Episode Archive

SCP E350 Episode 350 Celebration: Ask Zoe Anything

Hi #smartcommunity friends! In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, host Zoe Eather is back in the hot seat! In celebration of this being episode 350, 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 350 episodes. It’s been nearly 6 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. 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. Jonathan Reichental – “What should city managers be doing right now relative to generative AI in their agencies?”
  2. Crissy Ditmore – “What are the quick response strategies we implemented in the early days of COVID that we should absolutely make a Smart Community standard?”
  3. Joe Appleton (Ep 72) – “As Smart City storytellers, what are we failing at? There is a growing mistrust of data collection, AI solutions, and even wonderful 15-minute cities are being attacked. Are we failing to tell the right narrative? Are we simply asking the wrong questions? Are we living in an echo chamber? And how can we showcase the benefits of Smart Cities in a better way?”
  4. Mike Barlow – “Any chance that you’ll be joining us at Smart Cities Expo World Congress in Barcelona in November? We would love to see you!”


“As an agency, we want to see how we can use [AI] as a tool. And I think now that it’s becoming more mainstream and more accessible, that’s great, because people are going to be asking more questions about it. And it’s more in the dialogue of the everyday population. But what it means is that we need to… put things in place to make sure that we’re not just putting a megaphone to the biases.”

“AI isn’t going to take over the world, it’s the people that know how to use it and use it as a tool. And so we need to understand how we can use that as a tool.”

“Don’t be scared of [AI] because it’s here and it’s shifting and changing but also, you can make decisions about what you are and aren’t going to use it for. What is it being used for now, what it shouldn’t be used for? But if you don’t know what it actually is and does, then you can’t make those decisions either.”

“What was really interesting during the pandemic, is how quickly things that seemed immovable, changed. Some were positive, some negative, some were neutral. But it just goes to show that when we get together as a global community, and we say that this is a big issue that we need to act on right now. We can do it.”

“We’re all humans at the end of the day. So I’ve been having a lot more human conversations about not just projects. But how did it actually feel?”

“The digital elements really dictated our human experience [during lockdowns], which was good and bad, depending on who you ask, and how strong your internet connection was for your quality of life at that time. It just really showed me how it’s so entwined now.”

“From a storytelling perspective, we need to realize that we don’t have to use a lot of buzzwords, because actually, what is really important to the community is for them to feel part of the conversation, right? And they’re not going to be searching Smart Cities, but they might be really interested in water use or something like that. And that’s when they can learn about how we can do Smart water metering [for example], but all those other things, the data and all those other things that go into it.”

“Actually, we are emotional beings. So no matter what the data speaking for itself is doing, we will take it in, based on our experiences, our emotion, our background, [etc]. So actually embrace that and use that. It’s just that shift in thinking that then you can be better storytellers. And again, it can be used for good or bad, right?”

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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