SCP E106 Hype, Substance, Technology and Humanity, with Vitor Pereira

In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe speaks with Vitor Pereira, the cofounder and Director of Zoom Smart Cities. Zoe and Vitor discuss his background in journalism and in interest in technology, and how being involved in tourism and events sparked his interest in the Smart Community space. Vitor explains why the ability to reflect and receive criticism is crucial for any Smart City, and gives the example of Amsterdam’s rebrand over the last 10 years. He goes on to tell us how Portugal is embracing Smart concepts and some of the projects he’s involved in, including Zoom Global Smart City Association. Vitor and Zoe then discuss the need to cut through the hype and find the substance in a noisy, saturated Smart City market as well as why we need to break down silos and foster integration in order to tackle the urgent and important decisions humanity is facing right now. They finish their conversation discussing the emerging trends of ethics and transparency when it comes to technology, as well as getting back to the heart and soul of a city, which is humans. Now, a quick warning, there are a few audio glitches in this episode but it’s very listenable overall. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Vitor’s background in journalism and his interest in technology
  • How being involved in tourism and events sparked his interest in the Smart Community space
  • Why the ability to reflect and receive criticism is crucial for any Smart City, and why the concept is so important
  • How Amsterdam rebranded themselves over the last 10 years
  • Cutting through the hype and finding the substance in a noisy, saturated Smart City market
  • Projects Vitor is involved in, including Zoom Smart Cities
  • How Portugal is embracing Smart concepts
  • Breaking down silos and fostering integration so we can make the urgent and important decisions facing humanity
  • The emerging trends of ethics and transparency when it comes to technology
  • The importance of getting back to the heart and soul of a city, which is humans

Quotes:

“Normally a technology-driven mentality only sees the bits, zeroes and codes, and it takes away the values like human values, like people being in love, friendship etc. They strip off the sentimental part of the process.”

“Any city can be smart or stupid simultaneously. And the definition for one or another, I believe, comes from a variety of sources with different interests.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to compete in this world where image, empty words or staging [become] so powerful for marketing. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t fit very well for the real results that we need for our future, and that we need for our cities.”

“I believe one of the things that is missing in Cities and Communities is leadership: leaderships and courage [to make the hard] decisions that need to be taken right now to tackle climate change, to tackle poverty, to tackle affordable housing, to tackle unemployment… It will take courage to take these decisions.”

Contact:

Connect with Vitor on social media @vitorpereira or via email vitor@zoomsmartcities.com

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

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