Tagcognitive cities

A smart city and responsive governance report for the German government

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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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Cities – where civilization happens

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Future Perspectives TN2020: Ben Hammersley from KS12 on Vimeo.

While I’m still processing the Cognitive Cities weekend (which will hopefully result in some blog posts here), I’d like to share this video interview that Gabriel/KS12 shot with the fantastic Ben Hammersley, who kindly moderated the conference.

“Cities, the place where the things that make us human happen. Civilization by definition is cities. That’s where civilization happens.”

Word.

Update (3 Mar 2011): Some thoughts and links to photos, videos etc over at Third Wave.

Cognitive Cities Conference is go!

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Cognitive Cities Conference logoExciting news: We just launched the website for Cognitive Cities Conference, the conference about the future of cities and technology that we’re putting together next February. (Details: 26/27 Feb 2011, Berlin.)

And hey, the site features cool speaker images, creepy map visualizations and soon some other eye candy. The only thing it’s missing, really, is unicorns ;)

Big props to the great folks (who are also our co-organizers) over at Your Neighbours as well as Fabian Mürmann for putting together the site – you guys rock!

The other thing: We put up the Early Bird tickets. You can get them now, as long as they last, for the reduced rate of €79 (including Amiando fees). (You can grab yours here.)

So what is Cognitive Cities about? Here’s the official super-short blurb:

We are at a point in time where the paths are set for the future of cities. The Cognitive Cities Conference (#CoCities) aims to bring the vibrant global conversation about the future of cities to Germany. We see CoCities as a platform for exchange and mutual inspiration. We invite urban planners, designers, technology geeks, environmental experts, public officials, urban gardening enthusiasts and cultural influencers to be part of the conversation. We can only make our cities more livable if we work together to improve them. CoCities is a two-day event: Day 1 is a full-on conference (ticket required), Day 2 is dedicated to exploring the city through workshops, guided tours and exhibitions (free entry).

With Heimathafen Neukölln we have a fantastic location, a grand old theater in the super lively (and decidedly pre-gentrified) neighborhood of Berlin Neukölln. This is where the first day of the conference (the actual “conference day”) will take place. On Day 2 (“activity day”) we’ll head out to a number of location for distributed activities ranging from tours to exhibitions to some other, totally awesome stuff that’s too hard to convey in two lines.

I’m getting really excited about this whole thing. Hope to see you there.

For more details and to get an Early Bird ticket check out http://conference.cognitivecities.com/

Cognitive Cities at Convention Camp, Radio Trackback

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As the preparation for Cognitive Cities Conference are picking up steam, we’ve been invited to talk about smart/cognitive cities on several occasions.

A few days ago, my co-conspirator Igor Schwarzmann gave a presentation at Convention Camp about how our perception and perspectives change when a city gets “smart”. Mainly, we highlighted some interesting projects in the field and discussed them with the audience. You’ll find the slides (mostly links to videos) at the bottom of this post.

Following up on our talk, Radio Trackback interviewed me about smart and cognitive cities. (Links to some of the projects I mentioned: Urban Defender Game, MIT Trash Tracking, Walkshop in Barcelona, Homesense, Lost London, Chromaroma, Cognitive Cities). The interview is in German, starting at around 6:26.

(Some Rights Reserved: Radio Trackback is released under a Creative Commons nc-by-nd license)

Shout out! Edial Dekker was also featured talking about YourneighboursCity Crawlers Berlin project (around 14:35).

And these are the slides of our presentation:

Convention Camp 2010

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Convention Camp LogoMy partner in crime Igor Schwarzmann and I were invited to speak at Convention Camp in Hannover this year. We will be talking in the Smart Cities slot. The working title of our presentation: “Future of Cities: Change of Perspective”. More on that as soon as we have something to show. This should be a lot of fun. Convention Camp is organized by the good folks at T3N.

Also, if you’re interested in smart cities and technology, you might enjoy the Cognitive Cities blog where we collect interesting trends from this sphere.

Cognitive Cities Conference: New Date!

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A few weeks ago, we announced to run a conference on the future of cities & technology, Cognitive Cities Conference. (I blogged it here, too.)

We just moved Cognitive Cities to a new date: 26/27 February 2011.

My co-organizers and I explained our reasons for pushing CoCities on the Cognitive Cities blog, but let me sum it up very quickly here, too.

Most importantly, the move is a good thing. As only a very few of you know by know, there are some changes coming up in my professional life – of the best sorts, but I can’t really talk about them just now. These changes – and some other things – happen to coincide with the original dates of the conference. All of this takes up quite a few cycles and quite a bit of energy: Just the kind of cycles and energy you need to run a great event on the side while still doing your day job.

The team talked this over, and we came to the conclusion that we’d rather postpone the event than just winging it. We really want to get Cognitive Cities right, and we have high hopes and aspirations for this. And since we’re planning to have some really kick-ass people present there, we owe them the best possible event, too.

Moving CoCities to spring will give us just the time we need to get it right. The date seems right – just around the beginning of the conference season, well before SXSW and – most importantly – with a few months between now and then. (If you are aware of any other relevant event going on at the same time, please let me know!)

Also, if you are working on any kick-ass relevant project that you think might fit the profile, send us a brief note about it. Should you prefer email over online forms, feel free to email us at [email protected]

We will continue with the planning just like we did before, i.e. talk to speakers and sponsors, scout for the best projects and tweak the conference format further. To make it the best conference we’ve organized yet. Really looking forward to seeing Cognitive Cities take shape over the next few months.