Ananda Urban Tech Event: Driving Value in Cities Through Technology and Design
Leading Experts Convened in Bangkok to Share Pioneering Approaches to Urban Technology
BANGKOK, THAILAND, July 2nd, 2017 – Ananda hosted its latest event "Urban Tech: Driving Value in Cities Through Technology and Design" on Thursday June 29th at 1pm at the Ananda Campus at FYI Building in Bangkok as part of its ongoing series to support the local innovation ecosystem by bringing in the most innovative and inspirational speakers. The conference strived to look beyond KPIs and quarterly earnings, ask difficult questions, ask what need to solve and how technology can solve these in new ways.
In his talk, the New Cities Foundation’s Greg Lindsay described how the city‐as‐a‐service is changing how we move, work, and live — and the investment opportunities this creates. In his talk he asked the audience to think about the perfect city for them and realize what a complex system it is. From his point of view there are three ways to discover ideas faster: investing, telling stories, and co-creating together. He concludes that it is all about connections. How do we connect people to create cities, better reaction rates, faster synapses to help people realize their goals and dreams?
MIT Senseable City Lab’s Anthony Vanky presentation addressed his pioneering research which explores how data from pedestrian mobile phones can help to analyze how we interact with the urban environment and we can ultimately optimize its design. Vanky says that we now collect data everywhere, but the challenge is, how do you represent and make sense of it, how to bring it together in a way that is accessible to public - and most importantly - make it usable for policy making. The best ideas and projects are realized when collaboration happens - when people of different disciplines work together and this is where cities matter as a platform and as the subject of innovation.
The panel with Greg Lindsay, Anthony Vanky, Ayesha Khanna, an academic and practitioner pioneering Artificial Intelligence in the urban sphere, and Yaron Schwarcz, a Work Economic Forum Digital Leader and entrepreneur in the field of construction and robotics, debated “Future Cities: the paradigm of living”. Since, smart cities and urban tech is resource intensive and most accessible to governments and huge corporations, they raised the question, how do we get to good ideas that matter to real people, not just top down business propositions based on what corporates happen to have got in the R&D pipelines. Instead of putting sensors in everything, just because we can, we should put the focus on the fundamental questions of why we should use sensors and what true need they solve. This sets not-so-great startups apart from transformative ones.
The event gathered entrepreneurs, property investors, city enthusiasts, and influential thought leaders around presentations and hands-on workshops. Think tank style groups led by urban tech vanguards probed topics from the implications of IOT in the home to the prospect of data-driven urbanism. The participants were asked to imagine how the city will look like in the future and what the implications of the new realities will have on our daily lives, the way we collaborate and how we use technology. The objective of these workshops was to explore how we can leverage data, technology, and services to foster economic competitiveness, environmental impact, and market opportunities to improve the quality of urban life.
In the last decade, the proliferation of inexpensive sensors, widespread 4G coverage, and ICT bandwidth have wired and connected cities at unprecedented levels. This broad connectivity and subsequent troves of urban data present new opportunities to monitor the environment, laminate tech services with hard infrastructure, and reconfigure the city. The demand for integrated urban services, transportation networks, and digital applications is on the rise.-
As an UrbanTech company, Ananda aspires to harness the power of innovation to deliver Urban Living Solutions and improve the quality of Urban Life. Ananda CEO Mr. Chanond Ruangkritya said, “With this philosophy we have introduced innovations and new technology into every aspect of the property business, from design, to construction, to finance, to marketing, to facilities, and have fundamentally changed the nature of Thai real estate through the power of the innovations we’ve delivered.” He added, “And what we see coming in the next 5-10 years will be nothing less than a complete revolution in how Urban Life will be lived. Technology is developing exponentially in every field that can affect Urban Life. In the next 5-10 years there will be a revolution affecting what your home is made of, how its built, its design, its facilities, how it integrates in to your life, how it saves you time, how it monitors and improves your health, how it improves your sleep, how it helps take care of the young and old in your family, how it integrates with transportation, how it helps you save money, how it uses clean energy, and on and on in every aspect of your life.”
The Urban Tech event was organized with support from Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup accelerator and competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes. Tiffany Obser, Regional Manager at Seedstars, surmised, “As urban populations swell, the city has never been more relevant as apparatus for integration, connectivity, and mobility. We discussed how cities today can poise themselves to take advantage of greater global connections and tech-enabled business models to engage the increasing flows of people and information. We were very inspired by the dynamism of the entrepreneurs and the breadth and sophistication of the tech solutions we’ve seen coming out of the Asia Region. We’re excited to see Ananda harness these promising concepts and solutions in urban living.”