McKinsey & Company

McKinsey on Society


Voices Cities

An audio interview with Ayesha Khanna

Mary Kuntz

As the world urbanizes, the first smart cities with state-of-the-art networking and monitoring technology are beginning to open for business. To find out what life will be like in a place where everything from your health stats to your workplace is constantly monitored, we turned to Ayesha Khanna, managing partner of Hybrid Realities, an advisory firm that specializes in analyzing emerging-market and technology trends. Khanna, who recently visited South Korea’s Songdo International Business District, spoke with Mary Kuntz, managing editor of McKinsey’s What Matters.


  • This is a good and natural extension of the digital addiction the next gen is getting indulged with – right from birth. Many
    Technology elements already exist in a variety of forms to support this concept.

    This will also go through typical hype cycles of technology maturity and adoption may be a little faster than anything we have seen till now!

    Balancing technology and true physical touch of humanity is critical while this is put in place.

    Once it crosses the natural social/ economical barriers, we will have another great example for what powerful dreamer doers can do – creating next instance of an ideal world!

  • solaris

    Our systems of education, our transfer of knowledge, is predicated on the primacy of Reason over metaphysical/religious knowing, and this is a prerequisite for successful transformation of the way of thinking which leads to modernity. Only once this basic bedrock of understanding the world is internalized can societies progress. The Arab states, esp. the Gulf states, have failed to take this first step.

  • Richard

    A nice model.

  • lombardy

    I’m not sure there’s a lurking threat to publisher sales. They issue new editions for major textbooks every three our four years. Wouldn’t that restock the demand curve for new books from the rental market?

    Also, the rental market is flattening and may possibly be in decline. Several major direct to student rental businesses have closed. The marketing costs for these businesses are extremely high. It’s unlikely that anyone but Amazon can weather this.

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