Becoming a Smart City

I used to marvel at the many changes my Grandfather experienced in his ninety years.   After talking with him about automobiles, airplanes and electricity his grandkids asked him what the greatest invention was during his long life.  Without hesitation he replied with a simple two word answer; the mini-skirt.
I realize now that I have seen more changes in the past twenty five years than my grandfather ever experienced.   At the heart of those changes is the internet; the World Wide Web.  Computing power resides in my hand that didn’t even exist a generation ago.  We are consumed by this deluge of information and seem to have an insatiable appetite for more and more speed and power.
It poses an interesting question.  What would happen if a rural community obtained world class internet and could find a way to share it with its citizens?  Could that connectivity be leveraged with other strengths of a community to change who we are and even what we want to be?  
The answer has yet to be determined, but I believe that such an opportunity offers small cities like Donalsonville a new chance to compete in this incredibly shrinking world.
That is why the announcement of the partnership forged between the city, SoZo Solutions, and Huawei Technologies is exciting for the city and its future.  
I believe that we build on our existing strengths, which include a warm, friendly and family oriented hospitality.   After all, the people themselves are the foundation upon which we will build anything meaningful in the future.  
We have a good quality of life, with exceptional healthcare facilities, schools and parks.  We are working to expand our industrial park, enhance services, and provide a sustainable framework for the future.  
We are blessed with several large, healthy businesses that produce agricultural and industrial products  –  right here in Donalsonville and ship them around the world.
The announcement regarding the technology enhancements for the city of Donalsonville can help set us apart from others.  Imagine enjoying small town life in one of the most connected cities in the United States.  
Over the next few weeks and months, there will be a series of town hall meetings, newspaper articles, and forums to help the citizens of Donalsonville fully understand what we are trying to do.  There will be many ways to measure our success or failure.  We want to fully leverage the opportunities, while protecting our values at the same time.  
My hope is that this change can be bigger than the mini-skirt was in my Grandfather’s day.  Either way, Donalsonville will have a new story to tell; we are working to become a smart city and we are open for business.
o0o
Dan Ponder can be reached at [email protected]

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