Beyond If Beyond If
If/When Sep 8, 2020

Connected Communities: When the City Speaks

Show Contributors: Mrinalini "Lani" Ingram, Dr. Rick Robinson, Paul Thies


What are the most pressing problems that can be solved by a city evolving into a “connected community”? What are the public and private sector roles in supporting such communities? And who are some of the cities that are leading the way in terms of leveraging technology and best practices? In this episode of If/When we discuss the present state and near future of connected communities with Mrinalini "Lani" Ingram, the recent president and CEO of Verizon’s Smart Communities program, and Dr. Rick Robinson, Director of Smart Places, Digital Infrastructure and Telecommunications for Jacobs.

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Episode notes

In her most recent position, Mrinalini "Lani" Ingram served as the president and CEO of Verizon’s Smart Communities program, leading the company’s initiative on digital transformation of cities, universities, utilities, and sports and entertainment organizations. Lani has been a leader in developing the Smart Communities and IoT industry for over a decade, beginning with leading Cisco's Smart + Connected Communities Strategy and Business Development team. Prior to her focus on Smart Communities, Lani spent over 21 years in finance, the last four years as the CFO for Cisco's Globalization Center in India, where she was part of the initial pioneer team that created Cisco's second headquarters and launched the company’s global IoT and Smart Communities initiatives. Lani served as president of the board of directors for Silicon Valley Talent Partnership, and on the board of directors for DialSource. She earned her CPA while working for PriceWaterhouse Coopers and holds a B.A. from Gonzaga University and an executive MBA from Harvard Business School.

Dr. Rick Robinson is Director of Smart Places, Digital Infrastructure and Telecommunications for Jacobs. He advises cities, infrastructure operators, property developers and investors on the use of technology to improve buildings, infrastructure, places, communities and business and organisational performance. Previously, he has led Smart Cities businesses for Arup and IBM, and was Director of Technology for Amey, where he was responsible for driving advances in digital technology into public services and infrastructure that are used by about 1 in 4 people in the UK every day. Rick collaborates with a network of technology entrepreneurs, Universities and social institutions to explore innovations in digital technology, and has advised the UK Government and United Nations on their impact on the built environment, economy, communities and society. Rick is a member of the UK5G Steering Group, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the RSA and a member of the Academy of Urbanism. He founded and co-chairs the Birmingham Smart City Alliance.