Directions Forward

What is the BIG PICTURE?

The Mobi award is an important part of a wider project of SMART supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. “Catalyzing the New Mobility in Cities” aims to identify existing and emerging business models and innovative transportation approaches in general, and ones that benefit the urban poor in particular; to identify and convene the social entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders advancing these new models along with key stakeholders; and to explore possible paths for scaling up these models.

Reporting on Directions Forward

The Mobi is one way of building awareness about sustainable transportation, surfacing new models of innovations in transportation including for the urban poor, learning about the successful innovations entrepreneurs young and old have championed, and learning about and advancing the emerging industry that will supply the sustainable future of transportation.

But beyond the prize itself SMART is also connecting with its Living Lab (public, private sector and NGO) partners as well as key research collaborators to produce an accessible report that profiles a wide range of emerging new business models; paints a picture of the state of the emerging New Mobility industry cluster; points to areas of business and employment opportunity related to New Mobility; and identifies enabling policy and research that can advance new mobility innovation and enterprise locally and globally.

This project has arisen in the context of, on the one hand, rapid urbanization, shifting demographics, increasing climate change threat, and global economic restructuring, and, on the other hand, new facilitative information technologies, new service and fractional use models and new cultural trends towards open source, IT-enhanced portfolios and door-to-door systems.

It is timely because while a plethora of innovations has arisen worldwide in response to these trends, significant gaps remain, having to do with providing connected door-to-door systems that serve the user and developing viable business models, in particular models geared to the urban poor. To date much innovation in transportation is developed and tested by single mode or service (not for multiple modes and services) and / or for more upscale markets (not for the urban poor).

We’re doing everything we can to ensure that the dialogue, research, and on-the-ground solution-building over the course of the project will have ongoing effects and will lay the foundation for a wider community of entrepreneurs, businesses large and small, and urban leaders dedicated to understanding, action, and policy on this subject. We also anticipate wider learning in terms of new business models and innovative transport approaches targeted beyond the urban poor.

This work aims to fill some of the gaps and to provide a space for innovation and application of New Mobility as an important pathway to healthier people, environments, and economies.


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