Greg Lindsay writes frequently about the intersection of transportation, urbanization, and globalization. He is the author, with John D. Kasarda, of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next, which examines how and where we choose to live in an interconnected world. He speaks frequently about globalization, innovation, and the future of cities.
Greg Lindsay is a contributing writer for Fast Company and the author of the international bestseller Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next, which examines how and where we choose to live in an interconnected world.
His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Financial Times, McKinsey Quarterly, World Policy Journal, Time, Wired, New York, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, and Departures. He was previously a contributing writer for Fortune and an editor-at-large for Advertising Age.
Greg speaks frequently about globalization, innovation, and the future of cities, most recently at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Boeing, the World Policy Institute, the Asia Society, Columbia University, and the National Building Museum. His work with Studio Gang Architects on the future of suburbia is currently on display at MoMA through July 2012.
He is a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management. Greg is also a fellow of the Hybrid Reality Institute, exploring the co-evolution of humans and technology. He’s been cited as an expert on the future of travel, technology and urbanism by The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, the BBC and NPR, and has advised André Balazs Properties, Teague, and FedEx Corporation.
He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism. Greg is a two-time Jeopardy! champion (and the only human to go undefeated against IBM’s Watson).
1. The New Geography
How did China become the “world’s factory?” Why are Americans checking into Bangkok for heart surgery? How did Africa become a breadbasket for the Middle East? And how did Qatar, of all places, win the World Cup in 2022? What all of these things have in common is that they were made possible by the world’s explosive growth in air travel. The combination of the Internet and jet engine is redrawing the world map, creating new winners and losers among countries, cities, companies, and all of us. In his new book Aerotropolis, Greg Lindsay explains the rules, threats, and opportunities of the new highways in the sky.
2. Instant Cities
Humanity is officially an urban species – more than half of us live in cities. Our numbers will double by 2050 to more than 6 billion people, equal to the number of people alive on Earth right now. To house them, India must build the equivalent of a new Chicago every year; China must build a new New York. Cities have become the battleground for every challenge facing us: poverty; education; climate change; and resource depletion, just to name a few. We must learn to build better, smarter, greener cities if we’re to survive. Having studied first-hand these new cities rising across Asia, Greg Lindsay describes the lessons we can learn from them, and how we can use this knowledge to rebuild our cities at home.
3. Rehousing the American Dream
The foreclosure crisis that began in 2007 signals an end to the “American Dream” of universal suburban home ownership. But it also represents an opportunity to imagine a more equitable, sustainable, walkable and ultimately more affordable urban future. Last year, Greg Lindsay joined a team of architects, artists, environmentalists, and economists to rethink suburbia as part of an exhibit for New York’s Museum of Modern Art titled Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream. In describing their project, “The Garden in the Machine,” he offers the blueprints to building a better suburb for the next generation of Americans who will call them home.
4. China’s Unlikely Innovators — Its Copycat King
It’s a given that Chinese companies don’t innovate. Or, if they do, it’s at the direction of either the state or foreign investors, both of which are pouring billions of dollars into traditional corporate research parks and traditional R&D. But the outfits that have the most in common with our most innovative start-ups are China’s copycat kings, the shanzhai. Working in teams as small as a half-dozen people, the shanzhai are estimated to produce nearly half of China’s 500 million cell phones each year. Inexpensive shanzhai phones have connected India’s rural poor and helped trigger the Arab Spring. More recently, the copycats have gone legit, innovating too quickly for foreign brands like Nokia to keep up. What lessons about doing in business in China can we learn from the shanzhai, and what threat do they pose to unsuspecting sectors?
5. Engineering Serendipity
Innovation is fundamentally social. Case study after study has shown that the best ideas are more likely to arise from a casual chat around the water cooler than any scheduled meeting. They are the result of serendipity – a chance encounter at the right time by the right people, regardless of their rank, affiliation, and department or whether they even work for the same company. For innovative companies like Google, working in a traditional office has proven to be a dead end. Instead, they are busy engineering serendipity, harnessing social networks and new ways of working designed to cultivate the discovery of new ideas, even going so far as to invite strangers in off the street to work side-by-side with their employees. Journalist Greg Lindsay will share techniques for how cities, companies, and individuals alike can learn faster via engineering serendipity.