The wall as drawn by @Scriberian

The TM Forum Foyer – as drawn by @Scriberian

Smart Cities can be Citizen Centric

Having presented at TM Forum in Nice about “Humanising Smart Cities” I wanted to follow up with my thoughts from the event and discuss what happens next.   The takeaways from the event are:

  1. Nice is a really cool city.   The Cote D’Azur delivered fantastic weather and I can safely say #ILoveNice!  Go visit.
  2. The future is API-centric.  Not only that but the future is Open APIs too.
  3. The mobile telco industry is looking down the barrel from a disruption and change perspective and they are trying to react positively.  Honest.


Eating in the Old City

This was my first visit to Nice.   I will definitely return.   I was lucky to bump into Mark Begbie from CENSIS.  A fellow speaker who had some great tips from the local tourist office on where to eat.   My thanks to Mark for great company as well as the directions to a fab pizza.

The world of API’s

One thing that TM Forum is all about is API’s.   The focus was relentless.  From a KnowNow perspective this was perfect as Consentua is an API, and one of the reasons I was there was to assess how do we get TM Forum to support our new consent management service.  The other was of course to present and be a panel member discussing citizen-centric smart cities.

TM Forum Keynote

TM Forum Keynote

Introducing the Catalysts…

The plan for 2018 is to have the Catalyst project showcased at next year’s TM Forum event.  The reasons are multiple but can best be put as they attracted the most buzz at the event.  I think this was due to they were very real.   They are the ‘proof in the pudding’ so to speak.

Catalyst Zone

Catalyst Zone

Busy busy

Busy busy

What about Humanising Cities though?

Well, my presentation had some good feedback.  The only shock to the audience was my opening gambit that “Smart Cities do not exist… Yet”.   Lots of agreement, however.  My take is that as of today smart cities are driven by the tech industry and they are not citizen-centric.   This situation leads to failed projects and not-so-smart places.

Yet, change is afoot!  This is driven by a mix of legislation (GDPR) and also a realisation that people do make places.   Therefore, it is essential that smart city projects put the citizens first.

Plus, tools such as Consentua do put the citizen in control of their personal data.  Which will also increase trust between participants.  This will unleash new innovations in making customers happy, as well as proving that the digital economy is a positive force.   Hooray!

Consentua logo

Consentua – privacy and consent service

In Conclusion…

I am looking forward to returning as a Catalyst project next year.   I was enthused by the energy and the passion of the attendees and speakers too.   All in all a good event to attend and be part of.   I will be back!

Thanks for reading,   Chris