SCP EP17: Changing the structure of society, with Colin Wright

real estate in the city-9

In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I had a fantastic conversation with minimalist, writer, podcast host, blogger, speaker and full time traveller Colin Wright. We discussed the linkages between minimalism and Smart Cities and how people-scale cities make for happier places and reduce under-utilised time. We also discussed a number of different technologies and dive deep into using science fiction as a means to think about the possible societal impacts some technologies. This was a supposed to be a bit of a different episode for you, mixing it up because Smart Cities really touches on so many aspects so I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen Here:

Quotes:

“what people are trying to do when we talk about Smart Cities…and that type of forward thinking urban development, really what we are looking at is building things more intentionally as opposed to building things in the ways we’ve always built them just because”

“what I am hoping will happen [with Smart Cities] is that we’ll see a whole lot more people-scale spaces as opposed to car-scale spaces…spaces that allow far more types of work to be done, far more efficiently and effectively and hopefully too, ways that are more beneficial for people’s health”

“if we can set up cities in such a way that elevate a lot of those health related issues, happiness-draining issues that we associated with work, more of us can do either work that we enjoy or at a bare minimum work that we don’t feel terrible about”

“you can go in a lot of crazy directions [with autonomous vehicles], you can look at it from the lens of the current paradigm where cars are things that get us from building to building, place to place, and just say well it will be that but much more efficient on multiple levels, or you could say that the very structure of society would change”

“my policy for [new technology] is get excited, geek out, allow yourself to do the research and get excited about the potential, but then self-reflect. The more excited you are about it means that you should require more proof, you should be all the more sceptical about it because you will be seeing things through the lens of that enthusiasm and that doesn’t give it a fair shake”

“Being able to show the human impact and the way society might change…for better and for the worse with each of these technology is great because we don’t want to build a dystopian society, we don’t want to accidentally build a tyrant-led panopticon”

What we covered:

  • The relationship between Smart Cities and minimalism
  • A deeper dive into minimalism and Colin’s lifestyle
  • People-scale places, reducing wasted time and feeling good about work
  • The differences in the cities that were either built for the human or built the car
  • Electric and autonomous vehicles and their potential to change the structure of society
  • Life cycle tracking and consuming more intentionally
  • Blockchain, cryptocurrency and some ideas about what’s missing
  • Geeking out and being sceptical about new technologies
  • Colin’s interest in 3D manufacturing and e-waste recycling
  • Using science fiction novels and TV shows to think about the human ramifications of current and future technologies

Links:

Colin Wright’s website http://colin.io and Blog http://exilelifestyle.com

Podcast: Let’s Know Things http://letsknowthings.com

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

Black Mirror on Netflix

Connect:

Connect with Colin via email or Twitter, Instagram, Facebook @colinismyname

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

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.