Interviews with thought leaders

Statistics can only tell part of a story. For this issue of Cities of Opportunity, we also conducted in-depth interviews with seven uniquely accomplished individuals whose life experience and knowledge illuminate and add important context to our study.

Harvard Prof. Edward O. Wilson, interview

Edward O. Wilson

Entomologist, Harvard professor emeritus, author of 27 books, and two-times winner of the Pulitzer Prize

We have to make cities a lot more livable. By that I mean, more consistent with the fundamental emotional needs, the instinctive needs of human beings. If we can do that, we really can develop something close to a paradise.

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Wim Elfrink, Cisco Systems, interview

Wim Elfrink

Chief Globalisation Officer at Cisco Systems

Urban planners say you need an environment in cities where people come together, eat together, where a cluster of activities comes together—then innovation will happen. You had this in Paris, with art; in New Orleans, with music; in Silicon Valley, with technology. But now you can also create clusters virtually.

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William Bratton interview

Bill Bratton

Chairman of Kroll, the security company; former leader of New York and Los Angeles police

Cybercrime is the crime of the moment and the crime of the future. The capability to cause phenomenal havoc—financial, personal, economic, or among nations—is very real.

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Peter Chamley, Arup Group, interview

Peter Chamley

Head of infrastructure at Arup, the global design and engineering firm

Places like the States get embroiled in politics. In the UK, there’s a fairly large degree of politics, but the planning process grinds on. You end up with a very good result, but it takes time. In Singapore, with one level of government, decisions are made, stuff happens quickly.

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David Miller, former Toronto mayor, interview

David Miller

Toronto’s former Mayor

[Toronto] gets the best and the brightest young people from around the world. We have an incredible opportunity for innovation, for entrepreneurial activities, for learning from each other, for having a diverse labor force.

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Andrew Chan, Arup Group, interview

Andrew Chan

Deputy Chairman of Arup, the global engineering and design firm

I can’t help but be impressed by Singapore. Things there are done as part of a grand plan… They set a high level target, then planned the social and physical infrastructure accordingly for that population.

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Narayana Murthy, Infosys, interview

Narayana Murthy

Founder and Chairman emeritus of Infosys

Even though we’ve been building infrastructure, we’re not able to keep pace with demand. That results in huge productivity losses and delays, mainly in urban areas.

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