SSC Seminar Series: Bianca Wylie (Open Government Advocate)

Countering the Digital Consensus - The Political Economy of the Smart City

Wednesday, September 19 2018, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm

Mackintosh Corry Hall D411 


As cities seek to expand how they use data and technology as part of public service delivery, corporate actors are exerting increasing influence and pressure on city governments. This is leading to a blurring of the line between market and state. Arguments for persistent surveillance frame the use of data as a normative good. Federal laws and policies regarding the collection and use of data are out of date, escalating the governance crisis. Add to this the permanence of data as infrastructure and its plausible future uses and costs, and it's clear that the political economy of the smart city requires intensive interrogation and civic engagement to return the idea to one that is democratically informed rather than led by the market. Sidewalk Labs' recent foray into smart city planning in Toronto will be used to highlight the practical implications of these issues. 

About the speaker: 

Bianca Wylie is an open government advocate with a dual background in technology and public engagement. She leads work on public sector technology policy for Canada at Dgen Network and is the co-founder of Tech Reset Canada. Bianca is also a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in the Global Economy program. She worked for several years in the tech sector in operations, infrastructure, corporate training, and product management, most recently at Thomson Reuters. As a facilitator at Swerhun Inc., she designed, delivered and supported public consultation processes for various governments and government agencies. In 2014, Bianca founded the Open Data Institute Toronto. She is a columnist, guest lecturer, and speaker on open government and public sector technology policy.

Everyone welcome!