ThingsCon Log (29 August 2017)

Join ThingsCon at Copenhagen Tech Fest // ThingsCon Comedy Special // Annual ThingsCon Amsterdam Conference // ThingsCon e.V.. EVENT UPDATES

COPENHAGEN will run a first ThingsCon Salon Copenhagen as part of Copenhagen Tech Fest in September (details). Get your tickets here. Thanks for bringing ThingsCon to Copenhagen, Irina Shklovski!

Speakers in Copenhagen include:

  • Dr Lachlan Urquhart, research fellow at University of Nottingham in Information Technology Law, working between human computer interaction, technology law and digital ethics.
  • Kajsa Westman, UX designer at Topp, has a background in industrial design at consultancies like frog design and currently works with user experiences at Topp designing for the complexity of mixed physical/digital interactions.
  • Irina Shklovski, associate professor at the IT University of Copenhagen in the Technologies in Practice research group, coordinator of the VIRT-EU project.

Salons are also in the making in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, and we're hearing whispers of a whole slew of new events and chapters across the globe. Hopefully more soon! 🔥🔥🔥

Speaking of Amsterdam:

  • On October 4, ThingsCon Amsterdam teams up with University of Twente, which is specialized in High Tech - Human Touch. The Salon will focus on Intimate Technology. (Details and sign-up.)
  • Our annual ThingsCon Amsterdam conference is scheduled to take place on 30 November and 1 December. With two full days of workshops and presentations, this will be our biggest event to date. (Details and sign-up.)

ThingsCon Comedy Special Antwerp:

In a true first for ThingsCon, Team Antwerp (Dries de Roeck & Wim Janssens 🙌) will try out a new format: A ThingsCon Special for IoT & design comedy. On 25 October, at Antwerp's Lebowski comedy club, this ThingsCon Special is all about ridiculing design practice anno 2017 in order to better understand what we do. Secure your tickets here.

Keep an eye on for details.

We're on a mission to massively increase the footprint of the ThingsCon community, including 5 in the global South. Learn more about how it works and get in touch to start your local chapter, right now!


ThingsCon's German members association, ThingsCon e.V., is officially live! We're still wrapping up some paperwork like opening a bank account, but you can find the articles of association and some more background on This will make it a lot easier to interface with other organizations for advocacy, fundraising and partnerships. Yay!

A big thank you to Prof. Andrea Krajewski (Hochschule Darmstadt), Michelle Thorne (Mozilla Open IoT Studio) and Ricardo Brito (The ThingCast, IoT Service Kit), who helped our original core team (Emanuel Schwarz, Max Krüger, Simon Höher, Peter Bihr) by joining us as founding members of the members association.


Google's balloon-powered High Speed internet now in Kenya is a solid intro to Google's Project Loon.

Sonos says users must accept new privacy policy or devices may "cease to function". This is a nice example of what not to do. Each and every IoT product that makes headlines like these undermines trust in both the company and in the overall ecosystem. But let's face it: This kind of power dynamic shouldn't even be possible to unfold. Which is why we do what we do here at ThingsCon.

Drones will watch Australian beaches for sharks with AI help. I couldn't imagine a better use for drones.

Towards a General Understanding of Culture. ThingsCon alumnus Boris Anthony proposes a framework for understanding culture(s). As strong believers in the shaping power of both culture & unconscious biases, we found this one 💯.

Also, don't forget to spend some time near the ocean. It'll do you good.

The Human Tech Report

Our global community of experts keeps an eye out for responsible tech so you can have a quick-to-scan overview of what's noteworthy, smoothly delivered to your inbox once a month. To follow along, sign up now, and if you know of initiatives that should be included, please reach out to Max!


Underexposed: Our friends at SimplySecure bring their conference Underexposed to Berlin this fall. The theme this year: Deep Forgetting: Designing for Privacy in a World of Machine Learning. The preliminary program looks ace, with lots of friendly faces, allies and collaborators (including our very own Peter Bihr):

  • Caroline Sinders: UX Design Can Create Transparency for Machine Learning
  • Cennydd Bowles: The Shadows of Data
  • Julia Kloiber + Elisa Lindinger: Biased Machines - Why Diversity in Tech is More Important Than Ever
  • Marcel Schouwenaar: Transparent Charging Station: Because You Have the Right to Know Who’s in Charge
  • Max von Grafenstein: The Meaning of “Design” in Privacy by Design
  • Peter Bihr: Internet of Sneaky Things
  • Sarah Gold + Projects By If: Design and Trust Meetup
  • Yasmina Lopez Lluch: Educating Privacy-Minded Designers

If you're in town, swing by and say hi!


Are you on Slack? Drop us a line with your email address and we'll be happy to see you in the ThingsCon backchannel on Slack ( And if you have community news (events, projects you're working on, resources you'd like to share, etc.) send them our way. And as always, for any news follow us on Twitter!

Have a fantastic week!

On behalf of the whole ThingsCon team,

Your scribe Peter

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