Georgia Tech Hosts Beyond Smart Symposium

Researching Smart City Deployments

By pinalice | May 19, 2019, 5:05pm EDT

Interdisciplinary scholars from around the world gathered in Tech Square on April 25 and 26 for the Beyond Smart Symposium. They reflected on issues of researching smart city deployments and projects.

Highlights of day one of the symposium included talks from:

Alison Powell, assistant professor and director of MSc in Data & Society in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Powell discussed Suboptimal Citizenship, Hybridized Knowledge: A Transforming History of Smart Citizens and her 15 years of work on the capacity of smart cities developed by citizens instead of a top-down approach.

Andrew Schrock, founder of Aloi Research and Consulting and instructor at the University of Southern California, on ethically using technology and creating intersectionality and organizing for institutional reform. He also discussed the evolving definition of a smart city – from technology to political challenges.

Sheena Erete, assistant professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University on Designing Counter Structures: Taking an Assets-Based Approach to Designing Equitable Civic Technologies. Erete is using technology to address social issues such as equity and inclusion of resource-constrained communities.

Yoshiki Yamagata, principal researcher at the National Institute for Environmental Studies, who discussed Urban Systems Design for Smart Communities in the IoT Era, and the use of big data for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Yamagata examined how we can disseminate the usefulness of big data and AI techniques to society by establishing smart and sustainable communities.

In the afternoon, a panel of city, higher education, corporate and non-profit leaders discussed how academics can partner with other organizations around inclusion and equity.

The symposium concluded on day two with keynote addresses followed by discussion from Beth Coleman, associate professor of English Language and Literature and co-director of the Critical Media Lab at the University of Waterloo, and Laura Forlano, associate professor, Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

The Georgia Tech School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Tech Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation initiative, and Center for Computing and Society organized the symposium with funding from the Institute for People and Technology and the GVU Center.

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