4/12/2019 – Erik Johnston

Erik Johnston, Arizona State University

Title: How smart governance infrastructures integrate expertise to cultivate the curiosity of cities

Date: April 12, 2019

Time: 1:15pm

Room: Luddy 1106

Abstract: Cities become more curious when their underlying governance infrastructures are designed to detect, deliberate, and discover. The first half of this talk defines and describes the capacities developed as a city experiments with novel information approaches and asks questions in new ways. The second half of the talk highlights the benefits of cultivating curiosity in three contexts: 1) using an information intervention so distributed community resources can self-organize to reduce heat vulnerability, 2) designing an information-rich deliberation environment to explore transportation futures in Arizona, and 3) inventing a patient-designed artificial pancreas within the type-one diabetes community. Each example demonstrates the impact of inclusive problem solving that connects best practices, local expertise, and diverse perspectives/values enabled through a smart governance infrastructure.

Bio: Dr. Erik Johnston is an Associate Professor with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society where he is also the Chair the of the Ph.D. program in Human and Social Dimensions in Science and Technology. He is the Co-Director of the Center for Smart Cities and Regions and the Director of Policy Informatics at the Decision Theater. His research in smart cities and regions integrates open governance and policy informatics applications of public interest technology to serve all communities, including participation from traditionally underserved populations. His research in opening governance explores how our governance systems can evolve to address increasingly complex challenges and to meet the rising expectations of the public to have many pathways to share their talents, data, expertise, and energy to improve their communities. His research in policy informatics is the study of how computational and communication technology is leveraged to specifically understand and address complex public policy and administration problems and realize innovations in governance insights, processes, and institutional design.

Dr. Johnston earned a PhD in Information and a Certificate in Complex Systems from the University of Michigan. He is a two-time NSF IGERT fellow, in the STIET (Socio-Technical Infrastructure for Electronic Transactions) and IDEAS (Institutions, Diversity, Emergence, Adaptation, and Structures) programs. He currently has funding from the MacArthur, Robert Wood Johnson, Sloan, Schmidt, Piper, and National Science Foundations.