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research

19 Jan

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A smart city and responsive governance report for the German government

January 19, 2015 | By |

I’m super excited to be commissioned to co-auther a chapter for a report for WBGU, the German government’s Advisory Council on Global Change, with Dr. Christoph Bieber.

We’ll be taking a close look at “smart cities” and their implications for governance and citizen empowerment. Christoph is professor for ethics in political management and governance at University of Duisburg-Essen’s School of Governance and a dear old friend, so we’ll focus on empowerment, responsive governance and sustainability.

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03 Jul

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The most interesting indie R&D shops

July 3, 2014 | By |

Indie R&D Shops

 

For future reference, a short list of some of the more interesting independent companies, studios, design and dev shops that are engaged in invention, prototyping or research & development.

Some work mostly in software, some more with hardware or interfaces. Some more conceptual, some more product-oriented, some squarely in between.

  • Hubbub invent and build playful digital products. Berlin/Utrecht.
  • überproduct. Protyping and external R&D, in code or on paper. Berlin.
  • The Incredible Machine. Focus on connected devices/IoT. Rotterdam.
  • Near Future Lab. Thinking, making, design, development and research practice. (Several locations across California & Europe)
  • Relative Wave. Focus on software and visual stuff. San Francisco.
  • BERG London. Just included for historical reasons as they are not taking on client work after transitioning their business to build BERGCloud.
  • MCQN is all about the IoT. They build connected devices, for clients and themselves. Liverpool.
  • HardwareLabs.io turns hardware prototypes into finished products. London.

If you are aware of others that should be part of this list, please let me know.

 

Full disclosure: Many friends on this list. Alper of Hubbub and I share an office at the time of writing this. Hubbub, überproduct, The Incredible Machine and BERG London all have been involved as speakers at conferences of mine.

16 Aug

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BÄM – my lead article for the upcoming issue of t3n magazine is online

August 16, 2013 | By |

BÄM

 

For next week’s print issue of t3n magazine, I wrote the lead article. It’s mostly an overview of the macro trends shaping the technology landscape right now: The Internet of Things, Big Data, context-aware services, R&D and experimentation, that kind of thing.

The article is part of the issue’s preview available online (it’s in German).

And while you’re there, why don’t you also check out Martin‘s piece on IoT in the same issue. Subscribers get the print copy next week, and it’ll be in stores the week after.

 

T3N #33: BÄM There’s a Scoble on the cover.

 

t3n 33 Photo by Martin Spindler.

14 Apr

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A job I’d enjoy: running an R&D lab

April 14, 2013 | By |

nur dinge / just things

I believe it’s good to articulate personal preferences, wishes and goals clearly and, if possible, publicly. It can help foster serendipity, but mostly it keeps one honest. So as a note to myself, a reminder of something I’d love to do at some point in my life: Run an R&D lab.

More concretely, one that outputs products, services, and insights and works on a project mix spanning the commercially interesting, the purely explorational and the primarily socially valuable. In other words, prototyping tomorrow with business savvy and a moral compass.

The rough organizational framework would look something like this:

  • a serious budget
  • full autonomy in how things are run and what the teams work on
  • a mission statement to work on a mix of commercially interesting, purely explorational and primarily socially valuable projects

And with this, I’d set out to gather a team of kick-ass developers, designers and tinkerers who could have a crack of lots of thorny, challenging issues, fascinating ideas or just inspired whims.

I’m almost sure it’d be much cooler to do this outside the corporate context, more like a self-sustainable autonomous R&D/exploration thing. (Needless to say, initial funding might turn out to be somewhat tricky, but that’s not what this post is about.) But even if it’d happen within a corporation, I don’t assume anyone would just walk up to me with this kind of a job description. More likely, it’s a job I’ll rather have to invent for myself at some point in my life.

Until then, I’ll just work bits and pieces of this mental framework into the way I work whenever I can. After all, to some degree (and minus the big budget) it’s something that’s really quite compatible with how I work. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that would be quite fun.