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  • Writer's pictureSofa Summits

SCLL17 – The Conference of Today for a Smarter Tomorrow

Smart Cities Live is the latest edition in a series of smart city events that have been taking place across Europe since 2015, with other editions held in Stockholm and Budapest for a more regional audience this is the first event that is being held in London for a European audience of smart city leaders and project directors.

There are obviously a number of different smart city events on the market, but when we took a look at the speaker line up for Smart Cities Live, contributions from cities such as London, Tel Aviv, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dubai and Stockholm to name a few, we thought that we would reach out to the organisers to see what we can expect from Smart Cities Live in London!

We conducted a short interview with Philip Bell, Content Director at Go.Konnect (the organisers) to get his thoughts on Smart Cities Live?

What can we expect from the first edition of Smart Cities Live in London?

There has been a lot of hype about smart city development for the past 5 years, but what we are really starting to see now is the advancement of many very exciting projects across Europe and the rest of the world. The aim of Smart Cities Live is to use the experience that we have gained from our other smart city events to bring together the creme de la creme of smart city projects. So, we focussed on bringing in leaders from some of the smartest cities on the planet, Dubai, Copenhagen, Barcelona for example, but supplementing that with some great smart city projects from small and medium sized cities & municipalities. By doing so we believe that Smart Cities Live brings something different to the market and offers all attendees the opportunity to engage and be inspired to create change in their city.

Give me an idea of something that you are doing differently at Smart Cities Live?

The event is taking place at the The Crystal in east London, which in itself is a great venue for a smart city event, but as we are just a short hop across the river from Digital Greenwich we thought that we would end the event with a study tour to the head office of that project. Greenwich have been leading the way in smart city development in London for the past few years and they have a great story to tell about how they got to where they are and what they are planning for the future.

They have created a test-bed for new technologies as the borough looks to use Digital Greenwich as a key differentiator to attract start-ups, businesses and talent to the borough. It is a great example of what can be achieved when you have a great vision and a great delivery team, so we thought that ending the event with this interactive tour gives something different and adds extra value for attendees.

Which cities are you especially excited to hear from?

Well, I would have to say that we do not add speakers onto the agenda just for the sake of it and therefore I am excited to hear from all of them, but that answer probably won’t help you too much, so if I had to pick out one or two then I would start with Dr Aisha Bin Bashr from Dubai, she will be talking about how they are putting citizen happiness at the core of their strategy.

Meet the Woman Behind Smart Dubai, Dr @Aisha_BinBishr #SCLL17 #smartcities @smartdubai — Smart Cities Live! (@smartcitieslive) June 16, 2017

I like the idea of this because a lot of projects are implemented so that cities can become more productive and efficient, but they fail because they forget the citizen. By putting citizen happiness at the core of their strategy they are increasing the chance of success dramatically in my opinion. Also, Dr Aisha will be showcasing how they are starting to implement blockchain technologies across the city and this is an area that I feel has great potential for growth in cities and other public sector organisations over the coming years.

The second one I would have to pick out would be Simon Haston who is coming from Aberdeen, he is leading their digital transformation project, but interestingly they are not only looking at things from a city perspective, but a regional one.

Smart Aberdeenshire – Taking a regional approach to digital transformation with @SiHaston #SCLL17 See the agenda: — Smart Cities Live! (@smartcitieslive) June 2, 2017

The area has densely populated areas, but also areas that are very sparsely populated and they are looking to make their new strategy work not only for those in the city and towns, but for those that are not so well connected geographically.

Both projects are very different, but I think that is the great thing about Smart Cities Live, there are so many different ideas and approaches that attendees can learn from and then apply to their own cities, towns or regions.

We would like to thank Philip Bell for his time, Cities Digest are looking forward to attending the event on 12-13 September, if you would like to know more then feel free to visit their website:

Do not miss the 2 for 1 offer valid till 11th July. Go on enter the discount code 2for1 and you get 2 tickets at the price of 1.


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