Building responsible smart cities: putting people first– Presented by Angela Plohman, Mozilla Foundation

Building responsible smart cities: putting people first– Presented by Angela Plohman, Mozilla Foundation, at the Creative Ring Sum-It, on October 23, at Designhuis in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Smart cities have amazing potential: They can enhance public services, conserve resources, decrease pollution, and make for more transparent, accountable government. But if we don’t build responsible smart cities, then the internet’s ills — from hacking and surveillance to digital exclusion and injustice — will exist on a grander scale. When building the cities of the future, we need to ask not only ‘what’s possible?’ but also ‘what’s responsible?’

What drives you?
Mozilla believes the internet is a global public resource that should be open and accessible to all. We are working to fuel a movement that brings together a global force of people willing to stand up for and build the open internet together. I am inspired by the game changers in this movement who are showing us that open, creative, innovative solutions come from and engage our communities. By the organizations that are tackling key internet health issues like decentralization, privacy and security, and digital inclusion. And by those who are demonstrating the impact technology can have on the human experience in positive, hopeful and empowering ways.

What are the three things you would take with you on a deserted island?
A solar-powered device that plays music. An unlimited supply of wine gums. (Clearly this is more about joy than survival). The jewelry given to me by my godson.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Recent breaches of users’ privacy and security — at Facebook, at Equifax, and beyond — have been harrowing. But consumers’ response — demanding that companies take privacy more seriously — has been encouraging. Louder, bolder calls for online privacy and security are a trend with great potential.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
In the short term, this trend can have individual impacts — this app implementing better privacy protections, that insecure toy being removed from shelves. In the long term, the trend can make for an internet where privacy and security are the status quo, and where breaches become less and less frequent.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
There is no shortage of obstacles. There will always be bad actors seeking to undermine privacy and security. Further, some companies might (wrongly) argue that privacy protections and innovation are mutually exclusive. But if we reach a critical mass of internet users demanding new and better rules, we can make positive changes.

What do you hope people to learn from your presentation?
New perspectives on how smart cities can lead the way in thinking ambitiously but responsibly about innovating the urban landscape, and how to think about open processes that involve citizens in these technological experiments.

About Angela Plohman
Angela Plohman is an experienced nonprofit executive and strategic operations professional with a long track record of building and growing nonprofit organizations and programs.

She has spent close to two decades playing key leadership roles in the fields of art, culture and open source technology. She joined Mozilla, one of the world’s most recognizable tech-for-good organizations, in 2012.

About Mozilla Foundation
Mozilla’s mission is to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. An Internet that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent.

About Creative Ring Sum-It!
In October 2018, during Dutch Design Week, Creative Ring organizes its first international Sum-It!

A one of a kind event, where creative communities find the tools to shape tomorrow’s urban narratives.

Sum-It! takes you beyond inspiration-by-example and provides you with actionable tools, ready to be implemented in your daily practice.

A must-attend for smart-city stakeholders & policy makers, digital innovators, community- and ecosystem builders, public libraries, grassroots initiatives.

The main event takes place on Tuesday 23 October, with a prelude on Monday 22 October and a business tour on Wednesday 24 October.

Sum-It! is a collaboration between Creative Ring, Stichting Cultuur Eindhoven and other relevant partners.


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