ThingsCon Log: ThingsCon & Brazil's National IoT Plan

Hi ThingsCon Family, we have plenty of things to share this week, from Brazil's national IoT policy (and how we have impacted it) to more structured participation pathways. Let's jump right in, shall we?

ThingsCon & Brazil's National IoT Plan

Brazil published their National IoT Plan—and it quite heavily references our ThingsCon report (in collaboration with Mozilla) "A Trustmark for IoT"!

This is the large-scale impact we always work towards. Here's our small write-up with all the links.

New ThingsCon.Com

Last week we had just flipped the switch on the new Thanks to pointers from many of you, we've fixed a lot of small issues and believe the site is now more or less ready for prime time: Links appear to work, SSL is up, newsletter and Slack signup have both been streamlined with much friendlier forms. And the site now lives on a much stronger server over on Squarespace.

(Still, if you see anything that looks like it's wrong, please do let us know.)

As part of the overhaul, we've cleaned up /get-involved/ to include much more simplified so-called participation pathways to answer the simple question: I'd like to be involved but I don't know how to go about it? The three steps we propose (in ascending order of involvement):

  1. Join our Slack and newsletter to get an overview of what's going on.
  2. Join an event to meet likeminded folks from the community.
  3. Host an event to bring ThingsCon to your town.

ThingsCon Salon Cologne

Save the date: Simon Höher & Max Krüger just set the date for the next ThingsCon Salon Cologne for 6 April 2018. The theme is "Cities, People, Data", and we have two top-notch speakers lined up:

  • Mara Balestrini is a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) researcher and a technology strategist, and CEO of Ideas for Change.
  • Aline Shakti Franze has an background in philosophy and applied ethics and is specialized in philosophy of technology. During her time at Utrecht Dataschool she developing DEDA, the Data Ethics Decision Aid.

Sign up here.


Mozilla announces an open gateway for the internet of things. Apple, Google, Amazon and Samsung have all been working hard to create their own standard to control all the connected devices around your home. Mozilla just announced that anybody can now create an open gateway to control the internet of things.

No one’s coming. It’s up to us. Dan Hon on the role & responsibility of humanist technologists (that's us!).

There Is No Such Thing as a Smart City. On The Atlantic, sci-fi author (and ThingsCon alumnus) Bruce Sterling writes about so-called "smart cities": "If you look at where the money goes (always a good idea), it’s not clear that the “smart city” is really about digitizing cities. Smart cities are a generational civil war within an urban world that’s already digitized. It’s the process of the new big-money, post-internet crowd, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft et al., disrupting your uncle’s industrial computer companies, the old-school machinery guys who ran the city infrastructures, Honeywell, IBM, General Electric. It’s a land grab for the command and control systems that were mostly already there." There's a lot in this piece—highly recommended.


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 as always, for any news follow us on Twitter.

Have a fantastic week!

On behalf of the whole ThingsCon team,

Your scribe Peter

PS. Think a friend or colleague would enjoy this as a newsletter? Feel free to pass it on! 🙏