Hi #SmartCommunity friends. In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I have a brilliant conversation with Tegan Kop, an applied innovation expert and the lead for the Smart City Incubator at City of Melbourne. Tegan and I discuss their background and how they landed in the Smart Community space. They then tell us about some of their favourite projects working at the City of Melbourne Smart City Office, including behind-the-scenes nerdy stuff like managing data across the lifecycle. We talk about how the City of Melbourne is being transparent and accountable in the data they collect and inviting people into the conversation to build data and digital literacy of the community, as well as the global trend of mistrust towards both government and tech companies.
Tegan and I explore the opportunity for scaling local government tasks through sharing data and practice, as well as the ways our personal digital footprints could be better used if we had control or access. We finish our chat discussing the vital importance of digital inclusion and accessibility, including a great example of how the City of Melbourne approached digital exclusion and isolation during the lockdowns. As always we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.
What we cover in this episode:
- Tegan’s background and how they landed in the Smart Community space
- What a Smart Community means to Tegan
- Some of their favourite projects working at the City of Melbourne Smart City office
- The need to be managing data across the lifecycle and enabling data-driven products
- How the City of Melbourne is being transparent and accountable in the data they collect and inviting people into the conversation to build data and digital literacy of the community
- The global trend of mistrust towards both government and tech companies
- Why we need to build shared and common understanding of data driven decisions and more peer to peer conversations about data use and data collection
- The rise of digital twins as a catalyst for digitising and centralising data
- The opportunity for scaling local government tasks through sharing data and sharing practice
- The ways our personal digital footprints could be better used if we had control or access
- The vital importance of digital inclusion and accessibility as a part of the Smart conversation
- A great example of how the City of Melbourne approached digital exclusion and isolation during the lockdowns
- The emerging trends of human centred design and the need for digital accessibility as core, not just an afterthought
“A Smart Community is one that puts people and the environment and the planet and animals at the centre of it. That’s really my my biggest belief.”
“It’s not just about Smart City versus another data type. It’s all data that can help us make better decisions. So how do we do that? How do we do that for ourselves, but also enable our colleagues and the community and the council to do that as well?”
“If we want data to be an asset? What are all the steps that we need to take to make sure that, you know, we are managing across the lifecycle? How do we make sure that everyone has the knowledge to understand the data or use the data or apply the data? How do we build awareness for people who weren’t used it, but want to know, how do we make sure you know, we quality control, we manage security, both physical and digital, we think about privacy, we think about like code store and cataloging and doing, you know, in our systems doing the heavy lifting, so that at the end of the day, all of that effort is enabling to have great data driven products that help our community.
“Data driven doesn’t have to mean digital only. And I think I’m really excited about working across that whole lifecycle of how we use technology, collect data to make a change, or to inform people enable them to make a change and measure impact. And there’s lots of behind-the-scenes, nerdy stuff going on there, which is one of my favourite projects. I think, if you think about data as an asset, being a lifecycle that you need to understand and manage, then the awareness understanding piece in and of itself is really important.”
“None of the data that we collect is personally identifiable information. So, technically, the law would say that there’s no need to inform or build awareness with the community. But I think the more and more decisions that we make, and the more that we digitally enable and digitally transform our cities, the more we should be talking about it, even if it doesn’t break the law collecting that data. Because that’s our job as as government to be really transparent and accountable for how we run the city.
“We’ve got this data literacy and and also now a data hunger. And so the time is right to be to sharing that and building a shared and common understanding of data driven decision making, but also just to have more peer to peer conversations about what that future of data use and data collection looks like.”
“Thinking about those inclusion outcomes, and how can you make services and create opportunities for everyone, that’s why it is so important to never be fully digital. Because until I guess the internet is free and devices are free, you need to have an offline or in person option, and it needs to be accessible. You can’t just assume everyone has power to charge the device, a device in the first place, money to access the internet, and then the knowledge and ability to then use it to their full advantage to create better outcomes in their lives.”
“I really like that digital inclusion is much more a part of the Smart Communities discussion now. Will you really be a Smart City if a majority of our population is digitally excluded?”
Connect with Tegan on LinkedIn
Connect with me via email: email@example.com
Podcast Production by Perk Digital