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Soapbox: Levine could help Miami Beach thrive through technology

 

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Last month, the city of Miami Beach celebrated a kind of "re-birthday" with the swearing in of four new commissioners, including the new mayor, Philip Levine.

Levine, a millionaire businessman, will hopefully bring business-management skills to a city longing for ethical transparency, a municipality that badly needs a management makeover.

With his hand on the Bible and with the portraits of all the prior mayors looking down on him, Levine promised to sit down with city manager, Jimmy Morales, and all six commissioners to identify the challenges and opportunities the city will be facing in 2014 and beyond.

This writer has worked for CEOs and public-sector administrators in both New York City and Florida, including Tom Watson Jr. of IBM and President Bill Clinton in the White House. However, as Levine and Clinton will tell you, campaigning and governing in the Age of the Internet and Social Networking is a whole new game.

What Levine and Obama need above all are sensitivity and awareness of cybernetics and cyberspace — new-media tools to help

them model and manage their complex situations both in their virtual worlds and their real worlds. (Levine’s integrated media

strategies started with $500 in a small studio apartment on Ocean Drive above the News Cafe, thus launching OnBoard Media, the

company that made him a millionaire).

Levine is off to a good start, and one of his first moves is to donate his salary to support senior meals programs on the beach.

Perhaps creative seniors like this writer would like to help Levine and his Beach team to create some innovative high-tech startups that put seniors and Beach students together into "cyberpreneurial teams" and get them informed and involved with the issues of today.

The Beach’s main industry has always been tourism and conventions. While various groups continue to lobby for renovating the Miami Beach Convention Center, we need to diversify our industrial base. And looking beyond at some high-tech opportunities such as an East Coast alternative to Silicon Valley, why not Greater Miami/Miami Beach as a cyber startup lab?

And Levine and Morales and their team could be just the support needed to bring together public, private and academic partners to create and develop Cyberspace Beach!!

Marty Evans,

Miami Beach

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