In this episode I have a fabulous chat with Luke Stow, the CEO of Alchemy Solutions, which is an Australian company that specialises in helping organisations make shifts with emerging technology, but they come at it from a people centric perspective. Luke tells us about his background as a technologist and why he’s passionate about how technology can enable our businesses, communities and lives. We recorded this just as the COVID crisis was ramping up here in Australia and lockdowns were beginning, so that gives you a little bit of context for our conversation. We talk about how lockdowns are highlighting the opportunities and challenges of connectivity and the impacts of COVID responses on the digital divide, work-life flexibility, health prevention and treatments, as well as many aspects of our culture. 

Luke and I discuss the robust conversations that are needed around privacy and data during and after this crisis, and the need for us to intentionally choose the ‘new normal’ going forwards. Luke also tells us about the projects he works on with Alchemy Solutions and what he learned from a Hong Kong project about the power of knowledge sharing in Smart Communities. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends in health, technology and privacy, and the power of human connection and sharing real stories, now more than ever. 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:

  • Luke’s background as a career technologist and his passion for technology enabling our lives, businesses and work
  • What sparked his interest in the Smart Community space
  • What a Smart Community is to Luke
  • How COVID lockdowns are highlighting the opportunities and challenges of connectivity
  • Technology as an enabler and enricher of our lives, and the pros and cons of technology
  • How Australia is embracing the Smart Community concept before, during and after COVID
  • How health prevention and health treatment are being supported by technology
  • The need for robust conversations around privacy, data and transparency, during and after COVID
  • The global change management exercise that has been thrust upon us by COVID
  • The impacts of COVID-19 on the digital divide, work-life flexibility and aspects of our culture 
  • Why we should think about intentionally choosing the ‘new normal’ and what we are learning from this
  • Projects Luke has been working on with Alchemy Solutions 
  • What Luke learned from a project in Hong Kong about the power of knowledge sharing in Smart Communities
  • Emerging trends in health regarding privacy, data, tracking and surveillance based on what’s happening with COVID
  • The power of human connection, empathy and sharing of real stories now more than ever 
  • The importance of authentic debate and diversifying the people contributing to conversations 

Quotes:

“Technology is only as good as what it does for people.”

“We’ve been on this global push for quite some time, I actually think it’ll come back to more community based activity and local activity within borders, within states, within countries, than probably what it was when we went into this [pandemic], and therefore, it makes the thinking around what type of skills and capabilities do we need as a country and as a community, much more important.”

“I think there is definitely gonna be a push for much more capability around ensuring that we stay well and healthy moving forward, and that could be across borders. You imagine what it’d be like getting off an airplane in the future, catching public transport, walking around cities, university campus. Security and health is going to play a really important part of what we see coming up for Smart Communities.”

“There’s always been this sort of fear of technology, doing it to us, the rise of AI and robots, you know… But I do think we need to continue to drive a dialogue around the evolvement of technology and how it will change based upon COVID 19.”

“The technologists are really running wild at the moment with all their thoughts, which is great. I love listening to that. But I always want to understand what’s this mean for people? And I think that dialogue needs to happen the first and last, and we need to make this work for our communities.”

Links: 

Alchemy Solutions

Zoe’s latest interview with Sally Illingworth on YouTube 

Episode 133 of the podcast, featuring Sally Illingworth’s

Connect: 

Connect with Luke on LinkedIn or at luke.stow@alchemysolutions.com.au 

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community 

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