SCP E34: The Smart Connection of Physical and Digital, with Thibault Van der Auwermeulen

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I interviewed Thibault Van De Auwermeulen who is the Founder of 4Instance and Co-founder of ExpoPolis, the Smart City Virtual Expo. Thibault shares his background in the public sector and his passion for connecting the government and industry. We also discuss ExpoPolis and The Smart City Virtual Expo as well as the importance of both virtual and physical expos. I also really enjoyed talking about how some Smart City project might be the disconnection from technology and bringing people together.

Listen:

Quotes:

“[the Smart City concept is about] using data and using information to give better services”

“maybe the future [will be] how to find Smart City projects that are not using the Smart City Technology. We need this new technology but I think it will also be good to have solutions without this technology”

“there is really a good connection [developing] between the public and private sector, they are working together and talking together”

“to bring people together and talk with each other, people from different origins…it will be important to work on this and find new kinds of solutions…to bring together the “nerd” world and the world of the more social person”

What we covered:

  • Thibault’s background in the public sector and passion for connecting the government and industry
  • Introducing marketing and public relations into the public sector
  • The launch of the Smart City Virtual Expo – ExpoPolis
  • Collating data within government
  • Both technology and concepts being important
  • Smart City projects not necessarily using new technology
  • Creating a virtual Smart City community, market place and job board
  • Utilising both virtual and physical expos
  • Discussion around Smart City rankings
  • Issues around Smart City project procurement
  • Leadership in the Smart City space for Belgium
  • Digital birds and bringing people together

Links:

Expolis http://www.expopolis.com/en/

4Instance http://www.4instance-govnet.com/en/

Smart City Virtual Expo https://www.smartcityvirtualexpo.com/en/

Connect:

Connect with Thibault via LinkedIn or at ExpoPolis

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com, Twitter or Facebook@smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E33: Riding the Next Wave of the Internet, with Louise Mercer and Leanne Kemp

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, a podcast first, I interviewed two amazing people at the same time: Louise Mercer who is the Head of Everledger for Australia, New Zealand and Singapore and Leanne Kemp who is the Founder and CEO of Everledger. You’ll hear from both Louise and Leanne on how Everledger is a company concerned about prominence – so the origin and life cycle of high value things. Louise and Leanne dive deep into explaining blockchain, how it works and what this has to do with diamonds and insurance. We also discuss some of the other Smart tech they are exploring. Leanne shares her deep belief that blockchain is the next generation of the internet and Louise talks about the importance of preparing our future workforces for this new wave of technology.

Listen Here:

Quotes:

“blockchain is a distributed ledger technology which means that rather than centralising information in a singular data base….so that means you can bring together an eco-system of parties, say in a supply chain, where they may not know each other…or may not be able to trust each and create an environment where they can agree on certain facts” Louise Mercer

“Smart Contracts is a construct that really sits within a form to enable a set of known inputs with a set of logic to then execute upon a contract. So Smart Contracts are neither Smart or are they a contract by terms of legal stance but what it does do is sit as a part of blockchain infrastructure then enables the automation of events to occur” Leanne Kemp

“Blockchain in its core construct is next generation internet technology…we are now moving from what we once knew as the world wide web to the world wide ledger” Leanne Kemp

“Like every new and emerging technology there is a deep construct of education that’s needed and deep construct of experimental activity” Leanne Kemp

“The big challenge is how we help…equip people to be ready with a new skillset and a new way of thinking and operating so that they can embrace the technology coming through” Louise Mercer

What we covered:

  • Everledger’s focus on prominence, tracking the life cycle of high value items using blockchain
  • How blockchain and insurance are related
  • Supply chain transparency and trust between parties
  • How blockchain works and how it can create an environment of trust
  • How Everledger came to be and the diamond industry
  • Everledger and Smart City space
  • Smart Contracts not being Smart or a contract
  • Other technologies that Everledger is exploring
  • Blockchain being next generation internet technology
  • Integration across the disciplines via transforming human-based to digital
  • Education and experimental activity needed for new and emerging technology
  • Blockchain being a new way to think about governance
  • Smart technology changing our work force and getting ready for new jobs

Links:

Everledger https://www.everledger.io

Connect:

Connect with Everledger on Twitter @everlegderio

Connect with Louise via email louise@everledger.io or LinkedIn

Connect with Leanne via email leanne@everledger.io or  LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com, Twitter or Facebook@smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP EP32, Bringing Data to Life, with Brian Ashton

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I interviewed the Director of Harvest Digital Planning Brian Ashton. Brian is passionate about creating and geospatial technology and combining these two things to help government better engage with the community. Brian and I discuss many things mainly focused around using digital and spatial technology to better engage and integrate across all disciplines, government and community. Brian has some really big and great ideas in this space, some of these include breaking down data silos for better integration, Google Knowledge Graph for planning, testing Smart Tech in real places and thick data to bring social meaning to big data.

Listen here:

Quotes:

“we just thought there was so much opportunity to use technology within planning, and more broadly cities, to help make more informed decisions, based on evidence and data”

“cities are inherently spacial and all of this spacial data and location intelligence is definitely underpinning a lot of these Smart City applications”

“I struggle with the idea of ranking Smart Cities… I don’t know if that’s the best prism we should be looking through…it’s missing the mark a little bit…we should be thinking about…quality of life, sustainability and resilience and then finding a way to correlate that to the Smart Cities work we are doing”

“we want to test [Smart Technology] in real places as much as possible”

“we are not going to be able to integrate across government, community or vendors until we really break down these data silos”

“there’s still a lacking of engagement with the community when it comes to Smart Cities…it’s about thinking about big data and thick data so more qualitative information…collecting stories from the community so you can help qualify the results you are getting from big data…bringing more context and social meaning to big data”

What we covered:

  • Brian’s background in computer systems engineering and passion for creativity
  • Creating digital maps and combining this with sensor data
  • Finding and following Brian’s passion for creating and geospatial technology
  • Starting his company Harvest Digital Planning and their mission
  • Using technology to make better planning decisions and engage the community
  • Spatial data and location intelligence underpinning Smart City applications
  • Governments using spatial information to understand what’s happening in their communities
  • Services offered by Harvest and product The HiVE
  • Participation technology to engage and help government understand the priorities of the community
  • Marrying together offline and online engagement
  • Software as a service model and Australia being progressive in community engagement
  • Ranking cities for quality of life, sustainability and resilience
  • Thinking about the issues and where to pilot Smart Technology
  • Breaking down data silos for integration and Google Knowledge Graph for planning
  • Integration of data and letting people gain their own insights
  • Thick data bringing social context to big data

Links: 

Harvest Digital Planning https://harvestdp.com

The HiVE https://the-hive.com.au

Connect:

Connect with Brian via LinkedIn or Harvest website

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com, Twitter or Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E31: A Tailored Approach to Tech, with Michael Cybulski

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I interviewed Founder and CEO of Retina Visions Michael Cybulski. Michael is passionate about pushing the boundaries when it comes to technology and focuses on implementing technology on a local scale. Michael and I discuss some of things his company Retina Visions is working on as well as how we can better integrate across the disciplines and change the way we think about risk. We also talk about Brisbane, as well as Smart Tech in rural areas and the emerging and important topic of security as we all become data platforms.

Listen here:

Quotes:

“I was always interested in the idea of a futuristic technology-driven world…looking at every single aspect of life as data and understanding the ability to extract this data can enable future planners to make better decisions based on evidence”

“so rather than building technology that works on a universal sense, we look at individual cities or suburbs or streets…and see what that area specifically requires to better the lives of people using that area”

“open standards and data sharing is a good way to start integrating across the disciplines. Instead of individual areas spending large amounts of funds acquiring and preparing data, we need to enable the access to data that is ready for use now”

“infrastructure becomes a platform, vehicles and buildings become platforms and so will you and I, we will become data platforms that integrate with the environment, so while this provides many opportunities, governances and security will become the hot topics”

What we covered:

  • Michael’s interest in futuristic technology and pushing boundaries
  • A local approach to technology implementation
  • Defining what a Smart City is and looking at what is required
  • Focus of AI and machine learning
  • Locally dependant effects of technology
  • Using technology to gauge people’s reactions and digitalising the road network
  • Trialing technology in both the cities and rural areas
  • Looking deeply into a city and thinking of cities as having human-like characteristics
  • The importance of focusing on rural areas and using Smart Tech to reduce the gap between the regions and cities
  • Open standards and data sharing in order to integrate across disciplines
  • How we can lower risk in innovative projects and changing our thinking around risk
  • Brisbane becoming one of the many leaders in Smart Cities and the start-up space
  • Becoming data platforms and the importance of security
  • Being involved in this space so we can shape our future

Links:

Retina Visions https://www.retinavisions.com

Connect:

Connect with Michael via email michael@retinavisions.com and 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.

SCP E30: Being a Catalyst for Change, with Zanthea Chulio

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I interviewed Brisbane lover and fellow founding member of SCCei.This chat with Zanthea was great and I felt a real theme of being a catalyst for change, which I loved! Zanthea is passionate about connecting people in the Smart City space and has some great ideas of where to pilot Smart Tech. You’ll hear about Zanthea’s love for Brisbane and how we can put Brisbane on the Smart City map. Zanthea and I also discuss the importance of face-to-face connections as we get more and more invested in tech.

Listen here:

Quotes:

“we are shaping the future…we are the ones that are going to be the decision makers…change is inevitable…and I don’t want to be left behind”

“This is what Smart Cities means to me: it’s a new start, it’s an opportunity for change, it offers a lot more than what is currently out there”

“Cairns is…this dichotomy of environment and industry…which makes a really good ground for trying new things”

“Brisbane can be a leader…there are a lot of passionate people…there’s a lot of great work going on, that can be integrated into [Smart City] principles and what we are wanting to achieve…if we can create our own flavour through Smart Cities, we will be leaders”

“face-to-face connections are going to be more valuable and more meaningful so how we foster that in a Smart City, is something that we need to think about…it’s a very fine line”

What we covered:

  • Zanthea’s background in urban planning and her love for connecting with people
  • How and why she became interested in Smart Cities
  • Discussion about Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators
  • Creating greater understanding with Virtual Reality (VR) and app creation
  • Being a catalyst for Zero Waste and plastic reduction
  • Digital healthcare records and the challenges involved
  • The diversity of the Smart Cities space and the human-centric approach
  • Loving Brisbane and making it a Smart City
  • My thoughts on ranking Smart Cities
  • Why Cairns is a great place for Smart City tech
  • Removing egos to move forward
  • Brisbane becoming leaders and focus on innovation
  • Finding a balance between tech and face-to-face connections

Links:

Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators (SCCei) email, Twitter and Instagram

Plastic Bag Ban https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/plastic-bags

Connect:

You can connect with Zanthea email: zanthea.chulio@gmail.com and LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com, Twitter or Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E29: Hacking a Smart Future, with Angela Bee Chan

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In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I interviewed serial hacker and fellow Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovator Angela Bee Chan. Angela is the CEO and Founder of Hackathons Australia and she tells us all about Hackathons and how they are connected with Smart Cities, which I really loved hearing about. We also have great chats about piloting technology in regional areas and the importance of bringing back connections to Australia to boost our eco-system. Angela also shares some insights into linking Smart Cities with educating the future workforce and sustainability.

Listen here:

Quotes: 

“for me Smart Cities is the future of how we work, live and play, and it really impacts everyone, everywhere”

“using Hackathons to build a Smart City so seeing how [Hackathons] can be integrated more into how we do things and how it shapes our cities is really interesting”

“A Hackathon is a 2-3 day creative, a very intensive session, where a diverse group of people come together to solve a problem using technology as an enabler. So it’s getting people that you don’t normally get together to collaborate with each other…to create awesome solutions”

“in terms of government and where we are heading, it’s definitely where we need to be at and there needs to be more activity to champion people like Catherine Ball, people like Steve Baxter who are passionate about what they are doing and using their connections and bringing that back into Australia”

“we really need to be understanding what our purpose is and why we are doing things…the more positive impact that we have, the better we service other people and improve the lives of everyone around us, and we should be using technology in that sense…to make a difference and make a sustainable change”

What we covered:

  • Angela’s background in public relations then in IT and marketing and running Hackathons
  • Hackathons Australia and running a Smart Cities hackathon
  • Smart cities being the future of work, live and play
  • Connecting devices, data and predictive analytics
  • Smart homes and home automation for accessibility
  • IoT and Artificial Intelligence
  • Future Cities Project with WWF – IoT and blockchain
  • Using Hackathons to build a Smart City
  • Explaining what a Hackathon is – the hustler, hipster and hacker
  • Learning about the developer community and being open
  • Different objectives of Hackathons and how many are going on in Australia
  • The relationship between Hackathons and Smart Cities
  • Bring connections back to Australia for Smart Cities
  • Piloting Smart Tech in regional areas and leveraging the amount of land we have
  • Boosting our eco-system and experimenting
  • Becoming leaders and being early adopters
  • How we are equipping the next generation and using technology for sustainability

Links:

Hackathons Australia #HackAUS Twitter, Facebook  https://www.hackathonsaustralia.com

Schneider Electric https://www.schneider-electric.com/en/work/solutions/for-business/smart-cities/

Future Cities Project with WWF http://www.wwf.org.au/get-involved/futurecitiesproject#gs.GjZ=3wQ

Smart Cities Council ANZ https://anz.smartcitiescouncil.com

Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators email, Twitter and Instagram

Transport of NSW https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au

Advance Queensland https://advance.qld.gov.au

Launch Vic https://launchvic.org

World of Drones Congress https://www.worldofdrones.com.au and Dr Catherine Ball https://www.drcatherineball.com

Steve Baxter https://www.stevebaxter.com.au

Elon Musk https://twitter.com/elonmusk

Connect:

Connect with Angela via LinkedIn, Twitter and Hackathons Australia

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com, Twitter or Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E28: Create, Break, Learn, Repeat (Part 2), with Tim Rastall

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In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, you’ll hear Part 2 of my conversation with Tim Rastall. If you missed Part 1, it’s Episode 27 and we covered Tim’s background and projects he is working on, as well as where NZ is at when it comes to Smart Cities. In this episode, Part 2, we discuss the Agile approach to building relationships and collaborating across disciplines as well as being okay with failure. For those of you who don’t know Agile is a project methodology that started off in the software development world but now is utilised more widely. Agile is about being able to work easily and quickly and in an ever-changing environment and has set tools and processes that are used to allow for a iterative approach. Enough on Agile, I’ll put a link in the show notes of an article that explains it pretty well. Tim and I talk about the importance of communication in being Smart and using data to improve efficiency. Tim also has some interesting and exciting ideas about emerging trends.

Listen here:

Quotes:

“when you see public private partnerships that go well, it’s because there are some very clear guiding principles and they are taking an Agile approach to building [relationships]”

“[failure] is actually where you learn the most and get the most benefit…when you are making a new thing, you can’t expect to get it right the first time so you have to expect to fail and it’s that failure and the ability to adapt and change that actually allows you to produce something great”

“Technology is just an enabler, the thing that makes a Smart City is the individuals in the city”

“with enough input data and enough training information, you can get to a stage where a city platform can identify a problem occurring well in advance of a human”

What we covered:

  • Building relationships across industries, academia and government
  • An Agile approach to Smart Cities and being okay with and learning from failure
  • Thinking of technology purely as an enabler and focusing on the liveability of the individuals
  • Looking at and learning from Songdo in South Korea
  • The importance of public engagement and design thinking
  • Decision making platforms and including humans as sensors
  • Breaking down silos and how communication can make a city smarter
  • Using real data to make decisions about efficiency and bringing people along the journey
  • Second-order effects that are emerging and self-aware cities
  • Taking flying taxis seriously

Links:

Wellington Our City Tomorrow https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/our-city-tomorrow

Larry Page’s flying taxis in NZ http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/inventions/google-guru-larry-page-tests-flying-taxis-in-new-zealand/news-story/c1fd4d7b44828d0cd5eef0bedfbed84f

China’s Ehang http://www.ehang.com

Agile Project Methodology Article https://www.cio.com/article/3156998/agile-development/agile-project-management-a-beginners-guide.html

Connect:

Connect with Tim via email tim.rastall@ise.nzLinkedIn, Twitter @timrastall

Connect with me via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com, Twitter or Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.canv