SCP E66: Visionaries creating a new Smart narrative, with Mateusz Jarosiewicz

SmartCityPodcast_BlogTitleImage_Episode66 Mat

In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a really great conversation with Mateusz Jarosiewicz from Poland. He is the Program Coordinator for Smart Cities Polska. We talk about collaborating so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and he talks about how Smart City can be an ideology, a movement and a community. He also talks about making the Smart City concept more understandable for the greater audience, particularly starting in schools. Mat then shares some of the things he’s working on at the moment, including Road Maps and Vision for Poland, and Do Tanks rather than just thinking. He also talks about the importance of having visionaries and facilitators to integrate across the different disciplines, industries and government. The last thing we talk about is going from the internet to real places as an emerging trend. As always, I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.


Listen here:


What we cover in this episode:

  • Mat’s background in Startups and Coworking in Eastern Europe
  • What sparked Mat’s interest in the Smart City space
  • What a Smart City means to him and why he thinks it’s so important
  • How Poland is embracing the Smart City concept
  • The project Mat is running in schools to help educate youth about Smart City concepts
  • Smart Cities Polska and why Mat wants it to be a ‘do-tank’ instead of a think tank
  • Why we need visionaries and facilitators to integrate across disciplines, government and industries
  • The emerging trend of integrating the digital and the physical world



“For me, it’s a very specific topic related to my deepest motivated about myself, about my city, my community…The Smart City concept is a very wide ideology and movement and community; a creative crowd of people who are transforming the cities all over the world.”

“I believe this [Smart City] idea can be some kind of accelerator for connecting those ideas and creating some frameworks [for] how we can transform our cities to be alive again…For me it’s like the new package, the new version of the operating system running the city.”

“Previously I believe guys from IT and ICT are kind of in the one bubble, doing things for Internet Explorer for Windows, and now they are converging with people who are planning the cities and who are doing social experiments, and it’s a completely new thing, what we have now. It’s great that the cities are something which is [the same everywhere in the world]. And this is one of the greatest inventions of our civilisation and anybody [can have] something to do with it, and by redesigning our cities we can ask how we redesign our societies in different ways.”

“I’m trying to make the [Smart City] concept more understandable for the whole society, starting from the schools. But from the other side I’m now developing myself as an expert and a leader of a group of people who are trying to put everything in place and create a road map and one vision for how we can do Smart Cities in Poland.”

“Perhaps we are the people who are meant to change it because it demands [a] very interdisciplinary and very cooperative approach to the silos and separate science ideas and branches of the business [world]. So I think the visionaries and people who can facilitate the process, put their vision right and communicate it to the society, to the government bodies [will be what creates integration].

“My idea was to create a new narrative for the cities. It was this operating system idea.”

“I believe for example the blockchain can be the thing which enables cooperation on shared data systems and asset managing platforms. It can be a big enabler for the Smart Cities.”

“What I see is that the people and especially the communities of interests and passions, are going from the internet to the real places in the cities. For example, we have booming coworking spaces across the world…so it’s getting more and more popular to connect with people [in real life].”

“I see the city as a platform for meetings and spending time together, not as a service and market thing. So that [idea of] going from the internet to real places is a big trend…I believe it’s also a trick to make [a] city Smarter by making people talk with each other more often. I think it’s the simplest solution.”



City: One Magazine, edited by David Bárta

Check out Smart Cities Polska on their website

Mat’s article about Smart Cities on Medium


Connect with Mat on LinkedIn

Connect with me via email:

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E65: Convergence of Energy, Infrastructure and Transport, with Carola Jonas

SmartCityPodcast_BlogTitleImage_Episode65 Carola Jonas

In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a really great conversation with Carola Jonas. Carola is the CEO and Co-Founder of Everty, who build software for electric vehicle charging. She has a background in logistics and freight, and has moved into green tech. She is very passionate about keeping our planet clean and green. We talk about some of the impacts of energy infrastructure and transport coming together in a digital sense, and Carola then talks about some of the leading initiatives happening in Australia. She shares what Everty does and what they are doing in the Smart City Space. She also shares some learnings from around the world, including how to increase uptake and also getting the infrastructure ready. We have a little bit of a chat about demand on the energy grid, and finish talking about connected and automated vehicles integrating into our public infrastructure, and then some examples of emerging trends from overseas. As always, I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen Here:


What we discuss in this episode:

  • Carola’s background in logistics and freight and how her passion for clean tech has led her to the Smart City space
  • What a Smart City is to Carola and the convergence of trends that make it so important
  • How Australia is embracing the Smart City concept and the electric vehicle space more specifically
  • What Everty does and how their work fits into the Smart City space
  • The key concepts and policies we need to get right to be ready for an increase in uptake of EVs
  • How Canberra is leading the way with electric car infrastructure planning
  • Challenges and opportunities for our energy grid management that we need to consider to service EV demand
  • How mobility and transport need to change going forward to reduce congestion and increase efficiency
  • Examples we can learn from in the adoption of EVs and other mobility options around the world


I’ve always had a bit of a passion for doing something that benefits the planet, because if you look at the Great Barrier Reef or the fantastic Kimberley region, all this lovely nature that we have in Australia, I think it’s really important that we preserve that for future generations. Keeping our cities clean and the rest of the planet is a big passion of mine.

For me cities are the backbone that allows us as people to come together and go about our daily lives… as long as they’re clean and Smart, they become liveable cities. So that means less air pollution, less noise, less congestion, and we as people can function better in the city and have a higher productivity.

In the traditional Smart City space, theres a lot of talk about connectivity and that we have intelligent systems that help us be more efficient…but also it’s about what we do in the city, how we can, as a society, create value for each other.

I think what we’re already seeing is a convergence of a couple of trends: energy and infrastructure and transportation is all coming together through the electrification of cars and other transport systems. We are also seeing a lot of digitalisation. All these systems need to connect and interact with each other to be really Smart and allow us to use them to their full potential.

If you look at the way mobility is going to change in the future, there’s a lot that cities are already doings and there’s a lot where cities can become more integral parts of how we are bringing people, energy and infrastructure together.

We all know that the future is electric and that [electric cars] will be coming to our cities sooner or later, but we haven’t yet sorted out the infrastructure that is needed.

We could benefit from better policy making on a Federal and state level [regarding electric vehicles] to really allow us to grow that sector. At the moment the car manufacturers don’t see Australia as the preferred market with a lot of demand, so they bring their cars to other markets first.

[Electric vehicles] create less air pollution, less noise, and if we could also work on the congestion problem that we have in big cities, then we will definitely have a more liveable and more enjoyable city.

We’re building buildings that are meant to last at least 70 years, and in 70 years most cars will be electric. So why not put the right infrastructure in, rather than trying to wait and see if we can do it later? Because later is always more costly.

If we can improve the time that we commute but also the way we commute, more convenient…there’s so many things we can use our time more productively.


Connect with Carola via LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook or check out the Everty website

Connect with me via email:

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E64: Bonus Episode | 21st Century Solutions to Current Day Problems, with Dean Madison

SmartCityPodcast_BlogTitleImage_Episode64 Dean Madison BONUS

In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a really great conversation with Dean Madison, the founder and CEO of T. D. Madison and Associates. Dean has a background in broadband and we first start talking bout IOT and the next generation of services, and how we need to start applying 21st century solutions to our current day problems. Dean is passionate about empowering cities to manage their own complex services and resources, and we also talk about the idea of buying back time and setting up the right foundational infrastructure for a Smart City.

Dean shares some of the things he’s currently working on, which includes setting up this foundational infrastructure and he also talks about setting up a Smart City Ecosystem of open data to allow integration. We talk about some of the emerging trends, particularly the economic and environmental impacts of not implementing Smart city practices and finish talking about using technology instead of trying to build our way out of congestion. 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:

  • Dean’s background in the broadband industry and how that sparked his interest in the Smart City space
  • The challenges cities face today and how IOT can be an opportunity to solve these challenges
  • What a Smart City is to Dean and why he believes it’s so important
  • Some of the The need for the infrastructure tp support the futuristic solutions. The X Future network.
  • The two foundations of a Smart city: bandwidth/capacity and the elimination of latency
  • How the US is embracing this Smart City concept
  • Projects Dean is working on at the moment and looking at where the industry is going to go over the next 3 – 8 years
  • Thinking globally and how we can integrate across disciplines using open data, machine learning and AI to use the open data in real time
  • Buying back time, space and money for the benefit of our economy and our environment
  • Why we need to think differently about using technology so we stop building our way out of problems like congestion


If we stop and think about where we’re going to be over the next 3 – 8 years and we look at the number of IOT devices that are going to be in the marketplace, it’s just astronomical. But the reality is the IOT devices are really dependent on a very strong broadband network.

Most of us think of IOT of more of the residence — Smart lights and doorbells and things of that nature — but there is such a broad concept behind the idea of IOT. As you start to think about Cities and how they can benefit from this next generation of services, to me that is very exciting.

To me, a Smart City goes back to the citizens, and how do we, as local municipalities, provide a better quality of life for the citizens?… Their ability to get around, to have access to information, to provide parking and the most important, to maximise resources.

In the US we’ve had some economic downturns…and it really has stretched the resources for states as well as cities, and I would assume this is the same case all over the world. [A Smart City] is really about managing resources and at the same time really enhancing the quality of life.

To have access to technology that says ‘theres a parking space open 100 feet on the right hand side’ would just be incredible. To me that’s what I think is the real definition as we go forward: creating more time for the citizens and to allow those individual to live a better life.   

One of the real challenges is when you’re not dealing in a green field opportunity and you have existing networks in place, whether they’re wireless or wire lined.

A new discussion around whether the internet should be  a utility and owned as a non-profit like water or gas or electrical, or should it still be a private endeavour funded by individuals. That’s still a large debate.

Progressive leaders are looking at [the Smart solutions that are available these days] and asking how do we do better?…We can only go back to the citizens so much for additional revenue, taxations etc…cities have to become more efficient.

Technology is just technology, it’s the people who bring it together.

Open data is going to be one of the biggest challenges and maybe one of the largest impediments going forward…there needs to be the capability to access [and analyse] the data, because the data is really where the answers are.

We all get fascinating about the glitzy technology and what it’s capable of…what I don’t think people are talking about is the economic impacts going forward.

Yes, it is about the technology. Yes, we’re very passionate about that, we’re very passionate about the people, but when you really get down to it, it’s about creating a better environment for all of us.

We can’t just keep building from 4 lanes, to 6 lanes to 8 lanes, it doesn’t make any sense. We’ve got to figure out a better way to manage traffic flow.



Connect with Dean via his website

Connect with me via email:

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.


SCP E63: Smart from the Start, with Merrick Spain

SmartCityPodcast_BlogTitleImage_Episode63 Merrick Spain

In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a fantastic conversation with Merrick Spain, the Smart Cities Lead for Telstra. We discuss the importance of community and civic innovation in the Smart City space, and also the need to develop a data culture before we get too excited about the tech. We also explore some of the projects Merrick is working on, particularly in the realm of Smart Regions, and the emerging trend of genuine collaboration. Merrick’s favourite term is ‘Smart from the Start’ which I really enjoy. 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:

  • Merrick’s interest in emerging technologies and his background
  • What a Smart City means to him and why he prefers the term Civic Innovation
  • The rising tide of digital aspirations and why it’s so important
  • The accelerating embrace the Smart City concept in Australia
  • Why we need to be “Smart from the Start” and the importance of developing a data culture
  • Projects Telstra is working on and the areas they’re focusing on going forwards
  • The challenges and opportunities of applying Smart concepts to smaller regional communities
  • Integrating across different disciplines and industries, and the need for genuine collaborations
  • The emerging trends and important areas Merrick believes deserve continuing conversation


The interest for me in emerging spaces is that that’s where there’s a lot of mystery, and there’s this imperative to go out and build your understanding and thought leadership and then help other stakeholders to understand those emerging technologies and what they mean for their businesses, and in the case of Smart Cities, for the way individual citizens live, work, play, learn and innovate.

The word Smart indicates that technology is the primary focus and it also implies that there’s an outcome, and I think neither of those things is true. I think technology is genuinely an enabler to this space and that it’s not an outcome but that it’s a process and more a frame of mind along that journey.

In a country like Australia it’s really important that this isn’t just about the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbanes of the world, but instead that this is also about the regions where more than a third of our population lives and works.

[A Smart City is] really the technology-enabled global movement to positively impact the human experience as the human experience plays out in functions like living, working and innovating.

Because of the fact that we all have a Smart phone in our hands, and we’ve seen the rising level of utility that we all individually get in our business and personal lives, it means there’s this rising tide of digitally intertwined aspirations. People are wanting better outcomes in how they live and work and spend their time, and they understand technology has an important role to play in that.

Individual pieces of technology need to be deployed to deliver some distinct benefits in the areas that they pertain to, but those technologies also need to link together and integrate into a bigger picture approach that aligns with the unique value proposition and DNA of a community.

[A data culture is] an aggregate understanding across stakeholders in different sectors of how we leverage data. There’s a universe of data out there that really represents the context of cities and communities, and without that context potentially we’re making investments in technology almost for technology’s sake, which I think would be a great issue. If we can build that data culture, we will be able to understand why we’re investing in which technologies, where and how.

Those smaller regional places really struggle with unique problems and I think it’s a great outcome when a small regional community can leverage technology to solve some immediate problems.

What I see holding us back is not the technology. What I see holding us back is not necessarily what each of our organisations can do on its own. But what I think largely holds us back is the fact that making a difference in this space implicitly means that none of us can do it alone, and that we have to collaborate, and collaborate in a new way.

Industry stakeholders and the representatives of them…need to do ourselves a favour and start behaving in different in different ways, because it’s important that we demonstrate that we’re committed to the outcomes of communities. And if we do that in tangible ways and we have a willingness to co-invest our time and thought leadership and our resources into initiatives to help, then I think increasingly cities and regions will start to trust us and be more open to finding public-private partnerships that will really make a difference.


You can connect with Merrick on LinkedIn and via Twitter @MerrickSpain

Connect with me via email:

Connect via Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.