Episode Archive

SCP E190 Smart Community Insights Across Borders, with Peter Bjorn Larson

In this episode of the Smart Community podcast, I have a great conversation with Peter Bjorn Larson, the Director of Smart City Insights. This podcast episode is another audio from the YouTube series I’ve been doing catching up with previous podcast guests during the pandemic. We recorded this chat on the 1st of May, and since then Peter tells me he’s doing well, he’s doing a couple of nice local Smart City projects because obviously he’s not travelling very much anymore.

In this conversation, Peter and I chat about what the situation was like in Denmark pandemic-wise in May, as well as some of the key differences between Denmark and Sweden’s approach. We then discuss the ways the Smart City concepts of digital transformation and data sharing and privacy have come to the forefront during this crisis, and how the private sector has been well placed to respond quickly, having already much of the foundational pieces already in place. We cover data collaboratives, data privacy and security, as well as the ways these complex issues are dealt with around the world thanks to differences not only in cultural attitudes but also digital preparedness of different nations.

Peter then tells us a bit about how he works and how the pandemic has changed the way we work and meet worldwide, which has environmental, accessibility and lifestyle impacts. We talk about this global work from home experiment, Zoom fatigue and the pros and cons of digital workshops and virtual community building. We finish our chat discussing how this crisis has forced us into new ways of doing so many things, including a cool example about how Peter ran a Croatian Marathon in Copenhagen! As always we hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it. 

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • About Peter and his consultancy work with Smart City Insights
  • What the situation was like in Denmark pandemic-wise in May
  • Some of the key differences between Denmark and Sweden’s approach 
  • The Ways the Smart City concepts of digital transformation and data sharing and privacy have come to the forefront during this crisis
  • How the private sector has in many cases been well placed to respond quickly
  • Data collaboratives, data privacy and security
  • The way cultural attitudes and the digital preparedness of different nations impacts the way these complex issues are dealt with around the world
  • How the pandemic has changed the way we meet and work worldwide
  • The environmental, accessibility and lifestyle benefits and drawbacks of the global work-from-home experiment
  • What’s missing from online-only communication and how we can balance that with other forms of interaction
  • How Zoe is managing and mitigating her Zoom fatigue
  • The pros and cons of digital workshops and virtual community building
  • The way this crisis is forcing us into new ways of doing almost everything 
  • A real life example of these changes when Peter ran a Croation Marathon in Copenhagen

Quotes:

“The teachers were [saying] ‘We still have your homework, you need to go online and check it’ and everything crashed…Just to put my Smart City head on it, we don’t really have the capabilities or digital infrastructure to cope with [everybody online learning].”

“The big difference between the Swedes and the Danes is the Swedes are very good [at] following different orders, and definitely Copenhageners not so much. So maybe we need the rules more than the Swedes?”

“How can technology help? So one thing is the restrictions…it’s just to be able to analyse what’s actually happening, how are people moving around and are they actually sticking to it? The other thing is the data perspective…you now get what are called data collaboratives. This is basically where companies come together [for the common good].”

“[Pandemic response] is really difficult, it’s not like planning a new Metro or something. It could save lives. Every time we talk about life and health, it’s a little bit different than planning a new part of the city.”

“There’s all the privacy issues. [For example] in China, they use QR codes and information from the health authorities to hospitals to transport authorities and the telcos. So you can say, well, it’s working because [it’s reducing] the spread of the virus… But are you then crossing the border, in terms of privacy issues? So that’s a big discussion in Denmark.”

“This has always been a thing, to work from home, but people will say it’s not that efficient, but [the pandemic] is changing the way we actually live and work. So can you be as efficient working from home as you are when you’re in the office? It depends on what you do.”

Links:

BloxHub Coworking Space

Connect:

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

Connect with Peter on LinkedIn

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.

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