NYCx, New York City’s municipal tech engagement program geared toward solving a variety of civic problems, now has an advisory council whose range and depth of experience should further inform and guide those efforts.
The NYCx Technology Leadership Advisory Council was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño Jr. on Jan. 11 and convenes 22 officials from such diverse worlds as education, transportation, finance, communication and, of course, technology.
Its broad mission, the city said in a news release, will be to “increase engagement and visibility of the NYCx program to the broader tech community,” and to provide subject matter expertise with a focus on helping the city use new technology to more swiftly achieve goals outlined in its OneNYC plan.
Members will also promote partnerships and tech sector engagement with peers, and participate in NYCx and other city-led tech programs, the city said.
Council Members Include:
- Clayton Banks, CEO at Silicon Harlem.
- David Belt, CEO and co-founder of New Lab.
- Kiel Berry, vice president of global emerging opportunities at Viacom.
- Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn.
- Beth Comstock, former vice chair at General Electric and NYCx Tech Leadership Advisory Council co-chair.
- Avi Dorfman, co-founder of Compass and entrepreneur-in-residence at the D. E. Shaw Group.
- Ben Fried, vice president, chief information officer and New York office Tech Site Lead at Google.
- Matt Harrigan, co-founder and managing director at Grand Central Tech.
- Jukay Hsu, co-founder and CEO of C4Q.
- Karin Klein, founding partner of Bloomberg Beta.
- Marcy Klevron, executive vice president and president, mobility at Ford Motor Co.
- Keith Krach, chairman of the board at DocuSign.
- Brian O’Kelley, CEO at AppNexus.
- Michelle Peluso, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at IBM.
- Kim Polese, chairman at CrowdSmart.
- Andrew Rasiej, CEO of Civic Hall and chairman of the NY Tech Alliance.
- Kevin Ryan, chairman and CEO of AlleyCorp.
- Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech:NYC.
- Kevin Scott, chief technology officer at Microsoft.
- Liliana Gil Valletta, CEO at Cien+ and CulturIntel.
- Maya Wiley, senior vice president for social justice, and Henry Cohen Professor of public and urban policy at The New School.
“By connecting tech companies more closely to real urban needs,” officials said, the city expects the program “will deliver new technologies that help address pressing issues such as climate change and transportation access while increasing jobs and supporting a growing tech economy.”
In a statement, de Blasio said tech is “an essential part of our lives and vital to a growing and diversifying economy.”
“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.
Gamiño said in a statement that the council’s diversity will be “instrumental” in helping shape technology to benefit the city’s many communities.
“The unique collection of voices will make NYC the city to deliver technologies that accelerate opportunity and jobs, benefiting all New Yorkers,” Gamiño said.
New Council member Michelle Peluso, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at IBM, agreed. “True innovation requires both diverse disciplines and perspectives to meet at the nexus of people and products, intelligence and emotion, art and science, design and business,” Peluso said in a statement, adding that she was “excited” to work with NYCx to explore “the growing relationship between humanity and technology.”
Marcy Klevorn, president of Ford Mobility and another new council member, emphasized the need for public- and private-sector teamwork. “At Ford Motor Co., we believe the future is being created in our cities and it will be cooperation between public and private entities that feed the innovation," Klevorn said in a statement.
Harlem business leader Clayton Banks, CEO of Silicon Harlem, noted its work to train youth and provide access to affordable broadband in a statement — but highlighted NYCx’s transformative potential for the city’s more urban areas.
“Growing tech skills and entrepreneurship can help urban corridors like Harlem transform into innovation hubs, where everyone has access, exposure and opportunity to grow.” said Banks, who described himself as “proud” to work with the mayor.
Launched in October, NYCx aims to gather officials, developers, neighborhood activists and tech-sector folk to look at citywide as well as community-sized issues.
To date, it has issued two Moonshot challenges — one of which challenges developers to design a low-cost gigabit-speed broadband network capable of scaling citywide — and two Co-Labs challenges, which focus on issues in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood.
Applications are still being accepted through Jan. 15 for the NYCx Climate Action Challenge, which asks the industry to develop solutions to scale electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs and accelerate EV use citywide.