Urban Inspirations on Charlie Rose

The Renault Fluence is the electric car available for Better Place's 2011 launch in Israel

Today I’m bringing you a break down of three great interviews you can check out on Charlie Rose. The three are not directly connected but each of the ideas presented could inspire future development of cities.

First, Shai Agassi from Better Place speaks to Charlie Rose about the electric car network his company is building.  The network will be put in place in Israel this year with Denmark, The United States and Australia coming later.  There is a pilot program for the system in Japan, where taxis in Tokyo are testing out the vehicle and battery system.

Agassi’s vision involves reducing the cost of electric cars by retaining the cost of the battery rather than have car buyers pay for it up front. Instead, the purchaser pays for the energy in the battery (in miles/kilometers) like one pays for gasoline now.

The company has received more than 700 million dollars in capital and is working with NissanRenault in the development of the technology.

The second video is an interview with Andrew Mason creator of Groupon. Groupon (Regina) is a website where subscribers receive a daily notification of a deal for a local business or organization providing steep discounts for that day. Starting in 2008, Groupon is already active in over 300 cities and has over 35 million members.

The company’s goal is to reveal the city to residents by uncovering “hidden gems” to Groupon members and their friends.  Mason claims his site provides performance measured advertising for local businesses; a business type that traditionally has not been good at marketing.  In five years time, Mason hopes Groupon will help to transform the empty store fronts on ‘Main Street’ into thriving businesses.

The last interview is with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.  In his interview Dorsey discusses Square, a software and hardware solution that allows people to use their credit cards to pay for items using the latest generation of smart phones.  He discusses the creation of Twitter and how New York City inspired him to learn computer programing.

Together these interviews point towards the way people will interact in the future: Social networks become important advertising and advocacy tools for small businesses; The electric car network continues to allow people the individual agency to reach those places of business, possibly in a low-carbon way; And, all the while people are connected to these and other physical, personal and social networks through e-identities on services like Twitter.

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Urban Inspirations on Charlie Rose

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