According to Re-Imagine group chairman and serial tech entrepreneur Peter Hirshberg, we are at a decisive moment in our innovation economy. Silicon Valley – or, at least, the “ethos of Silicon Valley” – is spreading all over America, Hirshberg insists. And Silicon Valley is reinventing what he calls “secondary” places like Youngstown, Ohio or Louisville, Kentucky to transform them into what he calls “maker cities.”
Hirshberg, who coauthored a book last year entitled Maker City with the CEO of the Maker Media Dale Dougherty and the former Sun and Apple executive Marcia Kadanoff, believes that we are what he calls a “Cambrian moment” in the evolution of cities in today’s digital economy. The shift, he says, is from the “smart city” characterized by connected devices to the “maker city” shaped by connected citizens empowered with disruptive technologies like Plethora the so-called “factory at your fingertips”.