Phase 3 Share your ideas! (Completed) March 19 - April 2

Blockchain

I believe that the City of Calgary could best develop a proposal for Smart City funding if it were to commit to developing capabilities for the development and deployment (the tough part) of blockchain technologies. This is not about one particular project per se, but rather a commitment to build upon the City's current capabilities in blockchain and create highly visable, highly valuable, cost-effective projects that can provide a observable improvement in the quality of services the public receives from the City. Furthermore, this will act as a signal to industry, and other stakeholders (academia, other levels of Government) about Calgary's ability to be a leading municipality in innovation.

 

With the capabilities developed to a high level the City could support blockchain projects relating to voting, provision of services, environmental monitoring, internet of things, machine to machine transactions, public transportation, legal records, royalties etc.

Why is this an ambitious idea?

The huge problem is that blockchain technology is just emerging, but certainly is believed by leading organizations across the world as a technology that could have dramatic impact upon the way that services are provided. Many believe that it will upgrade services as dramatically as when the internet arrived (can you imagine the City of Calgary doing without internet provision of services?). This means that there is a significant upgrade in services that can be explored IF the City can find legitimate use cases (easy), develop the capabilities to architect solutions (hard) and convince its internal staff to engage with upgrading (very hard). However, if successful Calgary will have elite services for its citizens and can support an emerging ecosystem of blockchain talent in industry and academia (e.g. through Calgary Technologies).

How do we measure the effectiveness of this idea?

Depends upon the projects chosen, but as a straightforward example, if the City were to develop services around sovereign identity services enabled via blockchain it could be a meaningful upgrade to the function provided by 'myID'. Also, there could be an upgrade to the City's IIOT capabilities making the data more secure and more transparent. However, I suspect that the greatest benefit may come from backoffice efficiencies in the finance and accounting functions of the City.

I believe that if Calgary were to commit to this strategy and resource it well, that it could develop into a narrative that could improve Calgary's brand nationally and internationally.

How is this idea attainable through the use of technology or data?

-Increase support for existing resources like innovation lab
-Develop blockchain strategy (which projects, which protocols)
-Integrate with existing ecosystem (via Rainforest and University)

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