Rianne C. ten Veen

Rianne C. ten Veen

Ms Rianne C. ten Veen LLM MA MSc PGDip is a humanitarian aidworker with research & environment specialisms; she tutored at the OU from '09-'18. Full profile: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/riannetv

Location Planet Earth


  • Great exchange here! Hope you found it insightful.

  • Re: "As I worked on my idea for a smart cities project I quickly came to realise that it would not be easy or straightforward." - that in itself is insight! Perhaps better appreciation as to why things are the way they are and not all change is straightforward, even if it seems 'logical' from one stakeholders' view?

  • would all citizens have equal say? Would the voice of the most vulnerable be heard, esp. where you mention "citizens will have differing views on priorities and needs" and some might be contradictory?

  • Re Johan "So to be honest, anything I respond would be purely my opinion." - an aim of this course is to trigger thinking and reflection; indeed it would be impossible to come to detailed final analyses ...
    Re: "Do developing countries have the budget, patience and right leadership for this?" - possibly not; what could be a work around? Whose responsibility...

  • What made you decide to add ones, and those ones in particular?

  • Re: "what if the city's accounting / books are not in a good state?" - what would your answer/ analysis be depending on the answer being yes, or no?

  • Who do you think should be included in developing the plan? And who should be accountable for ensuring all relevant stakeholders are also practically enabled to provide input?

  • Ronald, "Is any thought being given as to how to employ humans when robots and IT take over" - what would your thoughts be?

  • Ric, what do you think as regards whether robots should pay income tax? Also, re Uber, could a corporate culture be deemed troubled and not still have customers who have good personal experiences?

  • I'm not suggesting it is a tick box in this case - just that there are evidenced cases where input is asked, not to genuinely affect policy but to deflect potentially anticipated criticism of lack of input. That input is more 'for decoration'. As mentioned I'm not making assessment on any particular case, just to encourage reflection that perhaps not in all...

  • and so if you had to pick 1 element to apply in your own city, what might it be?

  • Constructive point - is a blog sometimes perhaps used as a 'tick box' exercise, without true input? Or what if the public propose contradictory priorities?

  • Interesting idea - what would be your first step to go about this?

  • Great lateral thinking (from litter to elderly); is the use of volunteers to get Council costs down (which could be good/ bad subject to one's wallet/ dependence on Council services!)?

  • Such as which? Would you have any in mind in particular to focus on as a priority?

  • What might be the reason it isn't (yet)? Winners and losers of doing such?

  • Was there anything in particular that stood out for you? Any concern about potential abuse of any of the data?

  • Great idea - and how to ensure that criminals aren't privy to such info in order to adapt their strategies?

  • What do *you* think: is digital social innovation applicable to tackling your city problem? Why (not) so?

  • Have you found the catch yet? Or perhaps your course colleagues can share their thoughts?

  • What do *you* think: is digital social innovation applicable to tackling your city problem? Why (not) so?

  • Food for thought: how "not many" is now almost a handful, when even not long ago 'zero' might be a default answer?!

  • Who might be winner vs loser from such acceptance approach?

  • Interesting thought - how would such come about: would councils volunteer such, or would voters need to prioritise it w elected officials? Who/ how to educate voters on what (could) happen to your data?

  • are there limits with whom we'd like to share (friends OK, burglars not so OK [they may note when your heating is off, so you unlikely to be home?])? How can we balance such protection vs convenience?

  • Rianne C. ten Veen made a comment

    (deleted as duplicate)

  • You mention 'not many' - interesting how perhaps earlier generations would consider this perhaps 'many', as their baseline was 'none' ... what do you think? does our baseline of what's 'many'/ how connected we are or feel evolves?

  • Might it have been the same price to encourage a 'new' choice (customer feeling they get more 'bang for their buck') and the energy company gets more in return in terms of useful data ...? Is that made clear to customers as to what's connected and who's connected (access to data)?

  • Interesting about the non-existing railway station - was there ever one? is one planned? Where did Thingful get its info from? Thus a general reminder about always being critical (in academic sense, not in terms of being negative per se) about what one reads

  • What would you think if others also connected to this data - e.g. to send you targeted ads based on perceived fitness? To what extent do you assume your data are yours (only)?

  • Or perhaps very significant cities are 'smarter'? For which stakeholder might it be to take the lead to rebalance this for people not living in large cities? Or could less innovative be 'better'? Why so? Interesting food for thought: https://www.fastcompany.com/40488936/its-not-a-coincidence-that-innovative-cities-become-very-unequal

  • Rianne C. ten Veen made a comment

    Where would you balance convenience (get recommendations based on where you are, what you like, your life situation) and giving up privacy (giving access to companies to information to give you that convenience)? Can/ should it be individuals vs governments or others to make such decisions?

  • Interesting comment - you might think of this in terms of holistic/ systems implications: no park benches, elderly don't go for park walks, elderly get less exercise, more illnesses from leading sedentary lives, more pressure on health services, on families ....

  • Interesting points - what made you focus on mass transit (over other issues)?

  • Interesting thoughts - what assumptions might this make about people's access to (lots of) internet, modern phone? What about non-residents, such as commuters/ visitors to the city?

  • well, your city/ any city is a 'living lab' (you can't really put any city in a laboratory and manipulate what happens and then 'repeat the experiment') ... the course case studies are examples of how they went about going smart. Does that help?

  • yes of course - just click on the link https://padlet.com/OUSmartCities/ and add it!

  • thanks for sharing your experience - are there any 'lessons learned' you suggest your colleagues bear in mind when looking at solutions for their city's/ country's situation?

  • thanks for sharing this link - is there any aspect in particular that caught your eye, you think would be most useful for your peers to focus on?

  • thanks for sharing that link - do share your experience/ feedback once you've had a chance to try it!

  • well, your city/ any city is a 'living lab' (you can't really put any city in a laboratory and manipulate what happens and then 'repeat the experiment') ... the course case studies are examples of how they went about going smart. Does that help?

  • Now you're taking the lessons so far and use them to look at your own city ... imagine you were hired as a consultant by your city: what problem would you focus on and why so? It may be the worst problem, or a 'quick win' to set off other changes, or something you think is a priority but not getting enough attention for any reason (why not?). Looking forward...

  • Have you looked at your own city on Google maps? Anything that stands out?

  • Well done for sharing your extended views - what key lessons would you suggest other cities can take away from the course case studies? Or focusing on where you live, what element of any of the case studies would be most like to apply in your city? Why so?

  • Centralised planning could perhaps also be put to positive use in terms of ensuring decisions get implemented efficiently and effectively? What might be the link between centralised planning and system/ design thinking?

  • You pose a relevant question ("are these really the best sustainable options or are we just going for a short term fix to a long term problem?") - how would you ensure support for any more sustainable solutions, not just from a tech perspective, but also in terms of making it viable (i.e. including affordable)?

  • as a citizen/ resident of a city - where/ who would you go about finding out about data economy/ production in your city?

  • Rianne C. ten Veen replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    How would you get sufficient people to "support the cause"?

  • Re: "For me smart city must go hand in hand with sustainability, and environmental concerns." - how would you convince any stakeholders who might not be as convinced as you about this reason for going smart?

  • Interesting reflection on looking at matters from the citizens' point of view, that is more the social than perhaps the tech side. As regards your question at the end - what would you say if any of your peers on this course had posed the question?

  • What in your view might make matters "inevitable"? In whose benefit is what technology perhaps (e.g. is Facebook really 'free')? Food for thought ...

  • Would you have a preference for any of the cities in terms of approach to 'going smart'? And with a view to the rest of the course - which model might be most relevant for your city?

  • Interesting approach to call data 'the new oil' - interested to read what your colleagues on the course think of this. And as to your question on "smart citizens" - if a course colleague had asked that question, what would you answer, & why so?

  • what do you see as options to overcome these roadblocks? What might need to change to improve matters?

  • Good to read from someone living in a course case study city ... helpful to complement the course material. Hope others also feel willing/ able to share experiences (good or bad) from their cities to facilitate cross learning.

  • Good questions - if any of your peers had asked the question, what might be your answer? Would some answer be more suitable than others (eg public vs private investment)? Why so?

  • Excellent example of reflective learning ... keep up the good work!

  • What makes you suggest that the private sector, startup sin particular might not influence at all?

  • Is it stats that help reassure people? What about ownership of data and suitable community engagement so cities are clear as to purpose of data?

  • When cities start at different points, does that limit the types of cities they can learn from, or is there always something to learn (be it tech side, or community engagement, etc)?

  • Crucial point - how often is it feasible to start from scratch? For whom would it be convenient to start from scratch? Would it support uptake if not everything changed at the same time for people? What do you/ your course peers think?

  • Great to see comments already from those quick off the starting block. For those coming after, when commenting, do also take time to read your peers' comments as they add interesting ideas and may further stretch your thinking. I hope you all enjoy the course!

  • thank you for sharing your experience from your city - what would you say might be challenges and opportunities of looking at smart city development as an individual rather than collective matter?

  • Great to read you seem to be learning new things from this course and related events. How/ who could perhaps affect the success or otherwise of "Go-or-No-Go factors"?

  • glad to read you've find the course beneficial in learning new things. Re resources - perhaps it's also a question of being smart about those? Do feel free to keep reflecting/ learning beyond the course!