Reclaiming Data Cities: Fighting for the Future We Really Want

I was invited to give a keynote at the Disruption Lab conference on Data Cities in Berlin. In my talk I reflected on how feminist values like care, maintenance and equity can help us to design technology for the city of the future. What does a city based on intersectional values look and feel like, for its residents, for local businesses and for the environment?

Since our natural resources are limited, we have to break with our current innovation narratives and talk about exovation — the power of getting rid of prevailing products — and about social innovation. While it is important to fight current developments like the erosion of our privacy and surveillance, it is as important to develop positive future visions. Scenarios that help us imagine what winning would look like, and that help us feel hopeful for what’s to come. We can do so by thinking beyond the human centred, beyond nation states and beyond technology, building up alternatives to imagine empowering and sustainable cities of the future.