In this episode I have a really great conversation with Nathaniel Mason, the Team Leader of Business Solutions at the City fo Tea Tree Gully in South Australia. This episode is personal opinion only and does not represent any government or agency. Nathaniel is a member of LGITSA, the Local Government IT Association of South Australia. Nathaniel and I met at the LGITSA conference in 2019 where I spoke about my Churchill Fellowship and shared learnings for local government.

In this episode, Nathaniel tells us about his varied background beginning in customer service and hospitality but ending up in IT and local government. He shares with us his passion for volunteering and why he believes getting involved in contribution and collaboration is so important to our Smart Communities. Nathaniel tells us what a Smart Community is to him and why he feels it is so important in this ever-changing world. 

We discuss the impact of policy and the concept of Continuous Improvement, and how this is not new but is finding new focus in the Smart City movement. We also talk about the fact that awareness is still growing and the concept of Smart Communities is still gaining traction in the general population. Nathaniel then tells us about some of the projects he’s currently working on and why information sharing is the real key to integrating across disciplines, industries and agencies, as well as how important it is for regional areas in order to continue to be creative, resilient and resourceful. 

We finish our chat discussing the emerging trend of changing local government models where information sharing is more supported and expected. As you know, this month has been all about regional perspectives, and it’s such a big topic that we’re extending this into January as well so stay tuned for more conversations from local government and regional champions soon! I also want to say Happy New Year and stay tuned for a special episode next week, being that it will be our 150th episode! 

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:

– Nathaniel’s varied background beginning in customer service and hospitality but ending up in IT and local government 

– His passion for volunteering and why he believes getting involved in contribution and collaboration is so important to our Smart Communities

– What a Smart Community is to Nathaniel

– How crowdfunding allows Smart Communities to self-assemble and self-organise

– The impact of policy on Smart Community initiatives

– The concept of Continuous Improvement, which is not new but is finding new focus in the Smart City movement

– How Nathaniel sees Australia embracing Smart concepts and the slow but growing awareness of Smart Community ideas in the general population

– Some of the projects Nathaniel is currently working on 

– Why information sharing is the real key to integrating across disciplines, industries and agencies, 

– The importance of information sharing for regional areas in order to continue to be creative, resilient and resourceful

– The emerging trend of changing local government models where information sharing is more supported and expected

Quotes:

“I don’t think it’s a new concept to be looking for a better way to do things. But we are finding some really interesting and amazing ways to connect people and policy and technology. In communities, the way that we’re doing things, the way that we’re sharing, day-to-day life as well is constantly changing.”

“[Smart] is not just about shiny things. It comes out of how do we do things around policy, how do we do community engagement, how do we interact with big data?”

“It’s fascinating watching crowdfunding and crowdsourcing stuff happen because I think that is a really novel way that technology is enabling new ways of doing things.”

“Often the policy makers are not the practitioners…there are people who are making decisions and writing things down but maybe they are not the ones using the space or feeling the results of those particular decisions.”

Links mentioned in this episode:

Amy Cuddy’s TED talk about body language https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

LGITSA Conference 2019 https://www.lgitsa.com.au/news-events/conferences/october-2019-conference-workshop/

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Nathaniel via LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathanielmason/

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community 

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @SmartCommHQ

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital.

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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