SCCANZ In Action: The resilience/Internet of Things mash-up we had to have

I love it when agendas align. But to align, the agendas need to at least meet, unpack and explore.

Which is what happened in Sydney last week when SCCANZ and Green Cross Australia teamed up to gather a group of practitioners to discuss the points of intersection with climate change and the Internet of Things.

It’s not until you come together that you realise you have things in common with those you would typically describe as odd bedfellows. This coming together of resilience and smart cities practitioners made for some informative and exciting dialogue, which I imagine will continue.

Sponsored by our Global Lead Partner EY, a series of short presentations from resilience and IoT leaders was followed by a dynamic panel discussion.

Frank Zeichner, CEO of the Internet of Things Alliance Australia, provided a range of insights into the exploding marketplace around IoT, and its potential to be bigger than the internet in terms of its impact on the economy.

Professor Jason Evans from University of New South Wales presented the latest climate science for Australia, and whilst strong data analysis continues to be the backbone of future climate projections, the granularity of the data used is coarse at best.

And this gap in the climate modelling data was the strength IoT provided, according to Jeff Feldman from EY, who identified the high-fidelity, granular and near real time data from IoT networks as the potential game changer for climate adaptation.

This sentiment was supported by Catherine Caruana-McManus of the Internet of Things Alliance who reinforced the creative ways government was deploying sensors throughout the environment to provide real-time situational awareness on conditions such as flooding, water and air quality and humidity.

And while the possibility of gathering such high-fidelity data was now possible in more places, Beck Dawson, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Sydney, cautioned that without strong governance arrangements and deep engagement from the community, the usefulness of the data may be limited.

What is clear is the proliferation of new resilience-building tools thanks to IoT. And that’s what excited the audience. Knowing that as the cost of devices, bandwidth, storage and processing continues to drop dramatically, the application of IoT solutions for climate adaptation will continue to diversify.

And so mutually reinforcing agendas begin to align, and practitioners from different places emerge as potential collaborators. These are the cross-sector discussions we need to have, to grow the marketplace.

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