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Digital City Conference in Paris - Feedback

Well, that was a pretty cool conference and not really what i expected. 60 invited participants including a hollywood producer, philospohy professor from sorbonne, head of public art for Canada, head of transport policy for Amsterdam, head of school of architecture at sao paulo in Brazil, deputy mayor of Paris, a bunch of students...and me.

It was chaired by the philosophy dude and seemed to switch fairly effortlessly between socratic debates, practical workshops and presentations. I got my presentation on Brighton out the way pretty early so thought I could relax. but no, this was no sit back and twitter kinda thing, we were involved in such excercises as developing new ideas for city wide digital media and then explaining them using only metaphors. Believe me, it makes you think..

anyhow, some of the presentations were on Apps for Democracy (the Obama supported attempt to engage hackers on e-democracy), the MIT initiated FABLAB prototyping project, the deputy mayor of Paris talking about how they opened the technology behind the VELIB free bikes scheme and what apps and ideas people came up with, and the scheme in Amsterdam to improve traffic flow using some cool iphone apps.

Key themes were to start with the strengths of your city and build on them cos digital cities will be as different as analogue cities and to engage the grassroots - build it bottom up not top down, you have far more expertise / enthusiasm / resources available than you think...

will be looking at ways to show people some of the cool things that i heard about / saw and find ways we can initiate some stuff here.

About the author

Phil Jones

Hi, I'm the Director of Innovation and Projects at Wired Sussex, I deliver our portfolio of regional creative technology projects and support our innovation hub, the FuseBox.

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