Episode Archive

SCP E86 Smart Citizens in Barcelona and Beyond, with Joaquim Alvarez

In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I had a fascinating conversation with Smart City Speaker and Digital Business Strategist, Joaquim Alvarez. We discuss his technical background in telecommunications and engineering, as well as his career working on a range of big projects for governments, companies and other private organisations. Joaquim shares how working on Barcelona City’s Smart City Projects sparked his interest in the space, and why having Smart Citizens in the Smart Community is so important. We discuss his work with Barcelona City, including the four agents they look at when developing an ecosystem of integration within the Smart City. Joaquim also talks about his upcoming 5 city tour of Australia, brought to you by Delos Delta, where he will share more about his work with Barcelona City and teach his own methodology for developing digital projects. Finally, we talk about emerging trends and why it’s so hard to predict the future. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Joaquim’s background in engineering telecommunications and his passion for using tech to help people
  • His career working on big digital projects for governments and private companies
  • Joaquim’s work with Barcelona Smart City Project and how that sparked his interest in the space
  • What Smart means to Joaquim and why he believes the concept is so important
  • How Barcelona is embracing the Smart City Concept
  • About Joaquim’s Australian speaking tour in March 2019
  • Ways Barcelona approaches integrating across disciplines, governments, academia and industry
  • The emerging trend of moving past the stage where analytics, AI, big data and other buzz words are new or unusual


“Smart comes from the word intelligent. Intelligent in Latin comes from ‘inter’ (between) and ‘legere’ (choose). That means [if you are Smart] you have the knowledge to make decisions.”

“[A Smart City has] the knowledge of all the data that is involved in the management of a city and later you can take Smart decisions to manage the city. It’s not [only] the data, I’d also put the community, the people, the citizen, involved in the concept of Smart City.”

“When you start working on a project that collaborative intention is the main objective of the project, you really see what is the power of the people, that they really want to share knowledge, they want to share ideas, and you can [be] amazed with the power of the things that you can do together with all the people. I like it very much this [Barcelona City] project. All the people are willing to present their ideas, are working towards finding how they can collaborate… Not money involved, but knowledge and ideas involved. After that you can have the money but the main reason they share is because they want to improve the quality fo life of the people.”

“One of the objectives that I have in my professional career is to use technology to improve the quality of life of the people. I think that technology, if you don’t use it for that objective…it’s useless.”

“In Barcelona one of the things we have is scarcity of space, it’s something you don’t have in Australia most of the time because you have a lot of space…So whenever you have scarcity of resources you have to use your intelligence and be Smart to know how you can manage all the resources you have.”

“One of the things that you have to think whenever you build a new digital solution for your Smart City is how you can make the citizen involved in that service, how you [can] give the services to the people in the right moment in the right place in the right channel.”

“You can use solutions from City to City but also you can use it at the regional level…for example transportation solutions. The Smart City solutions can be used at regional levels and local levels.”

“In the future, everybody will know how to use advanced analytics, everybody will know how to use big data and artificial intelligence. The secret will come of the knowledge that you have in your own field—health, culture, communications—but you will be an expert in AI, without knowing the founding of the technology. You don’t need it, you only need the functionality of that technology…[to] use it in [your] own field.”


Connect with Joaquim via LinkedIn or on Twitter @JoaquimAlvarez

Delos Delta https://delosdelta.com

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

Podcast Production by Perk Digital


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