More than half the world's population now live in cities. How will smart technology modify urban infrastructure? How will urban citizenship change in a decade’s time?
This one day event offers a maximum of 50 people a series of workshops that address these questions, each adopting a different practical approach. Participants will be policymakers, technology experts, urbanists and businesses intesrted in urban innovation, as well as those involved in developing foresight methods. It will be free of charge.
The event will be focused on a 10 year horizon, with an emphasis on the future of London. We are particularly keen to explore how the Internet of Things, cheap sensor technology and pervasive data exchange will affect the urban citizens of the future. Many of today’s smart city technologies overlook the role of the citizen in favour of large-scale computing solutions and massive streaming data analytics. While such data-driven solutions are important parts of ensuring sustainability of cities, the future of the city is guaranteed by its increasingly vocal citizens – their experience of city life and their willingness to adapt and experiment.
Proposed Agenda (subject to change):
9:00 – 9:30 Registration and breakfast in Nesta lobby
9:30 – 11:30 Urban Challenges and Radical Solutions (hosted by Google Solve for X)
Three presentations with interactive discussions (in groups of 6 or 7) to showcase radical technology ideas for solving urban problems.
Solve For X is a place to hear about and discuss radical technology ideas for solving global problems. Radical in the sense that the solutions could help millions or billions of people. Radical in the sense that the audacity of the proposals makes them sound like science fiction. And radical in the sense that there is some real technology breakthrough on the horizon indicating that these ideas could really be brought to life. This combination of things - a Huge Problem to solve, a Radical Solution for solving it, and Breakthrough Technology to make it happen - is the essence of a technology moonshot. Watch videos of talks from their events and from online contributors on their collaborative website.
This Solve For X forum aims to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork: three technology experts will talk about how their work will be crucial in the city of the future. Then the Solve for X team will divide participants into teams that will use their own expertise to push these ideas to their radical limit.
11:45 – 12:30 Parallel sessions with approximately 15 participants in each
1. Prototyping the City (hosted by Hellicar & Lewis)
In this workshop, attendees will be using their imagination to come up with novel uses for bleeding-edge technology in their local environment. The technology explored will be the impact of drones on urban areas and the potential of augmented reality. We’ll look at urban features and create prototypes for a series of experiences and services based around these technological starting points. Through these hands-on exercises, you’ll gain knowledge and experience of interaction design as well as of presentation and prototyping methods.
2. Citizen-Centred Design (hosted by Dr Catherine Mulligan and Dr Stephen Lorimer, Imperial College London)
This workshop will provide participants with a unique opportunity to prototype Internet of Things solutions for urban spaces. Focusing on citizen-led solutions, we introduce the basic technologies and design constraints within which participants ideas will exist. These will be explored through an Urban Prototyping game, a rapid-fire approach that allows participants to test ideas quickly and effectively. At the end of this workshop, participants will have an understanding of what technologies exist, how they might be connected and how much a solution might actually cost to implement in the real-world.
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:15 Parallel sessions continue
14:45 – 16:15 Ethnographic Foresight (hosted by Arup Foresight team)
Each group of 6 or 7 takes charge of an imagined future Londoner, playing out their desires, fears and disinterest in the technologies discussed in earlier sessions.
Arup boasts one of the world’s leading foresight teams. They produce reports and events for the engineering company, but also consult for other sectors and government. Their team have backgrounds in a variety of methods, from morphological techniques (quantitative methods originally used to understand the structure of organisms) to experimental designers that imagine objects from the future in order to instigate debate.
Ethnographic researchers focus on understanding human actions and behaviour within social, cultural and physical contexts. Arup have begun to use these methods as part of their foresight practice – imagining people in the future rather than just future scenarios or worlds. By looking at the future city through the eyes of its citizens, we should be able to grasp the social, ethical and cultural factors that affect the development of the moonshots described earlier in the morning session.
16:00 – 17:00 Networking and refreshments.
When & Where
Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833. For more information, please visit: http://www.nesta.org.uk/about-us