In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe had a great conversation with Alexis Hannah Smith, the Founder and CEO of IMGeospatial. Alexis shares with us a bit about her background in business and how she stumbled into the Smart Community space because of her passion for helping people and make change for a better world. Zoe and Alexis talk about the gap between the ideal world and reality when it comes to sensors and data, some projects that are happening in the UK, including the Satellite Applications Catapult, plus some projects Alexis is currently working on. Alexis then shares what IMGeospatial and AI Holdings does, and why not being an engineer has been an advantage for her. They finish their chat discussing the emerging trend of branding and re-branding Smart City concepts. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

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What we covered in this episode:

  • Alexis’s background in business and how she stumbled into the Smart Cities space
  • Branding Smart Cities and the power of using technology to help people
  • What a Smart City is and why it’s important
  • The ideal world vs reality of sensors and data or what will we do when things break?
  • How the UK is embracing the Smart City concepts
  • Projects Alexis is currently working on, including using data to fix AI mistakes, to help you fill in insurance forms and to help maintain water pressure
  • The advantage of not being from an engineering background
  • What IMGeospatial does and how they use technology to help solve people’s problems
  • How and why we need to shift the way we digest and use data to enable better decision making and plan for the future
  • Real examples of how using up to date data and educating citizens can help people and insurance companies in terms of floods
  • How to best integrate with people and with data
  • The need for interoperability and standards across sectors to make data truly useful
  • Rebranding Smart Cities and getting hung up on buzz words
  • The emerging trend of people from non-techie disciplines shaking up the Smart Community space


“In an ideal world, all sensors work all the time. In an ideal world, you’ll get the perfect Smart City database, and that would be great in theory. The issues are going to come when the world’s not perfect. Things break, things don’t quite work out.”

“It’s quite amazing how if you get a lot of interdisciplinary people in a room, how many different problems you can solve.”

“Not being from engineering and not knowing how to solve all these problems, it’s a major advantage for us as a business. Because, we can just look at it with a blank piece of paper and not [get stuck in how things have always been done]. We can look at it and say ‘what’s the most effective and efficient way of solving the problem?’”

“One of the major issues that a lot of people are trying to solve, especially with the autonomous vehicle people coming in with a huge budget, is how do you make that data truly useful for people and easy for people like ourselves, SMEs and also large businesses, to dive in and use.”

“People [in the Smart City space] get hung up on buzz words too much…But a Managing Director of an Insurance or Water company, they don’t care what the buzz word is. They just want to know it works.”


Connect with Alexis on the website or Twitter: @imgeospatial

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Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

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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