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18 September 2014

Internet of Everything

Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) hosted today a lecture titled ‘The Internet of Everything: Smart Cities and Beyond’ for decision makers in the public and private sector.
Dr Bassem Younis, Director of Business Development, MBRSG, opened the session highlighting the achievements of Dubai and the wider UAE in the technology domain. He cited Dubai Internet City and the UAE’s e-government initiative as early success stories in setting the pace for rapid technological adoption.
Following his address, esteemed guest speaker Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President of Industry Solutions and Chief Globalization Officer at Cisco Systems Inc, outlined some of the challenges that the world is likely to face on the economic, environmental and social front.
With reference to the economic and environmental landscape, he pointed out that the global demand for energy would increase by 40% by 2030. On the social level, he mentioned population growth as another challenge with the UAE itself set to grow to 15.4 million by 2030, registering a 411% increase from the year 2000. He also said the high percentage of senior people would cause further concerns with one fifth of the world’s population featuring in the above 60 age bracket by the year 2050 and forming more than one third of the population of countries like Japan and Germany.
Given such projections, Elfrink said the world has no alternative but to seriously consider the development of smart cities that has the wherewithal to efficiently overcome the challenges.
Presenting an overview of the development of Internet from its humble beginning to becoming the Internet of everything, Elfrink said that by the year 2020, the world will be home to nearly 7.6 billion humans, many of them connected to the internet. The world will also have some 50 billion devices wired to the internet. 
Elfrink added: “With the unprecedented connectivity to the internet, 90% of data that exists today was created in the last two years. Interestingly, more new data has been generated since 2012 than the last 5,000 years. With this huge expansion in connectivity, we are soon to face a rise in innovation and stream of new industries, leading to competition between cities. These new modern cities will be sustainable only if they integrate next generation smart technologies into the urban infrastructure.”
Elfrink pointed out that the Internet of Everything could generate an estimated US$6.9 billion of value to public sectors in the UAE in sectors such as transport, energy, education, and construction among others. Highlighting the role of the internet in sustainable development, reduction of energy costs, creation of jobs and new industries, he substantiated his point with current smart city examples such as Barcelona, Hamburg, Nice, and Amsterdam. 
Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President, MBRSG, said: “Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government is committed to supporting the UAE leadership’s vision of creating a knowledge ecosystem. Today’s session on the potential of the internet and its implications on smart cities has been a valuable learning experience. We thank Dr Wim Elfrink for his insights and projections for the future.”
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