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jerryking : pittsburgh   10

PNC’s Bill Demchak hopes Pittsburgh’s old money will finance its tech-driven future
July 29, 2018 | Financial Times | Patti Waldmeir.

Pittsburgh native Bill Demchak, chief executive at PNC, to reflect on the rebirth of one of America’s great Rust Belt cities — and what lessons it may hold for other cities trying to recover from decades of decline.

Few American metropolises suffered the kind of economic conflagration that first hit Pittsburgh in the 1970s when its economic foundation, the steel industry, reason Pittsburgh has money today is because it had money yesterday: the fortunes earned by the city’s early industrial entrepreneurs — such as Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon — helped fund philanthropic institutions that were still in place to help bail the city out decades later.

The universities they funded were around too, generating the talent and the infrastructure for the innovation economy Pittsburgh is counting on for prosperity in the 21st century.

“What we had to our advantage, then and today, was a very strong university system, with University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. We had an extremely strong philanthropic community driven by the old money from the Mellon family, the Heinz endowments, Carnegie,” he says.

These foundations offered broad-based support as technology came to the fore in the mid-1990s, he adds, when CMU was a leader in robotics and autonomous vehicles, as it is today.
Andrew_Carnegie  Carnegie_Mellon  CEOs  cities  Colleges_&_Universities  industrial_Midwest  innovation  midwest  philanthropy  Pittsburgh  revitalization  Rust_Belt  Red_states  structural_decline 
july 2018 by jerryking
From zero to seventy (billion) - Uber
Print edition | Briefing
Sep 3rd 2016 | SAN FRANCISCO
Uber  Pittsburgh  sharing_economy 
may 2018 by jerryking
Silicon Valley Is Over, Says Silicon Valley - The New York Times
Kevin Roose


By the end of the tour, the coastal elites had caught the heartland bug. Several used Zillow, the real estate app, to gawk at the availability of cheap homes in cities like Detroit and South Bend and fantasize about relocating there. They marveled at how even old-line manufacturing cities now offer a convincing simulacrum of coastal life, complete with artisanal soap stores and farm-to-table restaurants.....For both investors and rank-and-file workers, one appeal of non-coastal cities is the obvious cost savings. It’s increasingly difficult to justify doling out steep salaries and lavish perks demanded by engineers in the Bay Area, when programmers in other cities can be had for as little as $50,000 a year. (An entry-level engineer at Facebook or Google might command triple or quadruple that amount.)......And the hot demand for engineers in areas like artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles has led companies to expand their presence near research universities, in cities like Pittsburgh and Ann Arbor. ......Venture capitalists, who recognize a bargain when they see one, have already begun scouring the Midwest. Mr. Case and Mr. Vance recently amassed a $150 million fund called “Rise of the Rest.” The fund, which was backed by tech luminaries including Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Alphabet, will invest in start-ups throughout the region.
coastal_elites  Silicon_Valley  venture_capital  vc  Rust_Belt  midwest  Red_states  industrial_Midwest  J.D._Vance  Pittsburgh  Ann_Arbor 
march 2018 by jerryking
When algorithms reinforce inequality
FEBRUARY 9, 2018 | FT | Gillian Tett.

Virginia Eubanks, a political science professor in New York, undertakes academic research was focused on digital innovation and welfare claims. ......Last month, she published Automating Inequality, a book that explores how computers are changing the provision of welfare services in three US regions: Indiana, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. It focuses on public sector services, rather than private healthcare insurance, but the message is the same: as institutions increasingly rely on predictive algorithms to make decisions, peculiar — and often unjust — outcomes are being produced. And while well-educated, middle-class people will often fight back, most poor or less educated people cannot; nor will they necessarily be aware of the hidden biases that penalise them....Eubanks concludes, is that digital innovation is reinforcing, rather than improving, inequality. ...What made the suffering doubly painful when the computer programs got it wrong was that the victims found it almost impossible to work out why the algorithms had gone against them, or to find a human caseworker to override the decision — and much of this could be attributed to a lack of resources....a similar pattern is described by the mathematician Cathy O’Neil in her book Weapons of Math Destruction. “Ill-conceived mathematical models now micromanage the economy, from advertising to prisons,” she writes. “They’re opaque, unquestioned and unaccountable and they ‘sort’, target or optimise millions of people . . . exacerbating inequality and hurting the poor.”...Is there any solution? O’Neil and Eubanks suggest that one option would be to require technologists to sign something equivalent to the Hippocratic oath, to “first do no harm”. A second — more costly — idea would be to force institutions using algorithms to hire plenty of human caseworkers to supplement the digital decision-making.

A third idea would be to ensure that the people who are creating and running the computer programs are forced to think about culture, in its broadest sense.....until now digital nerds at university have often had relatively little to do with social science nerds — and vice versa.

Computing has long been perceived to be a culture-free zone — this needs to change. But change will only occur when policymakers and voters understand the true scale of the problem. This is hard when we live in an era that likes to celebrate digitisation — and where the elites are usually shielded from the consequences of those algorithms.
Gillian_Tett  Cathy_O’Neil  algorithms  inequality  biases  books  dark_side  Pittsburgh  poverty  low-income 
february 2018 by jerryking
Leadership Means Learning to Look Behind the Mask - The New York Times

Don't wait until it's too late to solicit feedback. Ms. Mistick was named president and director of Andrew Carnegie’s public library system in Pittsburgh, becoming only the second nonlibrarian to lead the system in over 110 years. She went in knowing that she was considered an outsider and that she would need to call on all her interpersonal and communication skills to navigate her new position. The problem is, the higher your position in an organization, the harder it is to receive honest assessments from the people who work for you, because the balance of authority shifts. ...The search for genuine feedback is increasingly your own responsibility.... In a culture of scarce resources, people had become guarded with their opinions. ....Mistick felt that everyone except her knew what was expected to succeed in “library land.” New jobs always present the challenge of how to read the norms, standards and expectations that aren’t explicitly told to new hires....When seeking input on specific skills, the 360-degree management assessment tool is a great starting place. When you want insights on the most important priorities for personal change, it takes honest conversation with those who know you best at work....We each have more control of our future than we recognize. One of the most powerful ways we can take charge of developing new skills is to ask for feedback.
leadership  women  CEOs  Communicating_&_Connecting  sense-making  performance_reviews  people_skills  Pittsburgh  libraries  anonymity  feedback  first90days  self-improvement  outsiders  tacit_knowledge  insights 
january 2016 by jerryking
Rust Belt revival: Lessons for southwest Ontario from America’s industrial heartland - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 16 2015

Not all the start-ups and emerging businesses in Grand Rapids are as sexy. Some are tied to auto parts and office furniture, the traditional manufacturing around which Grand Rapids was built. Others are in communications technology or health sciences. Notwithstanding some growing financial-services companies, they tend to fit into the region’s proud history of making things.

As the Brookings Institute’s Vey notes, that tradition – and the accompanying institutional knowledge and infrastructure – can help Rust Belt cities take advantage of the current “maker’s movement,” in which a DIY culture makes the manufacturing market accessible to small enterprises.
revitalization  rust_belt  Southwestern_Ontario  industrial_Midwest  economic_development  institutional_knowledge  Pittsburgh  urban  urban_decline  philanthropy  cities  DIY  entrepreneurship  start_ups  manufacturers  Makerspace  Colleges_&_Universities 
january 2015 by jerryking

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