In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I had a fascinating chat with Chris Cooper, engineer, social scientist and CTO of KnowNow Information Ltd. Chris tells us about his background and how understanding the causes of things that happen can help create change. We discuss how Chris sees the UK embracing Smart concepts and why Smart Standards are key to collaboration and interoperability in Smart Communities, as well as how to stay flexible even while using standards. We finish our conversation talking about the emerging trend of making open data compelling for the everyday person so we can hold leaders to account to make evidence-based decisions, especially in the age of things like Brexit. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we discuss in this episode: 

  • Chris’s background in engineering and social science and how understanding people led him to the Smart City space
  • How Chris sees the UK embracing Smart concepts
  • Why Smart Standards are so important across the board, especially for collaboration and interoperability
  • The need to stay flexible while using standards
  • The emerging trend of open data being compelling to the everyday person and being used for evidence-based decision making


“It’s all about bringing great information and great actions and outcomes to people that put a smile on their face.”

“Broadly, I don’t think the Smart City market is embracing standards at all well. I think we pay lip service to them.”

“Standards help talk across silos. But fundamentally, the fact that we haven’t quite understood that in a Smart City, you don’t have a silo. You just have a service that works…We’re thinking silos because we’re thinking 19th century management control that [is a] top-down hierarchy.” 

“If you look at some of the cool things that are happening with the open data champions… it centers around putting not just data out there but making it compelling, making it interesting and engaging people in saying ‘hey, look at this and what does this mean for you?’, now that’s cool. We need to do more of that.”


Connect with Chris on Twitter @MobilityCooper or via email

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My Smart Community

My Smart Community offers consulting and media services with a focus on making our communities more accessible, liveable and sustainable for all. We have a focus on Smart Mobility, Smart project management, Smart technology in regional communities, dealing with disruption and facilitating genuine collaboration. As well as podcast production, communication and media advisory and engagement, keynote speaking, moderating, master of ceremonies and workshop design and facilitation.

The Smart Community Podcast

The Smart Community Podcast is a hub where smart and exciting people from all around the world come to discuss all things Smart City, Smart Town, Smart Region - anything that makes a place more liveable. Together we can create our own Smart Communities.


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