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Cocities: Last Impressions

I was only able to go to the Saturday talks in the CoCities conference. By all accounts, I seriously missed out on Sunday.

I wanted to write a nice wrap up of the ideas that I thought were hottest, but the weekend is over and all of the time has been sucked into a black hole of real life.

This was a great conference. I was really impressed by the organization. Especially the splendid quantity of outlets! Most importantly, the talks were excellent and the conversation was even better.

Here are the only three things I would improve for next year:
Coffee. There was a bit of a caffein distribution bottleneck. One of the organizers, Peter Bihr, told me his tale of woe, how they had tried so valiantly to have wonderful coffee, but were thwarted at every turn. I suggest that a simple self-serve coffee system can be all right, but everyone knows I am not a coffee person. I only drink it therapeutically.

Balance in topics. One data geek would do nicely. I am a data lover myself, but I having three talks (four, depending on how you count) about data collection and use means that there were topics that didn't get the attention they deserve. Which brings me to...

Sustainability. This is a big piece that was not talked about satisfactorily. Sure, the smart office building is in this realm, but it would have been really good to hear something about how technology is used to keep cars out of cities, or how technology is used to the benefit of urban agriculture. What is the place of nature in the city?


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