Tag Archives: pervasive

Ultra-Connected Smart Cities

An INCA event in Manchester

“Today INCA launches a Special Interest Group for ‘Ultra-Connected Smart Cities’ – those cities in the UK working to improve their digital infrastructure. The launch event at Manchester Town Hall has attracted a large audience wanting to find out what cities like Manchester, Bristol and Derby are planning. They also have an opportunity to hear about major private sector initiatives, including City Fibre Holdings plans for commercially-funded urban fibre to the home (FTTH) networks, and new wireless broadband initiatives.
The Special Interest Group brings together public, private and community organisations in a dialogue about how our cities can get the best digital infrastructure for future prosperity and economic growth.”
Here’s a liveblog of the event:

Shaping the Catapult…

Shaping the Connected Digital Economy Catapult

A focus on SMEs

Storified by Brian_Condon · Thu, May 10 2012 12:06:24

Here’s the briefing material for the day:
“The workshop will start with a presentation on the vision, scope and process for the establishment of the Catapult and will be a chance for participants to understand and debate the range of ways companies will be able to work with the catapult, including strategic partnerships, delivery partnerships, and participation in projects and use of resources and facilities. 

The main part of the workshop will delve into and debate the type of resources and facilities that the centre could provide that would benefit SMEs once the centre is established; note that this will not be about specific technology areas or projects, but about the nature of the gap that SMEs face and where practical support from the Catapult would make a big difference. 

The information captured from the debate will be used as part of the ongoing development phase of the CDE Catapult and will form valuable input into the initial business plan for the centre.”
#CDECatapult meeting starts with 100 people @nick_appleyard @kramix @drgeep @brian_condon @JeremyS1
In a room with windows, high ceilings, room to breathe….. must be the SME day for the #cdecatapult !
RT @marekpawlowski: Interested to hear from anyone at #cdecatapult with a view on the importance of user-centred design in digital industry
At Bristol Science Park workshop on how SMEs will engage with #CDECatapult. Essential to find ways of involving them at the heart of it.
Nick is introducing the CDEC and some of the work that has been done on the CDE Catapult. Consultations going on over several years. Over the 7 catapults there will be £250m available to invest.
@nick_appleyard presents on #cdecatapult in Bristol pic.twitter.com/kBrr9A9HBrian_Condon
The playing field is the internet #cdecatapult
#CDECatapult will be important – flagship even – at the right point in history for convergence (e.g. of tech / creative).
Good question: what is a #CDECatapult? What does it do? Hopefully finding out, we’ll let you know!
Conference underway, briefing from @nick_appleyard on connected digital economy #CDECatapult pic.twitter.com/8Amy2jcsAlex Craven
Questions:How do SMEs get involved with the #cdecatapult
7 Catapults in total – ICT-heavy – centres to help grow the economy – looking at big conversations – all interconnected #CDECatapult
Catapults take on big challenges, big conversations of very diverse sets of people #cdecatapult
Aim of #CDECatapult: UK to be a global leader – where people/companies come to innovate for digital services/media/content.
End to end visibility of media content across infrastructure – how to monetise? #IP fits nicely here #CDECatapult
@EIP_Digital Don’t you think "end-to-end visibility" of content on the Internet is an oxymoron though? #cdecatapult
@brian_condon Depends on the level – packet-level can trace vs. content-level tracking (e.g. who has/is downloading what).
@EIP_Digital but the ISPs/Telcos keep saying they don’t do Deep Packet Inspection……#cdecatapult
@brian_condon They don’t but they could (at least technically). E.g. If legal structure was in place. #CDECatapult
We, as an SME working with digital data (legal services), also need help exploiting power of the Internet for global business. #CDECatapult
Good to hear @nick_appleyard recognising central role of UX at #cdecatapult. Hope today will define how #cdecatapult most effectively helps
SMEs much less well-behaved than delegates at other sessions – asking questions before the Q&A session! #cdecatapult
Graham was right – in the other meetings I’ve been to, people waited until the Q&A to ask questions – actually these participants wanted to get into the debate.
@graham_hitchen if you want disruption, they’re the ones to provide it at #cdecatapult
That’s a new slide on the governance structure of #cdecatapult
#cdecatapult shd be funded around £20-30m per annum around 100-200 people
Advisory board include sme representation #cdecatapult
Outline business plan by June, launch by autumn #cdecatapult
150 SMEs responded to registration of interest in #cdecatapult
Strategic partner of #CDECatapult – organisation w/ resources to help centre (mainly large companies/public bodies could be co-ops of SMEs).
@JeremyS1 discussing role of SMEs in #CDECatapult: most innovation in the digital economy comes from them. pic.twitter.com/vXjT3RHAFrank Boyd
What’s the point? SMEs hv key role in this space. It’s abt innovation that comes fm SME space #cdecatapult
Internet is the lab, digital startups are researchers, SMEs the innovators #cdecatapult
Irene’s tweet above was much re-Tweeted and it seemed to capture the imagination and put the pieces together very cogently.  Others also picked up on this theme:
The Internet is the lab – from Bell Labs to connected SMEs. #CDECatapult
@JeremyS1 : ability to be flexible, innovative is inherently an SME capability #cdecatapult
SMEs key to success of Catapult; in high velocity environment they are the innovators #cdecatapult
How do we harness SME capability for UK, and how do we grow and scale that #cdecatapult
Simplest ways for SMEs to be involved in projects but there are other ways #cdecatapult
Jeremy used a quote from Albert Einstein which @kramix links to SME participation:
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research." SMEs innovate through their flexibility #cdecatapult @wmgsme
New slide on role of SMEs in #CDECatapult pic.twitter.com/dVyvO4CwBrian_Condon
Collaboration is key. But I argue, convergence is the opportunity #cdecatapult
SME capability matching seems right up your alley @jaybal #cdecatapult
Some ways for #CDECatapult to experiment – not sure how this links to what’s already out there? pic.twitter.com/uP4tIUieBrian_Condon
#cdecatapult should model interdisciplinary working, addressing cultural issues blocking effective collaboration in the convergent landscape
Need for hack days – ideas generation as well as demonstrators- showcasing what has been done #cdecatapult
Like the idea of spare-time skunk works & themed hack days to experiment – IPR headaches abound though. #CDECatapult
@jeremyS1 singing praises of #SMEs: researchers, innovators, speed adopters, disruptors – with hotline to consumer appetites #cdecatapult
Collaboration between different entities to remove cultural boundaries & friction. E.g. Big & small companies working together. #CDECatapult
Reminder from @JeremyS1 #cdecatapult must reflect flexibility of digital industry it serves. Best achieved through dialogue with SMEs IMHO
Delighted UX is topping list of #cdecatapult proposals for year one capabilities. Hope multi-disciplinary projects will also get attention
@mcseain @nick_appleyard hopefully #cdecatapult capabilities can help facilitate some of that UX skill to make it easier for SMEs
Moving into questions now and the question of location for the CDE Catapult emerge. Needs to be maximum accessibility for the maximum number of people says Nick Appleyard. Jemy Silver argues that some things can be done virtually – not all the people at this meeting are in the room many of them are looking remotely. A questioner says that “Shoreditch and Manchester” are impossible to get to!
How does a 1-location centre help SMEs nationally? Very good question – virtual integration coupled to a physical location. #CDECatapult
Answer: one centre accessibility to everyone rather than be dispersed. Creating a singularity? #cdecatapult
Obvious really. RT @marekpawlowski: Perhaps single main #cdecatapult should link with existing regional hubs ….?
#cdecatapult TSB putting forward the case for the Catapult. Should it be one centre or spread out across the Uk?
Need right balance between physical/virtual – virtual first. Spend time fixing physical location problem – key. #CDECatapult
Of course, many in the room (especially us SMEs) were thinking that the ‘virtual’ stuff is all very well but most of us don’t have the bandwidth for serious telepresence applications.  
Where should the Connected Digital Economy Catapult be located? Where SMEs are or where expertise is? Near strategic partner? #cdecatapult
@EIP and many SMEs collaborate from different national offices – tools and solutions exist. #CDECatapult
How do we create interactions, maintain all the conversations across the country? #cdecatapult
@ireneclng using business platforms such as our WMCCM infrastructure @jaybal #cdecatapult
#cdecatapult debate highlights the difficulty of creating operational model for Centre which purports to have micro/SME culture at its heart
I agree that it’s difficult – but it is possible.  Needs a different approach to engagement than that which works with Big Companies and some new thinking on how resources are provided.
Naturally, location kept coming up:
Location is obviously a well-trodden touchy subject! #CDECatapult
@bjh_ip yeah – a difficult one alright #cdecatapult
A few questions about how a single physical #cdecatapult can be useful to SMEs throughout country. Is network of centres needed too?
TSB ‘supervising’ is too strong a term. aspiration is that #cdecatapult is independent and collaborative with voices of many
Good question: how does public/private split work? How’s does it differ from TSB? #CDECatapult
What’s in it for SMEs? Resources, expertise to help you scale, grow and compete globally? #cdecatapult
Obvious really. RT @marekpawlowski: Perhaps single main #cdecatapult should link with existing regional hubs ….?
@nick_appleyard about creating conditions & part of the environment leading to innovation. It’s free to make the decisions. #cdecatapult
Brokerage for microSMEs: where service-providers (attorneys, accountants, solicitors, consultants) can help w/ exposure. #CDECatapult
In Bristol and Bath SP; questioner says "Manchester and Shoreditch are impossible to get to…" I came here from Kent! Ha! #cdecatapult
Key challenges emerging: location, collaboration, resource, funding/bidding, and speed! It must be quick in this environment #cdecatapult
Lots of brainstorming and chat on the Twitter ‘backchannel’ – some of which I could only capture by tracking n=both ends of the conversation – difficult to follow without using the hashtag!
ORegan wondering what the stone is in the catapult? It is David and Goliath! #cdecatapult
Think #CDECatapult needs to be more than another incubator – lots of these already existing.
SMEs are the engine of innovation. SME asks if the #cdecatapult will offer real co-location office space and what support is up for grabs?
@ireneclng gov’t likes defining how parties have specific skills. Was at EU event where only uni’s spoke cos they had ‘ideas’ unlike SMEs.
@Acuity_Design if any group has the license to do things differently #cdecatapult shd have. Do we still remember how?
@Acuity_Design perhaps the counterbalance of large org power is the SME spring? #cdecatapult
@ireneclng metaphorical models of pivots, levers, etc may not help describe a political/financial creation #cdecatapult
Q. How do we make #CDECatapult profitable for microSMEs? Can commercial relationships help? [within EU-law]
Consensus growing that SME delegates’ disruptive potential inversely proportionate to their politesse to the hosts #cdecatapult
@creativeKTN Disruption as oligarchy meets artisans #cdecatapult
Now we are moving into workshop groups – will continue to add content to this Storify if possible.
#cdecatapult Groups asking what the Centre should provide. Be bold in vision and don’t just do what’s happening already. Make it special
My group discussing how #cdecatapult can work. 6 in the group – 4 from Universities.. Speculating about what SMEs might need :)
Lots of talk on how to make #CDECatapult worthwhile for SMEs – need to understand problems faced by SMEs – difficult for public bodies.
Creative thinking on #cdecatapult struggling with the need to fill in a form….
Workshop 2: why and how would a fictional SME get involved? (Designs for #CDECatapult on a postcard.)
Success for #cdecatapult will be in *how* it behaves rather than *what* it does
#cdecatapult cannot deliver incubation space or business support – but might be part of a local ecology where this is available in spades
Does #cdecatapult need operational (JV?) model combining very specific capabilities with a broader range of business incubation services?
During the feedback session for Workshop 2 we heard 2 minute feedback presentations from each of the working groups – indicating the wide-ranging ideas for scenarios for CDEC operation. A common theme of brokering relationships, building consortia, helping to take risk and coordination emerged.
Good discussion on a hypothetical SME. One thing is clear, SPEED is crucial. #cdecatapult
Tweets about #cdecatapult have reached 11,556 people http://t.co/LtBCzsPR via @tweetreachapp
#CDECatapult as broker – working on multiple geographic levels in UK; providing access to advisors. #brainstorming
Company has big idea – don’t have resources for design/manufacture/testing. Need project management by #CDECatapult. #brainstorming
SME based in innovation centre – recommended to #CDECatapult – put in touch with advisors & investors. Reduction in risk. #brainstorming
Need to answer what is in it for the SME? #CDECatapult #brainstorming
Bar to entry for #CDECatapult – incentive to join club & share. #CDECatapult
#cdecatapult scenarios all need "convening power", relationship building/brokering, intervention to accelerate and build scale and speed!
"We’re all into localism now." Does a national centre like #cdecatapult need local points of presence? Affiliated universities suggested.
A recurring theme for SMEs is "time". Don’t drain it: offer things that create more of it. #cdecatapult.
Service exchange. VC connections. TSB funding facilitators. #CDECatapult #brainstorming
Good day at #cdecatapult. Good recurring themes emerging- things are progressing but still work to do. Use of case studies worked well todayPeter L
Using scenarios and user journeys proved a powerful framework for generating ideas for #cdecatapult – we need more models like this.Frank Boyd
Agree case studies very useful. Thanks to all who attended. #CDECatapultBen Hoyle
Will be interesting to see how #CDECatapult progresses – broad themes emerged & there was momentum at end of day. The hard part follows…EIP Digital

Debating the Digital Economy and the Creative Industries

Beyond Text

b.tween09 global collaboration – how it felt

A real collaborative project.
We started something yesterday.

Peolpe talk on different levels
People talk on different levels

Feeling about it – a very odd feeling seeing how the work came back where somebody, I don’t know who or where, has worked on it adding ideas and their own thinking.  If the work  had changed dramatically, then we might have had a problem.  As it was, it had changed a fair bit from our original idea but it hadn’t gone a long way; not much time.  If there had been a bifurcation and they’d gone off in a totally different direction.  If we’d got it  back and thought “That’s absolutely not what we were thinking.”  then there might have been the potential for conflict.  They couldn’t know our pattern of thinking and we had no communication with them; all they got from us were a few slides.

We’ve actually come up with quite a good idea.  But the issue emerges – how do we continue it?  What mechanisms do we have for sustaining that type of collaborative work.  I’m hoping that other people around the world will be thinking about how we implement.

Here is one version of our reworked material (others here):

b.tween09 – big ideas

btween09
10-12 June 2009

A fabulous event in Liverpool that still has me thinking about the issues and means that I have to blog about it.  This event really does try to ‘boundary cross’ – between the arts and technology, social media, music, geeks, non-geeks (not many!) and businesses (could be more).  Overall a great event and I learnt a lot.

Here is some stuff on the opening and on the importance of narrative. The importance of stories keeps coming up in events.  Especially events that have someting to do with social media.  We neglect stories at our peril!

Can the Internet win the next election?

Bloggers think ‘No, but it can probably lose it’

Last week’s elections and the political fallout have placed in context, for me, the event I went to at the Frontline Club on 28 May about how the Internet might play a part in the next election.  The participants were:

  • Iain Dale, Conservative blogger at Iain Dale’s Diary
  • Alex Smith, recently appointed Editor of the LabourList.org
  • Adam Boulton, Political Editor, Sky News (Chair)
  • Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes)
  • Matthew Macgregor of Blue State Digital (the company that worked for the Obama campaign
(l-r) Iain Dale, Alex Smith, Adam Boulton, Paul Staines, Matthew Macgregor
(l-r) Iain Dale, Alex Smith, Adam Boulton, Paul Staines, Matthew Macgregor

I made contemporaneous notes and also some Audioboo content which is available here.  A bit of background to the event here:

Everyone in ‘Broadcast Mode’ needs to ‘get with the program’

iain-dale
Iain Dale - political blogger

Iain Dale  (pictured left) believes that the internet will impact individual MPs (mostly through revealing things they don’t want revealed I suspect) but that the overall ‘systemic’ effect of the internet will be small.

He agrees that the next General Election will be the first where mobile phones and social media will really begin to play a part and where bloggers will cause changes in the news cycle:

“We get more hits every day than all the 3 main parties put together”

He said referring to the traffic generated by his blog and by Guido Fawkes’.

The problem is the main parties are in ‘Broadcast Mode’ and that given British politics is driven by ‘controlling the message’ the level of interactivity of social media is a challenge.  As Matthew Macgregor said “The internet is a tactic not a strategy” and that it lowers the barriers to communication (especially inbound to the Party) but how real is the commitment to ‘openness and transparency’.  The reaction of the media to policy discussions driven by social media will, Matthew believes, be instructive; will the shutters come down once the media starts talking about ‘splits’.

“There’s nothing to click on other than ‘Unsubscribe'” – Matthew Macgregor

Alex Smith believes that “The Internet will play a crucial role in the next election” – he mentions viral video and the possibility of debate being shaped by the internet.  He argues that the internet has “already effectively removed one of the Prime Minister’s closest political aides” and that the next election will to some extent be driven by stories that will “break on the web”.  Alex believes that Paul and Iain have a huge impact on the media cycle and thinks that this will be an important factor.  All the panelists agreed that the Internet strategies of the main parties were poor at best.

Boulton’s shock hashtag confession

At one point when talking about social media and the internet Adam Boulton said he didn’t know what a hashtag was (and I don’t think he was joking!) and references to the internet seemed to feel like references to some kind of monolithic bloc.  Alex picked up the point that realtime interaction driven by things like Twitter might be important.  Adam seemed to think that a Sky news team would always be faster on the ground.

The next Boo starts with the voices of Alex Smith (interesting references to Alan Johnson) and then Iain Dale.  I round off with a few thoughts.

The next Boo has ‘reportage’ – skip it if you feel you have enough of a flavour from the text above.

Reflections and implications

The format worked well with a fairly formal panel session followed by various panelists joining tables and moving between courses.  The informal part of the event was really good – we had Iain Dale and Alex Smith and the comments and discussion were very engaging.

The event would have been improved by a more discursive (and less ‘Question Time’) approach by the chair.  Also, having a chair who seemed quite cheerful to admit that he didn’t ‘get’ the internet seems odd – but then presumably Adam ‘Hashtag’ Boulton was a draw for the ‘punters’ (especially the non-geeks)!  All in all though a minor criticism.

There were two main things I took away to think about:

  • The importance of internet aggregation in realtime and increasing symmetry of communication,
  • The potential for independent candidates to harness the power of the internet to disintermediate the major parties.

More thoughts in the next Audioboo:

Who’s watching who?

notice2On the day of the G20 protests, I was in two places at once.  At home working and listening to Radio 5’s somewhat hysterical coverage, and also watching the Twitter #g20 hashtag and following the tweets of people I know and others from the protests.

Covering live events with Social Media

The ‘coverage’ aggregation I was able to do was amazing.  In particular (until his battery ran out!) Steve Lawson (@solobasssteve) was using Qik to report in near realtime from outside the Bank of England where the Police were involved in the bizarre and, I consider, unlawful tactic of ‘kettling’; constraining peaceful protestors and not allowing them free passage through the streets of the City of London.

Watch Steve Lawson’s footage and you will see what I mean – you can hear the stress in his voice and others’ around him as they realise they are hemmed in by Police.

The footage which everyone knows about is of the sad death of Ian Tomlinson.  Brought back to mind yesterday again by the failure of the Police to obtain an injunction against Channel 4 News.  But the thing I keep remembering is the statement made by the IPCC and immediately carried without any question by conventional media – that “there were no cameras in the locations he was assualted”.  I felt cold when I heard that. Close to the Bank of England, in the heart of the City in a country where there is a CCTV camera for every 14 people?  Not credible.  And the IPCC subsequently admitted they’d ‘mis-spoken’.

CCTV good – StreetView bad?

I used to agree with Lloyd Davis’ views of the CCTV infrastructure as a ‘civil rights car crash’ but now I’m not so sure.

Most people must think CCTV cameras in all our towns, cities and villages is a ‘good thing’.  Few seem to object and, for example, the residents of a village near ours actually petitioned to have one installed.  And then we see the objections to Google Streetview – while I think it sensible for faces to be obscured in Streetview; I don’t know of any reason why the faces of people in a public street taken incidentally to a more general view should not be shown?  Should we be bothered that out-of-date images of the street we live in should be available globally to all but happy that live video of us is being monitored locally by people we don’t know – but it’s ok because they’re the Police?

The watched are becoming the watchers

We’re seeing the unintended consequences of pervasive social and new media.  We all have cameras, all the time and many of us can upload ‘feed’ from live events immediately.   So now the watched become the watchers; we all have our own ‘CCTV’ and we have a new set of tools which could, I hope, be used for positive change and digital engagement but are, if needed, available to watch our own backs.