29th November – 2nd December 2011, Barcelona, Spain
by Francesca Bria
The first Smart City Expo hosted more than 50 cities around the world, 118 businesses, over 6000 participants and 2000 panellists. The Expo announced the creation of a global Network of Smart Cities coordinated by the City of Barcelona, encompassing cities and businesses around the world. The objective is to promote policy actions and activities in this new field, by creating global common standards and criteria for the effective implementation of smart cities at a global level. The Expo was a meeting point for professionals active in the field of digital future cities, including heads of public administrations, practitioners and academics.
Thursday 24th – Friday 25th November 2011, Utrecht, the Netherlands
By Koen van Dam
The University of Utrecht organised and hosted a LERU Research Seminar and invited researchers of members of LERU, the League of European Research Universities, to discuss a proposal of a Joint Programme Initiative (JPI) on dimensions for new research under the Urban Europe research programme. Participants came from the Netherlands (Utrecht, Amsterdam and Leiden) as well as France, Germany and Belgium (Paris Sud, Munich and Leuven). The United Kingdom was represented by Professor Phil Allmendinger from Cambridge and Dr Koen van Dam from Imperial College London.
Thursday 17th November 2011, St. James’ Park, Newcastle
By Claire Thorne
Just in case you were exhausted from Day 1, or you weren’t quite paying attention at 9 am, Prof Don Marinelli was on hand. Delivering his keynote, entitled ‘A Curriculum for the 21st Century: Storytelling, Architecture, Technology & Experience’ , with all the gusto and drama of (a State-side) Brian Blessed, Don spoke and we all listened. He presented the innovative and multidisciplinary Master of Entertainment Technology – focusing on Storytelling, Architecture, Technology and Experience – at Carnegie Mellon University which he co-founded (watch co-founder Randy Pausch’s ‘last lecture’).
Our future digital economy: Creative ownership in a post-scarcity world
19:00 – 20:00, 31 October 2011, Imperial College Business School
Blog by Sherry Morris and Andrew Fletcher
The third Tech City Talk, hosted by Imperial College Business School and the Guardian’s Tech Weekly team focused on intellectual property and copyright, building on the Hargreaves review commissioned by the Government – ‘Digital Opportunity’.
Introduced as part of an administration that was somewhat unique in having had a technology agenda from the get-go, Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, empathized with the need to balance protecting content creators, whilst also enabling innovators, since it was embodied within his role.
Our Future Digital Economy: If You Build It, Will They Come?
18:30-19:30, 24th October 2011, Imperial College Business School
Blog by Sherry Morris and Andrew Fletcher
The second of four Tech City Talks, hosted by Imperial College Business School and the Guardian’s Tech Weekly team focused on whether Government intervention in Tech City / Silicon Roundabout have been beneficial, and how it fits with other clusters and interventions.
Asked if Tech City was simply a brand to attract investment or whether the Government wants to invest in companies on the ground, Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government, made it clear direct government investment in companies would be the ‘kiss of death.’ He wants to see Tech City as a means for cities to join up globally.
Our Future Digital Economy: Who Will Build It?
18:30-19:30, 10th October 2011, Imperial College Business School
Blog by Andrew Fletcher
Launching a series of talks on different aspects of Tech City, the Guardian’s Tech Weekly team brought together a panel at Imperial College Business School to discuss the big issues.
Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, kicked things off by highlighting the need to inspire people into Computer Science. This was a theme which was re-visited throughout the evening; How can we create the ‘Brian Cox effect’ in the digital economy? Turing was picked out as an inspiration, and with his centenary year coming up there is perhaps an opportunity there to inspire and bring on the future digital economy generation.