Introducing Cindy Huang, MBA Candidate at HBS and Stanford Engineer–Soofa's First City Development Fellow

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Over the past few years we’ve partnered, collaborated, and co-developed human-centered technology solutions with more than 100 cities big and small.

From this work, our team has observed similar themes emerge, particularly around the need for city leadership to develop success metrics that address the value a technology pilot provides to residents and visitors.

We wanted to step back and get unbiased insights into this process from the perspective of city leaders and staff. This is why we launched the Soofa City Development Fellowship.

The goal of the inaugural Fellowship Program is to connect with cities and learn what it takes to get a technology pilot off the ground, what’s most important to measure and why, and what is required to expand the pilot to a scaled deployment so it can have a larger impact on more people.

Over a four week period, our Fellows will connect with and interview dozens of city leaders and staff.

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Our first City Development Fellow, Cindy Huang, comes from a civil engineering background and is currently pursuing her MBA at Harvard Business School. As an engineer, Cindy had the opportunity to live and work in a number of incredible cities, from Los Angeles to NYC to Amsterdam. These experiences helped her appreciate the role that cities play in creating opportunities for people to learn and grow. In her post-business school career, Cindy hopes to explore strategies for bringing technology and innovation to market, with a goal of building healthy and vibrant cities for tomorrow.

Each Soofa City Development Fellowship will address different themes and challenges faced by cities related to bringing new technology to projects to life.

Our main goal for doing this is to learn how we can be more effective in partnering with cities to achieve common goals in an effort to make cities better for all people living in them. For too long the relationship between the private sector and public sector has been in tension–the idea that cities are only being sold to and not actually listened to and helped. Our Fellowship aims to change this and build on what we’ve been doing since we started Soofa: co-developing solutions together with cities.

If you are a city leader and have a challenge that you’d like us to consider to be the topic of our next Fellowship this summer, please let us know.

Sandra Richter