SCP E54 Cybersecurity in the Smart City, with Vaughan Emery

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In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a really interesting chat with Vaughan Emery. Vaughan is the Founder and CEO of Atonomi, a company focused on security protocol for the internet of things. We talk a lot about the importance of cybersecurity as we get more connected, and how they’re using the Ethereum blockchain to do their business. We also have some really interesting conversation about the future of cryptocurrencies. I learnt so much talking to Vaughan so I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen Here:

What we covered:

  • Vaughan’s background and his passion for cyber security
  • What sparked his interest in the Smart City space and how his company began
  • What a Smart City means to him and why it’s so important
  • How the US is embracing the Smart City concept, cybersecurity and blockchain
  • Projects Vaughan and Atonomi is working on
  • How autonomous vehicles might become less about transport and more of a platform
  • How connected vehicles can be a security risk and ways that can be isolated or prevented
  • The importance of identity, trust and reputation in a cyber secure future
  • How Atonomi’s products sit on the Ethereum block chain
  • The opportunities and challenges of innovation, regulation and integrating across different disciplines
  • Vaughan’s thoughts about the future of cryptocurrencies

Quotes:

“[I’ve been] Really thinking about cybersecurity and the impact that it has on a rapidly connecting world.”

“As a [cyber security] industry, we don’t have that good a grade. There’s constant data breaches. Most people have been affected by or are fearful of cyber security…So what I do day to day is work on technologies that protect data and protect things.”

“In Smart Cities you have a heterogenous environment, lots and lots of suppliers to cities. Those devices must work together and the only way they can work together is they’re known and trusted.”

“To me a Smart City is taking what the industry has developed as a static city — not a lot of connectivity — to a future state where a lot of the infrastructure and services are actually connected.”

“Statistics has shown that every city has had some form of cyber security attack or data breach. No city and no individual is immune. Before cities really go all in on connecting their infrastructure, the industry has got to figure out how to address the cyber security risk.”

“We think about risks in the context of sensors or devices having to be known and trusted, whether it’s in an autonomous vehicle or in an industrial setting, or it’s a sensor in a city. Good cybersecurity begins with identity and the idea that every device can be known and trusted.”

“I think it’s going to take the government’s input to make sure that all players are using the same protocols, the same standards.”

“For me, what people aren’t really talking about when it comes to crypto is the real utility and the value of moving towards currencies that are borderless, immune from politics and that really can serve a role in a lot of applications.”

“I’d like to see more conversation about how cryptocurrencies can really make it more secure, more efficient, more convenient in a machine economy.”

Connect:

You can find out more about Aonomi and their website Atonomi.io, connect via Twitter @vaughanemery or @atonomi or Telegram

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E53: Using technology to empower people to solve real problems, with Alvaro Maz

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In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a great conversation with Alvaro Maz from Code for Australia. This episode isn’t about coding, it’s about using technology to empower people to solve real problems, which is a concept that I love. We discuss a lot of things including the changing ways of work and the importance of creating exciting and interesting projects to attract the talent that you want and need in order to keep moving forward. Alvaro and I also talk about about solving some of those boring inefficiencies that happen in Government and organisations, which you know I’m so passionate about. So as always I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover:

  • Alvaro’s background in international relations, philosophy and urban planning and what sparked his interest in this space.
  • Why he’s passionate about opening up opportunities for people to use their talent on things that matter
  • What he thinks a Smart City is and why it’s so important
  • Some of the gaps in how Australia is embracing the Smart City concept
  • Alvaro’s work with Code for Australia and the other projects he’s working on
  • The importance of creating interesting opportunities in order to better integrate across different disciplines and government sectors, and why it’s not always about the money
  • The changing world of work and why future generations are going to laugh at the fact that we have ongoing full time jobs
  • How regulations, work and democracy needs to evolve
  • The emerging trend that people aren’t talking about enough of there being too many trends, too much talking and not enough doing!
  • The importance of solving the boring but important problems, inefficient processes and things that impact many people if they fail and why we need to prioritise this over sexy new tech

Quotes:

“There’s a lot of talent and experience that is not being used at the moment because of the way that we’ve constructed our society…I try to open up opportunities for people to use their talent on things that matter.”

“There’s a lot of buzz words that you can apply to [Smart Cities]…but ultimately it’s a city that is inclusive, that is sustainable and that evolves with the population.”

“We’re treating Smart Cities as a silo-ed thing…so if we’re going to be doing something seriously, it needs to be common practice and it needs to be embedded into the everyday practice of everyone.”

“We believe technology can open up opportunities to meaningfully impact the public sphere.”

“It’s often technology that is not super sexy but it’s tools and processes that help people that have a lot more at stake than what we do, and where cool and new technology is not applied but where there is a massive need.”

“What we’ve found with Code for Australia is that you can attract super, mega talented people not necessarily with those big wages that big tech companies have. The very first thing is creating interesting opportunities that have purpose and autonomy.”

“The world is evolving, cities are evolving, work is evolving, so should all the other things that encompass that.”

“There’s too many trends and too much talking and not so much doing…There’s a tonne of stuff that needs to be fixed but because of those trendy things we don’t pay enough attention to them.”

“[Insert Buzz Word Here] is like the new teenage sex: everyone claims to have done it but the reality is very different.”

“We’ve estimated that over 90% of government IT projects over 10 million dollars fail…if we can move the needle 5 degrees we can save hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“A group of people have a lot at stake if this thing doesn’t work….and so focusing on that because there’s no reason that in this day and age these things should be clunky.” ~ Zoe

Connect:

Connect with Alvaro on Twitter @alvaromaz or via the Code For Australia open Slack. You can find this via the website, codeforaustralia.org

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E52: Smart Local Councils and Communities (Part 2), with Bronwyn Voyce

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In this episode of the Smart City Podcast we have part 2 of my conversation with Bronwyn Voice. In Part 1 we talk about the Future Leaders, Future Cities delegation, Bronwyn’s background, the sharing economy and karaoke. In this episode, we continue our conversation and start it by talking about Bronwyn’s observations of the Smart City space in Hong Kong and Japan. We also cover disaster resilience, which both countries are facing, in different aspects, and the future of mobility and emerging trends, and how there’s lots of challenges coming such as facial recognition technology.

Listen Here:

What we cover:

  • Observations and reflections about how Tokyo and Hong Kong are embracing the Smart City Concept
  • Zoe and Bronwyn’s takeaways from the Future Cities, Future Leaders trip to Japan
  • Disaster resilience in Australia and what we can learn from Japan
  • Japan’s population challenges and the similar challenge in rural and regional communities in Australia
  • Other projects Bronwyn is working on at the moment
  • The importance of getting together on the big emerging trends across all disciplines
  • Why governments, industry and academia need to be engaging with the community to bring everybody on the journey
  • A great example of thinking outside the boundaries of metropolitan areas for Smart initiatives
  • The emerging trend of facial and gaze recognition technology and the new challenges that creates

Quotes:

“It’ll be interesting to see how they manage to transform the whole island [of Hong Kong] into a Smart global hub. But they’ve got the talent which is really critical.”

“We have world-leading experts in disaster preparedness and recovery. I think our communities are becoming more resilient. And we have to…we’re not going to ever stop Mother Nature, so we do have to think about that.”

“Building things back better, using technology to better design roads or drainage systems, or whatever infrastructure is all impacted. We can start to think about that in a different light when we think about the Smarts of a Smart City in disaster preparedness and resilience.” 

“There’s a lot of opportunity from an economic development and a regional development [perspective] for Japan and Australia to connect.”

“I don’t think there’s a perfect solution. I think there’s a role for leaders and influencers to do just that: to step up and lead, and bring people together around tables and have really important discussions, and then also do the same with the community.”

“As businesses we need to be more responsible in terms of our contribution, our impact to society and the local economy, and just more broadly, the people’s lives who we impact by the work that we do and who we employ.”

“It’s all about responsibility, collaboration and using dialogue and data to understand the real issues and make better decisions.”

“Let’s get together on the big issues that we know are emerging, and the big opportunities.”

“I know people are talking about [facial recognition technology] but I just don’t think we are advanced enough in the conversation. What does that mean for individual privacy and… what does that mean for what we as consumers, we as citizens, getting access to based on the algorithms, the biases and all those kind of things that are a little bit beyond the every day citizens’s reach and touch in terms of understanding what technology is being used to influence what they see, how they are influenced to try and behave and act. We need a lot more transparency around that and we need to build capacity around what that means for individuals, what that means for government and what that means for the private sector.”

Connect:

Connect with Bronwyn on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn or Email bronwyn@bronwynvoyce.com.au 

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

 

SCP E51: Smart Local Councils and Communities (Part 1), with Bronwyn Voyce

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In this episode of the Smart City Podcast I had a great chat with a fellow member of the Future Leaders, Future Cities Delegation, Bronwyn Voyce. Currently a consultant at GWI, she has a wide and varied background which we dive deep into in this episode. We talk about the concept of Smart Councils and how Smart Cities are a way for us to reach our potential. We also cover the sharing economy, policy, data access and some of our reflections on the Smart City space in Japan and Hong Kong. This is a 2-part interview, so stay tuned for the rest of our conversation in Part 2 coming soon!

Listen here:

What we cover:

  • Bronwyn’s varied work background and what she’s passionate about
  • How a Masters in Economic Development and being elected to local council led to her interest in Smart Cities
  • What a Smart City is to Bronwyn and why she advocates for Smart Local Councils
  • The importance of addressing today’s problems while still enabling potential to arise
  • A pertinent example that demonstrates why we need a planning scheme that thinks about the sharing economy and urban mobility
  • The need for collaboration and communication between the community and local government to try to catch up, get off the back-foot and prevent us from getting ‘uberised’ again
  • Observations and reflections about how Tokyo and Hong Kong and how they’re embracing the Smart City Concept

Quotes:

“[Being in local council] was one of the most rewarding and one of the most challenging times of my life.”

“[Economic development] is thinking about new ways to enhance the operating environment for businesses to operate, for jobs to be created and ultimately improve the liability, invest-ability and financial sustainability of a region. Smart Cities fits all around that.”

“How do I make my place better? What’s happening in the bigger world out there? What can we learn from what other places are doing? And how can we apply that in a way that is relevant to a rural town or a regional city, or an urban and metropolitan area? There’s not one answer for any of that.”

“With local government being the absolutely fundamental stakeholder in building this thing we call Smart Cities, there needs to be a Smart Council or a Smart Local Government component. And that actually starts with some really simple stuff around digital transformation.”

“[Smart Local Government is] the way that we deliver our services, the way that we use data and information to meet the needs of our citizens and our residents, and in a way that solves problems of the people that are living in our place.”

“Smart Community …is really about how we are thinking about enabling the way that we live our lives, the way we do business, the way we work, the way we access services (future of work, mobility) …it’s about human centred design for me in the first instance.”

“It’s really about how do we use data, how do we use human centred design to make better places for people to live and visit, do business, have jobs, learn and so forth.”

“It’s about addressing today’s problems but it’s also about thinking about the future, which is a very challenging thing to do sometimes when you just have to worry about delivering services today.”

“The Smarts are in using the data that we have access to and the problems that people are telling us that they have now.”

“The best way that I can describe the contrast between Tokyo and Hong Kong was order versus chaos, but both of them were incredibly amazing.”

Connect:

Connect with Bronwyn on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn or Email bronwyn@bronwynvoyce.com.au 

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E50: Bonus | Key themes from the Future Cities, Future Leaders Delegation

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In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I cover some of the key themes from the recent Future Cities, Future Leaders delegation to Japan, led by the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo. I share 11 of my insights from the trip, and talk a little bit about the Churchill Fellowship I’ve applied for as well.

I also share an anecdote of what happened just after the delegation when I got evacuated from Kyoto and how I realised I was alone in the world except for Siri and Google!

Listen here:

My 11 insights are:

  1. A delegation with diverse work backgrounds made for great conversations
  2. Relationship building is key
  3. Japan is focusing on the 3 Ps: people, production/productivity and participation.
  4. Australia can offer a lot in the global Smart Cities conversation
  5. There are peaks and troughs of technology use in Japan
  6. Three days was not long enough! This is only the beginning
  7. There are similarities between my experience in Japan and Korea
  8. There are some fantastic people working the Smart City space in Australia
  9. Toll booths!
  10. The differences between the Australian and Japanese approach to innovation
  11. The similar challenges of an ageing population, declining population and urban migration

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcasts is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E49: Urbanism, tech and meaningful Smart Cities, with Nicola Balch

SmartCityPodcast_BlogTitleImage_Episode49In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I interview Nicola Balch. We had a great chat about urbanism and tech. Nicola is an associate at McGregor Coxall. We also talked about the intelligent use of data, including why we need to be thinking about the metrics: why we want to collect certain data and what it is we will use the data for. Nicola shared about a number of different projects across the world, which I found really interesting.

Listen Here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Nicola’s background in architecture and urban design, and how winning a competition sparked her interested in the Smart City space
  • Why she’s kind of strict about her definition of Smart Cities
  • How the UK is embracing the Smart City concept and why Bristol has a positive approach
  • The need for a holistic rather than product-based approach to Smart cities
  • The issue with the mega-player centric approach and why we need the smaller players involved to better integrate across disciplines
  • Projects Nicola’s currently working on, including Smart Carpet
  • The importance of taking a global approach and what Nicola learned on her traveling scholarship last year
  • How the LinkNYC kiosks can be an example of what not to do
  • The need to look beyond the cool techie perspective and have more community-centric rigour in the design process,
  • The emerging trends of place metrics, cultural parameters, and qualitative aspects of space
  • The EU Project Create Project
  • Quantifying the vision-oriented, qualitative projects to help projects gain funding

Quotes:

“I’m really interested in how we can use data to empower and engage with communities to create long term, meaningful change. So not just the idea of using data but really questioning how we can use it to test and change cities for the better in a way that actually empowers and works with communities.”

“I believe that if we start being really flexible in how we define things then it enables them sometimes to be used for purposes that might not necessarily be appropriate.”

“I think a Smart City is one that intelligently uses and responds to data, particularly live data…It’s really highly related to ICT, IOT and the tech side of things.”

“As we move through, because we’re going to have tech more and more in our lives, Smart Cities is just going to become a conversation about cities again.”

“Putting people at the centre, looking at the issues and the advocacy needs, and then raising the question, ‘What can technology do to help achieve outcomes on top of that?’”

“Technology companies hopefully will start employing a lot more people who have engaged academically and professionally in the urban environment, to really start to think about Smart Cities from a much more holistic and integrated perspective rather than the development and deployment of products.”

“Our education institutions have a huge role in Smart Cities and that will hopefully start to grow. A better cross-disciplinary response means looking at more creative ways to bring in smaller practices and people doing interesting things with technology rather than relying on the big players. I think the industry is really mega-player centric at the moment.”

“It takes a look at how Smart Cities projects are funded and driven today….We need to have a look at different ways of initiating and funding these projects to make them accessible to more people. Then we’ll start to really see diversity.”

“When you actually really start to engage with the most complex parameter of the city, and that is people, then we start to see these really interesting questions that come up.”

“It’s a shift in terms of “What do we want to measure, and why?” and then seeing whether or not technology can do that.”

Links:

Urban Land Institute Global Ideas Competition: George St 2020

McGregor Coxall’s Smart Carpet project that won the London Smart City competition

Bristol Smart City Research and Development Platform

Byera Hadley traveling scholarship with Architecture Registrations Board

The Array of Things in Chicago

Link NYC

Kylie Legg of Place Partners (check out Kylie’s episode SCP EP15)

Peter Jones from UCL

The EU Create Project

Connect:

Connect with Nicola on LinkedIn or Twitter @NixBalch, or email her nicola.balch@mcgregorcoxall.com

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E48: Different approaches to Smart Cities, with Janice Lee

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In this episode of the Smart City Podcast I interview Janice Lee. Janice is the Director of Infrastructure Advisory at EY and also recently joined me on the Future Leaders, Future Cities delegation to Japan. It was really great to hang out with Janice in person in Japan, and in this episode we discuss our observations; we talk about how Australia and Japan are approaching the Smart City space differently, but also how some things are exactly the same. We also discuss work that Janice is doing in the government advisory in the Smart City space, and the emerging trends that other people aren’t talking about in depth. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Janice’s background in government in economic and infrastructure portfolios and why she is passionate about what public policy
  • What sparked her interest in the Smart City space and long term planning for transport
  • What a Smart City is to Janice and why she believes it’s so important
  • Similarities and differences between Japan and Australia’s approach to Smart Cities
  • The importance of resilience to cities in Japan’s city solutions
  • Why we don’t need to wait for future tech and how to make a Smart City while still using Windows 98
  • The tension between the technology and how it gets used
  • How Australia is embracing the Smart City concept and the opportunities for how to make our cities digitally enabled
  • What inspired Janice about her experience in Japan
  • Why Janice and EY are evolving their services and practices for resilience, citizen centricity, ecosystem collaboration and data/tech enablement
  • The challenge of integrating across different disciplines, governments and private sector
  • The emerging trends of data and integration and collaboration

Quotes:

“The things that I’m most passionate about really are just what public policy can do for improving the way governments think about some of the problems that citizens face and what it can do in terms of applying good discipline, data and analysis to solve those problems.”

“What is the role of high quality infrastructure in making cities function really well, in making them prepared for growth?”

“There’s a huge potential in the way in which technology is developing at the moment just to reimagine how some of this traditional infrastructure networks deliver and how they service citizens.”

“In my mind [a Smart City] is really about a city that uses technology and digital enablement to improve the wellbeing of citizens, and to improve the liveability of that city.”

“How do we work with this trend of urbanisation that we’re seeing to actually make sure that individuals aren’t left behind, and that they’re able to live in this inclusive way within these very large groupings of people within cities?”

“Because cities are these vast and complex physical and social networks, and all around the world we’re seeing massive urbanisation…cities can capture both the best and the worst of places, and they can have these incredible opportunities that are created by that density and that diversity, but they can also have really intractable problems around affordability, safety, …poor planning.”

“It’s never about the technology, it’s about how it gets used. Who adopts it, in what ways does it change the delivery of services…how do we harness that?”

“I really felt inspired after our Japan trip. I saw a complementarity…a difference in emphasis between the Japanese and Australian companies, but also a difference in approach…I left thinking there are some real opportunities for partnership here.”

“The integration piece is really the challenge, because we’re seeing already these pockets of innovation happening all over the place but what is missing is the piece that brings it all together.”

Links and resources:

Japan’s concept of Society 5.0

Kashiwa-no-ha

Adam Fennessy

Connect:

Connect to Janice on LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.