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Could Cambridge be a smarter city?

Thursday 30 October 2014, 6.30pm - 8.30pm @ Mill Lane Lecture Rooms

Thanks to everyone who came and took part. You all made it an amazing evening, full of ideas and imagination #smartcamb.

View the dossier of information and view/add your comments to the list of ideas developed.

Find out what happened at Collusion's 'Could Cambridge be a smarter city' event on 30 October. View the presentations, crowd sourced ideas, photos, films, and the story on Twitter, #smartcamb. 

At the 2013 Festival of Ideas, 250 people took part in the ‘Is Cambridge a smart city?’ debate, an event designed to provoke discussion about the potential for collaboration between Silicon Fen and the arts. 83% of attendees voted against the motion, deciding definitively that Cambridge was not a smart city. So, for 2014, Collusion’s live experiment challenged artists, technologists, academics and citizens to work together to find creative solutions to some of Cambridge's 'wicked' problems, aka, problems that are difficult or impossible to solve, e.g. transport, environmental issues, community cohesion. 

The event, which was expertly chaired by technology writer and critic Bill Thompson (, started with a series of presentations exploring smart city projects from all over the world: 


In part two, everyone worked together to develop some new ideas. How could art and technology help to tackle some of Cambridge’s difficult to resolve problems? To help us, Cambridgeshire County Council was on hand with a dossier of information with data related to some of the cities 'wicked' problems. You can find it here. All the ideas from the evening are here

And, finally, CEO of Red Gate, Simon Galbraith launched the Maker Challenge. At the challenge, "four multi disciplinary teams worked together over three Saturdays, with a budget of £250 each, to develop a smart city project in response to Cambridge's wicked (hard to solve) problems".

Thanks to our colluders!

Collusion worked with Dane Comerford, Mark Cheverton and Makespace, and Bill Thompson on the development of Could Cambridge be a smarter city?, and with the Connecting Cambridgeshire team at Cambridgeshire County Council and with Cambridge City Council to develop the dossier of information about Cambridge to support the event.

It was fantastic to have recieved financial support for this project from

Photos from the event and reception

There's some great photos from the official Festival of Ideas photographer here

And here are a few of ours...