Disruptive Data Strategies for Smart Cities and Places

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15th Jun 2022


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Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane  (GMT+10): 9am to 5pm

Adelaide (GMT+9:30): 8.30am to 4.30pm

Perth, Singapore, Malaysia (GMT+8): 7am to 3pm

New Zealand (GMT+12): 11am to 7pm



Advances in data and technology have opened up many new opportunities to disrupt traditional problem-solving approaches intended to improve the lives of citizens in our cities and communities. Too often we take tools that could enable an exciting future and only use them on problems of the past or use them as an incremental upgrade to the old ways of doing things. By contrast, recognising and embracing paradigm shifts enables enormous and enduring benefits, efficiencies and productivity gains.

When seeking to adopt innovative use of data and technology there are two challenges:

  • In order to unlock better outcomes, how do we discover, evaluate, then design for, new paradigms that we haven’t yet experienced?
  • How do we manage the design and implementation risk of innovations and paradigm shifts; particularly when examples to copy are lacking? What skills and knowledge can we draw upon to navigate the implementation uncertainty?

The smart cities movement has focused on the potential of advances in data and technology to help a city meet its goals. The application areas are broad, providing better services for a variety of stakeholders. These range from better city processes such as the maintenance and management of city assets (e.g. buildings, roads, parks, amenities, recycling), to better customer experiences (mobility/transport, parking, interactions with government).

Traditional smart city ‘best-practice’ adopts a mindset of applying technology incrementally to specific problems of today and attempting to copy others in order to reduce risk. In this model the tools (of data and technology) drive the vision instead of the vision driving the tool selection. The results are missed opportunities for excellence, a plethora of fragmented point solutions to point problems and entrenched future costs and barriers.

By contrast in this course we seek to rethink what is possible based on new paradigms and future-proofing. We will seek to disrupt ourselves first.

This is a practical course, based on participant preferences during the day, we’ll apply our methodology to the domains of: personal mobility, logistics and/or city transport management; to dealing with future pandemics; sustainability; or to recycling and circular economy.

Learning Objectives

  • A basic understanding of the ‘tools’ of data and technology and what is new
  • A methodology to rethink paradigms
  • Identify the key risks and weaknesses.
  • Be able to answer, “Who is the customer?”
  • Meaningful customer engagement.
  • Risk identification under new paradigms
  • Key risk management strategies.

Featuring Our Speakers






Neil Temperley (PhD)


Future Cities Data & Technology Strategy; Transport & Logistics; Clusters & Living Labs.


 Neil’s career has focused on overcoming the challenges of successful innovation in data and technology; from idea to successful adoption by the marketplace.

His degree covered mechanical and digital design at the dawn of the digital era and computer revolution.

After a brief stint in industry he joined the CSIRO in the 1980’s as inventor and designer of hardware and software for sensor and measurement technologies. He was a very early adopter of computing technologies; reconfiguring an early PC to control instruments and model the data.

Despite superior technologies, many great ideas struggle to succeed in the marketplace. Having experienced this first-hand Neil seized opportunities to work more closely with CSIRO customers and stakeholders; interviewing innovative Australian businesses, and researching the market viability for CSIRO innovations.

In 2004 he joined NICTA (National Information Communications and Technology Australia) — a ‘start-up’ in the field of Australian R&D that deliberately took fresh approaches to spinning out and transferring technologies into the market. He helped establish and manage Embedded Systems Australia; a cluster of innovative companies working in the smart technologies domain and led a successful technology collaborative trial of wireless technology to prevent over-height vehicles colliding with tunnels and bridges. In 2010 he helped establish, then led, Australia’s first Living Lab — Transport and Logistics Living Lab. This focused on collaborative innovation and grew to 50+ members from industry, government and research. The Lab held multiple education and collaboration workshops and spawned a variety of initiatives. He personally designed and led two international container tracking technology trials using cutting-edge smart technologies. The lab generated local and international interest with visits from VIP’s including ambassadors and heads of state.

In 2016 NICTA morphed to become part of the new Data61 under CSIRO management. Neil explored the relatively new domain of Smart Cities and discovered the mistakes and challenges facing innovators and entrepreneurs were now being replicated in government and industry — in Australian and internationally — but the capability maturity levels were very low amongst practitioners and experts. This problem persists today; practitioners are implementing initiatives with the wrong mindset and poor understanding of success factors.

After parting with Data61 Neil conducted Australia’s largest survey of Smart City stakeholders on behalf of the Australian government. This survey focused on personal experiences.

Neil has since become a rare thought-leader in challenging the way practitioners, customers and stakeholders think about the opportunities created by exciting advances in data and technology in our modern age. He is developing a methodology that assists stakeholders and enthusiasts to rethink their mindsets and approaches; setting higher goals for maximum benefit and impact, managing risk, aligning expectations, and avoiding being bedazzled by the glitz of exciting new technologies and deceptive ‘solutions’.

Some of his Smart City insights have been captured in a white paper “Future Cities Thinking — Future Cities and Communities by Design. A fresh look at data and future cities” https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/pub?pid=csiro:EP184039 and more recently on his website www.smartercitiesnewwave.com.au

He contributes to international standards, is an author, lectures and facilitates workshops in data and technologies — particularly applied to smart cities and the mobility of people and things.

Who should attend?

  • City leaders, strategists and thought leaders
  • Department heads, strategists and thought leaders at local, state and national government levels
  • Smart City/Place practitioners, consultants.

Event Video