Skip to content Skip to navigation

Digital Cities Program

Founded by the Executive Director Michael Steep and Prof. Raymond Levitt, the Disruptive Technology and Digital Cities Program creates a focused research effort that brings together cross-discipline expertise to explore how emerging technologies will change the way we think about business model development for government and enterprises.

Connecting Technology to Business Models

As innovation often comes from new market entrants, existing companies often have difficulty adapting to disruptive technology. Corporate life-spans are decreasing and technology is at the center of this development – the five most valuable companies in the world are technology companies that did not exist 30 years ago. From the Fortune 500 of 1955, only 60 companies remained on that list by 2017.

Products and services are no longer clearly defined and demarcated as it is possible to continuously interact with customers and respond to their behavior with new features and individualized offers. Technology that enables for device performance and usage monitoring bolsters optimization and forecasting capabilities that can create a Continuously Connected Value Chain and entirely new product-service business models. Our overarching goal is to help companies bridge the gap between earl-stage disruptive technologies and their own organizations – and provide strategies that connect technology to business models.

Why we Focus on Urban Markets

Disruptive technology and cities are tightly intertwined, as urban environments are rapidly being digitalized – by private corporations selling to commercial markets – with sensors, networks, connected devices and vehicles. It is now possible to collect real-time data on preferences and activities of consumers, device performance and usage and structural health. Rapidly improving networks, algorithms, meta-materials and cloud computing are all examples of technologies that enable new business models and disrupt old ones.

• Global urban population has grown from 1 to 3.5 billion – expected to double again over the next 50 years.

• By 2025 60% of Global GDP will be generated in 600 cities with 25% of the population.

• The growth we face in urban areas over the next 50 years is equivalent to all the growth that has taken place during the entire history of mankind.

Focus Areas

Our program is guided by the needs and research interests of our members, that span all industry segments. Our membership includes companies such as 3M, Amazon, Medtronic, Microsoft, Jones Lang LaSalle, Verizon, and Visa. Members have engaged with Stanford faculty across fields such as  machine learning, medicine, next generation mobile networks, robotics, and virtual reality. Supported research projects have covered topics such as: the future of urban mobility, real estate applications of big data, algorithms for energy grid optimization, policy relating to financial services, and new models for cyber security.

Family Office Initiative

For the 2021/2022 academic year, we are developing a new family office initiative to understand how patient family office capital can address some of today's most pressing issues.

GPC Affiliate Program Pricing

A $35,000 annual membership will be made available and limited to 30 corporate affiliates.

For more information on GPC affiliate membership policies, visit https://gpc.stanford.edu/membership/how_to.