DIGITAL TOWN HALL: Co-Creating #SmartLondon – @SmartCitizenKit in @Digi_Town and #SmartCity

Digital Town Hall: Co-Creating a Smart London took place on Tuesday, 13 June 2017, in the historic Town Hall of Bethnal Green that has become a hotel and event venue.

The meeting was organised by Robert Monster, CEO of Digital Town who calls himself an ‘enlightened capitalist’ and introduced IoP as the Internet of … PEOPLE!

To my delight, I also saw a slide on Public Private PEOPLE Partnerships!

The list of speakers was most impressive, starting with the keynote given by

  • SIMON ANHOLT– an independent policy advisor to 52 governments! Here he is at TED. He spoke simply beautifully:

We are one species and we meet each other. It’s about re-connecting the people who were split.

A Smart Cities Network is Globalisation 2.0 – beyond corporations and politics, based on fairness, enlightened self-interest and life on earth not as a sprint, but a team sport.

In the age of advanced globalisation, everybody in position of authority has a dual mandate: 1. their own people and 2. everybody else on the planet.

I perceive a new standard of governance. All good things come from stirring things up, bringing the conventional and the sharing economy together.

We need minds with telescopes rather than minds with microscopes!

This was followed by MARK SCHWARTZ from New York who talked about ‘identity’ as if it mainly related to ‘numbers’ representing us like our National Insurance number.

  • Instead, identity on the web needs to be ‘local’ and ‘portable’.

EDWARD VERITY is a design thinker with clients such as Carlsberg, Vodafone and Bayer:

Co-operation seems to be a better route than competition

His ‘Smart City Moment’ made him realise that

  • brands without a purpose are not doing so well;
  • Seoul has embraced the concept of a ‘sharing city’
    • clothes and tools
    • cars are still missing
    • but public buildings are opened up
  • Cities who want to stand out need to embrace these new mindsets!

STEPHEN LORIMER was the Mayor’s representative and is responsible for Smart City Policy. He told me that my borough Camden and Greenwich are the leading smart boroughs, whereas ‘procurement’ is lagging behind, as a culture change is needed… That’s why we need the American spirit of enterprise!

  • So I am now dreaming of a Smart Citizens or Neighbourhood Cafe where we link to Digital Town Hall meetings as part of the global network of smart cities.
  • Wikipedia has an extensive entry and lists Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Laguna Croata, Madrid, Manchester, Milton Keynes, New Songdo City, Santa Cruz, Smart Cities in India, Smart Nation Singapore, Stockholm.
  • The United Arab Emirates have a female Happiness Minister in place, as Smart Citizens noticed that happiness equals social connectivity and policy is to drive “social good and satisfaction.”

JORGE SARAIVA was the Portuguese digital enthusiast who joins the dots between Smart Citizens and Smart Cities with the empathy, co-creation, mental and digital connectivity required to make changes happen.

FROI LEGASPI was the super star as Community Organiser. He is part of Citizens UK as a an influential and effective movement.

  • He demonstrated user participation by inviting Jorge to sit on a chair, representing my cause which is to stop children being removed from their families to paid foster carers.
  • He then asked me to lift the chair, but using only one hand.
  • So I asked the five men in my closest field of vision. They all agreed without hesitation
  • and YES, they LIFTED THE CHAIR!
  • Our cause was WON by WORKING TOGETHER!!!

RENATO DE CASTRO was the ultimate global star of the Smart City movement.

  • City SmartUP: the tools to build a smarter and more competitive destination were his slides;
  • For Cities to compete among ‘smart rankings’ is distinctly more wholesome than nations fighting for territories and resources;
  • Based in Barcelona, he’s also advisor to Indore and Hyderabad in India and the Greater Boston Area.

His video blog is here.

I was too excited to keep more notes but trust that videos will be made available for follow-up co-creations.

SmartCitiesWorld publishes Barcelona, Bristol, Chicago, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, Manchester, New York, Paris, Singapore, Sydney.

The infrastructure for improving smartness requires Buildings, Connectivity, Data, Energy, Governance and Transport.

Here’s the most comprehensive ranking published by Forbes and produced by professors at the IESE Business School of the University of Navarra in Spain:

  • Ranking the World’s ‘Smartest’ Cities [here published in 2016 by Forbes];
  • The Smartest Cities in the World for 2017 was their 3rd report, using where 79 indicators across 10 dimensions:
    • governance, urban planning, public management, technology, the environment, international outreach, social cohesion, mobility and transportation, human capital and the economy;
    • covering 181 cities, including 72 capitals, representing more than 80 countries;
    • the three top cities [New York, London, Paris] all have poor social cohesion scores, ranking 153rd, 105th and 86th, respectively;
  • Data sources include UNESCO, the World Bank and Euromonitor.

I’d LOVE to add value by visualising these rankings with my method! But I need funding to keep my developer going…

Maybe you want to participate in

Googling made me find

self-sustaining communities to facilitate the creation of next generation industries, where employees can flourish,
businesses can succeed and local economies prosper.

Is this maybe also the Digital Renaissance that I’m talking about when I combine the Humanism of Greece with Art, Science and Technology?

One thing is for sure: ‘digital’ is non-stoppable and my feeling is distinctly that the good guys are on the winning side. How wonder-ful that I’m not alone with that feeling!

About Sabine Kurjo McNeill

I'm a mathematician and system analyst formerly at CERN in Geneva and became an event organiser, software designer, independent web publisher and online promoter of Open Justice. My most significant scientific contribution is
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