We firmly believe in educating the public about IoT so they can have a say in the smart city agenda where they live. There is very solid evidence that the white, able-bodied, working age, men in IT design and test smart solutions that work best for other white, able-bodied, working, age men. The other three quarters of the population get a second-rate experience. We aim to address this injustice and help make sure the next generation of IoT superstars is more diverse and inclusive, because it will lead to technology that works for everybody.
To this end we run regular free half-day workshops for individuals of all age, technical ability, and background who are interested in learning about and using the Internet of Things.
We have also been able to hire A-Level students over the summer holidays and get them working on real-life IoT projects. This gives them a brilliant opportunity to experience working in a small business, meet clients, and work on real technology projects. It does us a world of good too – we learn together and some of our best ideas have come from students.
The Things Network
We are passionate supporters of The Things Network, a fantastic community of 140,000+ people building a global, free to use LoRaWAN network. It started in the summer of 2015 in Amsterdam by Johan Stokking and Wienke Giezeman who set up a free data network with a handful of friends that covered the city. We learned about it in October 2015 and decided there were enough geeks in Reading to copy them, and we have been helped many community groups get started across the UK ever since.
We are recognised as UK ambassador for The Things Network, and we co-organise The Things Conference UK – an annual 2-day conference and workshop programme.