Time to catch up

Note: This is cross-posted from my weekly newsletter in an attempt to both to make it easier to read this via RSS feed and to have this in my own independent archives. You can subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox.


Hello friends,

I hope this finds you well. It’s been some time since I sent the last update — just over 2 months — which usually would qualify as the kind of break in between newsletter seasons. But we’ll just keep going, shall we? A lot has been happening, and it’s time to sit down for a catch-up. So I’ll keep it tight this week.

As a matter of best practice, an occasional reminder of who I am and how or why you might have signed up in the first place: My name is Peter Bihr and you may have found me via my website thewavingcat.com or Twitter (@peterbihr), two places where I talk a lot about responsible tech, emerging tech, policy around responsible and emerging tech. Or maybe through the ThingsCon network, which I co-founded. I’m also co-host of the Getting Tech Right podcast. And while I’m very happy that you’re reading this, as always, the unsubscribe is always just a click away down in the footer.

Also, as always, I love hearing back from you. Feel free to just hit reply on this email or reach out for a proper chat anytime.



You’re receiving this because you signed up for this newsletter on tinyletter.com/pbihr or through my company’s website, thewavingcat.com. The Waving Cat is my boutique research and strategic advisory practice; I co-founded ThingsCon, a non-profit that explores responsible tech. To support my independent research & advocacy, why not join the SPECIAL PROJECTS membership? On Twitter, I’m @peterbihr. If you’d like to work with me or bounce ideas, let’s have a chat.


Updates from the engine room

I’m sending this from the East Coast, where I’m spending some time for personal reasons in lovely, sunny Massachusetts. This also means that I’m in a different time zone for the first time in a year. If you’re in the Americas, talking in real time just got a lot easier. If you want to chat, this is a great opportunity.

Getting Tech Right
As an independent — and admittedly somewhat meta — research project, I’ve been exploring how we can think better about tech & society. This project, Getting Tech Right, is aimed specifically at policy makers and funders, at decision makers at foundations and in the public sector.

One of the most fun and engaging part of this research is the podcast I’ve launched to feed into and to accompany my writing.

I was super happy that long-time friend and collaborator Patrick Tanguay (who also writes the excellent Sentiers newsletter) joined me as co-host.

At this moment we have published 9 episodes with fantastic thinkers and experts: Jon Rogers, Simon Höher, Di Luong, Iskander Smit, Anab Jain, Patrick Tanguay, Michelle Thorne, Michael Lenczner, and Julia Kloiber. And we’ve been lining up tons more. The range of topics is as broad as urban planning and smart cities, product design and AI, sustainability and the green web, equitable and immersive futures, digital transformation, inclusive sensing and sense-making, and speculative evidence.

The common thread being: What can support funders and policy makers in using their positions of leverage and influence for the best possible societal outcomes?

I’ve been talking to a super nice independent publisher who might pick up the book — if it ends up being a good shape for a book, that is. It might end up taking a different shape altogether!

You can subscribe to the podcast in all major podcast apps and directories.

 NYC’s IoT Strategy
A while back, New York City’s CTO office had asked me for feedback to drafts of NYC’s new IoT Strategy. That strategy has now been published. In my blog post you’ll find a little more background and links to the final document: New York’s new NYC IoT Strategy

The State of Consumers in Germany
The Advisory Council for Consumer Affairs (Sachverständigenrat für Verbraucherfragen, SVRV) is an advisory body of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV). The Council just published a report on the state of consumers in Germany, to which I was invited to give input as one of about 20 external experts. My input focused on digital and connected products (IoT). The final report is now available (in German) here (PDF).


If you’d like to work with me or have a chat to explore collaborations, let’s chat! 


Who writes here? Peter Bihr explores how emerging technologies can have a positive social impact. At the core of his work is the mission to align emerging technologies and citizen empowerment. To do this, he works as an independent advisor at the intersection of technology, governance, policy and social impact — with foundations, public sector and private sector. He co-founded ThingsCon, a non-profit that explores fair, responsible, and human-centric technologies. Peter was a Mozilla Fellow (2018-19) and an Edgeryders Fellow (2019). Based in Berlin, he tweets at @peterbihr and blogs at thewavingcat.com. Interested in working together? Let’s have a chat.

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