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How Miami addresses the challenge of disconnection

Superflex: We Are All in the same Boat from Museum of Art and Design (Miami, Fl)

If you check the first-ever Startup Guide Miami(published carefully in Germany and spread at Venture Café Miami among some visitors in November), you could find out two things. The first: impressive. And first of all, this is about people who live here, who come here and who stay here to make a difference and drive positive changes under the palm trees. The authors of the first physical entrepreneurial handbook overviewed the most startup achievements that had been done for the last several years in Miami. The entrepreneurial movement in Miami is talented and strong. The local changemakers speak fluent English and think in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Russian, and other 20! different languages, stay under the sun, and keep the mind cool and sharp, dance salsa and work smart, deal with a lot of problems and innovate.

The second feeling is more controversial. The intro to the Guide is equipped with the most useful information: how to find a place to live in the city, rent an apartment, find coworking space, open a bank account, complete annual taxes, and even understand cultural differences. But where should the innovative minds get the news about this fast-changing city at a real-time pace? That part is missing. All-knowing Google could give you a standard list with the most celebrated newspapers, like the Miami Herald, at the top. Okay, but not enough. In Miami’s vibrant and superenergized entrepreneurial community, the speed limits are higher, and communication flows are broader. The Miami Herald’s ‘selected’ editorial policy does not enable them to meet all of these challenges and zoom out on how mosaic pieces are well-connected.

The facts are clear. The news landscape is financially challenged, fragmented, and, to some, credibility-challenged as well. The city is disconnected. How many people who have a different background, status, level of knowledge, age, or living area go beyond their borders and learn about all of the beautiful transformations in Miami-Dade County? How long could this startup guide’s list be if we could find access and learn about all of the big and small opportunities and innovations founded in Miami-Dade? Even those working in one field and cracking down on the same problem do not know about the collective efforts that are taking them in the same direction.

The same is true of the official Miami-Dade County website, Knight Foundation, local Universities like FIU and UM, and other key Miami influencers who have aimed to build bridges and make a difference. Browsing through their websites, you will not find information about the local media resources that are aimed toward bringing all of the pieces together, addressed to different types of audiences, and keeping one big Miami-Dade society (not split communities) equally engaged and informed.

Social media taught us to stay in ‘segments’ based on different interests, ages, languages, etc. We are stuck in small ‘fragmented’ micro-spaces and ‘WhatsApp’ groups chats. We follow faraway bloggers and global influencers, but we don’t speak to our neighbors across the street. We know what happens overseas, but sometimes we don’t know what happens in the nearest neighborhood. We are not aware that the Publix located at Coral Gables uses only paper bags, and we don’t question why the Publix in Brickell with its residents’ forward-thinking minds instead pack all those things into tonnes of plastic. The MBA students from FIU don’t keep a professional dialogue with UM’s business students. They are used to being separate, as Brickell follows a distance from South Beach, Edgewater from Coconut Grove, Little Havana from Coral Gables. To be different is cool. To be together and keep dialogue is a challenge.

Today, the great efforts come from small local news outlets like The New Tropic or Slam Agency and its InnovationCity podcast with its broad, innovative mind, keen sense of humor, and sharp look into what’s happening inside this fast-growing entrepreneurial community. They are here. They are hungry. They produce the deep-insight engaging content to transform fragmented reality into innovative ‘augmented’ reality where things go faster and deeper, and perspectives get broader. Giving them more support and voice via key Miami thought-provoking institutions would accelerate the communications flow and speed up connections.

(continue this list in the comments below)
2. Slam Agency: Innovation City Podcast
5. Happen Magazine
8. ….

The smart city does not begin with the eco-friendly Lime bikes and drones, delivering your coffee and pizza.The smart city starts with equal accessibility, and accessibility of information must come first of all. Miami is the largest city in the sunshine state of Florida, proud of its diverse variety of people and cultures. The greater metropolitan region, known as Miami-Dade County, is divided into a number of small cities and areas including Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Downtown, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Doral, and Hialeah. Each has its own distinct flavor and vibe, but all live under the large umbrella of ‘the 305’.

P.S. It took some time to generate my own TOP list. Most of this news resources I discovered myself, without ads navigation. This list is obviously not full. Please share on your comments where to grab more local information to feed up curious minds.


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