Dublin, Ohio, Chief Information Officer discussed on Insureblocks
Smart contracts. I'm will lead also your host for this week's podcast. We'll be discussing discussing the very interesting project called the Dublin Digital Identity Project and I'm very pleased to have doug McCullough chief information officer her for the city of Dublin in Ohio USA. Doug thank you for joining us today. Could you please give our listeners. Quick introduction on yourself sure so my name is Doug McCullough chief information officer for the city of Dublin Ohio. It is a small city really a suburb on the North West Corner of Columbus Ohio which is in the middle of the state I am a private sector guy and I may government guy. I've worked for four different state of Ohio agencies and two cities in the united estates and I really love municipalities into innovation into smart cities. I'm into smart ability obviously into blockchain. A it just really interested in sort of emerging technologies and how I can help public sector organizations integrate them into their daily operations Excellent excellent and I think also inside you're going to be able to share with our audience later in this podcast so straight off the bat as it has cost me here in Intra entre blocks. Could you please explain to our listeners. What is blockchain? And how does it work. Well I'm sure that many have gone before me and failed. I probably will fail as well and I take no credit for getting it right but I will say that I can tell you what it is to me and from my perspective because this is one of the most simple technologies while also being one of the most complex and I don't want to oversimplify it but you Kinda have to a small Description I see. blockchain obtain is a technology infrastructure innovation that combines existing technologies like databases peer to peer networks encryption distributed computing algorithms to form a different way of distributing compute data storage and data security so in its most basic form it works by recording pieces pieces of data into structures. We've taken to calling blocks. The definition of these structures is such that they exist within a chain in that if they do not not come after another block or not part of another block they by definition do not exist. This structural definition allows the existence of a block to carry certain certain cities simply by the fact that they exist in other words to bear Fi. The data of a block one needs to verify its position in a chain that contains other defined blocks each addition to this chain makes the entire structure more and more difficult to invalidating. But if you did and there is a press process process for invalidating a chain the fact that a change to this basic infrastructure would invalidate the whole further makes scenario more trustworthy so that certainly is over technical and quite possibly wrong But the important thing to me and from my perspective is that as an infrastructure it is superior to other databases databases networks or distributing distributed computing models for certain uses and the High find it to be superior for is data transactions injections not necessarily data storage but data transactions. What happened when where and with perfect while if this was was an incorrect or definition what correct one is so thank you so much for that it was it was really good definition? I'm GonNa will definitely always As he knows. So well you know. There are many different schools of thought when it comes to blockchain and different tribes who who liked to defend their view of it right so so could you tell us a little bit about the city of Dublin and just in our Irish listeners where referring here to the city of Dublin in Ohio USA. Not Dublin. Orlands so I love to hear more about your lovely city. There are folks in Ohio. We know Dublin wealth and the rest of the world who have heard about it but for a lot of the world people people are like. I don't know what you're talking about. Here's a bunch of Dublin's in the United States as well But as I said we're a small community of around fifty thousand and up apply. Some years ago started along the path towards innovation through fiber optics in developing one of the first publicly-owned city owned fiber optic networks networks. And so we're kind of a techno-centric kind of a place that has embraced using technology to advance its economic development interests from air. We've been kind of a leader or innovator when it comes to smart cities up whether it be a sitting next to smart Columbus on being part of that same region or being being a part of the Intelligence Communities Forum in which we compete and go for awards where that is the city has an institute the Global Institute for the study the of the intelligence community to help share some of what we've learned about intelligent communities in smart city development and derive more from around the world and share those lessons since with other communities so we kind of want to be a conduit and in a light in showing how communities can use technology to improve the lives absorb their citizens. And that's kind of our brand at this point. I mean it's fascinating because you know just to remind him what the point is said of the city of fifty thousand people and you are quite forefront of developing new technology and. I'm sharing your best practice. What you've learned for me you know you sound very much like a city similar to Silicon Valley and also what is amazing because as it is a subject of our podcast that you've managed to develop a digital identity project based blockchain technology? Why how did your city managed to get to this point to be so tax heavy? Well well there are a few advantages and a few good moves some investments that the city of Dublin made that strategically placed us in a different position. So if there's there's any other cities out there listening you'll recognize some of this first of all. We did introduce me as a chief information officer. and honestly if you're not a very large arch city like a Boston or New York or Los Angeles or Atlanta or a London. You don't have a chief information officer you have an. It director director whose job it is to keep the technology running. Not necessarily to envision. What's next in what's new and so- Dublin Did that they invested in that in part because we're small there's less to run and there's a lot of innovation happening here in our region. We've got a great research institution Asian in in Ohio University and the Ohio State University. And there's just a lot of resources here that make it possible for us to do it. But if you're another city Anderson later saying it. We're not doing that it in part. It's because it's difficult for a city to hire someone in give them that job so hello. Dublin is benefiting from brilliant brilliant now so you've developed a digital identity project based on blockchain technology. What problem were you looking to address? This is interesting Because I WANNA put you in your listeners in the in the stance of considering what a city is we tend to look look at cities and say Stay in your lane plows. Snow Mow the grass. Fix The potholes and cut my taxes. And I'll be happy happy. And we don't think about all the various services and things that a city doesn't in has been doing but if cities do not innovate than we are going to be disrupted roughed it just like any other business. If he didn't think that the United States post office could be disrupted and of course. It is being disrupted because we always thought that we will deliver letters in boxes and Amazon changed all that you know taxes are being disrupted. Everybody's being disrupted cities can be disrupted and I think that that could be devastating for us. So it's my job to try and stay ahead of that and to continue to. Innovate we are candidates for innovation. Just like anybody else. I do believe that there's going to be a new distributed data environment just as the web changed to everything Blockchain the distributed data environment is going to change everything and we don't want to get caught off guard We were concerned about and remained concerned about preparing for kind of leaner government. government As it is now may not look the way. It is automation boxer. We're subject to impact by those as well. So what happens if we have far fewer people in a lot more automation. They're a how're we going to build the service model that serves people I mentioned you know sort of a digital disruption Russian of government just like anybody else right. Now I'm out in the Wilderness crying about this. Nobody believes it but I think we're going to see it happen Also mentioned sort of a declining in degrading trust in a sort of a more dangerous data privacy in firemen for people and we expect this to have but negative impact on citizens in public transactions. If we don't prepare for that Mrs all before thinking about blockchain as a potential solution But then also generally just as a person who uses technology I desire new level control or autonomy Regarding my data and I think that cities are local governments or even national governments can play a role in providing that security and privacy to citizens perhaps through some sort of a service but then finally there's a huge amount of pressure for cities to become smart cities to become programmable to use data to make decisions and I'm afraid that we're all gonna run into a big brick wall if we can't identify people or other private things that need to be identified in order to program around them We're all very excited about cars. Driving down the street being automated but if we don't have a mechanism for identity that's going to be a problem so should have government Create a new identity Regime I feel that blockchain gives a lot of control and privacy obviously back to citizens so that if we do need to program aspects of our lives that we would control of privacy back into citizens hands Eh. That's brilliant. I love the way you explained it what. I'm very curious to hear your views about is. How can cities be disrupted erupted? I mean who causes the disruption that we touched on a lot of points right right nine are around trust around technology. That is a pushing in on FM. Paul Thomas Cars but how do you see. Actually city itself being disrupted interesting nobody sees disruption. That's the thing I mean it often disruption we use the word disruption because everybody thought it couldn't happen like we will always be this and we will always have that So we don't see it coming but if you think of interesting things like Google ways in in maps We now listen to Google about whether or not we can travel along a road and not necessarily that government and there's some interesting stories about global ways. I don't want to center on a bit of it as a example but you know if if ways tells you that a road is open. You think it's opened in may be a sign there but somebody moved but it only sees. He's traffic moving through someplace. And so It advises people to undertake actions according to itself that's a disruption. You know we. We are no longer in control of where people drive or restricting roads in some senses but I look at things like package delivery and in really roadways if if you look into smart cities you will find that they are very centered around transportation and the nature of transportation. The roads the traffic lights. How fast people go? A lot of that stuff is being moved into technology. Benders if you look at the technology that's going into vehicles to make connected vehicles These are software companies. They're not necessarily governments and win. Software companies get better at directing people. Traffic perfect keeping them safer than governments are no longer doing that. They are not the primary safety or life safety partner in your life life. What happens if that goes across a whole different sector of Things that happen and by the way. I'm not saying it's a bad thing I think it's good that You know you could find technology that could do a better job at keeping you safe. The question is who controls that what is is. Where does a citizen have a some direction capability in that scenario and governments are not in a position to even speak digital digital language than the private sector will become the primary source of what we used to think? Governments do understood understood so even in a scenario canario where the public sector works was software companies or digital native companies. There's always a question in terms of WHO's GonNa be on the data and I guess the identity around them that data and I can get another person's I think so I think we all hopefully we all kind of agree that individuals should have some lever level of sovereignty or control over their own data but make no mistakes Big companies as our building cities now building whole cities. They're building schools. Why is that happening? But you know there's a lot of money and investment and opportunity and they have the ability the of innovating in ways that what used to be government does not. We've got to keep up so that we stay at the table and we are a part of things in in a digital way not just the creators of laws legislation of course. It's like non incumbent industry whether it's insurance banking of her marsupials in you always have the large incumbents who run. The risk of been disrupted by digital native company with us. Google facebook Amazon here. You're just taking this from a safety perspective where you want to make sure that you're not in incumbency that you can take the lead and I find it interesting. That in some ways you started arriving for structure was so. You're you're fiber optics and now you're moving in terms of identity Now when you look at identity why felt that blockchain was the right technology not to address this opportunity. Well and I'll get into some personal feelings here as a sort of a privacy advocate and not a representative of government government But I I do feel that individuals should have some control. They should be in charge of this question I I think that as a local government we can have influence over how this is created in. I feel that this is a great service to people like. Who's going do this in people's interest and I fear that Having a prophet motive could color. Or you know disrupt disrupt sort of the opportunity for Helping people be the sovereign Sort of democratic leader of their own lives where this is concerned and so honestly I wanted to get there. I wanted to help create an identity conversation I station before Our package delivery.