Episode Archive

SCP E286 Technology in the Wild, with Alex Gluhak

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast I have an excellent conversation with Alex Gluhak. Alex is an experienced technology leader and evangelist for Internet of Things (IoT) technology and its application to Smart Cities and Communities. He is also the CEO and Founder at Urban Data Collective, who’s mission is to democratize access to real-time urban data. In this episode Alex begins by telling us about his background as a telecoms engineer in Germany, his passion for travel and working with people from different cultures, before sharing a bit about his startup Urban Data Collective. Alex then shares what a Smart Community means to him, why he believes data to be so important in Smart Communities and how it affects decision making, before he tells us a bit about some of his favourite projects he has been working on. Alex then discusses some use cases of IoT’s used in some of his projects, and the technology component that is involved in opening up data sets, and we discuss the importance of up-skilling people to allow for new ways of doing things in our workforces. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of more self-sufficient cities. 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:

  • Alex’s background as a telecoms engineer researcher in Germany 
  • His passion for travel and working with people from different cultures 
  • Alex’s startup, Urban Data Collective he co-founded, and the community Urban Data Talks Alex runs
  • What a Smart Community means to Alex 
  • Why Alex believes data to be so important in Smart Communities 
  • How data affects decision making 
  • Some of Alex’s favourite projects has been working on 
  • Some use cases of IoT’s used in some of the projects Alex has worked on
  • The technology component to opening up data sets 
  • The importance of up-skilling people to allow for new ways of doing things in our workforces 
  • The emerging trends of more self sufficient cities and cities having more control of their own destiny 


“I’m really passionate about providing people with the right tools and knowledge to get most of their smart infrastructure that is kind of slowly emerging, and empower others to come up with innovations on top of the data, that they can create a better world and community and develop this urban data exchange platform for cities and local data infrastructure operators to manage their real time data ecosystem.”

“A Smart Community is able to leverage emerging technologies to their advantage, to make better decisions, become more resilient and more sustainable. And it’s one that can actually get access to data that matters and suitable insights, empower citizen participation, and collective decision making.”

“It’s important to make the right choices, and then also to use the limited resources that we have available on our planet as well, to create a better future for us and for our children.”

“[Smart Communities] is about trying not to iterate too many times to get it right. Because the more you iterate, the more you waste. I think if you have the right knowledge, the right insights available to you, you hopefully make better decisions.”

“What we’re trying to do is actually interfacing with those different deployed systems getting real time data out. So they can actually use this now and get a holistic view to understand the demand and predict future demand. So they know where to invest money next.”

“You need to change how you make decisions to the council, you need to make sure how your workflow changes and adapts to it. And, that’s a long term play, and I don’t see enough actual support for this provided by governments to the local authorities. So there’s not enough funding, not enough access to this kind of highly skilled labour, it’s needed now. Or, at least, there’s not enough emphasis going into it.”


Urban Data Collective 

Urban Data Talks – Join the Group 

Fab City


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

Connect with Alex 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


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