For quite a while I haven’t managed to write regular #weeknotes. However, I do like writing regular updates and they tend to turn out to be quite useful as a reference. Well, turns out that a lot happens in one month, so here’s part 1 of this month’s notes.
June, so far, has been all about #iot in its various forms (connectivity in cities, in farms, in homes…), and it has seen a surge in conference-ish stuff – if such a thing is even possible compared to months of ThingsCon-related work. Also, I’ve spent most of the month on the road, mostly in Portland and – as of now – San Francisco, where I am to attend SolidCon and catch up with a bunch of folks. So lots of interesting conversations throughout the month.
We just had the second edition of ThingsCon in Berlin a few weeks ago, and are still busy wrapping up lots of loose ends. We’re also getting to the point where it’s time to take a step back and look at where we stand. This is the first of (most likely) a longer series of snapshots of exploring these questions.
Before going any further, I’d like to stress that the following are just some of my personal thoughts to help me structure and keep them for later. This blog post is not a preview of what we’re currently planning, nor does it necessarily reflect the team’s thinking. The four of us – Max, Emu, Simon and I – are thinking hard about where to take ThingsCon, but we haven’t made any decisions yet, and all relevant announcements are going to happen over at ThingsCon.com (which is about to get a little relaunch, too). This, right here, is a snapshot of my mental #thingscon notepad, and nothing more.
[Work in progress!] Starting a list of urban innovation labs & programs, research programs in that field and the like.
What will be included in this list? At the outset the programs, initiatives and labs that support smart city development and urban innovation but are not pilot smart city projects with their own infrastructure; that support and enable the development and/or provide guidance/policy, but don’t run the technical platforms. One-time events aren’t currently included, but rather ongoing hubs/labs/programs.
Over the last few months, I once more had the chance to work on smart city-related topics. (I say once more because it’s been a while since I did a deep dive into the field back with Cognitive Cities Conference in 2011. Ever since I’ve been following the field closely, but not actively contributed much.)
So recently I’ve had several occasions to work on smart city-related things. It’s been exciting to me that these engagements came through different vectors – in one case it was related to prior work in and around politics & e-governance and has a policy angle, in one case the approach was from an #iot angle and focused on connectivity in a wider sense. There might be more, and with a stronger overlap, as the circles in this particular Venn diagram increasingly move closer together.
I hope (and think) that large chunks of these recent projects will be made accessible publicly at some point. For now, it’ll have to stay a bit on the vague end I’m afraid. Once things get published, you’ll find out through the usual channels.
Long story short: I’ve been thinking about smart cities a fair bit. And two major questions have been popping up over and over again.
Hi, I'm Peter Bihr. As founder and managing director of The Waving Cat GmbH, I explore how emerging technologies change the world we live in, and help spread the insights of innovators through consulting and conferences.
Concretely, I'm a strategic advisor for hire; chair & co-founder of several conferences on emerging technologies including ThingsCon, UIKonf, Cognitive Cities Conference; Program Director for the conference NEXT and co-chair of Interaction 16. I'm based in Berlin and like to travel. [read more]
Occasionally, my projects or thoughts appear in media outlets including Alpine Review, DRadio, Forbes, Guardian, New York Times, ZDF and ZEIT. (more)
Events & speaking
I frequently initiate or chair conferences about emerging technologies and the digital world. This includes Things, Cognitive Cities Conference, Ignite Berlin, NEXT Berlin, TEDxKreuzberg and UIKonf. Sometimes I'm a speaker or panelist, too, at events like Picnic, SXSW, O'Reilly Solid or the OpenIOT Assembly. (past and future events)