Recently, City Innovate Foundation worked with Microsoft, Lyft, Leroy Merlin, ReGroup, Dr. Mike North, the City of San Francisco Emergency Response and others to facilitate a roundtable discussion the role of collaborative economy companies in emergency services.

San Francisco is considered a leader in emergency response and personnel from city organizations and from the technology companies based here are frequently called upon to jump in and assist in times of disaster. Think Superstorm Sandy, the Earthquake in Nepal, to name two recent disasters.

There is enormous potential for collaborative economy companies to jump in and help in times of emergency. Companies like Lyft have large, distributed networks of workers and associated assets, plus systems that are based in the cloud, architected to be fault tolerant, and are accustomed to reaching people in a just-in-time manner. Leroy Merlin, the third-largest home improvement company in the world is interested in learning how it can help galvanize citizens to respond to an emergency as it happens. (Often citizens will congregate at the local home improvement store, to make purchases of duct tape, bottled water, and flashlights—to name but three items that are in high demand during an emergency.)

The results of this convening are available here for the first time. Most of our deep-dive discussions are not available to the general public, only to members of the CIF|Innovation Lab. Deep dives of this type are developed in close partnership with one or more city with financial support coming from vendors. We are proud to be able to make this summary available to the general public.

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A special shout out to Patrick Consorti for his work bringing Leroy Merlin to the table.