming one Ontario town. Today we’re talking about the city of the future. Planned cities have been around for a long time.Washington, DC was designed to be the capital of a newly independent United States. The city was built into four grids each of which intersected right at the center of the Capitol “the people's house”. The design itself was intended to a physical manifestation of democratic ideals. In the centuries that followed many other planned cities were constructed. Some more successfully than others. In the 1950’s Brazilians built a new national capital. An enormous monument to modernist architecture, Brasilia was intended to avoid the overpopulation and poverty of Rio De Janeiro. 70 years later Brasilia is one of the largest planned cities in the world. But most of its residents don't live in the spacious planned interior of the city. Most of its 4.2 million residents are crammed into 20 unplanned satellite communities on its outskirts.Brasilia, the planned city of the future, has descended into an overcrowded dystopia. But people are still planning other cities of the future. Saudi Arabia is constructing an enormous smart city in the north western corner of the country. Called Neom, the country has pledged 500 billion dollars towards it’s construction. It’s all an attempt to course correct an economy that is almost entirely dependent on oil. Towards a more diversified future with industries like shipping, biotechnology and information technology. But Saudi Arabia is a country controlled by a single family. An authoritarian regime that is taking cues from China in it’s design on Neom. Where every citizen is tracked. And privacy will be an impossibility. Closer to home a raft of billionaires have plans for their own future cities.Elon Musk has just announced his plan to build a new city in Texas he’s calling Starbase.A place for workers of his company Space X to work on their next generation rocket program. He’s not the only billionaire with plans for the city of the future. The head of Wal-Mart’s ecommerce division Marc Lore recently resigned.He plans to spend the rest of his career building the “city of the future.” One that will be supported by a “new vision of capitalism”. So who gets to build the city of the future? Are such enormous projects only going to be possible for autocratic governments or freewheeling billionaires? Those questions are ones that Noah Redler wrestles with on a daily basis. The founder of the Smart City Experience Noah works with Municipalities, community organisations and businesses to envision a different kind of smart city. One that is far more responsive to and designed for regular people. Innisfil accelerates is a podcast sponsored by the city of Innisfil. TO learn more about how they are planning for the city of the future go to Innisfil Accelerates dot c-a.

A different kind of smart city

Who gets to build the city of the future? Are such enormous projects only going to be possible for autocratic governments or freewheeling billionaires? Those questions are ones that Noah Redler wrestles with on a daily basis. The founder of the Smart City Experience, Noah works with Municipalities, community organizations and businesses to envision a different…

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The story of how a car salesman became a tech CEO

Very few great entrepreneurs went to business school. Almost none, in fact. Recently, Elon Musk pointed out that MBA’s tend to learn the wrong things. “They could be good at say PowerPoint presentations or something like that, and they can present well, but they don’t actually know how things work. They parachute in instead of…

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An Amazon alternative for local food delivery

Is it possible to build a local Amazon alternative? When the COVID crisis paralyzed global markets in early 2020, farmers found themselves with few options. Business from restaurants and caterers came to a sudden halt. Suddenly, the people working in the industry needed better access to local customers. Like each participant in last April’s DMZ…

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The Right Startup Location is Vital

A year ago, most anyone in tech would have said that startups needed to be located in a hub like Toronto, if they wanted to succeed. The foundations for a successful launch included support, accelerators, mentors, investors, employees and even customers. Those could all only be found in large centres and cities. Fast forward to…

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Accelerating Out of The Curve

“Taking a bright idea and turning it into a thriving, sustainable company is tough. An entrepreneur might reap what they sow, but they first need fertile ground.” ~ Takara Small   Creating a viable startup is about a lot more than planting a seed, watering it and waiting. There is a lot of support, nurturing…

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Operation Innovation: Uber and The Orbit

For any small town that is growing, there are two issues that need to be addressed at the outset, to make sure that they don’t become bigger problems down the road: public transportation and urban sprawl.   Look at most any growing community in Ontario and you’ll see sprawl: bedroom communities and suburbs popping up…

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Innisfil: Tech Town

This is the story of a small town in Canada, taking a classic underdog journey to stand alongside the big tech hubs of the world. Drive anywhere beyond the GTA in Ontario and you’ll see a multitude of small towns. Some are so small that if you blink as you drive along ‘Main Street’,…

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Innisfil featured on a podcast for local government innovation!

Two members from Innisfil’s Economic Development team, Dan Taylor and Jelmer Stegink recently had a great interview on Govlaunch‘s new podcast series. Govlaunch is a “wiki” for local government innovation. It’s about how Innisfil is embracing change and innovation, and how local governments can shift their approach to problem solving. Check out the episode on…

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Wearing a Face Covering in All Indoor Public Spaces

As of July 13, 2020 you will be required to wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces (businesses, organizations and public transit systems) in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka. Get a downloadable and printable Mandatory Mask sign for your business here. The following FAQ is from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health…

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