Episode Archive

SCP E256 Social Intelligence in Smart Communities, with Islam Bouzguenda

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast I have a great conversation with Islam Bouzguenda, a lecturer at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Islam starts by telling us about her background as an architect, her masters in Smart Cities specialising in community participation and her current work at the University of Twente relating to Smart City governance. Islam then discusses what a Smart Community is to her, before telling us a bit more about her PHD and some findings from her research and how using conventional tools of participation in communities work better to serve their needs. Islam then tells us about the sustainability project she has been working on, some of the sustainability tools she has used, some of the topics she lectures and we discuss the difference between ‘smart’ governance and traditional governance as well as the changes Islam has seen since entering the Smart Cities space in 2015. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of social intelligence in Smart Communities. 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: 

  • Islam’s background as an Architect 
  • Her masters in Smart Cities, specialising in community participation through digital technologies
  • Her current work lecturing at the University of Twente in The Netherlands relating to Smart City governance
  • What a Smart Community is to Islam
  • Islam’s PHD in the use of technology to enhance social sustainability and some of her findings
  • How using more conventional tools of participation in some communities works better to serve their needs
  • The sustainability project Islam is also working on, specifically the community understanding of sustainability 
  • The different sustainability tools Islam has used 
  • Some of the topics Islam teaches around governance
  • The difference between ‘smart’ governance and traditional governance 
  • Some of the changes Islam has seen since entering the Smart Cities space since 2015
  • The emerging trends of social intelligence in Smart Communities 


“I feel that the intelligence of the people, the community itself, and social intelligence is much more meaningful than the intelligence of the technologies or machines.”

“By social intelligence [what I mean] is how we could make use of these technologies that are around us to enhance our sustainability of the community. Then how we could enhance the equity in this society, how we could enhance the participation of the community, into our Smart Cities planning etc.”

“So in my PhD, we were exploring how we could use technology or latest technologies, for example, something like virtual reality or augmented reality, to enhance the participation of the citizens in city planning.”

“In the Netherlands, there is a lack of interest in participation within communities, some [people] think ‘no one will be listening to us’, some of it will be related to trust in the government, etc. there are so many factors. So [during my PhD] we wanted to explore using attractive tools or technologies that will enhance their willingness to participate.”

“So we were looking into how likely Middle Eastern communities are looking into sustainability, how it is advancing in these communities. So we could integrate that into the sustainability rating.”

“My students are basically still bachelor students, they are specialising in Management, Technology and Society. So they are basically, into management, let’s say, more than engineering or scientific background.”

“Even in designing buildings, for example, in Europe, or the Americas, or Australia, there is a cultural effect on designing these buildings, for example, when you design for a Middle Eastern family, so these are one of the aspects that we were taking into consideration.”


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

Connect with Islam via 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


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Episode Archive


Want to be a guest?

Would you like to be a guest on The Smart Community Podcast? 
Get in touch and send me your pitch.