Will 8th of June be seen as the day US shifted focus from a 20th century infrastructure to a 21st century infrastructure? Can the restructuring of GM and the increased role of IT companies crate a new industrial map in the US?
Just a week after Ericsson and China Mobile discussed the need for a stronger focus on the 21st century infrastructure (not just the 20th century) at the World Business Summit on Climate Change it became public that the Dow Jones Industrial Average will begin including Cisco Systems on its list of 30 major stocks selected to reflect the overall U.S. stock market. The date this will happen is June 8...
If the US government turns what is left of GM to a sustainable company this could be part of one of the biggest transitions in modern industrial history. For this to happen the US government must move beyond the incremental thinking that other countries have demonstrated (Sweden for example that only think about slightly better cars). General Motors must be turned into General Mobility. The company that is re-emerging must focus on service not products. It is not good enough to just make better cars, even if they are electric or fuel-cell cars. A company in the 21st century must focus on sustainable provision of services for a global market.
The transition from General Motors to General Mobility should:
- Include strategies the also allow for virtual mobility (don't see the 21st century infrastructure as a competitor, but one part of the offering to customers)
- Ensure that the solutions developed support sustainable cities of the future (The way cities develop will decide if we can move out of a high-carbon/resource intensive lock-in or not. By just putting more cars on the road we will not be able to create sustainable cities)
- Adopt a global market perspective. Don't only look at the short-term demand in the rich part of the work (that kind of perspective will result in SUV's and other non sustainable solutions). Ensure that the company can offer solutions that can be used all over the world.
- Create solutions in collaboration with other companies (IT, public transport, renewable energy providers, etc) to help move away from the "car" focus.
- Support a model where people don't own cars, but rent them as they need them (Smart car use)
This could be historic, or it can become a minor change that does not result in any significant change... The people at GM, providers of sustainable mobility solutions and the US government have the opportunity, all that is needed is leadership. It can be done...
The illustration is from a tool that soon will become public.