SCP 10: Creating a Digital Democracy with Brook Dixon

SmartCityPodcast_BlogTitleImage_Episode10

In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I interview Brook Dixon, the Managing Director of Delos Delta, the go-to consultant for all things Smart Cities. Brook is also the newly elected President of the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) and a Churchill Fellow, which allowed him to travel the world and explore Smart Cities. He is passionate about creating a digital democracy, and including the community in decision making. In this episode, we dive deep into some of the things Brook witnessed overseas, as well as the exciting things Australia is doing. We did have some technical difficulties during this episode.

“The world around us is changing. We’re in the middle of a digital revolution. If we cannot apply digital technology to the modernisation, the evolution and the progress of our democracy, then I don’t think we’re trying hard enough.”

“One of the greatest forces in the Smart City ecosystem, is the forces of marketing and hype. Now, that is part of the program because it’s about attracting investment, attracting interest, attracting new ideas…I think Australia is actually doing very well.”

“These sorts of companies, there are hundreds of them across Australia that are doing fantastic things int he Smart City space. What we want to do, what we need to do, is work to promote them internationally.”

“[Smart Prioritisation Methodology] That’s a fantastic example of not only using data in a more disciplined, analytical robust way but actually being inclusive in decision making and really democratising the allocation of public funding.”

“The thing that I’ve learned from digital disruption is that it’s disrupting everything…We’ve been quite blinkered to the possibilities of digital disrupting government. That’s going to happen more and more and we need to really be on the front foot rather than let digital disruption happen to us.”

Listen here

What we cover in this episode:

  • Brook’s background in economics, finance and government policy, including the part he played in the Digital Canberra plan
  • Why Brook is passionate about communities first and foremost, and how technology and digital transformation fits into that
  • How studying philosophy and Ancient Greek led to Brook’s interest in Digital Democracy
  • What happens when citizens are removed from the democratic process and how we can use digital platforms to empower communities
  • The places in Australia that Brook sees doing good things in the Smart City space
  • The reason we in Australia need to do a better job of marketing ourselves on the international stage
  • Where to start as a local council to get innovation and future city strategies in place
  • How Smart City approaches can change the way we allocate public money in a way that can maximise community outcomes
  • Brook’s Churchill Fellowship experience to see the best and brightest of Smart Cities around the world, including Peru, Korea and the US
  • The new, exciting and innovative finance and infrastructure models emerging that are creating win-win-win outcomes for all
  • How co-working hubs around Australia are breeding innovation
  • The opportunities and challenges in Australia becoming leaders in the Smart space
  • Areas that we are already seeing digital disruption and those that will see digital disruption in the future

Links

Connect with Brook

You can connect with Brook via LinkedIn, on Twitter @dibrookie or reach out via email brookdixon@delosdelta.com

Connect with Zoe

You can connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com or on Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

Podcast production by Ellen Ronalds Keene

 

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