Lauren Smith 
“What’s Driving the Connected Car? Data, It Turns Out.”
Who’s in the Driver’s Seat? The Transformation of Transportation
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017
The Queen  MORE INFO

“It’s hard to believe that TEDxWilmington is only one week away. I have learned that the organizers were serious when saying this process would involve hours and hours of work. Now I think I understand a bit of what makes TEDx talks so engaging—even the busiest speakers have to take the time to pour themselves into their talks.

More than just the deadlines and resources to review, this talk and its content have been omnipresent in my mind since I first applied to speak. The process to turn a wonky policy subject into a relatable and engaging story requires a creativity that I don’t get to use often enough in my daily work on law and policy. Content and anecdotes have been swirling in the back of my mind for weeks, but piecing them together proved challenging, and the upcoming outline deadline loomed constantly in my mind. Then one rainy day I was sitting in a café mourning my ruined outdoor plans when suddenly I reached for my notebook. Out of nowhere, I began writing, and each piece fell in place. In an hour in that café I wrote my talk’s entire script. Creativity, it seems, strikes unexpectedly.

Life events can strike unexpectedly, too. At the end of September, I braced for what I knew would be a very hectic October—a number of talks, big regulatory developments for connected cars, and several out-of-town weddings. Things were on pace but it was going to be a lot. Never could I have imagined that these worries would soon be minimalized when our house caught fire just two weeks before the TEDx talk. As the house was deemed uninhabitable, I spent the week I intended to be TEDx memorization-focused bouncing between Airbnbs, indexing belongings for cleaning or disposal, consoling a traumatized dog, and searching for a new place to live. It was overwhelming and exhausting.

I write this post from a rental couch in my new temporary apartment. I now have a bed and a few items of clothing that I picked out for emergency cleaning. I won’t move back home before the TEDx talk, and to be honest I’ll have just started putting things back together. My hope is that, as before, everything will come together at an unexpected moment. Maybe adversity forges the strongest TED talks…but I guess you’ll have to tune in October 17 to find out.”


Lauren Smith is Policy Counsel at the Future of Privacy Forum, where she focuses on big data and the Internet of Things as related to connected cars, data ethics, algorithmic decision-making, and health technology. Lauren leads the FPF Connected Cars Working Group, and serves as an expert and thought leader across the country.  READ MORE

Who’s in the Driver’s Seat? The Transformation of Transportation :: Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 The Queen  MORE INFO