De Dépendance: The Politics of Smartness

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Evgeny Morozov (© The Atlantic)

De Dépendance: The Politics of Smartness
Tuesday 31 October 2017, 20.00 (doors open: 19.00)
BAR, Schiekade 201, Rotterdam
Admission: € 10,00 (€ 6,00 for students)

Open data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things: the possibilities of the smart city are endless. More and more aspects of our daily life are being turned into computerised data while private as well as public actors transform them into new forms of value. Companies like Tesla, IBM and Google see the urban environment as their laboratory and governments and municipalities tend to give space to all kinds of corporate field experiments. But what is the real value of this technological revolution? Which parties benefit from the availability of data? Who is behind the interfaces? And how do our ideas on ​citizenship change in the smart city?

In collaboration with the Erasmus Institute for Public Knowledge (EIPK) and the Center for Public Imagination (CPI), we debate the politics behind the datafication of our urban areas. We investigate how we are already plugged into the smart city, what this means, whether the ‘smart city’ is not mostly a ‘private city’ and who is able to challenge the depoliticized quest for smartness.


  • Evgeny Morozov – researcher and writer on digital technology whose new book ‘Freedom as a Service’ will be published in 2018
  • Noortje Marres – professor of Digital Sociology, University of Warwick
  • Nicola Villa – Vice President and Executive Partner IBM
  • Willem Schinkel – professor of Social Theory, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Organized by De Dépendance in collaboration with EIPK, CPI and BAR. This programme is part of the Research by Debate Project and supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL, The Pierre Bayle Foundation, the European Institute for Public Knowledge, the Departement of Public Administration and Sociology (EUR) and the Fleur Groenendijk Foundation.