Smart Cities
+ Smart Citizens
-------------------Civic Intelligence??
Douglas Schuler
Smart City Exhibition, Bologna, Ital...
Buongiorno e saluti!
Vorrei ringraziare tutti voi per essere venuti.
Vorrei anche dirvi quanto apprezzo il lavoro
che stat...
My Basic Argument
•
•
•
•
•

Problems seem to be growing faster than solutions.

•

Complex situations require complex thi...
Civic Intelligence is How I
Begin to Address the Question

• Civic intelligence is the ability of people to solve its
prob...
The first
pattern of
Liberating
Voices
pattern
language
Greetings from Seattle!
• “Most literate city” in the US
• Town Hall, NEPO, NW Film Forum, etc etc
• Department of Neighbo...
Seattle is a “smart
city” and has
“smart citizens”
but...
Does that mean it has civic intelligence?
All cities have some.....
I applaud adding
“Human” to “Smart Cities”
“Smart Cities” by itself captures an innovative and
important concept in relati...
Two main reasons for
citizen engagement
One is positive and one is negative
With strong, engaged citizenry we may be
able ...
Societies / cultures need citizens that

•
•
•
•

help maintain the society / culture
believe in the legitimacy
contribute...
Elements of Civic Intelligence
•
•
•
•
•

Perception of problems
Knowledge and skills to solve them
Interest in doing so
M...
Civic Intelligence

Knowledge

Theory

Facts, laws,
data, etc.

Attitude &
aspirations

Civic purpose

Relational / social...
We Can Use Proxy Measures
(even though civic intelligence is best
evaluated with actual cases)

•
•
•
•

[high] social and...
Some Home Truths of Civic Engagement
The informed contribution of citizens to governance is
not optional; it’s absolutely ...
Challenges

• Acknowledge actual problems and think through
how your approach could help. We must keep our
eyes on the pri...
Recommendations

We’re all “laboratories” now!
•

Use “civic intelligence” to orient your work — projects
should directly ...
We will continue to
collaborate — directly or
indirectly!
Thank you and mille grazie!
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Smart city + smart citizens = civic intelligence ?? from Smart City Exhibition, Bologna

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These are the slides from the keynote presentation at the Smart City Exhibition in Bologna on October 17. I discuss why the addition of people / citizens to the equation is absolutely critical.

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Smart city + smart citizens = civic intelligence ?? from Smart City Exhibition, Bologna

  1. 1. Smart Cities + Smart Citizens -------------------Civic Intelligence?? Douglas Schuler Smart City Exhibition, Bologna, Italy October 17, 2013
  2. 2. Buongiorno e saluti! Vorrei ringraziare tutti voi per essere venuti. Vorrei anche dirvi quanto apprezzo il lavoro che state facendo tutti. Good Morning! I’m happy to be able to help — if possible — with your great work! I’m going to concentrate on our motivation and some basic concepts and “home truths”
  3. 3. My Basic Argument • • • • • Problems seem to be growing faster than solutions. • Complex situations require complex thinking, not “click to like.” Technology will play a role but it can’t do all of our thinking for us. Current approaches to governance are insufficient. Citizen revolt is widespread (and not necessarily effective) Millions of projects / experiments exist worldwide. Diffusion and renegotiating of “governance” is necessary and in-work. The main question is this: Will we be smart enough, soon enough?
  4. 4. Civic Intelligence is How I Begin to Address the Question • Civic intelligence is the ability of people to solve its problems equitably and effectively through working together. • It encompasses both research and action • If it didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it. • It exists to some degree in all individual and groups but it could always be stronger!
  5. 5. The first pattern of Liberating Voices pattern language
  6. 6. Greetings from Seattle! • “Most literate city” in the US • Town Hall, NEPO, NW Film Forum, etc etc • Department of Neighborhoods created the People’s Academy for Community Engagement; i.e. How to be an activist • City government leader in carbon neutrality • Maybe we need to join your networks?!
  7. 7. Seattle is a “smart city” and has “smart citizens” but... Does that mean it has civic intelligence? All cities have some... But all cities could have more...
  8. 8. I applaud adding “Human” to “Smart Cities” “Smart Cities” by itself captures an innovative and important concept in relation to the infrastructure of cities. Adding “human” however avoids the misleading view that technology “solves” problems by itself without the involvement of people. Not focusing on humans can also lead to less usable and effective systems. It would miss the most interesting and important part: Civic Infrastructure.
  9. 9. Two main reasons for citizen engagement One is positive and one is negative With strong, engaged citizenry we may be able to address our problems. Without strong, engaged citizenry we won’t be able to address our problems.
  10. 10. Societies / cultures need citizens that • • • • help maintain the society / culture believe in the legitimacy contribute ideas and other resources feel like they belong Societies / cultures (not just gov.) need to provide opportunities for citizens • • • • • to earn a living to feel purposeful to be safe to have rights to participate in the direction of society, culture
  11. 11. Elements of Civic Intelligence • • • • • Perception of problems Knowledge and skills to solve them Interest in doing so Mechanisms & processes & social capital Other resources — ICT, volunteers, money, etc And civic ignorance, the collection of forces that discourage civic intelligence, is always present but not always considered.
  12. 12. Civic Intelligence Knowledge Theory Facts, laws, data, etc. Attitude & aspirations Civic purpose Relational / social capital Social networks Social Critique Values Solidarity Skills or "applied knowledge" Searching & Monitoring Social imagination Emotions and empathy Personnel Financial & material resources Financial assets Leadership Norms Salient knowledge Organizational capital Reputation Diversity Organizational Structure Information & communication technology Land, space, & buildings Work practices, Processes, & habits Tools & equipment Learning and meta-cognition Responsibility Access to knowledge Enthusiasm & selfefficacy Computer models, simulations, apps Opportunities Creativity Focus, timing, & coordination Courage Other resources Issue & cultural fit Decisionmaking Access to resources Updated: August 27, 2013
  13. 13. We Can Use Proxy Measures (even though civic intelligence is best evaluated with actual cases) • • • • [high] social and political engagement • • [low] levels of inequality [high] social capital [high] health measures [high] good neighbor (e.g. willingness to help — and not merely move problems out) [low] corruption (political and otherwise)
  14. 14. Some Home Truths of Civic Engagement The informed contribution of citizens to governance is not optional; it’s absolutely indispensable. Social inequality is still the root of most of our problems. We need more creativity, dedication, humor, reason, compassion, etc. Fortunately, people often have these attributes! Remember that governance is not solely a technological matter. And that the market or side effects won’t solve our problems for us. And citizen engagement is not “one size fits all.” Nor is it a “silver bullet” that is guaranteed to work
  15. 15. Challenges • Acknowledge actual problems and think through how your approach could help. We must keep our eyes on the prize • Developing meaningful opportunities for excluded people • Sharing information and collaborating • Making activism cool again • Educating everybody • Doing what needs to be done quickly enough, but not without deliberation and common sense
  16. 16. Recommendations We’re all “laboratories” now! • Use “civic intelligence” to orient your work — projects should directly or indirectly build it • Strongly and loosely linked collaborations • • • • • Agree on shared goals, or shared data objectives Continue to collaborate, even if resources are few Civic intelligence as part of “civic infrastructure?” Citizen “think tanks?” Work directly with mediators — civil society organizations, media, etc.
  17. 17. We will continue to collaborate — directly or indirectly! Thank you and mille grazie!

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