It felt great to be at the Digital Futures hub with project colleagues – HiSS hybrid workshop
Meet Vladimir Cvetkovic, Professor at the Department for Resources, Energy and Infrastructure at KTH. He is also a Co-PI of research project Humanizing the Sustainable Smart City (HiSS) at Digital Futures.
Hi Vladimir, during September you organized some workshops at the Digital Futures hub for the project (HiSS)? Tell us a bit about this project?
– The HiSS project is about improving our basic understanding of human decision-making in the context of smart cities, in particular decision making that affects transition to more sustainable urban systems. Sustainable smart cities are a shared vision for reducing urban carbon footprints, by heavily relying on evolving digital technology of the cyberspace. Our ambition is to better explain human-social decision-making from the micro (neuro-cognitive) level, the meso (individual) level to the macro (urban, institutional) level.
What was the purpose of these workshops?
– The purpose of the workshop – with three sessions held on separate days – was to gather three well-known scientists in each session and allow for generous brainstorming time following their three presentations. This turned out to be an excellent concept: a full one hour of brainstorming with the three speakers after each session was very fruitful indeed. It was I believe inspiring for all participants – including the speakers themselves – and also helps us with taking further research steps within the project.
After a long time of only virtual meetings – these workshops were among the first being hybrid at the Digital Futures hub? How did you adapt to this “new” situation? Any learning or take-aways?
– Indeed, it felt great to be at the Digital Futures hub with project colleagues! That said, there is no doubt that the hybrid dimension to the workshop also had important advantages: Since participation was easy compared to travelling to Stockholm (2.5h compared to say 4 days at least since 7 out 9 speakers were from USA), it was much easier to gather a distinguished group of lecturers for the workshop. Now that we have established good contact, it will be great to invite many of them back for a real Stockholm visit; we clearly felt that they would appreciate such an invitation.
What will happen next? Will you continue the workshop series next year?
– Our intention is to continue the workshop series over the coming years, with a broad title: “From smart to intelligent cities: A human-social choice?” It captures the crux of a key societal challenge we face. Co-PIs of HiSS are a very multi-disciplinary team, with backgrounds in urban planning, civil engineering, control-system and information sciences, as well as neuro-cognitive science. Given this fact, the workshop series can help us better bridge our different disciplines toward a common goal of helping societal transition toward sustainable smart cities.