Building Smart Cities Leveraging Open Innovation

UGBA 193I – Travel Study Program 4 Units

Spring 2015 (Travel Module: (Dec 28, 2014 – Jan 14, 2015)

Classes: MW 4:00pm – 5:30pm. Location: I-Lab

Instructor: Solomon Darwin

Office Hours: MW 3pm-4pm

E-mail Address:

Prerequisite: Passion for Sustainability

Research Advisors: Henry Chesbrough

Corporate Advisors: To be confirmed

Recommended Textbooks: Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape Henry Chesbrough


Course Objective:

  1. Study and evaluate the Open Innovation process “The Smart City in the Making”
  2. Capture the lessons currently being learned in India by the architects, engineers, business partners, investors, city managers, supply chains, the federal government and
  3. Evaluate Cost-Benefits of the investment – at a very high level.
  4. Based on your field analysis, recommend a “FRAMEWORK” for India for urban planning for better processes for soliciting external innovations to secure cost effective, designs, technologies, infrastructure and talent to benefit the building of future smart cities that are in the planning stages. Develop at least one use case (i.e. Safety, Traffic, Energy Management etc.) for an Indian city.
  5. Group Project: Study four Bay Area cities (one city per group) and propose a smart city model to each of the mayors.


Haas Travel Study Program

Travel Study program offers Haas majors an opportunity to combine academic curriculum with an international engagement through travel with a faculty instructor. The program would be comprised of an academic course at Haas with an international experience leveraging the Haas Alumni Network. Travel will consist of two weeks during winter break (Dec 28, 2014 – Jan 14, 2015) before spring instruction begins.

Course end on April 15 with a presentation to bay area city mayors.

Travel Phase: Travel would complement the academic content learned in class and provide primary research data opportunities. The sponsoring organizations and the local Haas Alumni Network would assist in coordinating the in-country meetings with local business partners, city project managers and city and government officials. The cultural excursions throughout the trip are meant to learn about the in-country relationships between the institutions of government, business and education in generating economic development.

 Project Phase: The students are expected to come up with a smart city proposal for each of the five Bay Area cities (TBD). They will engage with City Mayor’s office to carry out their projects. The scope and type of the smart city projects will be determined by the needs of the city and Mayor’s office. The city mayors are expected to judge the final presentations in April 15th.

Purpose and Background for the Course


The Grand Challenge: The demographic-economic-environmental shift

  1. Growth in Urban Population: Urban population consisted of only 3% in the 1800s and grew exponentially since: 14% in 1900s, 30% in 1950s, and 50% in It is projected to be at 75% by 2050.
  2. Consumption of Resources: These growing urban populations, in combination with constrained financial and natural resources, are shaping the requirements for the evolution towards smarter, safer and greener cities – placing pressure on governments and municipalities to invest in sustainable infrastructure, deploy information and communication systems, and deliver services to their citizens and their
  3. Carbon Footprint: Cities represent three quarters of energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions worldwide, and represent the largest of any environmental policy Traffic congestion costs time, money, wasted fuel and the indirect cost passed on to numerous products that depend on transportation.
  4. GDP Growth: Urban areas generate new opportunities and contribute to economic

What is a Smart City?

1. Uses information technology to solve urban problems. Better Data = Better Decisions.

2. Monitors and manages traffic, water levels, energy usage, security cameras, waste and communication

systems in real time with sensors and cost-effective digital tools that are essentially free.

3. Expected to save operating costs in managing the city that results in lower taxes and happier citizens.

“Smart cities are not about just e-gov. They use tech to transform core systems to optimize best use of

finite resources,” says Rahul Sharma of IBM India.

Why Study the Models in India?

  1. Uses information technology to solve urban Better Data = Better Decisions.
  2. Monitors and manages traffic, water levels, energy usage, security cameras, waste and communication systems in real time with sensors and cost-effective digital tools that are essentially
  3. Expected to save operating costs in managing the city that results in lower taxes and happier “Smart cities are not about just e-gov. They use tech to transform core systems to optimize best use of finite resources,” says Rahul Sharma of IBM India.

Why Study the Models in India?

  1. Source of Frugal Innovations: Emerging economies are a great source of frugal innovations as they are birthed in a resource constrained environment surrounded by many Frugal Innovations, first seen or likely to be used first, in the developing world eventually migrate to the industrialized world. The term “Reverse Innovation” refers broadly to the process whereby goods developed as inexpensive models to meet the needs of developing nations, are then repackaged as low-cost innovative goods for Western nations.
  2. Commitment at the Top: Indian Prime Minister Modi wants to build 100 “smart cities” outfitted with high-tech Dholera, “The Smart City in the Making” is his project that was started in his home town before he became the elected as the Prime Minister. The government announced it is investing $1.2 billion over the next year, with more funding coming from private investors and abroad. “Cities in the past were built on riverbanks,” Modi said in a June speech. “They are now built along highways. But in the future, they will be built based on availability of optical fiber networks, the next- generation infrastructure.” Watch Modi’s City
  3. Learning from a Major Market: We can already anticipate the problems that these cities face and attack them at the source,” said Rahul Sharma, an executive at IBM, which sees smart city technology as a major new “India has a fantastic opportunity where we can work outside of the shackles of existing technology.”



Attendance: 50
Class Participation (70% for blogging): 100
Group Assignment: 100
Mid-Term (Group Work) 200
Individual Assignment 50
Final Group Project Deliverables 400
Ideas for Peer Groups: 50
Peer Evaluation: 100
    Total 1,000


 Group Assignment Understanding the business model of your city: Due Jan 26


Below are the financial statements of each of your cities from the public domain:


The objective is for you to understand the current “Business Model” of the city you had selected to come up with a new business model of each of the cities by leveraging some of the smart city initiatives that they have been researching. Understanding the financials: The city balance sheet and Income statements will help you come up with innovative models that will:


  1. Reduce costs, pollution, traffic, waste, crime and citizens’ time.
  2. Optimize utilization of existing assets – shift from “asset ownership” to “asset access” to generate revenue
  3. Increase productivity and efficiency of citizens by investing new technologies.
  4. Create new and innovative ways to generate revenue.


Spend some time going over the financial during the class time (4pm -5:30pm) to understand the revenue and expenses of the city as well as its Balance Sheet items. Please write a blog about your individual thoughts and ideas under the day 11 prompt on the course website. This will set the stage for your final project deliverables where you will need create a pro-forma Income Statement and Balance Sheet for each city to show return on investment on your smart city initiatives your group will propose.

Mid-Term: Group Presentation on Mar 2nd

This is an exercise your group had already started in India. Do some more research and contact people in India if necessary and make a formal presentation. The judges will be the Consulate General of India and several Corporate Executives that are involved in Building Smart Cities in India.


Individual Assignment – Personal Innovation Plan – Due Mar 11th

Create a Business Model Canvas for yourself as an individual. We all have a business model for ourselves – we create value for others and capture that value. Create a business model canvas for yourself – the canvas was presented to you in India. Use the same framework in coming up with a Personal Innovation Plan (a business model) for yourself. I will share mine with you in class to get you started that will serve as a model.


Final Group Project Deliverables: April 15th 

Study and analyze city’s annual budget and financial reports (study of past 10 year trend)

  1. Study of demographics, infrastructure, quality and quantitative factors impacting economic growth, consumption of resources, and the
  2. Evaluation of the Revenue and Cost structure of the
  3. Sustainability study and evaluation of the city’s current triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental)
  4. Recommendation of smart city initiatives to improve the triple bottom line based on best practices and anticipated technological
  5. Recommendation for investment and payback
  6. Measurable CSR
  7. Recommendations of phase-in modules to work within the cities capital
  8. Recommendation of explicit Open Innovation processes in creating, designing, building, planning and managing the cities to sustain themselves.

Ideas for Peer Groups:

Each group can earn 10 points/idea offered to another group if the other group accepts it – you can up to 50 points

Peer Evaluation:

Each member of the group can give up to 100 points to each member of their group based on the contribution of that individual member. This is done after the final presentation – the marks are turned in to the instructor in a confidential envelope following the final presentation.




Travel Study - Building Smart Cities Leveraging Open Innovation - UGBA 190i - Spring 2015