Impact Journey with Julia S
Improving physical and digital spaces - Nick Grossman, Union Square Ventures
How can cities help us understand the internet? Nick Grossman of Union Square Ventures applies his work with cities to show how we can make both physical and digital spaces more safe and thriving.
THE IMPACT. Nick Grossman:
- Is partner at Union Square Ventures, the venture capital firm, where he invests in internet applications and infrastructure
- Led an incubator for startups at the intersection of cities and data at OpenPlans, with a focus on cultivating open source communities, building open data platforms, and supporting open standards efforts
- Was a project manager at the Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit to create public spaces and stronger communities
- Co-founded Streetsblog, NYC’s hub for transportation, which helped catalyze the movement to reform policies to make the city more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly
- Has a degree in Urban Studies from Stanford, and was a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab
THE JOURNEY. In our conversation, we explore:
- The parallels between the physical and the digital worlds we move in
- The tradeoff between top-down and bottom-up planning, aka the Robert Moses vs. the Jane Jacobs approach in cities and online
- The opportunity to use the internet to make life better in education and healthcare
- The challenge of mission-driven companies executing in a for-profit context
- The hope and energy in supporting startup founders
You can follow Nick on twitter @nickgrossman and on his personal website and blog.