Icons of Infrastructure

At its heart, we are creating a community of change agents who are currently rising up to rebuild and repair America’s infrastructure

To Our Readers,

We believe the best way to ignite a movement and rebuild America’s aging infrastructure is to invoke our nation’s never-say-die spirit.

That indomitable spirit triumphed over daunting challenges to build global icons, among them the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Interstate Highways – all testaments to America’s ingenuity, engineering muscle, and political will.

Today, we see sparks of the same spirit.

California is testing high-speed rail that promises a quick two-hour-and-40-minute ride between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Pennsylvania is fast replacing more than 550 decrepit bridges with the help of private partners. And, startup LO3 Energy is building the Brooklyn Microgrid in New York which aims to promote energy buying and selling within neighborhoods, bypassing the rusty central grid and giving people real choice.

At Icons of Infrastructure, we will celebrate the avant garde.

Our website and weekly newsletter will spotlight inspiring successes, and also cautionary tales. Beginning with this week’s inaugural issue, you will find in-depth, insightful stories written by our seasoned journalists – exploring infrastructure projects dotting the nation’s landscape from coast to coast.   

At its heart, we are creating a community of change agents who are currently rising up to rebuild and repair America’s infrastructure – be it highways, tunnels, bridges, ports, or airports. Members will interact with peers and potential partners in an environment that nurtures confidential exchange of ideas.

According to Paul Miller, President of Informa’s Infrastructure Intelligence, world-class economies rely on world class infrastructures.

“Although we often hear about the dilapidated condition of the USA’s roads, bridges, tunnels, electricity grid and rail network, there is a great deal of creativity, innovation and sheer hard work occurring across the country,” Miller said.  “We need to shine a light on the people, products, companies and solutions that are making things happen despite the hurdles.

“Our economy and standing in the world depends upon today’s icons and those who will be icons of tomorrow. We invite you to lean in and become part of the movement.”

FLINT, MI – MARCH 4, 2016: Workers replace a lead water service line pipe at the site of the first Flint home with high lead levels to have its lead service line replaced under the Mayor’s Fast Start program. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

We are emboldened by the magnitude of the need, and the groundswell of interest in joining our movement.

In October, GE Power’s Chief Digital Officer Steve Martin told us one of his biggest challenges is the speed at which innovation is happening and keeping up with it all, including new startup activities. Martin was at GE’s Minds & Machines event in San Francisco which drew more than 3,700 attendees, many from small companies looking for business, funding, and exposure.

One example is RedWave Energy. The Chicago-based startup, which aims to capture low-temperature heat from power plants and transform it into electricity – saving billions of dollars in wasted energy – is looking for partners. CEO Jim Nelson said that’s his main charge.

“We want to engage with partners,” Nelson told us recently. “We want to test our solution at a power generation plant.”

Clearly there’s a need for connections, and Icons of Infrastructure, with access to Informa’s expertise and its reach of 30 million professionals, is uniquely positioned to help make it happen.

Motivated by the prospect of meeting new potential partners, Nelson is keen to join our community, and he’s not the only one. In November, we asked professionals employed in power and government sectors about their level of interest in participating in an infrastructure community. Half of the over 600 respondents expressed a high degree of interest; close to a third indicated they were possibly interested.


Interest in Community Focused on Innovation in Infrastructure

81 percent all respondents  expressed interest in the Icons Community, including one in four who are “definitely” interested.

Is participating in such a community something that would interest you?

Base = All respondents (n=636)

We are interested in establishing a community of proactive professionals who are interested in examining:

  • infrastructure challenges and innovative solutions;
  • barriers to infrastructure investments and improvements;
  • how to accelerate investment and build projects



Underscoring these high levels of interest is the fast evolving infrastructure landscape on the back of innovation – be it disruptive technology, creative funding solutions, or out-of-the-box project design and efficient execution.

Doug Hunter, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, said keeping abreast of disruption is “critical” to his day-to-day responsibilities. He too wants to join our community.

The Utah agency supplies electricity to municipal utilities in Utah, Arizona, California, and Idaho among others. It is on track to build America’s first small modular nuclear reactor, along with partners.

Our survey captured similar sentiments, with a clear majority (86%) of respondents saying innovation is relevant to their day-to-day responsibilities – including one in five for whom innovation is “extremely relevant”.

Importance of Being Up-To-Date on Innovation

The majority of respondents (67%) report that is either “very important” or “critical” that they be up-to-date on innovation in their respective sectors.

Base = All respondents (n=636)


Like Nelson and Hunter, I hope you too will join our community and take this journey with us to tomorrow’s infrastructure.

Sign up to be a member now, and become an Icon!

Thank you.



Gargi Chakrabarty
Director, Content – Icons of Infrastructure

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