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Accelerating Purposeful and Effective Impacts for Our Future Cities with Emerging Technologies

The wave of new technology from web3, blockchain and also the metaverse has moved way beyond the gaming industry and are now impacting industries such as retail, economy and even real estate. So what are the opportunities for technologies to enhance impact tracking and impact generation in our future city? How does technology help strengthen urban resilience and sustainability?

In the 3rd session of Rooftop Republic’s Farm the City - Rethinking Urban Resilience and Liveability at ReThink HK 2022, titled as “The Future of Impact with New Tech”, the panel which consists of industry experts in technology, including Andy Ann (CEO & Chairman, NDN Group), Jessica Cheung (Co-founder & Operations Director, Hong Kong Impact Data Consortium Chain (IDCC)), Kenneth Wong (Strategic Account Director, Google) and moderator, Charles Ho (Marketing Manager, The Wall Street Journal), delved deep into how these new technologies are able to change the world we live in.

Upgrading impact data tracking and prediction with blockchain and machine learning

By using blockchain and other new technologies, we are able to merge impact tracking easily in our daily lives, which enables us to generate authentic data to measure exactly what the input is. They can also help us to predict and drive us to build the infrastructures we need today to prepare for future crises. The panel first discussed their insights for future impact tracking and listed some of the technologies that help to do prediction for different industries.

Accelerating Purposeful and Effective Impacts for Our Future Cities with Emerging Technologies

Andy Ann, CEO & Chairman, NDN Group told the audience about what is missing in the market, “When it comes to impact, whether it's tracking or actually reducing carbon emissions and carbon footprints? I think there comes a lot of what is missing in the market is actually IOT (Internet of things) devices that we are able to assess at a very low cost and we are able to embed into the entire value chain in order to track all kinds of data. I think IOT is one. And having blockchain technology is also very important. It becomes an open ledger.”

Kenneth Wong, Strategic Account Director, Google gave us an example where his company is working with the U.S. government on providing forecasts. He said, “Based on the data that we have collected for like at least 40 years from Google Earth, we will be able to build some machine learning model to foresee what will be the area right after they built some important infrastructure, for example, an airport, into a rural area and what will the surrounding forest be impacted after that let's say 10 or 15 years?”

Facilitate sustainable living with people centered design integration and decentralised model
Technology also delegates us the power to form a cycle of agile development. By adopting a user-centric approach, we can change people’s mindset to adopt technology and use impact measurement in a more innovative way for greater future development.

Accelerating Purposeful and Effective Impacts for Our Future Cities with Emerging Technologies

Jessica Cheung, Co-founder & Operations Director, Hong Kong Impact Data Consortium Chain (IDCC), highlighted the importance of a people-centered design.”It's because I think people-centered design is more like a mindset of giving the power back to the people. So it's a more inclusive and participatory way to crowdsource the problems and solutions together with the people. That means in the process, people are empowered and they feel like they can make a change in their living and also they feel more on to the solutions. So they are more willing to put in their own resources to solve the problems together.”

Accelerating Purposeful and Effective Impacts for Our Future Cities with Emerging Technologies

Andy from NDN Group shared one of his company’s projects with a decentralised model which helps roll out electric buses and solar buses. “This model is really interesting because if we are able to democratise or decentralise the model to citizens, people are able to receive an NFT or a smart contract that they have voting rights. So the more you walk or the more you take electric or solar buses, you can have the right to vote in the next 10 years for which district and location would come out with the first electric buses.”

Possibilities of implementing a tokenised economy in Hong Kong
Jessica from IDCC felt confident about utilising tokens for Hong Kong’s economy, especially social innovation projects. “So, like imagine when a project has achieved certain outcomes. And the project can actually make that impact claims on a blockchain. And the claims after verified, the person can receive verifiable certificates for those outcomes. So, that token is actually representing the verifiable certificate of that outcome. So I see how outcomes from measurement can be tokenised and incentivised participation in the project.”Accelerating Purposeful and Effective Impacts for Our Future Cities with Emerging Technologies

Kenneth from Google very much agreed with the approach of using tokens for our city. He explained, ”I'm actually a supporter of Web3 and responsible for the Web3 business in Google. So, tokenisation is actually one of the important plays in Web3. I will support tokenisation and tokenisation is important for Hong Kong to become a leader in Web3 technology and also maybe FinTech, Metaverse and other stuff.”

Andy from NDN Group also felt optimistic about tokenisation. He expressed, “But for utility tokens, there are a lot of things that we can play around with. For example in the insurance business, we can issue tokens for claim tokens. You have a claim report, you have your loyalty points, and no paying bonus if you drive there's NCB. These are all we can decentralise and all these can let the user own their data so that they have the right.”


Rooftop Republic is a Hong Kong-based social enterprise that envisions a future of sustainable cities powered by urban farming. Towards greater climate and urban resilience, we build and manage urban farms to transform city spaces into vibrant sources of nutritious food, and engage and empower communities to lead a sustainable lifestyle.

For more information, please visit the Rooftop Republic website here.

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ArchifyNow is an online design media that focuses on bringing quality updates of architecture and interior design in Indonesia and Asia Pacific. ArchifyNow curates worthwhile design stories that is expected to enrich the practice of design professionals while introducing applicable design tips and ideas to the public.
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