Jeremy Goldberg

At Brooklyn Bridge, one of his favorite city landmarks.

Jeremy Goldberg
Deputy CTO, NYCx
Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation
City of New York, NY

Challenge

“Government has often reacted slowly to the impact of breakthrough technology. As a city, we need to plan, prepare, and be a part of shaping it actively, not reactively. Our office felt it could understand and apply change better if we engaged earlier with industry. At the same time, we wanted tech to engage residents in co-developing solutions.”

Innovation

They saw an opening because technology products are often developed “indoors without being tested in real life situations. Out of the Mayor’s Office of the CTO, they decided to offer urban space to entrepreneurs and technologists to do R&D in partnership with community and government agencies on real priorities. They call this program NYCx.

Jeremy, who was recruited from San Francisco city hall in April to architect and lead NYCx, describes it as “the world’s first-ever municipal tech engagement program that calls on industry to develop new technologies that transform public life, spur economic growth, improve service delivery, and increase digital inclusion.”  

Other cities, he says, have tended to do limited pilots and demonstrations, and “are often reactive, rather than coming from the people first approach.” NYCx is intended to be proactive and comprehensive, and has already initiated two programs to work with tech firms on breakthrough solutions to community issues with the participation of New Yorkers.

The first involves Brownsville in Brooklyn, one of the lowest-income neighborhoods in New York. NYCx put out a request to tech companies for solutions to: (1) increase the use of public space at night to create vibrant new entertainment and cultural activity; and (2) increase the  participation of residents in recycling and the reduction of litter and improper waste disposal in public housing.

Companies big and small are encouraged to apply, incentivized by $20,000 grants for three top applicants in each project category, plus the chance for a long-term contract with NYC to implement the solution.

A second NYCx initiative is for plans to build the highest-speed and lowest-cost wireless Internet for Governor’s Island. Three finalists will each be awarded $25k, applications are due November 10, and Jeremy says response has been “awesome.”

Jeremy’s Background

Grew up Lorain, Ohio, 25 minutes west of Cleveland. Big sports fan, used to see Cavaliers with his dad at the old Richfield Coliseum before the team moved downtown; also remembers his first NBA game when the Bulls visited in 1986—and his disappointment that Michael Jordan had broken his ankle and sat on the bench.

Spent a year living in Israel, went to University of Texas in Austin, where he got his degree and met his future wife. Came to DC for eight years, largely working on non-profit microfinance issues and with an organization he co-founded, the Global Youth Partnership for Africa, for which he also spent time in Uganda, Rwanda, and South Africa. Later travelled several months in Argentina and Italy, studied Spanish a year in Mexico City, then did grad school in public administration at the University of San Francisco.

In the six years before NYCx, was involved in three “startup in government” ventures: in San Jose, helped create the Silicon Valley Talent Partnership, an effort to recruit private talent to tackle public challenges, out of the mayor’s office; in San Francisco, helped expand a 16 week program of firms working with agencies to co-develop new technologies; and in New Orleans, worked with Civic Consulting USA to bring in pro bono management consulting.

Now much of his time, outside of NYCx, is spent running around his neighborhood in Brooklyn with son Marco, who’s four-and-a-half.

Startling Fact

Has an original Michael Jordan Wheaties box he bought at the grocery store in the 80’s–the Wheaties still in it.

Connect with Jeremy!

jgoldberg@cto.nyc.gov
Apply to the NYCx challenges: www.nyc.gov/nycx

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