Council launched in Brussel in 2009: blogs, reports and videoclips

19/09/2009 - 00:38

Council and! presented: Are you ready for the Internet of Things? A LIFT @ Home event, december 4, 2009, Brussels, at

The movies by filmers Suzanne Hogendoorn and Joris Holtermans are on the Council Conference Channel on youtube. The evening program was streamed by IMAL and is archived. You can watch it.

IMAL was packed during the 12 hour event, including a marvellous vegetarian lunch and diner by Annabel. The presentations in the morning ranged the entire field.They were sharp, to the point and showed a great sense of urgency and committment from let's have some fun and play to let's be very careful in which people's rules we are playing. Gérald Santucci presented a truly European view showing deep committment to old human values and with his enthousiasm and passion showed that we can build a strong European team of coders, thinkers and tinkerers for a new iteration of security and innovation. 

Later in the day he interviewed Régine Debatty who urged us to look to adopt the sharing committments that she finds in South America. The last free network to close in Berlin was hers. Melanie Rieback who presented twice and with great intensity showed - for the first time in public - her new RFID Guardian - a toolkit for hacking RFID - that grows so organically as a tool that some people remarked that it could be the heart of a EU style Iphone, so it can become a 'lifestyle manager' - expressed her hope that the EU and large national research funds and schemes would be really open to collaborate. Probing Usman Haque for a pledge about how this Council day was going to inform his practice - being fully aware that Usman is a major force in helping to shape IoT by adapting and building on every computational pull - he stood up and solemny promised "to be less pessimistic". This is on tape! :)

A report from workshop 6 is available here. Jaromil who moderated the workshop together with Melanie Rieback writes: "it seems  that issues  raised by our  discussion table  had influenced what  followed in  the  evening and  we  sincerely hope  to have  more occasions for constructive interactions on these issues. Workshop  notes were  gathered to  generate this  graph in 10 minutes after the workshop, some of us were quite impressed by this process. The graph at the link above is made using Free Software (GNU GPL): an efficient and  cost-effective productivity framework,  well documented (rather than  merchandised), offering a reliability  that best matches the high degree of responsability we face in our professions, more precisely, the software are: Emacs, orgmode, freemind and nXhtml."

The stunningly visual report by Arlon Stock opens up a new range of thinking and working.

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino reports back on her workshop Homesense.

Cristiano Storni has published a report on his Health Care workshop.

Jim Kosem blogged his talk How I learned to stop worrying and love the Internet of Things.

Slava Kozlov from Summ()n put all his pictures from workshop 3 in a separate set set on Flickr and also all other images from the conference. He wrote a short posting with the first impressions from the game in the Summ()n blog.

Gill Wildman wrote about her workshop the Sensing City in her blog on Plot, see her Flickr pictures

Yves Bernard has written an article and his students have blogged.

Nicola Fabiano has published a report. (in Italian)

Gérald Santucci looks back on the day.


Lift is a series of events built around a community of pioneers who get together to explore the social implications of new technologies.! is a design studio that build interactive products, spaces and events that bridge the physical and the digital.
Council is a thinkthank on the Internet of Things.




0930 : Opening with Rob van Kranenburg and Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

0945 0955 : Lift @ Home with Nicolas Nova: existing networked objects and what they tell us about potential users and how designers/engineers thought about them

0955 - 1010 : Internet of the Future and Internet of Things: What is at stake and how are we getting prepared for them? with Gérald Santucci, Head of Unit "Networked Enterprise and RFID", EU

1010 - 1020 : The future of storytelling through scenarios, with Gill Wildman, Plot

1020 - 1035 : The Internet of Goods, with Hein Gorter de Vries, GS1 in Europe

1035  -1045 : Pachube and Connected Environments, with Usman Haque


1100 - 1245 : Inspiration

1235 - 1245 : TownToolKit, with Christian Nold

1245 - 1400 : Lunch

1400 - 1700 : Workshops (with input, questions and views by Gérald Santucci (Head of Unit, Networked Enterprise and Radio Frequency Identification, INFSO D4)

1700 -  1745 : Workshop leaders present the results. Short Q & A.

1745 -  1815 : Gérald Santucci moderates a debate with Melanie Rieback, Régine Debatty, Usman Haque and Rafi Haladjian.

1815 - 1930 : Dinner

2000-2200 : Public evening program. Opening by Yves Bernard. With lectures, keynotes, interviews, short presentations of workshop results by workshopleaders. Speakers include Liam Bannon, Rob van Kranenburg, Christian Nold, Ben Schouten, Karim Amrani on Augmented Gaming, Karmen Franinovic, Slava Kozlov on "New mindsets and personal/psychological skills we need to develop for the IoT", Jo Caudron, Melanie Rieback, Sheldon Renan on "Why Everything Wants To Be Connected: Enabling Unintended Conversations and Unintended Communities."

GS1 in Europe kindly sponsors the lunch and dinner of the Council launch. The kind sponsoring of Philips Design and IT Strategy helps Council to pay for the venue and the videoregistration.


The Internet of Things (IoT) is a vision. Yet it is being built today. The stakeholders are known, the debate has yet to start. The European Commission published its action plan for IoT in June of this year. In hundreds of years our real needs have not changed. We want to be loved, feel safe, have fun, be relevant in work and friendship, be able to support our families, and somehow play a role - however small - in the larger scheme of things.
So what will really happen when things, homes and cities become smart?

The result will probably be an avalanche of what at first looks like very small steps, small changes. Currently IoT applications, demonstrations and infrastructures are being rolled out primarily from negative arguments. For logistics, it is anti-theft. For e-health, it is the lack of human personnel that requires the building of smart houses. From a policy view, it is the ensuring of safety, control and surveillance at item level and in public space. For retail, it is shelf space management.

Council thinktank aims to grow into a positively critical counterpart to these negativities in focusing on the quality of interaction and potentialities of IoT for social, communicative and economic (personal fabrication, participatory budgeting, alternative currencies) connectivity between humans and other humans, humans and things, and humans and their surroundings.

The wrestling with ambient technologies - the noise - is rapidly going out of corporate memory. A new young generation growing up at ease with 'total' connectivity, will enter IoT territory as simply another layer, another iteration of something they are comfortable with.

Therefore the launch of Council will highlight a personal history of locative media & hybrid spaces by professionals of the i3 (Intelligent Information Interfaces) days, as well as the latest tools and applications, workshops on key issues, short keynotes and time for debate and discussion.


Council is a think tank for the Internet of Things. Forecasting then becomes prototyping. Forecasting by prototyping is a phrase of Ben Russell, the author of Headmap. We believe IoT constitutes an new ontology. Qualities and properties of citizens/endusers, industry and governance will merge to form new leading actors. These three groups have always been quite distinct and sometimes antagonistic.

Image removed.

During Radiator, january 2009, Sean Dodson, Christian Nold, Régine Debatty, Usman Haque  and Rob van Kranenburg- had tea and sandwiches in Rosy Lee, just opposite the Broadway Cinema where Radiator was. Usman found this in an old notebook ("Oct 2008-Aug 2009") --- „think it's from when we kicked off, right?”