Cities are critical to the future of the planet. Today cities generate around 80% of global GDP, and three-fourths of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030. Fronesys believes urbanization holds the key to sustainable growth, if cities can become inclusive, safe and resilient.


Cities are critical to the future of the planet. Today cities generate around 80% of global GDP, and three-fourths of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030. Fronesys believes urbanization holds the key to sustainable growth, if cities can become inclusive, safe and resilient.

Yet cities face unprecedented challenges to achieving sustainable growth. Current structures and decision-making processes in cities are not fit for purpose in a rapidly changing world.

Individual city entities, including local government, healthcare, security and energy providers, often lack the context and incentives to follow an adaptive strategy.

City organisations and their leaders need practical wisdom to understand, assess, manage and measure their urban systems in a holistic way – engaging all stakeholders in the process.


We believe integrated thinking can unlock lasting solutions to the complex, inter-related problems cities face. Fronesys helps cities understand and embed integrated thinking.

Our Integrated Impacts Framework for Cities is the world’s first value-based framework for cities. It’s a holistic approach that enables a city to optimize not only its economic value, but also its social, human and natural values – delivering both efficiency and resilience. Our work is grounded in our experience helping to define the International Framework, and in our relationships with Smart Cities.


Milton Keynes is one of the fastest growing cities in the United Kingdom. Its population of 250,000 is expected to add another 60,000 over the next decade or so, resulting in the creation of 42,000 new jobs and requiring the construction of 28,000 new homes. The real challenge is to enable this growth in a sustainable way, without exceeding the capability of the city’s resources and infrastructure.

MK faces significant barriers to sustainable growth: an increase in congestion beyond the city’s current transport infrastructure capabilities, the water deficit the city already faces (not taking into account the need for more water as population grows), and meeting the city’s carbon reduction targets. The city collaborated with the Open University and a number of other partners to create a programme of Smart Cities activities, but there was no funding available for the activities. Fronesys crafted a business case to make MK’s ideas investment-worthy. Our work framed how Smart City initiatives could drive lasting economic development in MK.

The Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) approved an £8m funding grant to a Milton Keynes consortium led by the Open University, with Fronesys part of the consortium. A further £8m was raised by consortium partners to enable the creation of MK:Smart, a Smart Cities initiative that develops innovative solutions to support economic growth in Milton Keynes. The initiative is built around a data hub that captures information from all sorts of city systems, including water, energy and transport systems. The programme also has ambitious education, business and community engagement activities.

Fronesys continues to sit on the Advisory Board for MK:Smart.

Find out more about MK:Smart here:


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Smart cities are not just about smart systems and technologies, they emerge when we unleash and combine digital innovation, business innovation and civic innovation. New data platforms, service infrastructures, business models, partnerships and engagement models are creating city-wide digital ecosystems with dynamic relationships between public and private entities. Fronesys is working with cities across the UK to understand the emerging role of smart cities in the digital economy in order to create smart cities strategies and assess their economic impact.

A practical, hands-on and hugely interactive programme for entrepreneurs.

A Fronesys initiative for CityLabs, the Urban Business Lab programme will equip you with the understanding and the practical tools you need to address the business issues of product and service development, specifically in the digital economy. In just two and a half days you will work with a select group using the MK:Smart data-led business canvas to explore and help define the steps for development of your concept into a reality.


Accelerating systemic change

The ideas behind the North Star Collective. Today Tim Hodgson and Jyoti Banerjee are hosting a meeting at the Thinking Ahead Institute to discuss ways in which we need to accelerate systemic change to respond to the crises we face on so many fronts. Here's a quick...

Purpose or Profit? Is it a binary choice?

The debate over whether a trade-off between purpose and profit a) still exists, b) has been tempered or c) even eliminated has been building for some time. It is powered by both public demand that our corporations deliver more for society and well documented global imperatives such as environmental degradation, technological transformation and growing wealth inequality.
Jenny Scott and Jyoti Banerjee have co-authored a paper that draws together academic evidence, polling research and data points over more than 20 years to build the case that businesses whose strategies are actively driven by a purpose that optimises value for multiple stakeholders, perform better than those that do not.

Assessing the impacts and outcomes of integrated reporting

Fronesys founders played influential roles in the development of the integrated reporting movement, a corporate reporting mechanism that now has around two thousand listed companies as its adopters, and which is now part of the mainstream of corporate reporting. So, perhaps, now is as good a time as any for Jyoti Banerjee to look back and assess the outcomes and impacts, as well as the what-might-have-beens, of this new form of corporate reporting.