“When Everything Is in the Cloud, What Does ‘Place’ Mean?”

That was a quote from the inaugural Gigabit City Summit courtesy of Josep Piqué, Director Strategic Sectors – 22@Barcelona during the wrap-up section of the inaugural Gigabit City Summit. Amid so much great discussion and information sharing during the global conversation, this comment from Josep Piqué stood out to me as a very rich, life-changing strategic question in the years immediately ahead.

As more of the “things” we work and play with are digitized, they have the potential to become omnipresent. When you start to digitize organizations and the structural elements that give organizations their presence and power? Well then, if not all, than a whole bunch of bets are off.

This was exactly the point that Simon Kuo raised when the early Building the Gigabit City results were shared. Simon talked about how education and businesses will be turned over as physical structure is completely re-envisioned.

These points got me thinking about some of the areas affected if “places” becomes irrelevant. I will admit, this list is not based on extensive research or philosophical exploration. I simply started a list of ideas about what place might mean and some of the related areas that could start to change.

What Does Place Mean?

Place is where someone or something is from . . .

  • It shapes a person or object’s history and background
  • It’s somewhere you stay or leave and may return to in the future

Place is where people meet and congregate . . .

  • Governing happens
  • Learning happens there
  • Information and opinions are shared
  • Spiritual beliefs are celebrated
  • Friends are made

Place is where functions are carried out . . .

  • People work
  • Marriages happen and families are created
  • Money is saved, spent, and invested
  • Teaching and learning happen

Place is where people are entertained . . .

  • Movies are shown
  • Concerts are performed
  • Sports are contested

Place is where goods and services are consumed . . .

  • Goods are sold and bought
  • Medical treatment is provided

Places are where people reside . . .

  • Property is sold, bought, and owned
  • They are defended
  • People live, raise families, and are buried
  • Taxes are paid

How would you change this list?

There are clearly duplications and omissions among this list inspired by Josep Piqué and Simon Kuo. Would you help build and improve it by sharing your ideas on what “place” means and how it shapes our lives today . . . and will in the future? - Mike Brown

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