Digital Transformation workshop – Rome 10 & 11 October 2019 – Handouts attached

The principle that digital technologies can transform the operation of services provided by cities – by, for example, fundamentally changing the relationship with citizens or generating very significant efficiencies – has constantly underpinned digital technology strategies. This thinking became very prominent in the early years of the e-government initiative, though it predates that time. However, whilst there is no doubt that e-government achieved much, many would argue that it rarely realised the transformation that its proponents promised; in many cases, as was suggested at the Major Cities of Europe conference in Zagreb, e-government was merely “putting lipstick on a pig.”

This principle that digital technologies can transform remains today, but its focus has broadened in two ways:

  • – It has spread beyond being concerned primarily with city services to perceiving digital technologies as also supporting economic, environmental and social regeneration, for example in smart city initiatives.
  • – In parallel, the technology focus has also broadened. Whilst e-government was primarily concerned with increased utilisation of the internet, in particular the world wide web, today there is equal if not greater interest in the use of big data and the application of artificial intelligence (AI).

What is not yet clear is whether this broadening will deliver any greater
transformation than that achieved by e-government or whether it will merely be adding eye liner and blusher to the pig.

The workshop has explored this issue in detail and has attempted to address four questions:

  • – What are the enablers in cities that result in transformation through digital technologies?
  • – What are the blockers in cities that prevent transformation through digital technologies?
  • – How can the first be maximised and the second overcome, and who has responsibility for this?
  • – Can learning from both success and failure be transferred between cities and countries and, if so, how?

Participants from:

  • – Socitm, UK
  • – City of Prato, Italy
  • – Excellence Institute, Austria
  • – Barcelona, Spain
  • – City of Rome, Italy
  • – City of Issy-les-Moulineaux, France
  • – Fingal County Council, Ireland
  • – Kaist/WeGO, Korea
  • – City of Geneva, Switzerland
  • – City of Florence, Italy
  • – BAICR, Italy
  • – Major Cities of Europe

01 – Intro, Agenda, etc – Major Cities of Europe
02 – Smart City Plan – Rome
03 – Digital Transformation – Socitm
04 – Digital Transformation Strategy – Barcelona
05 – Digital Transformation – Fingal
06 – Digital Transformation Enablers & Blockers – Prato
07 – Digital Transformation – Geneva
08 – Enablers of Digital Transformation – Florence
09 – Data Strategy – Issy-les-Moulineaux
10 – Korea Digital Transformation Initiatives in Smartcity – KAIST
11 – Digital Transformation Success Factors – Excellence Institute