Today was my second Local CIO Council (LCIOC), the only meeting I go to with a nested acronym within an acronym. OK, it’s not really an acronym but you know what I mean. It is really just a set of initials. Anyway, the meeting was held in London which is a bit of a pain to get to but no more of a pain than anywhere else. There were a couple of the group who joined by phone and I’m not sure that the experience they enjoyed was worth the effort. The technology is not yet as good as it should be.
It was an interesting meeting. I got to meet some people that I had heard of but had not put a face too and I guess that is the point. It’s difficult to make a relationship over a phone call.
It was a game of two halves. The morning sort of ended up with a cyber-theme, one of the hot topics we always get dragged into but it was the afternoon that was of more interest to me in the end.
After lunch we got round to the subject of smart cities. Well, don’t get me started as our city is too small to be of interest to the big hitters who play in this space, at least that is always the impression that I am left with. Smart place is much more our thing. Paul from Digital Greenwich stood up to give us a talk about what they are doing. Greenwich is a name that always crops up in discussions I have around smart whatevers. I think they are the holy grail of smart cities (even though they are not really a city). It is a complicated thing.
By way of introduction we went round the table saying where we were with our smart cities agenda. Paul videoed it all so that he could remember it later. Very few of the people there had much going on in the space. Most were dealing with broadband and connectivity. The most notable exception was Milton Keynes, another beacon of smartness. I think they are a city yet Google tells me they are not. Like I said this is a complicated thing.
By the time Paul got round to me, what I thought of as our very small list of smart activities turned out to be quite big and perhaps we are not as far behind as I might think.
I wrote to Paul to say I would like to get in touch, as one leading light to another of course.