424. Smart in the City - Tamlyn Shimizu (Urbanistica Episode)

February 14, 2024 01:26:29
424. Smart in the City - Tamlyn Shimizu (Urbanistica Episode)
Smart in the City – The BABLE Podcast
424. Smart in the City - Tamlyn Shimizu (Urbanistica Episode)

Feb 14 2024 | 01:26:29

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Hosted By

Tamlyn Shimizu

Show Notes

This Urbanistica Podcast episode is hosted by ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Mustafa Sherif and was not produced by Smart in the City. Mustafa welcomed our host, Tamlyn Shimizu, to talk about podcasting, urban planning and the different perspectives we collect in the podcast about Smart Cities.
 
 

Some of the questions:

- How do you define a Smart City? 

- On what projects is BABLE Smart Cities working?

-  How was Smart in the City - The BABLE Podcast created?

- What interesting perspectives about Smart Cities have we collected on the podcast? 

- What should urban planners stop doing when they plan Smart Cities?

- What skills should urban planners learn?

- What is next in the podcast? What can we look forward to in 2024?

 

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Want to join us for an episode? Fill out the form on our Podcast Page.

 

And for more insights, visit our BABLE Smart Cities Knowledge Hub!

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Keep Up the Good Work. Keep Loving Cities ❤️️


All opinions expressed in each episode are personal to the guest and do not represent the Host of Urbanistica Podcast unless otherwise stated.


Thanks to Urbanistica Podcast partner AFRY (Urban Planning and Design)


AFRY is an international engineering and design company providing sustainable solutions in the fields of energy, industry, and infrastructure.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Mustafa Sherif: Thank you so much for listening to Urbanistica podcast. I am Mustafa Sherif, an urban planner, and you're more than welcome to join my big journey of exploring the making of smarter and more livable cities. Please don't forget to follow Urbanistica on the different social media platforms. And also let's connect on LinkedIn. Big thanks to Urbanistica podcast partner Afry. Afry is an international engineering and design company providing sustainable solutions in the fields of energy, industry and infrastructure. Are you ready for a new episode? Let's go for it. We have a new storyteller. I have the pleasure to welcome you, Tamlyn, to Urbanistica podcast. Hello and welcome. [00:01:10] Tamlyn Shimizu: Thanks so much, Mustafa, for the invite. I'm really excited to be on this side of the interview, although a little bit more nerve wracking, but thanks so much for having me on. [00:01:20] Mustafa Sherif: My pleasure. So how does it feel when you are on the other side? [00:01:25] Tamlyn Shimizu: It feels a bit weird, to be honest. Usually I'm in control and I have the questions in my hand and now I have to talk a lot more than I do on that side. But I'm excited. I'm excited. [00:01:37] Mustafa Sherif: That's nice. And I'm very happy that we managed to do this finally now after I don't know how many years, I guess. [00:01:44] Tamlyn Shimizu: We met at urban future a couple years ago right now, almost a year and a half or so in Helsingborg. And then we talked about doing some kind of collaboration and now we're making it happen. So keep persevering. I guess it's a message there. [00:02:01] Mustafa Sherif: How was it like when you received the questions and so on? How was the preparation? Is it something strange for you because you're not often receive a question and prepare? You are the one who sending out questions. [00:02:15] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, it is a little bit weird, but I really like the process actually, because it makes you really think about how you're going to. Because a lot of these things I've been thinking about for a long time, but I haven't properly said them in a constructed way or anything like that. So it was a nice process for me to also reflect a lot on the episodes that I've done and all the people I've gotten the chance to speak to. [00:02:42] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah, I think it's how to say. Usually when you do the interview, you're not really reflecting about your own thoughts and philosophy, but when you receive the question, then it's a good moment that you put together and frame how you think and how you communicate this. So I'm really happy and soon we're going to explore all of this. I love to hear more about you. Tell me about where you're from, how you grow up. And then later we're going to talk about the smart city cities, the podcast, and more like into this professional world. But tell me more about you. [00:03:21] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, so I'm originally from the US. I grew up in Colorado, although I was born in California. And then all I wanted to do when I was younger was travel the world. I wanted to leave the US as soon as I could. So when I was 18, I decided to go study in Chile, in Vaporezo, beautiful city. I studied international studies there, also worked a lot on my spanish, obviously. And I also studied business after that. I was traveling in South America after that, and I really fell in love with the Caribbean. And so I ended up doing my last semester, my bachelor's, also in the Dominican Republic, to finish off my degree. And I traveled all over the Caribbean, got to know a lot of really interesting people, and I just couldn't stop traveling. So after that I went to Asia for a while. So I was in Southeast Asia for a little while, and then I landed in Kyrgyzstan, actually in Central Asia, not the most typical of places. And so when I was in Kyrgyzstan, I was working on a lot of different topics. I was in a very remote area in Kyrgyzstan, so many hours from the closest city. I do quotation marks with city because now I see it as a very small town. At the time I felt like it was a city and I taught English there. I taught english teachers English. I did a lot in women's education as well. I think we'll dig into that a little bit more later. But after I left Kyrgyzstan, I was working in remote Alaska for a little while, and then I landed in Europe after that. So my upbringing in Colorado, I actually haven't lived again for an extended period in the US since I was 18. So I feel Colorado for sure, but I definitely feel more of a citizen of the world now. [00:05:33] Mustafa Sherif: But all this experience, you didn't study anything related how to say to city or work specifically with the planning or design. It's more like your relation to city was more about traveling to different cities and exploring them. True? [00:05:51] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, absolutely. So I don't ever claim to be an expert on cities. There are plenty of people at BABLE where I work now that are experts in different aspects of cities. I actually started working a lot with communications and business aspects of different programs, et cetera. So I consider myself more of a communication specialist when it comes to cities and I've learned everything I know about cities and how they work from talking to people and building partnerships with so many different organizations across, mostly across Europe, but also across the world. [00:06:29] Mustafa Sherif: That's impressive. So how was your story with BABLE? Because you work as a teacher and other type of jobs, but this one was more close to this kind of city development atmosphere. [00:06:42] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, well, I was doing my masters in Germany, and I started looking at different opportunities, looking for different jobs, and I came across a job opening at BABLE. I started and I worked for three months there. And I loved it. I loved the world of cities. I loved what I was doing. I loved the team at BABLE. I love the passion behind it. And I thought it was a really interesting contrast to working so much on rural topics and in the rural environments in different places to now working with cities that I stayed and I've been there for the last three and a half years now. [00:07:24] Mustafa Sherif: That's awesome. And you're taking different positions. If you tell our listeners about BABLE, what is the focus? [00:07:33] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, the focus is. So it's BABLE. Smart city cities. So you think of smart city cities. I also call it urban innovation. Sometimes I prefer to call it smarter places or smarter regions, because we're not just talking about cities now, we're really talking about every type of place that can become better connected and can become more livable for people. [00:07:57] Mustafa Sherif: Right. [00:07:58] Tamlyn Shimizu: And also, I like now to kind of frame it in the point of smart and climate neutral, because we cannot talk about smart without talking about climate now and talking about resilient cities. So the focus in BABLE, what we saw when BABLE was founded, we came out of a research background at frownhofer, and then what we saw over the time period was that the market was highly, highly inefficient, and that was causing a lot of trouble. That means that the b to g market. Right. So how businesses are interacting with governments and how governments are procuring innovation, et cetera, the average is around 22 months to procure a new innovation, which is so slow, by the time you procure an innovation, it's already changed. Right. It's already onto the next thing. Because innovation is inherently fast. [00:08:55] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. [00:08:56] Tamlyn Shimizu: And government is inherently slow. So government and innovation in itself cannot really work well together. So our goal is to make it work well together. Right. Is to accelerate the things, accelerate this process. So everything that we do is related to that. And I think later on, we can dig into some specific projects on how we're doing that. But, yeah, that's the basic overview and our mission. [00:09:21] Mustafa Sherif: So you started there working with communication. [00:09:24] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yes. [00:09:25] Mustafa Sherif: What did you see? Because your perspective is very important for how to say, us working with urban planning and city development. When you arrived with communication background and international business, did you see that we are missing something in the field? [00:09:41] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yes, a lot. [00:09:44] Mustafa Sherif: Tell us. [00:09:47] Tamlyn Shimizu: I work with a lot of engineers and people like that, with that background. And of course they're so important in city development to look at the technical background, to look at how to create strategies and all of this work. And what is often missing is how are you going to communicate these strategies and these plans to a the citizens, of course, b internally within your government, because we know how siloed governments work. How are you going to communicate this in an inherent way? And also how are you going to communicate this to other stakeholders? Right. So looking at how are you communicating this to businesses so that businesses can actually understand what the city needs and organizations like us can actually understand what the city really needs and what their plan is and vision is moving forward so we can support them in procuring the right technologies to support that vision. So communication underlies everything that cities are doing, actually. And I think not enough emphasis is placed on that. [00:10:57] Mustafa Sherif: Why do you think it became like this? Is because in the university we are not learning to communicate or why you think the reasons from your perspective? [00:11:09] Tamlyn Shimizu: I think education is a part of it. I do think that if you get, for example, a degree in, I don't know, urban development or anything like that, I don't know how many universities are actually teaching a large communication component to that. I don't actually know the data on that. But yeah, it could be a big part, could be education. I think another part could very well be that we like to stay in our lane and people really like, people who like to build strategies and to do the technical parts. They just don't like communication very much, let's be honest. That's just not what they like to do. Right. They want to sit and they want to make these plans and then they want to say, okay, I did my. [00:11:58] Mustafa Sherif: Part right, I did get the job done. [00:12:01] Tamlyn Shimizu: This is it. And then it's up to the communications professionals within, say, government, to communicate that to the public, et cetera. But they were not involved in the process. [00:12:13] Mustafa Sherif: This is it. [00:12:14] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, they don't know what's going on. [00:12:17] Mustafa Sherif: This is what I see. I think you also notice that there is like, how to say, a huge communication team, and then there is like a planners, planners do the job and plan and vision and all this stuff, then it's communicated by a team. And what you see is, you don't see like, it's communicated like the dna, the soul of the plan or the strategy. A lot of things is being messed out, and what is being communicated is like super abstract and very. You can easily see that this communication team was not really involved in the process. [00:12:59] Tamlyn Shimizu: Exactly. When we talk a lot about co creation, I could probably count a lot of times co creation was mentioned on my podcast. Right. And you can probably also count a lot of times co creation is definitely a trendy word, right. But what we usually talk about is co creating with citizens, co creating with other stakeholders, which of course is very important. But do these departments co create with their communication professionals? That. I don't think so. Not so often. [00:13:31] Mustafa Sherif: Exactly. Last time we had a workshop here in a municipality called Solna in Sweden, and I was super happy because they actually brought a person from communication team to sit in the workshop. Even not so much contribution on the technical part, but was involved from the beginning. So when they tell a story, they tell it as how it is. [00:13:57] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, absolutely. And I've seen that also from my perspective, because I also have the task, of course, of communicating to cities about projects and about the work that BABLE does. Right. And the impact of our projects. And I can tell that story so well when I was involved in the project, but it's a lot harder. I can get bullet points, I can talk to my colleagues about it, but it just isn't the same. I just can't talk about it to the same degree as when I was involved in the project. [00:14:28] Mustafa Sherif: Exactly. Because when you're like in the room, you hear how to say, the discussions, the fights, the challenges, you feel the atmosphere, so you can express yourself more in a realistic way later. So people can feel it also. [00:14:44] Tamlyn Shimizu: Exactly. [00:14:45] Mustafa Sherif: So when you are involved in a project with your background, how is the reaction of people on the table? Do they say, okay, why we have a communication expert, or we don't need a communication expert here. How is our cities more like welcoming or. [00:15:04] Tamlyn Shimizu: No, I think so. I think it depends on the city for sure. I've never had anyone say that to my face, at least, so maybe they're just being polite. But I think in most cases it's clear if I'm involved in a project, that there's a communication element to the project, that we need to communicate about this project. Usually in our case, it's that a city wants to communicate about something that they're doing about a project to a wider european audience. And that is the network that BABLE brings across Europe is that we work with so many cities and so many different stakeholders across Europe that cities say, okay, I want to get our story and our message and our lessons learned out to european partners. So they want that from the beginning. Usually it's an express need, right? [00:15:56] Mustafa Sherif: And Tamlyne, what is best? Is it like a planner or designer or architect communicate or a communication expert work together with an architect or a planner? [00:16:08] Tamlyn Shimizu: I think it depends on the level of communication and the skill set within the architect and urban designer. I think you do need communication experts in a lot of cases when there's a high level of complexity, of course, in that communication. So in some projects it might be that the expert on the topic, they need to very clearly explain more of the strategy and they're good at talking about their projects and they're just a skilled person. I've seen many people that are not communication experts but are really good at talking still, right. And not just talking, but actually understand. I have a colleague, for example, his name is Peter Griffiths, he works in our UK market and he's an expert in urban futures. But he also spent a lot of time in journalism, right. So with him I know I don't need, like he can do that, of course I can support him, but he can do it with other colleagues. They don't have as much of a background. And the same goes, obviously for anybody in cities. If they don't have so much of a background or experience, they don't feel comfortable with it, then that kind of has to be assessed and say, okay, you need a communication expert there with you. [00:17:27] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. So it depends on the aim and what you want to communicate and the scale. Also, when you talk with the professionals, usually it's difficult to extract information. So you can write a story or tell a story. How can we help you with that? Like what should we think about when we want to tell information about a project? What is important? [00:17:54] Tamlyn Shimizu: I think it's really important to think about what people mostly do is they tell what went right instead of talking about what went wrong and also the impact. So I think lessons, I shouldn't say what went wrong, but I often say lessons learned to be more politically correct. But I think we have to talk about the things that did go wrong. We have to talk about this because it's important to communicate and be open and honest and transparent about that also, so that other cities and other stakeholders don't make the same mistake. So I think outlining the lessons learned, actually when we're talking about sharing about projects. Babo has actually developed a DIN standard for this. This is kind of underlying how our platform is structured and within that it's that everyone who's sharing a use case can follow a set structure for that. And that helps a lot with communicating about it. Right. If you have that structure behind it. So I advise on using that use case structure usually. But yeah, also think about really impact. That's usually what I like to communicate about Tamil. [00:19:14] Mustafa Sherif: We don't usually tell about mistakes and so on because it's not going to sound good. Let's say I have a company or in a city and if I communicate what we did wrong, then people will see us as a loser. We will have a reputation. I listened to this person and they did this, these mistakes, so we will not have a good reputation. This is like what we think about. What is your take? [00:19:44] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, so with cities I see it largely depends on the culture of the individual cities. For example, when we're in Helsingborg, I know that they have an award for the biggest mistake within the council. Right. And so you have this culture around sharing mistakes that is very inherent and driven through that individual circumstance. It does relate a lot to the culture of the organization and how we can use that in some cultures, in some cities, the city officials really, or the practitioners, I should say, don't have that kind of support from their politicians. Right. So they have to be very careful about how they talk. I think you can frame anything in communications. It's about framing it here. [00:20:40] Mustafa Sherif: I see your communication magic. Yeah. [00:20:43] Tamlyn Shimizu: So I think you can talk about mistakes in a way that people really respect, honesty. And that's across the board. So if you say, hey, I think this is what we did really, right. This is what we did very good. Start off with the good things. Right. Lay the groundwork. This is what we did good. And then you go into, okay, these were challenging areas for us. These are the lessons that we learned from it and how we're going to improve in the future. And if you follow that line of thinking, I think you can frame any mistake as, hey, this is a lesson learned and this is how we're going to actually fix it in the future, right? [00:21:28] Mustafa Sherif: Yes. So it's a way to. That's why you're a communication expert. It's a way to reframe our words and reformulate instead of saying this was a big mistake and doing it in a negative way. But maybe we can, as you mentioned, tell it in a positive way. This is a lesson we learned maybe you should also avoid doing this, like an aim of sharing information. [00:21:53] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, exactly. [00:21:56] Mustafa Sherif: So the podcast idea, because BABLE, they didn't have the podcast, if I understand correctly. [00:22:03] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yes. [00:22:04] Mustafa Sherif: How did you pitch the idea? And started. [00:22:09] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, so actually, when I was going into my first interview to come into BABLE, I had a colleague, Pierre, who's still at BABLE, and he mentioned in the interview that they wanted to start a podcast. Okay. I don't take credit for the initial idea of it, but it was kind of set on the side until we had time. We needed this. Then after I was full time into BABLE for maybe around a year or something, I really wanted to pick up the idea. So I hired an intern to support me with pushing that idea through, and she ended up being marvelous, and we hired her full time after that. [00:22:57] Mustafa Sherif: Wow. [00:22:58] Tamlyn Shimizu: So she's still our podcast coordinator now. [00:23:01] Mustafa Sherif: Okay. [00:23:01] Tamlyn Shimizu: And so I wouldn't be able to do it without her. I wouldn't be able to do many of the things I do alone. I give props to anybody who does it alone, but it's much more than that behind me. So, yeah, we started it. We came up with kind of a USP for it, which has also evolved over time. We decided on the format that we wanted to do a set format every episode, and we stuck to that. Mostly we've changed a few things, but in general, it's been really successful. And then what's been really incredible is we got lots and lots of traction, and many different partners have come to us wanting to do series with us. The first series we did was together with Smart Dublin, where we did, I think, seven episodes together with them because they have different districts that they work in and a lot of really cool work there. And then now we've done. Last year we did a really cool partnership with Resi, which is a spanish network of smart cities in Spain. And we brought together, actually, within that, we brought together one. We did four episodes last year with them. So we did one spanish city from a member from the network together. We brought an international city with them, and that was a format I really, really loved. The last one we did was with the CIO of Istanbul and the director of the digital office of Madrid together. And they didn't meet before, right. So these people don't meet before, and we just push them in a room together and say, hey, let's talk about what you're doing together. And then by the end of every episode, they're like, oh, we can collaborate here and do this. [00:24:49] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah, exactly. [00:24:50] Tamlyn Shimizu: That's been a really cool aspect of the podcast and how that's evolved. [00:24:54] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah, I love your podcast, and this is one of main reasons you're here. So, because I believe that we should be many voices and not only like this podcast or that podcast, because we need different perspective to listen to different people with different focus. So together we collect a lot of inspiration. So that's why I'm happy when I started the podcast. Smart city, following you. I'm still listening to you. So tell the listeners, what is the format and what are you focusing with your podcast content? [00:25:33] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. So obviously we focus on urban innovation topics, but we've had many different topics on anything related to cities. Basically, we talk about it, but usually we take that lens of either climate or innovation focus topics, and we do focus around the cities. So we usually have city officials on, sometimes other stakeholders as well. But we've now interviewed, like, 40 plus different cities and regions on the podcast, and the format really follows. So we like to start off with, like, a teaser question, then we get into the main interview part, and then we have our segments. And so I really love doing the segments. We have, like, I don't know, eight different segments that we rotate through, for example, is called, like, roll with the punches. It's my favorite one. I say that every time I do it, that it's my favorite one. It really is. It's like answering this or that questions with your first instinct. So we like to play a little bit with the interviewees, of course, as well. And then we ask every single guest a recurring question, which is to you, what is a smart city? And so we've collected now 60 plus different perspectives on what actually a smart city means to them, which I think is really cool. So, yeah, that's how it goes. [00:26:53] Mustafa Sherif: It's fun because people you interview mostly are city officials. Like people working in cities and so on, like, also with the positions. And then you come with super funny questions. I think they are not usually hearing this kind of questions. So in your podcast, they cannot run away. Now they have to face an answer. And I just start laughing every time you ask these funny questions. [00:27:22] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, exactly. And we don't usually tell them ahead of time. [00:27:26] Mustafa Sherif: You don't do. [00:27:27] Tamlyn Shimizu: No. So I haven't gotten any hate mail yet. No, I think it's okay because it's not live, right? If someone really has a problem with it, we can retract it. But so far, they've been really good city people and officials and politicians and everyone. They like to play games, too. We have to have fun with these topics, because if you work every day on climate change, for example, and see the dread of the world, like basically really heavy topics, we also have to have fun about them as well. We're just humans, right? All trying to do our best. [00:28:05] Mustafa Sherif: True. But I faced a bit of, at least here in Scandinavia when I do, because my podcast is like two parts, one about the projects and then one about the person. When it comes about the project, I feel, or what I hear, usually they are very, very, now I'm talking about people working in the cities. They are very careful with what they say. And usually what I get out is that things on the homepage. So I feel like they are very scared of saying something else than what is on the homepage, which turns very boring conversation. Do you experience the same or do you felt sometimes like they are a bit scared of talking more? [00:28:56] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, in some small cases, I feel like that is true for sure, that they don't want to talk about certain things. They just haven't gotten approval basically to talk about it. Right. I think if you hit the decision makers, if you hit the chief, like the cios, the cdos, those people, they're not so afraid. Especially if you talk to politicians, you can always tell that they're very well versed in what they're saying. And I also try not to poke the bear too much. Right. I know that they can't talk about certain things that are a little bit more delicate, but the people I've interviewed have luckily been very open people. So I haven't had too many experiences like that. [00:29:44] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah, that's good, because in the sum that I interview, I try to challenge them, but then I understand, okay, they don't have the permission to say this, or they don't know so much about that and so on. And I'm sitting here and being super curious, oh, tell me about this. But what did you do here? And they'd be like, no, I cannot talk about that anyway. Yeah. Tell me more about the process behind the scenes. When you interview your guest, let's say that this x person will be your guest. Do you find you get nomination or you do research? [00:30:31] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, it's been all across the board. Sometimes we partner with events like urban future, for example. We've also partnered with other events as media partners. And then in some cases, like with urban future, I basically tell them these. One of your speakers are really interesting. Can you ask them to be on the podcast? Sometimes it's that people approach us also nominating other people, for example. Also we're just talking to so many people as BABLE. So my colleagues will come to me and say, hey, I was talking to this person. I think they'd be really good on the podcast, or I have a quite extensive network as well. And I'm just thinking, I've mentioned it to people in passing before I've had conversations with them. And then I'm like, hey, remember how you promised me a podcast? Let's do that. [00:31:20] Mustafa Sherif: Now. [00:31:21] Tamlyn Shimizu: It comes from all different angles, but we actually did just open up because now we've had a lot of requests come in. We did just open up a new page on BABLE to where people can just fill out a form and request to be on it. [00:31:36] Mustafa Sherif: That's nice. And how is the process? You selected a guest and how is the process until you publish the episode? [00:31:45] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, so we typically have like a 30 minutes meeting. Don't need to always. It just depends on their level of comfort and what they like to do, where I kind of just walk them through the process and then they tell me which topics they want to focus on, or we do it via email also works. And then my podcast coordinator and I just sit together. We can plan an episode in 20 minutes now, and we just based off of their input and what we see. Sometimes we don't have very much input from them if it's via a different person or whatever situation it might be. My personal record is I was at Green Cities in Malaga in Spain, and we didn't have any episodes planned ahead of time, and I ended up recording six in 24 hours that I planned on the spot. [00:32:38] Mustafa Sherif: Because you have the template right, then you just need to change and fit it to the guests. The questions exactly. [00:32:44] Tamlyn Shimizu: And usually they're people that are quite open because they agreed to come onto the podcast, so they're quite open and flexible with their questions and stuff. And I just go with it. Okay, let's talk about this. Definitely prefer to have a little bit more time to plan out a little bit more in depth ones, but, yeah, because of the template that we follow every time. It's quite fast. [00:33:10] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. And you do live or you record and then publish? [00:33:15] Tamlyn Shimizu: Record and then. Yeah, it's easier. [00:33:19] Mustafa Sherif: You spend time on editing or usually now, like just cutting some few parts and then. [00:33:25] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, I'd have to ask John how much time she spends on editing. I don't edit myself, so I don't know. She seems pretty fast at it. But I would have to say that, yeah, we do edit a little bit. Sometimes there's guests want to rerecord something or there was a technical issue or the wiFi, whatever it might be. [00:33:49] Mustafa Sherif: And how long is the episode? What are the range you try to keep? [00:33:54] Tamlyn Shimizu: So 30 to 45 minutes is the range we try to keep. When it's one guest, it usually is more on the 30 minutes side. When it's more than one guest, it's usually more on the 45 minutes side or longer. Some really interesting and very talkative people have gone up to an hour. That's kind of the longest that we do. [00:34:10] Mustafa Sherif: That's awesome. So let's dig into the topic of smart city, because when I started my career and my podcast, I was also focusing on this. But then with passion, everything shifted. I'm more like focusing on people and the social aspect of cities. I love to ask you first, from what you collected and heared and worked with, how do you define a smart city? [00:34:36] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, it's a question that we ask every guest. Right. [00:34:40] Mustafa Sherif: Now it's your turn. [00:34:41] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, so I have a lot of interesting perspectives. Maybe first I'll give you my take on it and then I can talk about what I've learned from all the interesting people I've interviewed. So I like to define a smart city in a kind of a dimensional approach. That means talking about it. There could be more dimensions, of course, but I like to stick to three dimensions of kind of a smart city or a smart place or smart region or whatever you want to call it. I like to think of it in a technological dimension. So this is kind of the typical, I guess, smart city way that people think, okay, using ICT, improving life and work in a relevant way through using urban systems and infrastructure, particularly ICT and technology. So that's kind of the standard way, and that's usually the dimension that people like to go to first when they talk about a smart city. Okay, but we're missing some dimensions. So then next I would talk about the kind of institutional dimension aspect to a smart city. And this is about governance really, and policy. Right. So I think that you can't talk about a smart city without looking at the system and the governance behind it. Looking at the cooperation between different stakeholders, looking at all of these aspects of governance really make a smart city possible. Right. So you can't forget about that dimension in a holistic view of a smart place. And then lastly, I like to talk about the human dimension. So this is what we talk about with a lot of these co creation and all of these things is applying the human dimension into what a smart place is. So this is based on people, this is looking at quality of life, looking at education. How do people learn knowledge, like all these key drivers of social, economic, environmental sustainability. So this is kind of the dimensional approach that I like to take when I talk about smart city cities. Yeah. I don't know if that's. [00:37:00] Mustafa Sherif: These are like how to say, a triangle of the technology aspect or layer, and then the institution, the government, and then people. And all these should result to enhance people's everyday life somehow. [00:37:15] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, exactly. I think it goes beyond just quality of life. Of course, that's an important aspect of it, but it should then tie to the overall goal of. I tie it back to climate, usually, honestly, because I think the quality of life, even if you say, oh, we have all the systems in place to have a high quality of life, climate change will soon change that and not make that possible. So I always will go back to, okay, climate as the end goal. [00:37:49] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. Do you think you will add one more layer, or if you want to add one more layer to these three, what will you add? [00:37:59] Tamlyn Shimizu: Good question. That's a really interesting one. I think that these dimensions kind of encompass it very well. But there's a few other aspects that were told to me that basically. So I interviewed someone last week. His name is Joel, he's the head of office in Kashkais Ambiente, which is the environmental, municipally owned company of Kashkais. And he said something really interesting there about what a smart city is. When he first answered it, and I hadn't heard this before, and it was interesting to think about, it was about the human talent. And so he said that a smart city is a city where all the talent, like the human talent, is properly appraised and used to change the city. So it's about this kind of using the human dimension in a kind of circular way, or in a way that's very sustainable. And I thought that aspect was really interesting. [00:39:04] Mustafa Sherif: Interesting. But usually the smart city definition attached to data on tick. [00:39:11] Tamlyn Shimizu: Exactly. Yeah, it's attached there. That's the technology dimension. But in all my work is that technology is a tool, it's not the goal. Right. So that's why it's a layer. That's why it's a dimension, but it's not the whole picture. [00:39:26] Mustafa Sherif: Is there like an official definition to a smart city or everyone explain it from their perspective? [00:39:37] Tamlyn Shimizu: There is somewhat of an official definition, I think, but I think every organization uses it a bit differently. I'm sure if you ask hat CPT, it will give you a textbook definition. I don't know. It by heart. And I'm sure if you google it, there's a Wikipedia definition. They will be a little bit different though, because I think the information chachi Bt would take would be all of the different definitions and trying to summarize it. [00:40:06] Mustafa Sherif: Right, that's true. How to say, how is your position to AI? Because now I attended utopian hours, it's like a conference in Torino in Italy. Exactly. And there was a guy from France, I think their name is like Urban AI, and they talk about stop saying smart city, because now it's like AI world. And so. So how are these attached? What do you think? [00:40:40] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, I mean, people have started, first of all, with stopping saying smart city. I kind of agree with it, but we have yet to find a better term, and that's why we just keep on using it, because it just encompasses so many things into one phrase. I don't think it's the same thing as AI, though. I would differ my opinion on that. AI is, again, a tool. It's not a goal. And I think a smart city needs to encompass the overall goal of what a city should be. AI, like any technology, is a tool to get there, but it is not the end. Right. [00:41:20] Mustafa Sherif: And how would you define innovation? Because in the podcast and in your project, you work a lot with innovation. What is innovation in relation to cities? [00:41:30] Tamlyn Shimizu: Innovation is doing something new that hasn't necessarily been done before. So you can innovate systems, you can innovate processes. Innovation can be technology, innovation can be all of it in one. It's about trying new things and learning from them, and using those learnings to better the city is what I would define as innovation. I've never been asked that question, though, before. So good that you made me think about it. [00:41:58] Mustafa Sherif: Is there any other interesting definition of smart cities that you heard from your guest? [00:42:05] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, there's a lot. Most people focus from the guests on this kind of citizen centric approach. Right. It's like putting the people first. And a smart city is one that serves the citizens, essentially, so it's serving them effectively. Also, being an effective city is one perspective that I heard a lot, that the city is efficient and effective in serving the citizens. A lot of people also touched on sustainability and resilience, which I think is very important, as I mentioned. So I like saying that cities need to be very adaptable and agile. Cities are very complex systems. City governments are very bureaucratic. So for a city to be adaptable, it's very challenging. So if a city can adapt quickly to changes, that is a very smart city, I would say, yeah. [00:43:02] Mustafa Sherif: So it's more about how they adapt and how they change their policies and systems and so on. There are a lot of departments as well, needed to be synchronized. [00:43:11] Tamlyn Shimizu: Right, exactly. I was speaking with a podcast guest also about in their city, it was Villa de Kans in the outskirts of Barcelona. And in their department, they have been able to innovate in a way where now they have actually more women in their department than men in kind of a tech focused department. It's very challenging to do. Right. The split is still very wide there. And I think that this is also an important aspect is like, how do you innovate internally to have a better split of perspectives and how to get to your goal by innovating and changing and adapting internally. And I think governments have to do that internally before they can do that externally also. So that's a challenge. [00:44:10] Mustafa Sherif: Can you share with us some of projects that BABLE work with helping cities to be smarter? [00:44:17] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, we've done a lot of projects. [00:44:20] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. Tell me, tell me in details. [00:44:22] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, I have to think on which ones would be the best to talk about. But I guess now we're at the beginning of 2024, and we've set kind of our priorities moving forward. So I'll focus on those ones, on what we've seen, what we've done previously that has been really effective, and that's why we're focusing on it moving forward. So right now with cities, one thing that I mentioned is that the market is highly inefficient and very confusing for cities. There's a lot of technology out there, for example, it doesn't necessarily have to be technology also services, et cetera. That is very complex to understand what specifications you really have to match very specific needs from cities to all the different technologies. Right. And this is very complex for cities to do. They don't have a good understanding of what's available on the market sometimes because it's moving so fast, as we mentioned. Right. This market's moving. The innovation technology market is moving very fast. Cities move much. So one thing that we've been doing is helping them procure the right technologies, essentially. So the other day, a city in Germany called us and they said, okay, we have an urgent need. Our autonomous bus provider fell through. We need to quickly, very quickly come up with other providers that meet these very specific specifications. And so what we could do is pull from our network, pull from our research, and give them very quickly what options that they had. So we gave them a list of four companies. These are your best bets so that they could very quickly change, cure again, and go forward. So I think that's a really interesting way that we're meeting. Our main goal of accelerating this market, this connector between public private sector. Another thing that we've been doing for a long time, and that's really effective is money. Money talks, right. I had people talk a lot about money on the podcast, and money is very important. Cities talk about lack of funding for different initiatives a lot. And one thing that we do is we help them scan and also give them opportunities to access funding. There's a lot of funding. There's almost always some kind of funding, but they just don't know about it. So, for example, we were just helping in this new round, but we've also helped with other funding rounds. Many cities across Europe access funding, called EUCF, and it's about creating sustainable energy investment concepts. So we've helped many cities access this funding and then work with them to develop these concepts, and now they have to implement. Right. So that's the next phase that we can support with on implementing these concepts. And of course, energy right now is important in so many aspects, and sorry if I'm droning on too long, but we have a lot of different. [00:47:25] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah, that's good, that's good. [00:47:28] Tamlyn Shimizu: But another really cool project that we have is related to training. So we've been doing a lot in the field of smart city training for a while now. Right. We started off with a program together with partners in Germany called TIffsud, and we developed a smart city officer training program, and we've developed this in many other kind of ways. Now we have 32 different modules that we're teaching on to cities across Europe. Also now expanding outside of Europe a little bit. But one really cool project that we have ongoing right now is with every single municipality in Ireland. It's called the Mobility Accelerator program. It's over the course of three years. So it's a national program. And so what we're doing is essentially training all the people in all of the local authorities on mobility topics. There's a lot of different, obviously different aspects that go into this. It's not about teaching necessarily on kind of technical aspects of mobility, but how to incorporate in procurement innovation other aspects into that. So that's also a really cool one to talk about. [00:48:40] Mustafa Sherif: So it's not like you're not providing these tech platforms and sensors and so on. [00:48:48] Tamlyn Shimizu: No, we're not like services and educational institutional. Yeah, exactly. We're not a tech platform. We're a facilitator really? We're the biggest facilitator in smart cities in Europe. So we are facilitating knowledge, we're facilitating market access. [00:49:10] Mustafa Sherif: Let's say, how big is the team? [00:49:13] Tamlyn Shimizu: So 65 people, many. Yeah. And we like to be local on the ground. So I'm sitting right now in our Stuttgart office. That's where we were born, as I mentioned, where it's been off from the Fraunhofer Research Society in Stuttgart. So that was our original office, actually, I heard that our Barcelona office is bigger now. So we're working a lot in Iberia as well. We also have an entity in London, people sitting. We also have a small office in Dusseldorf, in Copenhagen. I always miss one when I'm listing these, so I've definitely missed something. But you can tell that we like to be on the ground with the cities getting their insights. [00:50:00] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. And how is the atmosphere of BABLE? Because when you are split it in different cities, then there are like small, small teams. How is the overall atmosphere? Like, do you feel that you're one team, or how do you do so that you feel one team? [00:50:17] Tamlyn Shimizu: It's definitely getting more challenging. I came to BABLE when we had 15 people, so it's a lot different. And we were all in Stucat, right? [00:50:25] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. [00:50:25] Tamlyn Shimizu: And so now we're spread out. So it's definitely more challenging now. But for example, I just got back like a week ago from our company wide sprint, as we call it. It's like a company. I never know the right word. It's not really a retreat. We work a lot, but we also have a lot of fun together. [00:50:44] Mustafa Sherif: Right. [00:50:45] Tamlyn Shimizu: So there I got to know a lot of the new colleagues who I hadn't met in person yet. We worked for five days on what we're doing, what our goals want to be for 2024. And that's a really good way of still connecting the whole team. [00:51:00] Mustafa Sherif: I think that's awesome. And from what you hear in the podcast and what you observe in the projects, what should cities stop doing when they plan and develop a smart city? [00:51:17] Tamlyn Shimizu: Good question. What should they stop doing? I mean, it could also be framed in what they should start doing, kind of in parallel. I think we already talked about the communication aspect. [00:51:30] Mustafa Sherif: Yes. [00:51:30] Tamlyn Shimizu: And that is probably the main things that I preach over and over again. I also really like to talk about how cities like to think a lot about how to incentivize citizens to change behavior. Of course. And I like to talk a lot about how you have to make the options the most convenient for them. So convenience outweighs almost anything else, like money incentives. Anything else. Obviously, if you offer a million euros, people will take that. But usually the small money incentives might incentivize some. But in general, if you make a city very convenient, you make the pathways, especially when we talk about mobility, if you make it the most convenient path, people will time and time again choose the most convenient way to do it. Okay, so I like to think about that, that you stop thinking so much about other incentives. Not that they don't have a role. Right. That these other incentives, like, I do love these apps that if you cycle, you get coins and stuff to use at local businesses. I'm not saying stop that. I'm just saying there has to be always the first priority, make it convenient. So that's kind of my perspective there. Other things that cities should stop doing. Yeah, I think that cities often are not open enough to businesses. So some cities are. Some city people want to talk to the companies. They want to talk. I know that they get a lot of annoying requests, right. No one likes to be approached for sales and, hey, buy my technology. And that's something businesses also have to learn how to do better. [00:53:19] Mustafa Sherif: Right. [00:53:20] Tamlyn Shimizu: Um. But cities need to be more open, because a lot of cities do recognize they need to procure, they need to get these innovations, but they're so lost in kind of this marketplace jungle, or however you want to see it. And they're so kind of bogged down with the regular tasks that they kind of aren't as open as they should be, I think, to this collaboration with businesses and other partners. I think some cities do it very well. Some cities need to work a lot on it. [00:53:55] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. About the first aspect that make it convenient for the citizens, but sometimes it might be unsustainable. Can you elaborate more? Because let's say taking a car is a convenient. Yes, but it's not that good. So how can we think there? [00:54:20] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yes, sometimes taking a car is convenient, but I do think eventually we have to move completely away from cars. But we're not there yet, first of all. So we also have to figure out. [00:54:35] Mustafa Sherif: The options, like that. Other options. [00:54:40] Tamlyn Shimizu: But I think that we have to look at the balance, of course, between sustainability and convenience. Obviously, sustainability reigns, for me, reigns supreme, as in we need to focus. That should be our first topic. But you look at cities who have made bicycling, you look at Amsterdam as a classic example. Right? If you look on your app, it takes longer to drive places than to bicycle. So people choose that. So it's about making the options that are most sustainable, the most convenient. Right. [00:55:22] Mustafa Sherif: Okay. Like the two together. [00:55:23] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. [00:55:24] Mustafa Sherif: I would say what skills should we learn in order to make smart cities? You mentioned communication, other skills that you think necessary in order to face challenges and also create this kind of smart city. [00:55:41] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, I think it's really useful to learn about, again, the market and kind of learn the, the scope of what's going on in the market and learn what technologies are out there, learn how B 2g business works. Right. I think when you're stuck in kind of urban planning or those types of things, I think maybe you don't think so much about the market and the marketplace, but my first answer is always communications. You already said it. But then my second answer would be kind of looking at, I think business skills and communication skills are always really useful to learn for many aspects of life as well. [00:56:26] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. So before we move to the next part of this episode, which is going to be more about like you, what are you looking forward this year? Is there anything new in the podcast projects? What is going to happen? [00:56:41] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, we moved from bi weekly episodes to weekly episodes because we had so many. I hope we can keep that up with the demand as well with the podcast. We also want to do more of these formats where we push two people who don't know each other into a room together to record. I love it so much. I just see the impact that it has on the podcast, that people are like hugging afterwards and all of these things. I'm like, the podcast just brings it out of people. It brings people together so much. I love that format so much. So I want to do a lot more of that. Looking at other partnerships, of course, as well. Hey, if you're interested in a partnership, we're open, but we're probably going to renew different partnerships like with Resi, we're probably going to look for other partnerships with other network organizations who want to kind of feature their member cities. And we want to also feature more of the cities that we've done projects with. Talking about the projects, deep diving a bit more into certain projects that we think are really interesting and have really unique lessons learned to share. [00:57:58] Mustafa Sherif: Awesome. Do you know there are some lack of conferences that you will be there or it's not planned yet? [00:58:04] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yes, we have quite an extensive event list. We're in many places. Of course, our two biggest ones of the year is urban future. We'll be there with the podcast, of course. And we're also planning to do many other sessions. Last year it was actually in Stuttgart, so we were able to collaborate with them on a very large scale. We had a side event. We did a new format, which now I've done a couple more times to called Urban Shark Tank, which is a really fun session where we bring in city sharks is what I call it. And they sit on a replicability panel and companies pitch their use cases, not necessarily their solution, but they pitch a use case how they've implemented it in a specific city, and the sharks will ask them kind of tough questions and advise them on the replicability of those projects in scaling those up to other cities. [00:58:58] Mustafa Sherif: Cool. [00:58:59] Tamlyn Shimizu: And then the audience votes on the best pitch. [00:59:04] Mustafa Sherif: That's cool. [00:59:05] Tamlyn Shimizu: And the companies, of course, win a prize, the company who wins. So it's a really fun session. We're doing it at autonomy this year coming up in March. We're going to do it likely again at urban future as well. And then last year we did it at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona. We'll definitely try to do that again this year. We are also a collaborating partner at the Smart City Expo, and I'm also there with the podcast. I think I recorded five different episodes last year there. It's really fun. Yeah. So those are our big ones, but we have lots of other, we like to be involved in a lot of other more local events and mobility events, energy events, anything about cities. We try to be there. [00:59:53] Mustafa Sherif: That's awesome. So moving on to the next part, how do you keep your work life balance? [01:00:04] Tamlyn Shimizu: My work life balance? That's a tough question because I'm a person that loves to work. I will say I'm very motivated by work and I'm very motivated. I love working. So it is very difficult for me to keep a work life balance, and it's something I've struggled with over time. I just love the drive. But my biggest thing, and I've gotten a lot better at it, especially in the last, I don't know, year or so about really finding time outside of work. I have a lot of different hobbies and stuff, and I want to do those, too. So my biggest thing is time blocking. My calendar shows me every hour of what I'm going to do that day. [01:00:50] Mustafa Sherif: Okay? [01:00:51] Tamlyn Shimizu: And for some, that might seem a little bit too. I want more flexibility. And yes, I do still keep some flexibility in there to change it, and I just adapt it, et cetera. But I think I have to time block because otherwise I just get into my work and I just work too late, et cetera. But if I have it in my calendar that from 07:00 p.m.. Onwards or whatever. I have to walk my dog, and I have plans with my husband to go to dinner, whatever it might be, then that's what I'm going to do. That's how I do it. [01:01:27] Mustafa Sherif: That's nice. What are your hobbies? [01:01:30] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, I have lots of hobbies. I have a goal for 2024, to do yoga every day, and it could just be when we were at the sprint, the company retreat, I did it for just five minutes in the morning because that's all I could manage because we were working 16 hours, days, et Cetera. But, yeah, I really love doing that right now. I was doing a lot more weightlifting in the past. I love to do that as well, to be active. I walk my dog a lot. I have a wonderful dog. She's great. So I would try to walk her, like, three times a day. [01:02:13] Mustafa Sherif: Wow. [01:02:15] Tamlyn Shimizu: And I love to hike, and I'm really into paddleboarding in the summer as well. So those are kind of my active, I would say I've really gotten into in the last year, in 2023, I really needed to read just mystery books. I don't know why. I just really got into mystery books. [01:02:34] Mustafa Sherif: Okay. Interesting. [01:02:35] Tamlyn Shimizu: For me, it was just engaging, but still light enough where I could read, really get into it after a long day of work, even. And of course, I still love traveling a lot. I travel a lot for work, though, so I try to balance it a bit. But I love to travel. I love trying different food. My husband and I are both really into indian food. I've spent quite some time in India. We've traveled there also together, and we eat indian food probably, like, two or three times a week. I'm a little obsessed. I love it there. So we're always looking to find the best indian places. We've tried, I think, every single indian place in the Stuka region by now. So I can tell you all the best Indians if you need. Hit me up. And I recently. So when I was younger, my mom was a piano teacher, and I played violin all through growing up, and then I quit for a long time. I went through the teenage angst of. And I left traveling for a long time. Right. And everything. And I recently bought, like, an electric, silent violin to start playing again. [01:03:52] Mustafa Sherif: Silent. [01:03:54] Tamlyn Shimizu: What's that? [01:03:56] Mustafa Sherif: Electric silent? [01:03:57] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. Silent, yeah. Because when you live in Germany, you have to be very careful about the noises you create. You don't want your neighbors getting upset with you. And so you can put in headphones, you can plug it in and put in headphones, and you can play, and it's not completely silent, but it's a lot quieter because it doesn't have a body. [01:04:17] Mustafa Sherif: Okay, cool. [01:04:20] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, I think that's most of my hobbies outside of work. [01:04:25] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. How is your daily routine? If you walk us through the day, like, when you wake up, what do you do when you go to work? Come back. Like a typical day in your life? [01:04:37] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, typical day. If I'm here at home, it usually looks like I wake up. I try to read for the first, like, 15 minutes with my cup of Earl gray tea. [01:04:49] Mustafa Sherif: What time you wake up? [01:04:51] Tamlyn Shimizu: What time do I wake up? Usually around six. [01:04:54] Mustafa Sherif: Okay. Very early. [01:04:56] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. I like to have time in the mornings. I hate being rushed in the mornings. That's, like, my least favorite thing ever. I hate getting out of bed, putting on my clothes, and rushing out the door. I hate that so much. I want to have my tea in the morning, basically. And then I like to do my yoga after that. So I read, I do my yoga, and then I get ready for the day or walk the dog. That varies. So take a nice walk. Right now I'm living right outside of Stuttgart. I live in a really beautiful town called Ethlingen. It's about 20 minutes with the train, and we have really nice parks there and everything, so it's nice. I start every day with a walk in the park, and I usually listen to things while I'm podcasts. Yesterday, I was listening to your podcast, Mustafa, also to prepare myself a little bit more, too. So sometimes I listen to. But actually, I do try to listen to other things besides smart city focus, because it just feels too much like work then. So, I like Blinkist. I'm a big fan of blinkist, which is like, you get summaries of books from my nonfiction kind of fix, or I listen to german podcasts. I'm planning to get german citizenship this year, so I'm working on my german more again, and then I start work. Usually I work some from home, but also sometimes I come into office and try to take a lunch break. Work more. My day is usually super busy with meetings. I lead our partnerships and communication. So I meet with a lot of different partners. I meet with a lot of different people, and I also lead a team, so I coordinate a lot between teams and with my teammates. So, yeah, lots of meetings. Usually try to block time to also do some other work. And then in the evenings, usually, also for lunch, I walk my dog again. And then in the evenings, usually, my break is going to go walk the dog. Right. So that's kind of my break from work. Okay. [01:07:23] Mustafa Sherif: What time you finish working, like? [01:07:25] Tamlyn Shimizu: Oh, it varies a lot, actually. I don't have a set time. Yeah, I try to finish by seven latest. [01:07:33] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. And then you go back home by train? [01:07:37] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, exactly. With the Espan in Germany, it's called. And then dinner, usually indian, as I said. Now, I honestly don't usually have too much time for cooking. If I do have time, I try to bat cook a bit on Sundays, but it's hard. But I do like to cook some, too. Sometimes I just find myself without the time and without the priority level on it. [01:08:08] Mustafa Sherif: And you sleep early or. No. Do you sleep early? [01:08:12] Tamlyn Shimizu: I try to be in bed by ten. [01:08:14] Mustafa Sherif: Okay. That's early. [01:08:15] Tamlyn Shimizu: And then I read. Fall asleep eating, usually. Yeah. [01:08:20] Mustafa Sherif: Cool. And I have some philosophical questions here. [01:08:27] Tamlyn Shimizu: Okay. [01:08:28] Mustafa Sherif: For you. If you enter a room and this room full of people that you met before, so who is the one that you look forward to meet and talk with again in this room? [01:08:47] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. I mean, this is such a difficult question for me because I have so many interesting people I've met. My first thoughts always go to the podcast guest, actually, that I have. And so I had a really interesting podcast episode with Beto Picard. He's a swiss explorer, you might know him. He flew around the world twice. He's a really interesting one. So I would definitely probably go up to him and say, hey, nice to see you again. And also get his thoughts. I think in the podcast episode also, he mentioned a third round the world, and I haven't heard an update from that, so I definitely want to get an update from him on that. He also started the solar impulse foundation. We're partners with them, so. Yeah, that's obviously a really interesting one. That was another one, actually, where I brought in two people that they had seen each other before but hadn't really talked before, a minister from the Brussels region. Other people I would go up and say hi to. I actually didn't get the chance. We did an episode, actually in Spanish with my colleague that was with Eileen Velez Vega. She's like the secretary of the department of transport and Public works for Puerto Rico. And it was at an event called Global Mobility call in Madrid. And the timing wise, because we brought together also in that episode, the mayor of Las Rosas, Madrid, and the timing, he had to leave, and she had a panel that went long. [01:10:37] Mustafa Sherif: Okay. [01:10:37] Tamlyn Shimizu: So we had very short time to record for that. It was a very short episode. Like 15 minutes. They said, we have 15 minutes, let's go. And in that, of course, I was in the room, actually, and listening in Spanish, and my spanish is a bit rusty now, but I could understand a lot. And it was really interesting, a lot of her perspectives on things and what she's working on. And I didn't get the chance to fully talk with her after that, so I would definitely go up to her and be like, hey, tell me more. I want to get to know you better because she's a very interesting woman. There's so many more I don't even know how to mention. I love the CIO of Istanbul. He's a really interesting guy. His name is Errol. Although actually, I think I have a meeting planned with, say, oh, we meet later. He's a really interesting guy, really friendly. And we hosted him at our side event before the smart City Expo. He was one of our keynotes and. Really interesting character. [01:11:43] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. Many people. [01:11:47] Tamlyn Shimizu: Many people, yeah. I know I'm missing and losing out on many people I would actually go up and say hi to first, but. [01:11:56] Mustafa Sherif: We start with these people. [01:11:58] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. [01:11:59] Mustafa Sherif: And if someone gives you a box of everything you lost, what is the first thing you will look and pick up from this? Books. [01:12:12] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. So this is a bit of a serious question for me, actually, not to bring down the tone, but a couple of years ago, there was a massive fire in Colorado and my whole hometown burned down and my parents'house, as well. So actually, we lost all my childhood photos and all of that. So I think that would be the first thing that I would look for if I had got the chance. [01:12:39] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. Sad to hear that. But what happened? They rebuilt the house, or how did it go? [01:12:46] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, actually I was back visiting last year and I got to stay in their new house. And so they were very fortunate in many ways, but, yeah, over, like 1500 homes burned in that fire. It was the most destructive one in Colorado history, so it was quite devastating, obviously, for my family. But the good news is now they're pretty much totally adjusted and have most of their. Have gotten most of their things back. My mom, I mentioned she was a piano teacher. She lost her massive piano in the fire and she also lost all her music, which as a musician is quite devastating because you have all your notes and your fingerings and everything. So even if you buy the new music, again, the same. So obviously there's things in the childhood photos that you can't replace, but, yeah, they were able to build a really nice house with. It's better. It's a better house than was there before. But of course, it was actually a historical house that they had before it was an old mining, old mining house. And so obviously the history lost there is still quite sad. [01:14:02] Mustafa Sherif: Yes. In 100 years from now, what do you want people to read about you, hear about you, tell stories about you? [01:14:16] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. Honestly, I was thinking about this and I want to put it very simply, I think I just want people to think, to talk that I made a positive difference, like that I had an impact, a positive impact and that I was a kind person. [01:14:31] Mustafa Sherif: Okay. [01:14:31] Tamlyn Shimizu: I think anything beyond that is just too much to ask. I think there's so many people in the world. If you can just say that someone talked about you in 100 years and said they were a really kind person and they made a really good impact, I think that's all you can ask for. [01:14:52] Mustafa Sherif: That's nice. And if you choose like another profession completely different from what you work with now, what will you choose and why? [01:15:02] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. Also a difficult question. I love the education field, actually. When I first was starting to go to university, I thought I wanted to be a professor. I quickly changed that. But I could see myself going back into kind of women's education or some kind of educational field, maybe communications, et cetera. But also, I guess something to do with traveling or something to do with sustainable or plant based foods that I'm very passionate about or going more into kind of a climate fully climate focus rather than just on or more in innovation, et cetera. But moving more into climate. Climate, climate is all I do, kind of thing. [01:15:54] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. Before we move to the last section, you mentioned in the beginning, like you work in the project of women education. Can you tell us more about it? [01:16:05] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, so when I was in working, I mentioned I was working as like an english teacher, actually. If you go to will, no matter what you do, if you're a native english speaker, you will do some kind of english teaching because that's what people want from you. So all of my colleagues and stuff, even if they weren't in english teaching, they still taught some english and tutored people in English. I was actually mostly working with english teachers in a small village. Obviously the goal is after you leave that gap is not still there, that you've actually taught the teachers because they're the ones that are going to make the long term impact. Right? Yeah. So when I started doing that, I also was looking for other projects. And Kyrgyzstan is a very tough country to live in as a woman. There's still a lot of disparities, let's say. And it's still very culturally accepted that women have a very different role. Let's say, than men. And so what I was seeing also, especially in very rural and remote communities, it's very common for young girls to get married 16 to 18 years old. And a lot of the students that I had were very, very passionate students and young women, I should say. And they really wanted to do more with their lives. But culture was really telling them and societal pressures were really telling them, you should get married and have kids, and that's what you should do instead of maybe going on to go to university. A lot of them, their dream was to go to the US, right. And study there, et cetera. And a lot of the gaps that you see with this is that also education? And of course, there's a lot of data around this. Education really helps people. Helps people to break out of societal norms and continue on a path of really contributing in more ways to society rather than just birthing children. That's noble. And if that's what you want to do, then of course that's also okay. But yeah, just pursuing their passions, I should say. And a lot of the education that was missing, it was also around taboo topics, let's say, like sexual education that is just not talked about at all. So women, they get married at 16 and they have no concept of birth control or any of these other things. And so one thing that I wanted to do was create leadership in the young girls. So I started in the region. This program had been also done before in other regions, but never had been done in this. I, you know, wrote a grant to get funding for a program that I started. The grant actually came from Michelle Obama's girls leading our world grant and got funding for a project where we took kind of the top leaders, let's say, in these age group of, I think, 14 to 18 year old women. And they were taught a lot of leadership topics, a lot of taboo topics. We trained them in a lot of other aspects, just topics that they didn't learn in their schools. Right. As well as how to teach it. So what they then did was then they went back into their schools and into their communities and they taught their peers that to create that cycle. So that was the biggest project that I. And that was the biggest project that I did at that. [01:19:51] Mustafa Sherif: Wow, such a. How to say so much love and energy and leadership in. [01:19:58] Tamlyn Shimizu: Absolutely. And I ended up having to leave Kyrgyzstan under not the best circumstances, but I still feel very strongly about the program and about those young women. And I hope it still has made a continued impact. [01:20:15] Mustafa Sherif: That's great. So let's finish this great episode. I think we can have like a season to talk with different episodes. This is a good start. So now we are in the final section and we have three questions. The first one is about you giving a message to yourself. [01:20:35] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, the message to myself. This is a bit of a tough one. Also, for me, always like a message to myself on what I really want to tell myself. I think I'm going to keep it simple and say, sometimes when I was younger, I used to go out of my comfort zone all the time. And when you get older, you don't push yourself as much. And so, for example, I'm very comfortable on your side of the mic and not so comfortable on this side. So this has been a great experience for me to be like, hey, let's chat about these topics and basically don't be afraid to go on the other end of the mic, I would say, would be the message to myself. [01:21:22] Mustafa Sherif: Great. And three takeaway messages to our listeners. [01:21:27] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yes. One, I would say what I did today was I also kind of was able to reflect a lot on my very past experiences that don't necessarily relate super chronologically to my work today, but on my experiences, for example, in Kyrgyzstan and how that shapes my view. So I want to challenge you to think about the experiences in your life that you haven't found connection with the work that you're doing today and make the connections there and really think about how you can use these lessons learned and use these experiences still in your work today. That's number one. Another topic that I would like to talk about is about this kind of. I want to relate it again back to Kyrgyzstan. So transport and mobility is one topic that of course I work on a lot in my line of work now, often talking about reducing car usage. We spoke on it today also a little bit. But it always reminds me of how in Kyrgyzstan, this use of the car was so entangled with societal and cultural norms and autonomy that comes with it. So for like hardly any women drive in Kyrgyzstan, and that's just always how it was. Right? So the restriction on women's ability to drive is not a transportation issue really. It's really deeply entwined with gender norms, with societal norms, et cetera. So it's about thinking about in those ways. Right? So think about the societal and cultural norms. Sometimes we get really stuck in. For example, we need to reduce car usage instead of thinking also about what we might being mindful of how different communities and their perceptions of freedom are, for example. So my challenge, my comment is to say, okay, here is the issue. Here's the challenge. We know we want to reduce car usage. Yes. What is the other aspect to it? What are people feeling that is tying them to that? Right. And the last aspect I would touch on is it's thinking about, I guess, connectivity. And one takeaway I've mentioned many times. Okay, smart city, smart place, smart region, whatever you want to call it. And that's because I think that it's really that this sense of community, and let me rephrase this. When we discuss about, again, like, urban mobility planning in the context of smart cities, it's really crucial to think about that. The rural areas are often forgotten about. And so I'm quite passionate about how do we connect better the urban with the rural and how that can progress into a vision of not smart city cities, but smart regions. So not treating them as kind of separate entities, but thinking of them. Okay. Cities rely on surrounding countryside, maybe for resources. Rural areas can benefit from innovation resources. And how do we connect this? So this kind of paradigm shift in how we're viewing urban life and that we should be viewing it together with rural life as well. [01:25:17] Mustafa Sherif: Yeah. I love your messages, like, from the personal to the cultural to the more like geographical scale. And the last question is going to be you asking it to our listeners. Do you have any questions that our listeners can think about and reflect on? [01:25:36] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. My question to the listeners would be, what is slowing you down? What do you need in your hand right now to accelerate the change that you're trying to make? [01:25:52] Mustafa Sherif: Okay. [01:25:52] Tamlyn Shimizu: And if that one thing. Yeah, so that's the question. What is that one thing that's slowing you down? Pinpoint it, and I want to hear about it, too. [01:26:01] Mustafa Sherif: Big and good question. So thank you so much for giving your valuable time to the podcast. I love your podcast. I love what you do. So keep up the good work and keep loving cities. [01:26:14] Tamlyn Shimizu: Thank you so much for the invite. This has been really fun. I actually thought that it was going to be a bit scary to come on and talk to you for like an hour and a half, but we did it so easily. Time just flew by. So thank you so much. [01:26:28] Mustafa Sherif: Thank you.

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