ThingsCon Log for 23 Oct 2017

Announcing the ThingsCon Fellowship. ThingsCon on CNN. And updates from Amsterdam, Antwerp, Nairobi & Shanghai. ANNOUNCING THE THINGSCON FELLOWSHIP

We are excited to announce the ThingsCon Fellowship program. We have been dreaming about this for a long time and couldn't be happier to see this coming together at long last.

What is the ThingsCon Fellowship? The ThingsCon Fellowship recognizes achievements and commitment that advance the ThingsCon mission of fostering the creation of a responsible and human-centric IoT generally, and support for the ThingsCon community specifically. The fellowship aims to amplify the fellows' work in this area and to promote knowledge transfer and networking between fellows and the larger ThingsCon network.

How does it work? The first round of fellows for 2017/2018 consists of a small cohort of ThingsCon allies. These individuals have over the past years put tremendous effort into advancing and promoting the ThingsCon mission. Together with them we will develop and evolve the ThingsCon Fellowship program through a collaborative process of mutual exchange and shared learning. The fellowship is deliberately lightweight. It starts with regular group calls for coordination, and extensive documentation of our learnings. We hope to provide a foundation for new projects to emerge and existing projects to gain more traction.

We're humbled, proud, and excited to call these smart, committed and kind people our fellows:

Meet the inaugural cohort of ThingsCon Fellows

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino
Ame Elliott
Dries de Roeck
Iohanna Nicenboim
Michelle Thorne
Ricardo Brito

Learn more about the fellows here.


In their excellent op-ed on on the future of IoT, Mozilla CEO Mark Surman and Michelle Thorne kindly gave not one but two shout-outs to ThingsCon. Thank you!


ThingsCon Amsterdam: The annual global gathering

Don't miss ThingsCon Amsterdam (30 Nov - 1 Dec), the annual global gathering of the ThingsCon community. Two full days of workshops, presentations and plenty of opportunity to meet all the best people. Already confirmed speakers include a star line-up including Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Martijn de Waal, Nazli Cila, Dries De Roeck, Jet Gispen, Kars Alfrink, Peter Kún, Ugo Vallauri and Iohanna Nicenboim, and many many more. Sign up today!)

On Oct 24th, Team Antwerp host the pioneering ThingsCon Saloon Antwerp: Comedy Special. Held at Antwerp's venerable Lebowski's Comedy Club, this world-premier ThingsCon comedy special is subtitled "Poking fun at design practice anno 2017. Because laughing at yourself opens up a whole new world of ideas." Secure your ticket here.

In Shanghai, Charlie 胡烨川 will be hosting ThingsCon Salon Shanghai #2 on 29 Oct, i.e. this Sunday. Sign up here.

And finally, we are excited to confirm the first ThingsCon event in Nairobi (8 Dec). We're super excited this is happening. Register here.

Keep an eye on for details.

We're on a mission to increase the footprint of the ThingsCon community, including 5 in the global South. Learn more about how it works (it's easy!) and get in touch to discuss starting a local chapter in your city.


  • Mozilla Festival (London, 27-29 Oct). Our good friends & collaborators at Mozilla are hosting their annual global festival for the open internet. It's always fantastic.
  • Underexposed (Berlin, 8-9 Nov). 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).


Department of ThingsCon Fellows

Iohanna Nicenboim just published Affective Things, entanglements of a connected home: "With Affective Things, we want to explore more complex interrelationships between Things. We investigate how objects affect others in their temporal and spatial proximity, and how interactions could be carried and moved through the house by Things. On the other hand, we want to explore to which extent will Things be able to understand our behaviour from their limited perspective. With a series of everyday objects that collaboratively try to understand what is going on around them, we show some fictions and frictions of Things to Things. The project is done together with Elisa Giaccardi and in collaboration with The Incredible Machine thanks to the Design United demonstrator grant." Here's the video to go with it.

Affective Things, entanglements of a connected home from The Incredible Machine on Vimeo.

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino: IoTMark: The 30 principles. Our good friends and collaborators over at the London #iotmark initiative published the principles guiding their certification for the Internet of Things. They span the whole range from security to data governance to interoperability and more. Must read!

Michelle Thorne: In her role as lead of Mozilla's Open IoT Studio, Michelle worked with Superflux on Our Friends Electric: "What is the future of virtual assistants and artificial intelligence? Meet virtual assistants that grow with you, AI that speaks on your behalf, and a philosophically-minded companion that accidentally orders 2,000 pounds of organic horse manure. A film by Superflux and Mozilla. Officially premiered at the London Digital Design Weekend at the V&A museum on Saturday, September 23, 2017." Here's the video.

Department of Data Dangers

Department of Data Delights

Department of Plucky Plugs


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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