On July 17th, Jeanne Holm took the Town Hall Los Angeles stage, for our continuing Town Talks series in partnership with UCLA Extension, to discuss the exciting technological transformation that Los Angeles will be experiencing in the coming months. Jeanne is the Deputy CIO of the City of Los Angeles and has worked on issues ranging from homelessness to predictive analytics, with the World Bank, UN, U.S. White House, and NASA.

The transformations in LA tech that Holm presented included: the 311 Service Request that allows for the citizens of Los Angeles to be assisted on day to day non-emergency issues in the city, an earthquake warning system that will take effect in late 2018, and autonomous vehicles that would increase independence for the elderly and decrease costs for millennials.

In the discussion of the new age of technology, Holm shared an aspiring and positive vision of technology within our society and the City of LA. She spoke on how technology could allow smarter city planning, utilizing citizen input to plan the future of LA. Current educational programs that Holm has initiated have shown the success of such ventures, where disadvantaged citizens work to fix the problems that they see within their communities, through technology.

Unfortunately, automated technology could trigger an upset in the economy for blue-collar workers who hold jobs that could be taken over by machines. Holm addressed the issue by spotlighting organizations like Find Your Future LA, which re-trains workers to fit the changing technological landscape.

She also touched on the importance of implementing technological processes in third world countries. Holm started an organization, based in Nairobi, Kenya, that introduces advanced technology and data-driven education to communities without access to these kinds of resources.

She emphasized that when you introduce education that can be practically used, you empower people and their communities.