Another full on day with a lot driving made easier with the freeways, beautiful scenery and very welcoming people.
I sought out Rami as he was recently named one of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Doers by Govtech and Sacromento County has won numerous tech awards. We discussed digital government and I came away with a huge amount of confidence that the team at Taupo is on the right track. Current and future focuses centre around regular website refreshes, the need for mobile apps, linking data (e.g. Crime and graffiti), the intersection of Geospatial and data and a single view for customers.
Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, Carson City
Paul the Director and his team hosted me in the early afternoon for a quick overview of Nevada energy. I was primarily interested in geothermal, given Nevada is the number one in installed geothermal per capita and Taupo’s strength in this area. A highlight was by pure chance meeting and talking with Governor Paul Sandoval and witnessing the launch of the Nevada Electric Highway. Note the highway “is expected to link rural areas and bring business to those communities from EV owners who make the stop to charge their cars”. Electric vehicles are going to take off in some shape or form and communities should be taking action now to dip their toe in the water, ready to embrace what may become the norm.
Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), Reno
Mike graciously shared his views on economic development and they have definitely stepped it up a level from when we last spoke in 2013. Mike is incredibly humble, and our meeting was definitely a lesson in leadership. EDAWN has five key strategies: retain and grow, attract, entrepreneurship, workforce development and community development. What also impressed me was their great handle on metrics to track progress. When Mike started there was 14% unemployment and now it’s down to half that and going lower. A very bright future is on the horizon with Tesla building their gigafactory which will create 6500 jobs! Their entrepreneurship program started from scratch and won Innovation Ecosystem Award. A gem they showed me was the Reno startup deck which is an innovative way of integrating Reno’s gaming history and useful tools for startups – genius!