SXSW 2017: 3 Ways to Become a Change Agent for Your (Smart) City

At SXSW, FCC CIO David Bray shared his insights on how city leaders can grapple with the exponential change by becoming change agents.

by / March 13, 2017
FCC CIO David Bray Dustin Haisler

AUSTIN, Texas — Sunday was Smart Cities Day at South by Southwest (SXSW), where a host of sessions set out to unpack the different components of a smart city.

The conversation brought together a diverse set of perspectives across multiple levels of government — including the federal government. Federal Communications Commission CIO David Bray shared his insights on how city leaders can grapple with the exponential change by becoming change agents — which he also talks frequently about on Twitter using #changeagent

David offered up three ways you could become a change agent in your city:

1. Have a diversity of expertise

Rather than relying on a single expert or group of experts with a shared view of issues, it’s important to have diverse opinions in your planning and operations. 

2. Empower the edge

The best insights do not come from the top, but rather the people closest to the action — the edge. It’s more important than ever to empower those on the edge of your city to share their insights and become change agents for how government services are delivered.

3. Develop ecosystem approaches

Cities are diverse ecosystems with many disparate parts, such as academia and business — connecting these parts can better prepare cities for adapting to change.

Follow David Bray on Twitter at @fcc_cio.

Dustin Haisler Chief Innovation Officer, e.Republic Inc.

Dustin Haisler is the Chief Innovation Officer of Government Technology's parent company e.Republic. Previously the finance director and later CIO for Manor, Texas, a small city outside Austin, Haisler quickly built a track record and reputation as an early innovator in civic tech. As Chief Innovation Officer, Haisler has a strategic role to help shape the company’s products, services and future direction. Primarily, he leads e.Republic Labs, a market connector created as an ecosystem to educate, accelerate and ultimately scale technology innovation within the public sector. Read his full bio.