LA Lights - The Road to Autonomy

Global Perspective on Mobility and Cities

John Rossant, Founder & CEO of Commotion and Chairman of the NewCities Foundation joins Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast for a global conversation about mobility and cities.

The conversation begins with a discussion around public transportation in Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. Grayson and John discuss the culture of cities and why this is one of the main defining factors of how and why public transportation is used in cities around the world.

From a discussion around culture and public transportation, Grayson shifts the conversation back to Paris where John started his career as the Europe Editor of BusinessWeek. While in the City of Lights, John saw the oncoming decline of print and joined the Publicis Groupe after a meeting and long negotiation with Maurice Lévy.

After several years of leading communications and public affairs, John became Executive Chairman of PublicisLive, producer of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. John shares his insights into Davos and how logistically challenging it is to put on the World Economic Forum each and every year.

Putting that all together is like putting a man on the moon in terms of complexity.

– John Rossant

Staying on the theme of the World Economic Forum, Grayson asks John to share his thoughts on the 2021 WEF Theme; “The Great Reset“. John shares his thoughts on what a dense urban environment will look like in a post-COVID world.

The conversation veers into a conversation about travel and virtual reality. John believes the future will be defined in a metaverse world. Grayson follows up by asking John about what impact a metaverse world will have on cities.

I find the idea of putting on a headset and walking down a canal in Venice in a three-dimensional way is pretty interesting.

– John Rossant

Keeping with a global flair, the conversation shifts into Saudi Arabi where Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud is developing a city for the 21st Century with 21st Century technology from the ground up called NEOM.

NEOM imagines a city that does not have to built around the motor car. In fact, there won’t be a place in NEOM for the individually owned motor car.

– John Rossant

The idea of NEOM is to build a city from the ground-up that takes into account two of the big mega-trends of the modern world: mobility and energy.

Combining all of John’s career experiences, John and Grayson discuss the founding on CoMotion and why John chose to build the company in LA.

If LA could change, any city could change.

– John Rossant

Staying on the theme of LA, they discuss what LA will look like in the future and the role Urban Air Mobility will play in moving goods and individuals around the city.

With the 2028 Summer Olympics coming to LA, they discuss what transportation will look like for spectators who come to LA to enjoy the experience of watching the Olympic Games in-person.

Wrapping up the conversation, John shares his vision on the future of mobility and cities.

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Recorded on Tuesday, September 15, 2020