October 25, 2022

Talking about mobility with Boyd Cohen

Talking about mobility with Boyd Cohen

Boyd is cofounder of Iomob, building a decentralized Internet of Mobility network as a Cosmos app chain, and WheelCoin, the first Move2Earn game that rewards users for moving green. He is also host of the podcast, Web3 on the Move! and a columnist for CoinDesk.

After finishing a three-year stint at Accenture, Boyd obtained his Ph.D. in strategy and entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado (2001). He has published 3 books (Climate Capitalism, 2011; The Emergence of the Urban Entrepreneur, 2016; Post-capitalist Entrepreneurship, 2017), dozens of peer reviewed articles including the highest cited article on shared mobility and was a frequent contributor to Fast Company for many years.

How and when did your passion for smart cities and smart mobility start?

In 2011, I published my first book, Climate Capitalism. At that time, I was bullish on the United Nations, via the Conference of the Parties, was going to find a way to obtain multilateral commitment to meaningful climate action. Clearly, I was wrong. So, I started looking for where we might be able to accelerate the path to the low carbon economy and quickly realized it was cities who were taking the lead, not nation states.  Initially I was focued on the entire scope of smart cities but over time became increasingly focused on smart mobility.

Iomob is a software solution that creates a global mobility-on-demand marketplace. As the co-founder, how did the idea of creating this company come up?

My original cofounder, Josep Sanjuas and I, met in 2017 to combine my expertise on smart cities and smart mobility with his software and blockchain engineering expertise. Together we came up with Iomob that summer and incorporated it along with our third cofounder, Victor Lopez, in 2018.

Iomob founders; Josep Sanjuas, Boyd Cohen, Victor López Fernando

WheelCoin was launched a few days ago. Could you explain to us the benefits of this solution for the organizations and its employees?

Thanks for asking! WheelCoin is being offered to users around the world and is “global from day one”. Anyone can download it and being using our free2play onboarding. However, as you mention, we have discovered that there is growing interest in WheelCoin for business too.  This is because:

a) companies are seeking ways to encourage or gamify the journey towards a low carbon economy with their employees and b) find a way to gain insights into scope 3 emissions, such as employee mobility. WheelCoin accomplishes both of these goals for corporates, while creating an ever-increasing amount of “deals” for users who can exchange WheelCoin for discounts on green mobility services.

What do you believe is the key for users to change their mobility habits and start taking advantage of the more connected and sustainable mobility offered by MaaS?

That is of course the million, or perhaps billion dollar, question that remains unanswered. With WheelCoin we decided to turn the four tiers of MaaS on its head. Instead of going from level zero/one through to mobility subscriptions, all the way to some, until now, holy grail of embedded incentives, we decided to launch a level 4 solution for users that doesn´t even include integrated mobility services. We wanted to gamify and tokenize the adoption of WheelCoin by users around the globe and then gradually introduce integrated mobility services from the Internet of Mobility network we have been building since 2018. Check back with me in 6 months if the strategy is working ?

If you had to describe the mobility of the future in three words, what would they be?

Fun, green, healthy

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