Tamlyn Shimizu 00:00:06 Welcome to Smart in the City, the BABLE podcast where we bring together top actors in the smart city arena, sparking dialogues and interactions around the stakeholders and themes most prevalent for today's citizens and tomorrow's generations. I am your host Tamlyn Shimizu, and I hope that you'll enjoy this episode and gain knowledge and connections to drive the change for a better urban life. Smart in the city is brought to you by BABLE Smart Cities. We enable processes from research and strategy development to co-creation and implementation. To learn more about us, please visit the BABLE platform at bable-smartcities.eu.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:00:47 So yes, everyone, you will not want to miss this episode. I can say that much. Um, I don't wanna give away anything right now and just give you immediately the SARS of the show. Um, so first off, I would like to introduce you all to oi Pika. He is the, he is really a serial explorer, psychiatrist and clean technology pioneer and, uh, the chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation. If you don't know his name well, you should. Um, and warms of welcomes onto the show all. I'm a huge fan, so that's very nice. I'm excited.
Bertrand Piccard 00:01:19 Happy to be on your show,
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:01:21 <laugh>. Thanks. And if that wasn't enough, we also have another amazing guest with us as well. Um, and he is banal Claire Fi, Brussels minister. Um, well he gave me a shorter version, but I'll give you the long version as well. He's the Minister for employment and training, local authorities, digital transition, animal welfare, and family allowances. Basically, as Batal was saying before this, doing everything for Brussels <laugh>. Um, and you're also an elected mayor. Um, so, uh, two wonderful people who are doing a lot of things so we'll. We'll try to keep it short, but also have a lot of wonderful, interesting conversations. So, um, yes, thank you so much for coming on, Bonar. It's a pleasure. Yeah. Uh, it's, it's really my pleasure. So, um, alright, so are we ready?
Bertrand Piccard 00:02:09 We're ready. We're always ready to speak about something interesting and defend the good cause. Exactly,
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:17 <laugh>. Perfect. I love the enthusiasm. So, um, so you both come from kind of different backgrounds, right? Um, Bernard, you're from really this economics background, I believe. Exactly, yes. Um, and, uh, at all, you come from more of a psychiatry background.
Bertrand Piccard 00:02:33 Psychiatry that means medicine. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and exploration like family basically, uh, taught me about how to explore the world, how to explore different ways of thinking and doing
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:46 That's exciting. Um, and also from different sectors. So really from government side of things and more from like a non-profit type background. Exactly. Um, so to start us off, I always start us off with a little teaser to get us warmed up. Um, what is one thing that you think you have in common with these different backgrounds?
Bertrand Piccard 00:03:08 I hope we are curious.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:10 Ah,
Bertrand Piccard 00:03:10 Yes. And I think we are respectful. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> for quality of life. Yeah. For the wellbeing.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:18 Yeah. Curious and respectful for life. Well, sounds like a good basis to get us going. Um, so yes, <inaudible>, are you tired yet of talking about the flights around the world or can we start there <laugh>?
Bertrand Piccard 00:03:31 Well, you know, if you don't use the entire podcast to speak about the flight around the world, that's fine. I can tell you a couple of things, but I think the, the main focus now should be the solutions. Yeah. To protect the environment, the solutions to create jobs while making our world more energy efficient, cleaner. There are so many solutions there. Of course, they come a bit from my experience of solar impulse. So yeah. If I have a few questions on that, I cannot avoid it. <laugh>.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:04:04 So you alluded to this, you know, exploration background and all that. Can you give us a little bit more hint as to maybe even something that we don't know about you? Um, any kind of background story?
Bertrand Piccard 00:04:18 Well, maybe a lot of what I'm doing comes from my education where my father and my grandfather showed me that exploration, scientific adventure has to be used to protect the environment and protect quality of life on earth. It's not about discovering new territories, it's about discovering new ways to live better on earth. So when my grandfather went to the stratosphere making the first flight in the stratosphere, his goal was to show that it was possible to fly at high altitude, in thin air consuming less gasoline. So he was already on energy efficiency. And when my father made it to the bottom of the marina trench in 1960, that's 11 kilometers deep. That was to see there was live in the bottom of the oceans at a moment where the governments wanted to drop the radioactive waste in the bottom of the trenches. And, uh, when he saw a fish and a couple of other animals there, it was the beginning of the awareness that we had to protect the environment. Also the deepest part of the environment of the oceans that were considered to be deserts. Uh, so that were big examples for me. You explore, you discover, but you have to make it important for the quality of life. So this is what has guided my, my life, your
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:05:44 Entire life and everything that you for now. That's incredible. So, uh, bonna, um, you've been present in the political scene for so long now. Um, can you tell us where did that all start and what drives your ambition?
Bernard Clerfayt 00:06:00 So I have something in common with becom or father or fathers were important for us because my father was a politician too. So I started politics very early at the age of eight, of nine. I was yet say, vote for my father is the best. <laugh> okay, <laugh>, uh, but he educated me. He educated me with the willingness to improve the world, to serve the people and to make the, the world a better place to live for the people and for the world itself also. So, uh, it drives me in this job. At my early years at university, I wanted to do something else, but finally <laugh>. Uh, finally I came back to politics and I entered political life at the local level, and I become rapidly elected older men than mayor. And then I pursued my career, uh, in politics.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:06:49 And what do you think, would you like to switch places? Do you think you could do each other's, uh, each other's work, <laugh>?
Bertrand Piccard 00:06:57 Um, there are moments where I would love to be able to take the political decisions to improve the world, because from the outside, very often we don't understand what the governments are doing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we believe that they have more knowledge, that they have more power, and then we say, but why aren't they doing what they should do? Uh, so yes, sometimes I would like to be in that position.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:07:22 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,
Bernard Clerfayt 00:07:24 Maybe I would like sometimes to escape the responsibility to take all these hard decisions, <laugh> and to be to fly around remote and fly around the world. Maybe to promote IDs, but not to be in charge of taking the hard decisions. Yeah. Because it's what we have to do. And it's always difficult, even if you believe something is the right direction to take, uh, you have to, uh, convince the people. We live in democracy, so you need to convince the people. It's the reason why his work is very important for us too, because is exchanging IDs, uh, showing the solutions. So, uh, it helps us then to take decisions because people are, uh, accept these decisions. It's very difficult for the moment to take decisions we have to take to, uh, stop climate change. Yeah. Everybody knows, uh, or hard it is and how insufficient the political decisions are up to. No. Yeah. So it's our responsibility to be courageous. Uh, but we know that if we are too courageous, we will be wiped out and some others will take our place. So it's a, we always have to manage how to go further, uh, how to improve the world, but how to make people understand it's necessary to do it with us.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:08:43 Yeah. And how are you doing that in Brussels? So can you talk a little bit about, um, what you see are like the main challenges in Brussels in this smart transition?
Bernard Clerfayt 00:08:53 Oh, there are many, many challenges and smart transitions not the only one. We have all the problems. A big city has, uh, social integration, unemployment, uh, uh, taking charge, all immigrants in the cities, the poverty in the cities. But, uh, we trying to use digital transformation to help us in all this way to, uh, improve the wellbeing of the people. Uh, we are trying for the moment to what put the, the blocks together to build an infrastructure, uh, which can help us to improve the interaction, uh, with different people. Communities. We are trying to improve what we called in business terms, the customer relationship management. Yeah. And so to promote the digital, the use of digital, uh, to interact with the people and to be able to give a better service, uh, to the people more secure, more rapids, uh, with big question about inclusivity. Because the problem in the cities like here, a lot of people are, uh, not able to use all the possibilities of the digital. A lot of have no equipment or no ability, uh, to use it. So a big question is developing digitally transform, uh, administrative processes, but being able to make it also useful for everybody.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:10:27 Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Um, so <inaudible>, you just got back from Cup 27. I know, and I have a quote here from you and you said, I wonder if a real failure is not better than a false success. And I, I found that really, I just have to ask you, um, can you explain what you mean by that and how can COP 28 be a real success?
Bertrand Piccard 00:10:53 If you have a climate conference where we accept to have no ambition, what is the sign that is given for the next cups? It means we value mediocrity, we value the people who do nothing, and the next cup can be even worse. But if some, at some point you say, no, we don't accept what happens now, it is a failure because we are not putting the ambition high enough and we officially declare this cup a failure. What will happen? The next one will be really afraid to be a failure. The next one will put the bar much higher in order to show we can make it to success. And sometime you need an electroshock, like, like, like this.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:11:46 So you think that we really need like a full on shock to the system, like drastic change now? Is that what
Bertrand Piccard 00:11:54 You're suggesting? Or? Yes. You cannot do more of the same and expect to have a different result. Yeah. You know, and um, what I've seen is that since I'm going to the cubs since a long time already, what do I see? All the delegations are putting the problems on the table and they see how difficult it is to solve the problem, how expensive it is to solve the problem, how much resistance has to be put in order not to change the system. That's little bit the summary of what happens. You could do exactly the opposite. You could put all the solutions on the table because solutions exist. There are a lot of solutions. And then the counts could make a real partnership together and, and observing which solution would fit where, yeah, which country is the best adapted for this type of solution. And then you could see, okay, what are the investments that are needed for all these solutions?
Bertrand Piccard 00:12:57 And because these solutions are economically profitable, the investments would be easy to find. Because if you have the perspective of gaining more money by doing something good, you'll have a lot of banks, a lot of investors who, who will come to do it. The financial system is ready for that. And you'd have more and more ambition and you'll put the bar much higher because the goal will be to put the solutions that will develop the countries. For example, the developing countries, the poorest country. Now why are they so poor? A lot of them it's because they have to spend dollars that mean foreign currencies to buy fossil energy, and it's a disaster for their commercial balance. But if you put investment in these counts to give access to electricity, to the people who have no access to energy in a de localized way, decentralized with renewable energy sources, which is easy, solar cells, battery pump, electric plug in the village that has no electricity, you, you construct a completely new model of economy for these people to develop.
Bertrand Piccard 00:14:06 So if you look at the problem, you will always fail. If you look at the solutions, you will succeed. And I think this is the change of paradigm and the change of narrative that we need to introduce. And you have a whole book of solutions. We have 1,450 solutions that have been selected by the Solar Pulse Foundation over the last six years. They are all solutions that exist today. They're all available, they are all easy to implement, they're all profitable for the people producing it as well as for the people using them. And it protects the environment and offers new opportunities. So the big question I have is why are these solutions not used everywhere by everybody all the time? That's a big question mark.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:14:54 Maybe you want to respond to that. Why <laugh>, but not
Bernard Clerfayt 00:14:57 Good questions. I I think sometimes we are stuck in the system we've invested in for years. Yeah. And so it's difficult to change because it's high cost to change all the system. And the reason why we have no, a lot of difficulty to stop with fossil fuels because all our infrastructure is equipped by with system to infrastructure to use fossil fuels. So it's a big investment. But there are solutions, you're right to say there are so many solutions. Solutions exist. That's a positive, uh, statement of <inaudible> all, all others who promote solutions. There are many solutions we have to implement it. And that's, that's a big question. Yeah.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:15:41 Yeah. And actually touching on that, because you touched on the fossil fuels, and of course right now we're facing a huge energy crisis here in Europe. Um, and all you have said that the crisis that we accept is an adventure and the crisis we refuse stays a crisis. Um, I want to hear from both of you, um, what the urgent next steps need to be and what we can learn from the current crisis. For future crisis.
Bertrand Piccard 00:16:10 The current crisis is a crisis where we have at the same time a big problem with climate because we use too much fossil energies and the crisis of energy because of the war in Ukraine, because we don't have enough fossil energy arriving here. So you see that basically the answer should be the same for both. The same for both. We don't have to choose between climate and energy supply. We just need to see that we have to invest into renewable energies on one side and be energy efficient on the other side. When you know that three quarters of the energy that is produced is currently lost because of the inefficiency of the infrastructures and systems that we're using, you see that the first place to invest is not to find more gals coming from elsewhere. The main investment is to become energy efficient, to have a smart city, to have well insulated buildings, to have new industrial processes, to have electric cars instead of thermal engines.
Bertrand Piccard 00:17:15 Thermal engine, it's 27% of efficiency. You lose three quarters of the energy on an electric engine. You have 97% of efficiency. You lose only 3%. You know, all the industrial processes, they are wasting energy like hell, because for a long time, energy was cheap. If you have a pump for powder, for liquid, for gas or whatever, you know how they regulate the flow of the, of the pump by increasing the resistance, but they keep the pump full power. It's absolutely stupid. Now we have companies like Schneider Electric who have special ways to manage the electric models in the industrial field where they will just reduce the RPM of the, of the pump in order to reduce the flow. So you save energy instead of wasting energy. And all our world now has to go from the world of waste to the world of efficiency. Yeah. This is why I'm always laughing when we hear that we need to have smart cities. That's true. But what does it mean? It mean that today we have stupid cities <laugh> and we have stupid cities wasting energy like hell. So modernizing our world with solution, get smarter, smarter people and smarter cities. <laugh>.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:18:35 Yes, I totally support that. Indeed. In a previous life 10 years ago, I was a member of the federal government in charge of greening taxation, and we were working on a carbon tax. All economists lost carbon taxes. It didn't succeed because it's a tax and people resist taxes. But what happens now with the price of fossil fuels has the same effect as a carbon tax alternative. Energies are no more profitable, and people understand they have to spend a lot to better isolate their houses and use alternative energies. So it works like that for the moment. Uh, you see people in Brussels, uh, accelerating the isolation of buildings, accelerating the placement of solar panels and other ways to, uh, produce energy. Uh, so this crisis, if we do nothing, we'll be a big, much bigger crisis. But if we change, we can have better isolated houses, uh, pay less for heating our houses and have a cleaner energy that does not produce, uh, climate warning.
Bertrand Piccard 00:19:47 Yeah. And it is so important to say that also for the poorest people living in the city, because their energy bill can be divided by two, by three, by five, even if they have the correct insulation and the correct heating systems.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:20:02 But we need to invest, indeed, we need to substitute capital investing in isolation to the use of fossil fuels. We were used of, uh, fossil fuels that were not expensive. And so we didn't invest enough in our houses. Now we can substitute, uh, capital for fossil fuels and live in the better world.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:20:28 It sounds great, but, um, is it happening? It's not happening fast enough. Right? These things are happening, but not accelerating at the speed we need it to do. Like the tos just suggested. We need a huge shock almost to the system to meet what we need to get to. Um, so how, how do we accelerate what's happening already?
Bertrand Piccard 00:20:49 You know, the shock is not necessarily something negative. One shock that people have to be aware of is the fact that the cost of renewable energies has been divided by 30 in the last 20 years. That's a shock. It's absolutely fantastic. But people don't know it. And they still think that wind and solar and hydroelectricity and biomass and geothermal is something expensive compared to oil, gas and oil, uh, and, and, and coal. But it's not true. The cheapest electricity in the world today is solar and Portugal at 1.50 cents per kilowatt hour. Yeah. Who can beat that? Nobody. So this is where we have to invest.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:21:36 Yeah. So, um, you have all these great solutions and this is how actually we, we started working with Solar Impulse Foundation B, um, started because absolutely we started collaborating on your, on your Solutions for Cities guide. Um, and we're yeah, thrilled that we got to be a part of that. Um, and you have all these solutions and really where we tend to work as this kind of bridge between the public and the private sector, that's where we usually sit. And so I have to ask both of you on, um, on your thoughts on how we can help get solutions from these, all these great solutions you have in your book. How can we help get them into, uh, into the public sector? Um, maybe banal
Bernard Clerfayt 00:22:21 First by reading the book.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:22:23 You read the book Great, great promo for it.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:22:27 We into just by reading the book. Uh, secondly, by, uh, promoting all these ideas with the people, uh, in Brussels, uh, we have, uh, launched a program called Revolut Renovation Revolution to give revolution. Okay. To promote, uh, isolation of housing. And we give, we give eight to the people to support a part of the costs. But the main advantage remains the fact that we make a big, uh, economy in the cost of heating on the long term. But in the short term to convince the people to make the first step. We have, uh, a lot of aid from the government to support that work that will also make a lot of economic activity in the coming years in the construction sector. So we have to, uh, work at vocational training to have more people working in the sector, uh, and to have better houses, uh, less costly to heats, uh, which is good for all the people, the rich and the poor. Yeah.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:23:33 Any, any ideas on that at all?
Bertrand Piccard 00:23:35 I think it's very important to work on two sides. One side is information of the population, to show them all the advantage of this energy and ecological transition. This is really important to have them supporting the politicians. Now, on the political side, I think it's extremely important to make an alliance across the different parties. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Because when you speak of energy and ecology, there's an advantage for everyone. The green parties find an advantage. The socialists find an advantage because the solidarity for the people who are the poorest is great. They pay less energy, they have better houses. And the, and they save energy. It increases their purchase power. Now it's good for the center, right? Because you create jobs, you develop the economy. It's even good for the extreme, right? Who is working a lot to have, uh, energy independence. Yeah. You know, uh, to avoid being dependent from other countries.
Bertrand Piccard 00:24:43 So at the end, you could make an alliance between all these parties, specifically on the energy and ecological transition. They would not agree on everything, but on this, they can find an advantage. Imagine if you make this alliance, even if you have other elections, it would not change the policy. This is what the Americans have done in California between the Democrats and the Republicans. They have an agreement that they will not change the policy of the predecessor if they're elected. Which means that California now has a really ambitious energy policy. It should be, should be, uh, possible to do it also like that in Europe. What do you think there now? Because, am I dreaming? Is this No, no, no. We can do it. It's
Bernard Clerfayt 00:25:27 Really very clever. You're right. It can, uh, add support from all the, the, the, the parts of the political divisions we have. Uh, and it's the reason why we think that a plan like revolution will be support in the future, even if some parties are not in the correlation in Brussels. Because it's good for the economy, it's good for the energy bills for the people. It's good for economic activity, it's good for planets. Uh,
Bertrand Piccard 00:25:55 Yeah, you know what? It gives me an idea. Um, if you manage to have a session with all the parties together, I would love to come and, and and, and speak to all of them
Bernard Clerfayt 00:26:08 In the Brussels parliament. Yes. Why not? Why not <laugh>? Good idea.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:26:12 Amazing.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:26:13 <laugh>. Yes. Good idea.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:26:15 Good. So planned. Good. Um, I, I like to give the open floor to you now to, to talk about anything that you really want more people to know about. Um, either from the brussel side, from solution side, whatever you think really, um, you're passionate about and you really want to tell people about. If we didn't already talk about it, I would like to give you the flora though.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:26:40 No, I just want to tell something. Um, something I like. I'm in charge of digital transformation. Yeah. So we think, uh, we need to support the digital appropriation by the people and about about 40% of the people who are not, uh, who don't used digital, uh, uh, in their, in their life. It's a big problem. Digital divide in Brussels. So we, uh, put um, fiber to the schools, but then the schools didn't develop the fiber within the building. So no, we decide to pay for wifi within the schools. And we start in the, the area of Brussels with the poorest spirit mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then the director of the school. Yes. But for it to work, we need to pay, uh, a computer to all the students. But some of the political parties, socialists say, oh, people don't have the money to pay for a computer.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:27:37 That would be very costly to pay a computer. We went to a school, we put wifi and I heard what the pupils said and the pupil from this very poor area told me it's indeed a very good thing. My mother was very happy previously she had to buy school books every year. And I have to have the school books, uh, in my bag. It's very heavy. It's less costly to buy a computer for all my years in the school then to buy books every year. Huh. And so her mother was very happy. It was a very good idea. So it's not a question of money to pay a computer. It can replace other costs and help people to use a computer at school to improve their computer ability.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:28:23 So for everything we're doing, we need to make a business case for it. Yes. If it's economical, then people will do it. Yeah, yeah,
Bertrand Piccard 00:28:29 Yeah. I love it. That example. Yeah. It is so real.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:28:33 Yeah, exactly.
Bertrand Piccard 00:28:34 But we need to think out of this silo Exactly. In which we are prisoner. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. As soon as we work on the systemic approach, including and involving all the different actors and factors and situations, then the solutions become obvious.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:28:51 Yes. So for long the left resistance, developing wifi in the schools, because you said it would cost people No, it doesn't cost people. It improve their ability to use computers. It improved the quality of, of teaching in the school. The directors and the teachers were very happy, but for them we didn't think that it was much better than the previous situation because books are costly and heavy to have in the back. Yeah.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:29:18 Wonderful example. Did you want to mention anything else?
Bertrand Piccard 00:29:21 Yes. I would like everybody to become aware of how much our world that means us are wasting at every minute of our life. We waste water, we waste energy, we waste food, we waste resources, we waste the waste because we don't even understand it's a resource for the circular economy. So basically we have no respect for what we are using and we have no awareness that we are eating too much meat, buying things that come from the other side of the world, uh, that is made by slaves, uh, that are not paid enough. It's, it's miserable. I believe we have to become aware of that. And in every action of our life, just think a little bit of what we're doing.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:30:20 Hmm. <affirmative> awareness.
Bertrand Piccard 00:30:21 We can put the heating one degree less in our, in our house. It's 7% reduction of the energy. We can save water instead of putting the tap wide open. We don't need all this water. We can do it in a reasonable way. We can shut off the lights when we get out of a room. We can buy more local. We don't need to throw away yogurt, uh, because it's the next day from the expiry date. No, you know, last time I ate a cut cheese, it was a month and a half after the expiry date. I opened it, I tested it, it was good. So I ate
Bernard Clerfayt 00:31:03 It. And
Bertrand Piccard 00:31:04 You're still living and I'm still
Bernard Clerfayt 00:31:05 Alive.
Bertrand Piccard 00:31:05 <laugh> No, you cannot do that. Of course. For and from. But you can do it for thyroid and all the dairy products that are thrown away because they are after the expiry date. It's millions of tons, millions of tons every day or every year in, in, in the world. Can you imagine? Just because people don't know that they can do something else. So awareness of the situation will make people change on their daily life. And of course, if people are aware of that, they will support the governments to be much more ambitious also.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:31:45 And governments, is it your job to create that awareness in people, do you think?
Bernard Clerfayt 00:31:50 Yes. It's part of our job by communication campaigns, by, uh, on all the exams examples you give, uh, to heat less, uh, to consume less water. It's part of many, uh, communication campaign by government bodies in general. I did it at home. Yes, yes. Absolutely. Uh, and I remember have pullovers, uh, previously I forgot them in my, uh, so I didn't use them.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:32:18 I'm always bundled up like this, studied in my home office. Cause I, I haven't turned on the heat actually still in my house. Um, but uh, yeah, some of it's selfish, right? Cost is like, ah, it's so expensive right now. And so that actually helps drive it. But then part of it is also awareness of
Bertrand Piccard 00:32:35 Course. But you don't need to freeze because that's also a bad message.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:32:39 Yeah, yeah. No,
Bertrand Piccard 00:32:40 No, no. You know, it's much more healthy to heat at 19 or 20 and have no thermal shock when you go outside than if you heat at 25 and then you freeze when you get outside in winter. It's, it's ridiculous. Just, you know, common sense
Bernard Clerfayt 00:32:56 Orite it this summer. Yes.
Bertrand Piccard 00:32:58 Cool.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:32:59 New houses,
Bertrand Piccard 00:33:00 You know, at the cup 27, it was 30 degrees outside and they cooled down with huge machines of air conditioning to 15 degrees. People were freezing. I saw some people in the blankets because they were freezing in the middle of the desert. So stupid.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:33:18 Yeah. No, my house is very well insulated, so it, it stays at a good, it's good temperature. Just am all bonded up. This is clever office. <laugh>. Good. Um, now is a really exciting time because I've been asking all the questions. This is a segment that we have. We have a segment in every single podcast episode.
Speaker 5 00:33:36 Flip the script. You are the one asking the questions, and I'll be the one answering them.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:33:44 But since I have both of you, I get to sit back and do none of the work and just have, uh, you ask each other a question. Um, so, uh, maybe <inaudible> you want to ask a question of, uh, banal?
Bertrand Piccard 00:33:58 Yes. We, we have 1,450 solutions that have been selected, ecological, available, profitable. We made a guide of solutions for cities. How could you use them? What would be the next step for somebody like you who is really involved into this psychological transition? What would be the next step to have these solutions go from the guide to the reality of your city?
Bernard Clerfayt 00:34:30 As a joke? I would say to invite you in parliament to speak to all members of,
Bertrand Piccard 00:34:34 That's not a joke. Are you
Bernard Clerfayt 00:34:36 Joke? No, it's not. It's, it's real. But
Bertrand Piccard 00:34:40 Joking,
Bernard Clerfayt 00:34:41 Not answering immediately to your questions. Okay. Yeah. Uh, secondly, so I have to read all that and all, all your proposals. Um, I think many of them have to be to, to, to be put in practice. Some depend on the governments, some depend on, uh, what people do themselves. Some depend on the private sector. Uh, so we need to promote them, uh, and we need to support them by political programs like aid aiding people for insulating their house. I spoke about it, uh, developing digital transformation because it helps using less resources globally, but also developing it in a responsible sense. Because by develop, developing digital transformation, we use a lot of energy. So we have also to develop the best, uh, system which are, uh, the most energy efficient also. So we, we have a plan for developing the digital services in Russells, but by a responsible way. There are different ways to develop a website. For instance, their website are consuming a lot of energy and others who develop much less energy. Uh, that's one way to practically, uh, using or I think a smarter city, but which is, uh, more, um, energy efficient.
Bertrand Piccard 00:35:57 Could you, for example, improve the rules of the public procurement in order to include the total cost of ownership instead of only the costs of purchase? Because today the public procurement, they buy the cheapest, although it will be less efficient and more expensive of a time. Could you change that?
Bernard Clerfayt 00:36:18 It could be possible. The difficulty is how to, um, to measure it, uh, to measure in a way that we are not, uh, cheating in the decision. Yes. That's a big, that's a big question, but it's not because it's difficult that we should not try. Yeah. And, and so that we should not succeed. Yeah.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:36:38 We're actually do, is helping to facilitate something like this. Um, a market consultation basically, where actually cities can, uh, consult the market and engage with the market in a neutral way before you write a tender go into procurement process. So it's a good question. Um, now you get to ask him a question. So would you
Bernard Clerfayt 00:36:59 Like, but Bean suggested, uh, a few minutes ago that he would like to be a politician. He would like to be in government. So assume you are in charge of the government here in Brussels. Uh, what is the first thing, the first program you would, uh, decide?
Bertrand Piccard 00:37:16 The first thing I would decide would be to adapt the norms and the standards for energy efficiency to what the technology allows today.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:37:26 At the highest level?
Bertrand Piccard 00:37:27 Yeah, at the highest level. Because the norms and the standards and the regulation in general, they're outdated much older than the technical solutions we have today. Which means that it is still allowed to pollute and to be inefficient. So I would really put the ambition much higher in order to make a necessity to pull all the innovations to the market. And then the people would be so called oblige to use the newest technologies. And that would help them to save energy, to save money, to be more efficient, and it would be really for their good as much as for the good of the environment.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:38:08 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we, we do it yet for, um, building offices by 2010. Brussels, I think one of the first cities in the world, if not the first, who imposed for building new building, building permit for new buildings, for offices to always choose the most efficient, uh, system. And this system has been exported in New York, is now, uh, copying Brussels, which is good news.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:38:38 Wow. Okay, cool. Um, so one last question, and it's a question that we ask every single guest and we, you hinted on it before, oi, but the question is, what is a smart city to you? Whoever would like to go first?
Bertrand Piccard 00:38:53 A smart city is a city that is not stupid like it is today.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:38:57 <laugh>,
Bertrand Piccard 00:38:57 The smart city is a city where you need much less energy, much less resources, much less water, much less waste. And this is good for the environment, but it's good for the people who have a much lower bill at the end of the month. So it is a city that makes people richer, much less poor, living much better, and the environment would be protected also. So it's a win-win win on every side. And what is really important is to say that it is already possible. It is not something that will come only in the future. It is something we can do already today.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:39:42 It's a very large definition and I share it completely. So there's nothing I can add to that. In a much narrower sense, a smart city is a city with collecting much more information, uh, about how we live, how we produce, how we pollute, how we waste, and by collecting all this information to be able to improve the way we live, uh, to produce better, to waste less, uh, and and all that. So it's a city that use the capacity we have now to collect a lot of information, like do a lot of social media. We know collecting a lot of information to improve the service they offer us, but we can use it at the city level, collecting a lot of information and use it to make the world a better, this city, a better place to live by reducing, uh, waste, reducing consumption of consumption of resources, improving a circular economy and all that.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:40:45 Perfect. I like that answer, Sarah. I have nothing to add. Um, now I just get to thank you, um, so much for your time. Um, getting to talk to both of you is really a pleasure. Um, it's been really nice to get to know more about your work, your goals, um, ambitions and also the challenges of course that come with that. So yeah, thank you both. It's really been a pleasure,
Bertrand Piccard 00:41:06 Pleasure for us also and to get to know Ben.
Bernard Clerfayt 00:41:08 Yes. Thank you. I was happy to meet the be I I met on tv, but never in person in real life. He's real. He's real.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:41:17 He's a real in the real flash. Yeah. Okay, good.
Tamlyn Shimizu 00:41:22 Thank you all for listening. I'll see you at the next stop on the journey to a better urban life.