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SCP E200 Episode 200 Celebration: Ask Zoe Anything!

In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, host Zoe Eather is back in the hot seat! In celebration of this being episode 200, Zoe and producer Ellen Ronalds Keene sat down for a chat where she answers questions from you, the audience of the Smart Community Podcast. 

We can’t believe we’re at 200 episodes and now over 100,000 downloads. It’s nearly been 3 years of the show and thank you so much for all of you tuning in! Zoe answers 4 questions today from the many that were sent through via LinkedIn and email. Thank you to those of you who submitted questions! As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it. 

Listen here: 

The questions we cover in this episode:

  1. Suzie Gately, Kylie Nixon & Rachel Smith – What can local libraries do to be more relevant, responsive, involved in promoting and understanding the smart cities philosophy for the benefit of the community?
  2. Sean Audain- We hear a lot about what local governments and communities should do to be smarter – but what should they stop doing?
  3. Joy Taylor – What do you think we can do now, to encourage more girls (of all ages) to learn the topics and skills required, to be well-positioned to be the pioneers of the technology (systems and designs) that will create smart communities of the future?
  4. Debbie Reynolds, Kari Sutton & Georgia Eather – What is coming up in 2021 and how can we help people understand that smart cities and communities are about improving quality of life?


“[We all need to] just to continue to learn more about this Smart City/Smart Community space, because everyone should be there, right? It’s not an exclusive club!”

“I think it’s important to embrace what it means to have those digital services, but also we don’t want to lose all the good stuff that people are really enjoying, and what people love about libraries, safe spaces and places for learning. Libraries can be such multi use spaces as well. So it’ll be a library by day, a creative space by night…and none of that is super high tech, but you can use technology as an enabler.”

“The biggest thing I would say is we need to keep pushing about telling that story that it’s not just about super high tech [approaches]. But actually, the Smart in the Smart Community is about not doing things the way we’ve always done them.”

“Sometimes we get so focused on being in the future that we forget all the good work that’s been done in the past, even if it didn’t have the best outcomes, those have now shifted and changed. I think there’s this polarisation that happens, where [we say], ‘Oh, no, we can’t do anything that we ever did before, everything has to be new.’”

“It is a people problem in the sense of the people actually working on Smart City projects need to be thinking a bit differently, or a lot differently in a lot of cases. And that investment in people that are actually working on these projects—and giving them the space, the time, the energy, the resources to actually do that—that is really important.”

“If we don’t invest in new skill sets, we just get more of the same, which has served us well in some cases in the past, but it’s going to shift. It has to shift, it has to change. The more our lives become automated, the more systems become automated, the more decisions are being made by computers, the more humans we need behind those computers, making sure that those biases that we have as a human race are not exacerbated.”

“We have to change the narrative of what science, technology, math, engineering, and what they actually do for the world. And I put education in that field as well. And that they are not exclusive of arts and being creative. I think that’s a really important distinction.”

“We need access to the internet so then we can function in modern societies. I think digital infrastructure has to be included in these funding packages that we’re talking about. [When it comes to] big infrastructure, digital has to have a seat at the table.”

“A Smart life equals a real life. So you and your digital life are no longer separate. There’s so many things that we are doing in this digital world that affect our real lives because…digital isn’t this thing that we do take a break from normal life, it is our life!

Links mentioned in this episode:


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

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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