By Mark Sparvell, complete article here
By 2050, more than 6 billion people—about 70 percent of the world’s population—will be living in urban areas. Meeting the needs of this rapidly growing population requires us to revamp our cities so they function much smarter than they do today. We need to deliver highly sustainable citizen services. And we must create economic and social opportunities at scale.
At the forefront of these changes are today’s youth. Smart cities are not places being imagined and built for today’s youth. Rather, they are being shaped by young people already adept at living in a hyper-connected world.
In fact, today’s young people, with their perceived distractions of gaming and social media, are receiving the perfect training to become tomorrow’s smart city entrepreneurs and architects. Anyone who has watched young people play the sandbox video game Minecraft can see the desire to build creative socialized spaces. Likewise, any teacher who has tasked students with using OneNote to capture ideas about an imagined future can see the desire to transform our environments, both virtually and physically.
The good news is that schools in many countries are starting to prepare today’s youth for the opportunities offered by smart city development. In our Microsoft Showcase Schools, for example, students from around the globe are learning how to harness technology to build solutions that address some of the world’s most daunting issues. Every day, in every class, our showcase schools are creating future leaders equipped to meet our most pressing urban challenges.
So how can today’s youth prepare for careers in smart city development? Here’s my advice: