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THE EXPERT’S VIEW: BILL HUTCHISON


THE SMART CITY AND INTELLIGENT COMMUNITY MOVEMENTS STARTED TWENTY YEARS AGO, AND HAVE NOW TURN INTO MULTI- BILLION POUND GLOBAL INDUSTRIES, SAYS EY’S BILL HUTCHISON, CO-FOUNDER AND CHAIR OF I-CANADA AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR SMART CITY INNOVATION


‘THE OVERALL GOAL IS TO CREATE A MORE CONVENIENT LIFE’


W


Bill Hutchison is an international businessman and social entrepreneur, and strategic advisor to public and private sector organisations. He has advised the governments of Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia in his long career.


14 EXPERTVIEW SPRING 2015


hen Bill Hutchison moved to Singapore from Toronto in 1996, he found himself at the beginning of what has proved to


be a huge global transformation of the way communities live and work in our cities. “Singapore had started a business plan to


create ‘Smart Island’, and Silicon Valley had its ‘Smart Valley’,” he recalls. Tese were early days for smart intelligent communities, but Hutchison had already created Smart Toronto in 1994 through his work with Ernst & Young, and so he was already ahead of the game. “I was very much involved in the creation


of a Russian smart city as an EY partner,” he recalls. “Te Russian government wanted to create the city Skolkovo on the edge of Moscow, primarily for young people to live and work, but it would also become a model for the rest of Russia. As I had experience of the Toronto project, I was able to get things moving in Russia and I am still a member of Te International Advisory Council based in Moscow.” Te project was shelved when Vladimir Putin


came to power, and the smart city focus shifted to Kazakhstan. Te Kasakhstan government wants its capital city to become one of the world’s top cites by 2017, and Hutchison is finding himself spending longer amounts of time there.


INTEGRATED STRATEGY “We started automating with computers in the 1950s. It has been a long process and it was only 20 years ago that we began relating automating to how we live, not just to banking, manufacturing, insurance and utilities,” Hutchison explains. He believes the terms ‘smart city’ and ‘intelligent


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