About

Peter Bihr
Photo by Nina Zimmermann.

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 — primarily with foundations, non-profits and the public sector.

He explores how emerging technologies—like Internet of Things (#iot), smart cities, or artificial intelligence (#AI)—can have positive social impact, and helps organizations fulfill their missions in this space.

Peter serves as special advisor to Stiftung Mercator’s Center for Digital Society. He co-founded ThingsCon e.V., a not-for-profit that advocates for responsible practices in Internet of Things (IoT), and co-hosts the Getting Tech Right podcast.

Peter was a Mozilla Fellow (2018-19) researching trustable technology (IoT), and an Edgeryders Fellow (2019) exploring smart cities from a civil rights perspective. From 2015 to 2021 he was Managing Director of independent research firm The Waving Cat GmbH. He is the author of View Source: Shenzhen (2017) and Understanding the Connected Home (with Michelle Thorne, 2015). Postscapes named him a Top 20 Influencer in IoT (2019).

Before, Peter has co-founded several acclaimed emerging technology conferences including ThingsCon, UIKonf, and Cognitive Cities Conference, and curated leading conferences including Interaction, NEXT, and TEDxKreuzberg. He has provided research, strategic advice, and policy recommendations to governments, foundations and global technology companies.

His projects, thoughts and other antics have been featured in Forbes, New York Times, SPIEGEL, The Guardian, ZDF, ZEIT and many others. His work has been exhibited at London Design Festival, the V&A and Fuori Salone. He blogs at thewavingcat.com.

(Overview of past and current clients and personal affiliations. A (probably outdated) version of this bio is available in German, too. Clients and conference organizers can find high-res headshots here.)

Want to learn more?

  • Let’s chat. If you’re working on something exciting and would like to work with me, please get in touch.
  • Get a better understanding of my work. An overview of recent experience and projects. For an even more curated list, my portfolio.
  • Media. I try to keep an up-to-date list of media mentions and publications. If you want to get in touch for an interview, please come this way.
  • Talks. Fairly frequently I speak at conferences. Among many others that has included NEXT Berlin, Picnic, O’Reilly Solid, SXSW and the OpenIOT Assembly.
  • Conferences. Programming conferences is one of the most engaging ways to learn everything there is about a topic, and I enjoy it a tremendously. Over the years I’ve chaired or curated (and in some cases, co-founded) conferences including ThingsCon, Atoms&Bits, Cognitive Cities, Ignite Berlin, Interaction16, NEXT, TEDxKreuzberg, and UIKonf.
  • What I did before. By way of explaining where I’m coming from, the shortest of resumés: Before doing what I do now, I co-founded a company that was part think tank, part digital strategy consultancy, where we worked for clients like MTV Europe, Postbank and ZEIT Online. Before that, I worked as an independent digital strategist, often on social media and election campaigning. Along the way, I had some editorial roles, too.