#30 Autonomy: "Change Is Really Driven By Policy-Makers"

Episode 36 April 19, 2023 00:28:34
#30 Autonomy: "Change Is Really Driven By Policy-Makers"
Smart in the City – The BABLE Podcast
#30 Autonomy: "Change Is Really Driven By Policy-Makers"

Apr 19 2023 | 00:28:34


Hosted By

Tamlyn Shimizu

Show Notes

This episode was recorded live at the Autonomy Mobility World Expo 2023 in Paris, where Smart in the City was a Media Partner. 


In this episode, we were lucky enough to sit down with Ross Douglas, Founder and CEO of Autonomy Paris & the Urban Mobility Weekly, to talk about the event, mobility trends, carbon emissions goals, car ownership, electric vehicles and more!


Overview of the episode:

01:40 - Teaser: if our guest was to ride in any mode of transport of the future, what would it be?

02:15 - What's the story behind Autonomy?

03:45 - "Change is really driven by policy-makers" and not by consumer behaviour

05:05 - What is the consumers' responsibility?

06:43 - What are the three current mobility trends?

08:44 - Is there still time to turn the tide regarding Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

11:15 - How can events such as Autonomy help meet carbon emissions goals?

12:47 - What are the limitations to such events?

13:56 - Car ownership: the cities vs the industry

16:29 - Why we mustn't see EVs as a solution but as a tool

19:10 - Mobility and public health: looking at urban planning in a holistic way

20:52 - Flip the Script: our guest is asking the questions!

24:46 - Ending Question: To you, what is a Smart City?


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Want to join us for an episode? Contact our host Tamlyn Shimizu.


And for more insights, join our Smart City Community!

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

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 B [email protected]. So today we are recording live at the Autonomy Mobility World Expo in Paris. So, um, there's many activities going on right now. There's, uh, startup Village, city Hub two conference programs, test tracks, demos, b2b, b2, G meetings, startup challenge, innovation award ceremony. I think I could continue to go on, but our next guest can, uh, let you know about that and about many other activities going on. So sitting with me is none other than Ross Douglas, he's the founder and c e o of autonomy, Paris, basically the mastermind behind all of this that's going on right here. I would say Welcome to the podcast. Ross Douglas 00:01:23 Uh, thanks Tamlyn. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:01:24 So I really want to dig into your, your vision, your vision behind everything, and also a lot of lessons that you've learned, um, through putting on these events. But first, before we dig into a little bit more of the concrete questions, I always like to start off with a little bit of, uh, a teaser, um, to get us to get the ball rolling. So, um, if you were to ride in any mode of transport in the future, for example, like flying cars or whatever it might be, um, which mode of transport would it be? Ross Douglas 00:01:55 Um, I've never, never thought of that <laugh>. Um, at the moment I'd really like to try a roboto taxii. I've, I've just started reading quite a few, um, uh, reports of people who've been trying robotaxis in China and America, and they've been really favorable. So if I had the choice now, I'd like to, you know, have a, see what it's like in the back of a robotaxis. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:02:12 Good answer. Good answer. That would be fun. So, um, yeah, I, I want to dig in here. So what's the story behind autonomy? Um, where did it all start? Ross Douglas 00:02:22 So, I sort of autonomy, um, 80 years ago, um, at the time I was living in South Africa and I had been reading about global warming for sort of five or six years. Um, and you know, what you, what you, what all the books were saying was that, you know, that we just continued to increase our carbon emissions and this is gonna start having, um, quite dramatic climate effects. And I thought at the time, this was now 2015, and, um, I thought of the time incorrectly that, um, Europeans and particularly people based in Paris would move quite quickly and change their behavior, particularly with transport, because transport's one of the easier ways to remove, reduce carbon emissions. Um, buildings are much more difficult, uh, meat consumptions more difficult, but transport's one of the easier ways. So I moved to Paris and I started a, a, a, an event autonomy, the idea being autonomous or independent of owning motor cars. Ross Douglas 00:03:10 Obviously at that stage there was only one EV manufacturer, which was Tesla. Um, and the idea that you can move around in ways that are much more sustainable by getting rid of partnership and going to more flexible car use when you need it, uh, car sharing and obviously use things like bicycle, public transport, et cetera. Um, at that, in that year, the biggest trend in mobility where people switching from normal cars to SUVs, um, which radically increased carbon emissions. So what I learned is consumers change really late, um, and they're not, they're not that easy to change. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:43 So basically this event has been going on for eight years, is that, is that correct? That's correct, yeah. Okay. Even, um, maybe minus Covid or did you do them online? Ross Douglas 00:03:52 We did them digital during covid. Okay. So this is the seventh edition. So we worked for a year before that. So we've been going for eight years, correct. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:03:57 Okay, perfect. Perfect. And so, um, what have you learned over the last eight, eight years? Ross Douglas 00:04:04 Um, you know, what I've learned is that change is really driven by policy makers. It's not really driven by consumer behavior. You know, I, I thought incorrectly eight years ago that, um, you know, consumers would read newspapers, get, get alarmed by, by, by, by, um, by climate change and start changing their behaviors radically. But really what actually happens is lawmakers get together and say, look, we need to reduce carbon emissions. And like the EU has done, they've banned the, the use of combustion vehicles, or like the Americans have done, they've put a huge amount of money in the inflation reduction act towards cleaner, cleaner technology and innovation. So, you know, the, the leaders in this space that brings about change or the change makers are actually the policy makers, not the consumers. So once policy set, then companies start adapting to that policy by making electric vehicles or whatever the case may be, to reduce their emissions. And then consumers adept last of all. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:05:04 So does that mean that, uh, there's, that doesn't mean that there's no responsibility as a consumer, right? Um, but do, do you like, I guess this is kind of the, the debate sometimes is, um, where do we place the responsibility? And with what you said, the responsibility mostly lies with policy. Ross Douglas 00:05:21 Yeah. Look, I, I think consumers have a responsibility, but consumer's biggest responsibility in a democratic society is to vote for responsible governments. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because governments have the power to bring about massive change or, you know, bring about change on sufficient scale that it has impact. Um, I think it's wrong to say that it's up to consumers to change behavior. Um, otherwise we, we, we, we will not get results because that's just inaccurate statistically, you know, it doesn't work like that. User consumer can do very little. What needs to happen is that you need to stop, for example, using fossil fuels. Well, you as a consumer, if there's not a government decision to ban fossil fuels or accelerate the adoptions of EVs, you just don't have a choice. So, you know, not everything as a consumer, consumers don't have that much power in, in, in the ability to change and reduce carbon emissions. Um, also if you put that pressure on consumers, they end up getting extremely anxious because they are so disempower. Um, and the changes they make are, are really, you know, in just so incrementally actually doesn't move the needle anything. So you, you need to have, you know, democracy, you need to have responsible voters who vote in responsible governments who, you know, are actively reducing the burning of fossil fuels. That's the, that's the first thing. Yeah. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:06:36 Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, that perspec perspective is always interesting for me, for me to get from, from different people. So, um, what do you think are the current kind of mobility trends going on that you're seeing over these last eight years? Ross Douglas 00:06:50 Uh, uh, I mean the, the probably three big mobility trends. The one is the, the move from combustion vehicles to electric vehicles, and that's now really accelerating. So, you know, 80 years ago there was lots of, um, skepticism that Tesla wouldn't survive as a company or, you know, do EVs really work. But whereas now there's no longer that skepticism, VW with the biggest car company in the world's gone fully into electric vehicles. Um, you see, particularly in Europe, the sales of EVs shooting right up, whereas a sales or combustion vehicles are going, coming right down. So you know that that transition is happening and is happening quite f quite fast. So that's the, the first big trend is a, is a move from combustion to electric. The second big trend, and the one that we are most interested in is a move from motorist to moist. Ross Douglas 00:07:32 And what I mean by that is a motorist has a, uh, owns a motor con, has a pair of car keys, set of car keys to move from A to b. A motorist has a smartphone and doesn't own a motor car, but will use any vehicle, um, you know, whether it be bicycle cars, scooter bus, uh, train, you know, uh, robo taxi that makes sense for that journey or trip. And that's a much more sustainable way of moving because what happens is that generally people buy a big car for the weekends or holidays or for status, and they use a big car to do short trips with one person weighing 80 kilograms a car weighing more than two tons. So even with electric vehicles, they are more sustainable than combustion vehicles, but it's a completely unsustainable way of moving. If you own an electric vehicle to commute every day, um, you, you have to try and find ways of not owning a, a big heavy motor car, um, maybe owning a very light electric vehicle like a bureau or something. And then when you need a a big family car, you're entered. Um, so that is a second massive trend from motors to mobiles. And then I think third trend is, is the, you know, autonomous vehicles which have been promised and delayed and delayed. But we're starting to see, you know, some, some movement in that space. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:08:41 Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for sharing that. And, um, what do you think about, uh, you said you started, how you started this journey was really focusing on okay, global greenhouse emissions. Um, where does your optimism lie right now? Like, do you think there's still time to turn the tide? Um, or, or how are you seeing that? Ross Douglas 00:09:01 Um, I mean, the society slightly outside of, of, of, you know, our focus at at autonomy, yeah, at autonomy, our focus is on, you know, trying to get people to move about sustainably. And so the motivation being how can we reduce our carbon emissions? To answer your question, the I P C C has just brought out its, its re six report. Um, and you know, what is clear is that we've been unable to reduce our carbon emissions. And what is clear is that carbon emissions go up each year to, we now, I think whatever, 428 parts per million or something, I started autonomy. We work 400 parts per million. So, um, as a society, we have been unable to date to re to, to, to reduce our carbon emissions. Um, and the reason being is just that it's extremely difficult to do that because you have to somehow, um, stop the coal, oil and gas companies from producing that. Ross Douglas 00:09:52 You have to stop economies from using those, those fossil fuels. Um, they're extremely cheap, they're extremely efficient, they're extremely good at doing what they do. The only problem is that they produce carbon emissions that causes, contributes to global warming. Um, and then it gets more complicated than that because, you know, we have now a lot of methane emissions, which are coming a lot from, you know, the, the gas industry. And obviously we are reducing carbon, increasing gas and methane leaks are another massive cause of, of, of climate change. And obviously methane comes from cattle too, and people don't wanna change their diets. Um, a couple of years ago we were seeing this big trend in alternative meats and those, those countries have pretty much crashed. People want to eat traditional burgers, not surprisingly. So I think we, we, we need to start having honest conversations about, um, glo about, you know, carbon emissions as opposed to, you know, sort of dishonest conversations. Look, it's quite easy to do. We can change it and we just need to do this. Um, it's extremely hard to change human behavior. It's extremely hard to run economies on renewable energy. Um, and it's extremely hard to reduce carbon emissions sufficiently to come within the Paris agreement of 1.5 degrees. Um, doesn't mean it's impossible, but I think if people underestimate the size of the challenge, they underestimate what's needed to be done to to, to achieve it. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:11:06 Yeah, I agree. And not to take a pessimistic view, but I think that we need to be realistic about, uh, where we actually are and where we need to go. Um, do you think events like this help, uh, what do you, what is the main hope that you get that people get out of this to, to meet a lot of these goals? Ross Douglas 00:11:26 So, so if you look at, for example, combustion motor cars and that community and that ecosystem, it's been around for a hundred years and, you know, all those relationships, the, the, the oil companies, the motor car companies, the tier one suppliers, they built up that ecosystem over years. And as a result, it's a very, very efficient, um, industry. You know, you couldn't get into any combustion car drive anywhere in the world and find petrol and will diesel get it serviced, you know, get the lubricants. It all works because that community has spent years building up those ecosystems that supplies chains and it all works. Now you wanna try and replace that with a more sustainable mobility ecosystem. Well, those ecosystems, well, those players need to get together and start building that ecosystem because it doesn't exist. So, you know, if I, you know, try rent an electric car and I want to drive it around, there'll be charges that are available, but I won't be able to get power from those charges cause I'm not on that charge app or you know, I have to download another charge app. So all of this community needs to come together and keep having discussions on how to build the ecosystems. And what you see at an event like autonomy is you see that ecosystem being built with software and hardware companies talking together and saying, look, you know, we've got the hardware, you've got the software. How do we work together to provide an alternative to car ownership for the commuter? Tamlyn Shimizu 00:12:45 Yeah, absolutely. Uh, what do you think are the limitations though to events? Like how much can events really do and what's the limitation? Ross Douglas 00:12:53 Yeah, I mean, you know, events are just part of the mix. I mean, they, they, you know, op in and of themselves, they're not the most important thing. You know, you need, um, you know, good entrepreneurs, you need lots of funding. Um, and then you need events that can, you know, bring buyers and sellers together and bring the network together. But if you don't have good entrepreneurs, it's hard. If you don't have good funding, it's hard. If you don't have good policies, it's hard. I mean, Europe's quite fortunate in that it has good entrepreneurs, lots of, you know, very good universities. It has pretty good funding, not as much as America, but it has really good funding compared to South America or Africa. Um, and it has pretty good policy. So, you know, um, you see at events in Europe that, you know, deals are being done, um, you know, there's uh, you look at an event like autonomy, people are talking on the stands, they're interacting, they're communicating their networking, their deal making. Um, and what really is happening is that all these, like a spiders web, all these connections are being built and these new ecosystems are, are being built to replace the old ones that are, you know, very, very polluting. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:13:54 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Makes sense. Um, what do you think is, uh, maybe the most interesting project that, or, um, innovation or thing along those lines that you've seen at autonomy? Ross Douglas 00:14:05 So, so what we've seen from the policy side is that cities do not want more cars and cities do not want lots of car ownership because it contributes just to pollution, even if it's electric cars, it contributes to clean pollution as opposed to dirty, sorry, to clean congestion as opposed to dirty congestion. So you've got this very strong political world from cities to get rid of car ownership, and the industry has to respond to that because is car ownership has just gonna become impossible in most cities. So, for example, transport for London, who are here today have communicated that by 2040, they want 80% of myrdal share to belong to walking, cycling and public transit. So it's very important that the mobility ecosystem understand the political environment they're operating in, and mainly they're operating in, in cities and if they're operating in European cities, they are wanting to reduce partnership. Ross Douglas 00:14:55 So, you know, what I find really interesting is companies that are responding to the politics of the day, because those policy makers set the trend, it's pointers to say, well, you know, I'm operating in a vacuum, uh, I don't need to worry about a per or a Londoner. You do, unfortunately, because cuz you know, they, they they, they're living and trying to drive your vehicle in that city. So, you know, we've got a, a client like Elma, which is quite interesting. They're tele operating, uh, company. So, you know, for a car share, instead of you having to go find the car, they can drive a car to you remotely. They have a a, a tele operator sitting in, in an office somewhere and they drive a car to you and, and you jump outside and, and your cars are waiting for you. What that does is it reduces the friction of car sharing, makes it much more practical, thereby making car ownership less practical by comparison. Ross Douglas 00:15:39 Cuz you know, with your own car you have to go to the parking lot. Now this thing's waiting for you at the front door. Um, and that's obviously, obviously very nice. So, you know, what you start seeing is you start seeing a bunch of different companies starting to offer very good alternatives to car ownership. And in Europe particularly, we are seeing car ownership reducing, we're seeing car mileage reducing, we're seeing the average age of a, of a car, of a new car buyer increasing. So basically young people do not want cars as much as their parents generation. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:16:07 Yeah, yeah. Very interesting. So now, um, I'm very conscious of time because, uh, you're a busy man at autonomy. So, um, uh, I, I want though to give you time, uh, an open floor as I like to say, um, in case there's a a topic that you feel very passionate about that you really want people to know about. Would you like that open floor Ross Douglas 00:16:28 <laugh>? Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, I think, um, I think what's really interesting is, you know, there there's so many different ways to measure, um, the results of mobility. So, you know, to today we are talking about, you know, what the carbon emissions are or the pollution levels. And we say we can, we can say, look, you know, going from motors to mobiles will reduce, um, carbon emissions and therefore that's a positive. I I think it's also really interesting to look at it from the, the, the consumer side. So, you know, for example, Elon Musk, um, gave his hi his, um, recent, um, whatever big Tesla meeting and was all about the future electric vehicles and, and, and, and, and renewable energy. And a lot of people will say, wow, you know, this is great. We've now got a sustainable future. But there were, there was very little criticism of it. Ross Douglas 00:17:12 And, and what I, what people misunderstand is that that future that he paints, which everybody owning an electric car, means that everybody who has to go to a restaurant has to find a parking bay. Um, and you just start losing this connective tissue of cities that make cities work. So it's not a very sustainable future. It's actually an extremely unsustainable future done by electric vehicles. Electric vehicles need a huge concrete and steel infrastructure to park and drive and house these vehicles. Um, so how do you get away to a much lighter infrastructure considering that many people are becoming urban? Many cities still need to be built. If you have to build those cities for electric car ownership, you're just gonna have a massive carbon footprint coming from the construction costs because you need so much steel and concrete. So we, we, we, we mustn't see a motor car as a solution. Ross Douglas 00:18:06 We mustn't see an ev as a solution, an ev as a tool. And the solution is really the mobility ecosystem that we need. And an ev should be a vehicle of last resort. In other words, if I'm traveling with my family, an EV's great. If I'm going, you know, to a meeting that's, you know, two kilometers away, the last thing I need to do is to drive, drive an EV to that meeting. So I think we, we often get, you know, stuck with this idea of a kind of clean energy utopia that is extremely resource intensive. It's kind of musk ideology, you know, we can, we can fix, we fix cars with electric vehicles and then we fix planes and then we fix, you know, rockets and the, the the, the, this is complete madness. What you need to do is you need to try and say, how do we build cities that are places that are, you know, fun to live, exciting, have space, can, you know, bring creative, clever people? Ross Douglas 00:18:58 Um, and that's not this ideology of of of, of everybody owning a car and having this incredibly spread out city because cars take up so much space, you can't bring people together cause you're always stuck in parking base. Um, so that would be the one point. The other point is that when you have the right mobility, you actually start getting healthier people. So America has the, is the only developed country whose life expectancy has gone down. It's now like, it's 70, 78, 79, uh, combination of three things. Um, uh, opiate addiction, um, obesity and, and covid. If you look at European life expectancy, it's three or four years more. A lot of the reason for that is people walk more. So, you know, America is this very sick society largely because of its mobility patterns, which is car ownership and, and car use. If you could change Americans to move around like Parisians or Londoners, they would gain three years life expectancy. Ross Douglas 00:19:52 That's absolutely extraordinary. Um, a study was done in Holland that people who cycle to work have 1.3 days per year, less sick, 1.3 less sick days per year. So Americans worry about how do we reduce the amount of time we waste in traffic? Okay, well we need, you know, autonomous vehicles or this or that. And actual fact they could get much more productivity in work days by just having more people cycling to work. So we have to look at these things holistically, and we don't, and we often get hijacked by, you know, technical geniuses like Musk or business geniuses, like Musky sort of paint this, you know, amazing future, which is not an amazing future. So I think you have to kind of go back to basics and say, how do you build healthy societies? How do you build healthy cities? How do you get humans to interact closely because that's where the magic happens and not have everybody living in big homes with solar power, driving big cars into big parking lots. That is not a, that's not a sustainable future. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:20:49 Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for sharing that. Um, now we, now we get to our main segment, um, and this is a, a segment that we, we, we change it up in every interview. Um, and this one I chose for you is called Flip the Script, flip the Script. You are the one asking the questions and I'll be the one answering them. So do you have a question you'd like to ask? Ross Douglas 00:21:15 Where, where do you, where are you based? Tamlyn Shimizu 00:21:18 Um, I'm based in Chicago, Germany Ross Douglas 00:21:19 <unk> Okay. Yeah. Okay. So, so yeah, I would like to, I mean, as a, as somebody living in Germany, do you want to buy a car or not? Would be my first question. And the reason would be why? Tamlyn Shimizu 00:21:33 Yeah, this is an interesting question, especially because it's, um, the, the automobile capital of, of Germany really one of them. Um, but, uh, so when I was living out in the village, so for a long time I was living out in the village. Now I've, um, you know, I'm living more so in the city. Um, but when I was living out in the village, I found it very hard not to have a car. It is very hard not to have a car. Yeah. It was so, so then yes, I owned a car. Um, I did, uh, buy a tweezer if you know, one of those. So a very small, um, not ideal in the winter, but worked really well in, in other times. Um, and then when in, when I'm in the city though, I don't want to drive in a city, I find it horrible. I, I hate the stress of driving in a city. I hate trying to find parking. So there's no way when I'm in a city that I want to own a car at all. I know people that do because, um, it's a very, well, they're given one maybe by their, um, by their business that they work for, by their company. Uh, but in general, yeah, I, I don't want to own one when I'm in the city, but when I'm outside the city, yes, honestly. Ross Douglas 00:22:36 Yeah, I, I love, I love motor cars and I go on holiday with my family and always rent a motor car. And, and I, and I love it for the time because I'm a family of four, and if, you know, four people fit in a car really well. Yeah. Um, so, you know, I think cars have a, have a big place to play in, in the mobility mix, but, um, car ownership used to be something when I was young that gave you status. It no longer does it, it just, it just feels kind of, it Tamlyn Shimizu 00:22:59 Feels, feels, yeah. A bit. Yeah, I agree. Um, good. Yeah, thanks for the great question. Um, it, it's perfect in, in the context of where I'm living at the moment, I'm originally actually from the US as well. Okay. So from Colorado. And so I'm, I'm also very accustomed to this, this cha these challenges that you were speaking about in the us. So, Ross Douglas 00:23:18 And, and what, what do you, why are American cities unable to become, you know, yeah, like more like European cities understand Tamlyn Shimizu 00:23:26 Culture and infrastructure. Ross Douglas 00:23:27 Culture and infrastructure, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:23:29 I would say, um, I mean the infrastructure's not there. We have, uh, very poor public transportation systems in, in general. Um, and it's also a cultural thing. A lot of my friends say, why would I take the bus when I can drive? Um, they don't, it's not really something that's integrated into the culture and, and learning also education about these topics I think is quite poor. Um, and yeah, when every one of your friends has a car, you're going to also get a car. So I think culture and infrastructure, Ross Douglas 00:23:57 Yeah. It's the same as South Africa. If you, if you don't have a car, you uh, you don't move <laugh>. Yeah, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:24:03 Exactly. It, it's very challenging to get places in the US without a car. Um, I mean, it's possible in a lot of ways. It, it depends on where you are, but you look at a massive city like LA Ross Douglas 00:24:14 No, it's Tamlyn Shimizu 00:24:15 Impossible. It's impossible. But you, it's, it's a massive city. They should have the infrastructure built in, right? But if you want to get from one place to another place in LA, you have to transfer like three times. It's not doable really, unless you, you're really forced to. No one chooses that. Ross Douglas 00:24:30 I spent a month in LA and I spent 20% of my day in a motor car sitting in traffic. Yeah. Um, you Tamlyn Shimizu 00:24:36 Know, listening to <laugh>, not ideal Ross Douglas 00:24:37 Listening to npr. Yeah. It's just, Tamlyn Shimizu 00:24:39 Uh, hopefully you have time to listen to podcasts though, <laugh> or something like that. So, um, yes. Um, so now we're onto our very, very last question. It's the question that we ask every single guest, and it's, uh, to you, what is a smart city? Ross Douglas 00:24:55 Um, you know, I, I don't think a smart city is a connected city. I mean, obviously all cities will be connected. Um, and, and that's, you know, that's, that's inevitable. I, I think a smart city is a city that's able to attract a lot of talent. Um, you know, what we are seeing now is that, um, cities are competing for talent because what talent does is talent attracts capital and tr talent creates job opportunities for other talent to come. And when you see a city like Berlin or Paris or London, you just see this abundance of talent, money coming in, ideas becoming businesses, other people getting jobs, a lot of them leaving to start their own business. And you're just getting this kind of roll on effect, that sort of snowball effect. Um, and that's really what a smart city is. It's, it's, it's a city that has the ability to attract the talent. Ross Douglas 00:25:47 Um, and there's not a lot of talent in the world and there's not a lot of money in the world. And so it's highly, highly competitive. Um, you know, and that's really, you know, what, what happens with cities, you know, we work with London and partners with Choose Paris region with Berlin and partners with all these city agencies, and they all, you know, have the same objectives. How do we get the best entrepreneurs, the best venture capitalists to our city as opposed to the the nextdoor city? Um, and if you attract talent, you are able to figure out the problems of the day and, you know, figure out the opportunities of the day. Um, and that's, you know, that's gonna be the big race is to, is to attract the best talent from the world. Um, unfortunately a lot has gone to America and San Francisco, um, and you know, I think Europe in the last five, six years have done quite well in pulling a lot of talent back to Berlin, Paris, London, um, but they need to keep going. And you see cities like talent just, it's just an extraordinary amount of talent. I mean, at autonomy today, you have six, seven companies from talent, you have Bolt, you have um, uh, Elmo, you have Liu, you know, all disruptive, uh, base track, all disruptive, highly, highly clever tech companies. Um, talent is a small city, but it's able to really attract and nurture talent. Tamlyn Shimizu 00:27:01 Yeah, absolutely. And I've actually had Copenhagen capacity on the podcast as well. We work quite closely with them. Thank you. And they're another one of those agencies that works to attract talent. So I, this, these business development agencies do do incredible work actually in, as part of the city ecosystem. So, and also really interesting answer cuz I've never had anyone answer that like that before. And that's what I love about this question because everyone answers something different. So that's a really unique perspective. So thank you. Um, and with that, I just have to thank you for your time. I know it's, uh, quite busy running around here. It's been a wonderful event so far. I've really enjoyed this first day. So we're sitting at the very end of the first day and I'm looking forward to the second day. Um, and so thanks for bringing us all together and thanks for this really insightful conversation. Thank Ross Douglas 00:27:46 You Tamlyn Shimizu 00:27:46 Chairman. And I hope you don't have too many crises to, to work out. No, Ross Douglas 00:27:50 That's all Tamlyn Shimizu 00:27:51 Going well. Okay. Good. <laugh>. Good. Well thank you so much. Thank you. And to all of our listeners, uh, don't forget, you can always create a free account on babble Smart Cities EU to find out more about smart city projects, solutions, implementations, all these cool things happening. Um, and with that, thank you so much. Thank you all for listening. I'll see you at the next stop on the journey to a better urban life.

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March 23, 2022 00:28:02
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#3 Heat Waste – "Not just a net-taker"

On our journey toward a better urban life, we talk about cities but also Smart City solutions and trends. In this episode, we discuss...


Episode 56

November 08, 2023 00:16:38
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#50 [Spanish] Puerto Rico & Las Rozas de Madrid: Movilidad Sostenible e Innovación

Este episodio especial, grabado en vivo durante el evento Global Mobility Call y en colaboración con la Red Española de Ciudades Inteligentes (RECI) trae...


Episode 34

March 22, 2023 00:43:25
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#28 MAHLE chargeBIG: EV Charging or "Leading by Example"

For this episode, we sat down in Stuttgart, Germany with our guests Sebastian Ewert, CEO and Founder of MAHLE chargeBIG, and Alexander Schmidt, our...