Smart Cities of the Future: Challenges and Great Expectations

January 10, 2017
Hosted by Bonnie D. Graham

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Episode Description

The buzz: “I have an affection for a great city” (H. W. Longfellow, 1886). News flash: By 2050, over 70% of the world will live in cities (U.N., 2014). Combined with the digital revolution, this accelerated urbanization presents cities with challenges and opportunities to meet citizens’ and businesses’ transportation, water, energy and safety needs. What do Smart Cities experts predict for 2017? Welcome to our new series. The experts speak. Marlyn Zelkowitz, SAP: “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” (R. Buckminster Fuller). Ruthbea Yesner Clark, IDC: “Last guys don’t finish nice“ (Saul Alinsky). Jennifer Belissent, PhD, Forrester: “Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay!” (Sherlock Holmes). Meghan E. Cook, Center for Technology in Government: “The power of storytelling is exactly this: to bridge the gaps where everything else has crumbled” (Paulo Coelho). Join us for Smart Cities of the Future: Challenges and Great Expectations.

Game-Changing Smart Cities of the Future, Presented by SAP

Game-Changing Smart Cities of the Future, Presented by SAP

Tuesday at 9 AM Pacific Time/12 Noon Eastern Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel

Game-changing technology strategies are transformational, exciting and disruptive for a reason. They shake up your status quo. They get you thinking about new ways to scale, compete and grow. They move you in amazing new directions.

Join host Bonnie D. Graham as she invites you to take an additional Coffee Break with Game-Changers for our special series on Game-Changing Smart Cities of the Future.

We’ll explore everything from drivers for smart city digital transformation and business models, to technology trends in smart cities which will improve people’s lives.

Learn how you can become the savvy Leader who takes your organization across the finish line as you look ahead to the next wave of business innovation.

Game-Changing Smart Cities of the Future, presented by SAP, broadcasts live on Tuesdays on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel.

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Bonnie D. Graham

Bonnie D. Graham

Bonnie D. Graham has been producing and hosting live talk radio since 1998. She is the creator, producer and host of more than 25 weekly business thought leadership talk series presented by SAP under the banner of Coffee Break with Game-Changers Radio, which debuted in 2011. In a uniquely lively, unscripted roundtable discussion format, Game-Changers offers a broad range of expert business and technology insights to a global business audience.

SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device, SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. We do this by extending the availability of software across on-premise installations, on-demand deployments, and mobile devices.

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Episode Directory

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

James Alfano


James Alfano is the global lead Solutions Expert for Public Security and Intelligence with a primary focus on enabling organizations to build and deploy platform solutions at scale. He has 22 years of experience in information management in various roles advising customers on Technology roadmaps, best practices, and developing Thought leadership. James partners closely with large government agencies to include policing and Justice, Border and National Security, and Public Safety mapping their digital journey and delivering innovative tools on SAP’s HANA platform to provide real-time insights. View Guest page

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Justin Bean


Justin Bean is the Director of Smart City Solutions marketing at Hitachi Insight Group, which brings ioT solutions to market with the mission of social innovation. Justin has worked with startups and fortune 500s that are applying IoT and other disruptive technologies to improve our lives and cities. He has worked on projects in the US, Japan and South Africa that include smart parking, electric vehicles, renewable energy, blockchain, machine learning and 3D printing. He was the recipient of the 2015 Think Prize in association with renowned innovation and design firm IDEO for the financial empowerment challenge, holds an MBA in Sustainable Management, and resides in San Francisco California. View Guest page

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Jennifer Belissent, PhD


As a Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D., focuses on the tools and services to help organizations better use and share data. She has a particular interest in the role of technology and data in transforming government and has written and spoken extensively on "smart city" initiatives. Her research spans data leadership, the data economy and insights services, as well as the Internet of Things and connected urban infrastructure. Before joining Forrester, Jennifer spent eight years at Sun Microsystems. Prior to entering the tech world, Jennifer consulted on public policy reform in developing and transitioning countries. She designed post-communist housing reforms in Eastern Europe and Russia with the Urban Institute and USAID, and taught high school math as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic. Jennifer earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. She currently lives in the French Alps. View Guest page

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Dr. Alison Brooks


As Research Director Smart Cities and Public Safety, Dr. Alison Brooks specializes in public safety related research for the global Smart Cities Strategies program at IDC. Dr. Brooks has held a number of positions with IDC over the past 10 years, previously working as IDC Canada’s Director of public sector research. Dr. Brooks holds a PhD and MA in Political Science from Queen's University, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary, and has a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Science and Engineering Professional Development Centre. View Guest page

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Gert Christen


Gert Christen is the COO of City Innovate Foundation, whose mission is to solve urban problems through technology and open innovation, and who operates the Superpublic civic lab in San Francisco. He created City Innovate’s “Collider Methodology”, a user-centered approach to research one urban problem with one lead city and to subsequently share the solutions with many cities. Prior to returning to California he led startup incubators and the entrepreneurship department at his alma mater university in Zurich, Switzerland. He has been named one of 100 Digital Shapers of Switzerland and founded Startupfair, the largest event for the Swiss startup industry. His experience includes 7 years with Nokia in the USA and Latin America, where he created Nokia’s commercial content business. Prior he was active in Radiofrequency Identification with assignments in Europe and Asia. Gert earned his M.B.A. at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business in Dallas, Texas, USA. View Guest page

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Ruthbea Yesner Clarke


Ruthbea Yesner Clarke founded the Smart Cities research program at IDC in 2011 and serves as its global research director. The program researches the strategies and execution of Smart City technologies and non-technology best practice areas, such as governance, innovation, partnerships and business models essential for Smart City development. Her research includes the Internet of Things, Big Data and Analytics, cloud computing, mobility in public works, transportation, public safety, and citizen engagement. Ruthbea contributes to consulting engagements to support state and local governments' Smart City strategies and IT vendors’ overall Smart City market strategies. She joined IDC following work as a product manager in Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley. Prior to that, she worked in state social services as a director of programs. In 2016, she was presented with IDC's highest analyst award, the James Peacock Award, for her outstanding contributions in research. View Guest page

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Meghan Cook


As Program Director for the Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, Meghan E. Cook leads innovation initiatives that build capability in public sector organizations and agencies throughout the world. Through a unique and collaborative process, Meghan works side by side with international, federal, state and local government leaders to produce new knowledge and actionable results. With over 18 years of experience working on public sector innovation efforts, Meghan is considered an expert in digital government transformation. She has published numerous research and practice articles detailing how organizational capabilities, information policies, management practices, and technology choices intersect to shape government operations and services. She is a highly sought speaker and facilitator, having delivered over 200 thought-leadership and strategy development sessions for government leaders all over the world. View Guest page

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Lisa D’Alesandro


As the Vice President for SAP’s Regulated Industries Industry Value Advisory practice, Lisa D’Alesandro is responsible for driving thought leadership, solution innovation and value assessments across the Federal, Aerospace, Defense, State and Local Government, Higher Education, Healthcare and Energy & Utilities industries. Lisa is a highly effective leader with over 20 years of experience in developing and implementing improvement strategies for technology and business process innovation. Since joining SAP in 1996, Lisa has been instrumental in all aspects of operations and the field sales organization across multiple service industries. Prior to her current role, Lisa spent 10 years focusing on the North American Utility Industry practice. She has 20+ years of experience in Shared Services, Application Software and Technology. Lisa received a BA and an MBA from Rutgers University. View Guest page

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Dr. Sara Diamond


Dr. Sara Diamond is President of OCAD University, Canada’s “university of the imagination”. She holds a PhD in Computing, Information Technology and Engineering and degrees in Media Art, History and Communications. Diamond is an internationally celebrated data visualization, wearable technology, mobile media researcher, media artist, designer and historian. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists and recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada. She won the 2013 GRAND NCE Digital Media Pioneer Award. Diamond serves on the Toronto Regional Board of Trade/City of Toronto Smart City Task Force. She was co-principal investigator of the Centre for Information Visualization/Data Driven Design; is Data Visualization lead for iCity transportation analytics, and the BRAIN big data Alliance. She collects contemporary art with a focus on the Americas. View Guest page

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Michele Hovet


Michele Hovet is the Client and Partner Innovation Director for KSM Consulting. Michele brings over 25 years of public sector technology leadership to KSMC. Her vast experience includes strategic technology implementation that provides clients with the ability to fully engage and serve their constituents. Her ability to empathetically understand challenges as well as uncover opportunities in the public sector stems from her experience as Deputy City Manager for the City of Arvada, Colorado. As the city’s Chief Information Officer and through empowering her staff, the City of Arvada was recognized year-after-year as a top ten digital city. She was named Top 25 Doer Dreamer and Driver by GovTech Magazine and recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Local Innovation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration from Fort Lewis College and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Colorado State University. View Guest page

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Maryann Kongovi


Maryann Kongovi is Chief Operating Officer at Code for America. Prior to joining the organization, she ran Google۪'s Independent Full Service Agency business unit in the United States, where her responsibilities included strategic planning, sales, product adoption, recruiting, and people development. Maryann۪'s experience includes scaling sales organizations, collaborating with product and engineering to build what users want, and driving new product adoption. View Guest page

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Andrew Mack


Andrew Mack is Principal of AMGlobal Consulting, a specialized Washington, DC-based consulting firm that helps companies and NGOs do more business – and better business – in Emerging Markets. Leveraging partnerships, smart Corporate Social Responsibility and new technology, Mack works to unlock the tremendous entrepreneurial energy in the Global South to achieve lasting social and economic outcomes. A former World Bank project manager and banker with experience in more than 80 countries, Mack is internationally-recognized for his work on economic development issues and technology policy in Africa, Latin America and other underserved regions. View Guest page

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Sara Marshall


Sara Marshall is committed to improving lives through government. She is driven to work with the public sector on leadership, innovation, and strategy to create change. Sara enjoys dissecting complex problems and boiling them down to simple solutions. In 2015, State Scoop named Sara “Top Up and Comer” in making government more efficient and effective. Under former Governor Mike Pence, Sara helped create and lead the first state enterprise-wide analytics hub to move government at the speed of business as the Director of BI and Analytics for the State of Indiana. Previously, she was the Policy Assistant for Mike Pence for Indiana. In her free time, Sara volunteers on housing, hunger, and health humanitarian efforts with the People Helping People Network. Sara is a graduate of Purdue University where she earned a B.S. & B.A. Sara earned her J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and is a licensed attorney in Indiana. View Guest page

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Jay Nath


As the Mayor’s Chief Innovation Officer for San Francisco and White House Champion of Change under President Obama, Jay Nath works with the community to help make government more equitable, effective, and responsive. Under his leadership, the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation launched the first of its kind Startup in Residence program in collaboration with the Obama White House, offering an on-premises incubator at City Hall, meant to apply startup ingenuity directly to pain points within government itself. Jay also created the Mayor’s Senior Fellowship program where cross-sector leaders spend one year in City Hall working on high impact projects. Jay has been a champion data, helping draft SF’s open data legislation. Prior to public service, Jay worked at a San Francisco startup as a VP of product and at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a senior consultant. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Jennifer Sanders


Jennifer Sanders is Cofounder and Executive Director of the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) a public-private partnership dedicated to the design and execution of a smart cities plan for Dallas. She brings over 12 years of expertise across a broad array of industries, including energy, technology, economic development, nonprofit and finance, serving in functions including communications, stakeholder and community relations, strategic counsel and operations. DIA’s goal is to elevate Dallas as a city that is not only prepared for – but a driving force in shaping – the future of cities, and provide opportunities for prosperity for its citizens. She serves as President of the Mayor’s Star Council, on the Board of the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas, and an Ambassador for the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC). In 2016, she was named to Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and the Dallas 500. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Psychology. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Steve Sarnecki


As VP, Public Sector at OSIsoft, Steve Sarnecki is passionate about helping agencies improve performance. He’s worked with diverse customers including Dominion, Exelon, Iberdrola, EDP, Endesa and ENEL, as well as, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, DOE and DoD to harness the full potential of the Internet of Things. He is a cleared advisor for the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on the Industry Trade Advisory Committee for Energy and Energy Services. His experience at Exxon and Westvaco, then as Global Director at Millennium Chemicals gives Steve a unique perspective across energy consumers, suppliers and regulators. Steve is a Six Sigma Black Belt and a “founding father” of the CiDX Cybersecurity Initiative. His mission in life extends outside the business world to providing compassion, assistance and support to the economically disadvantaged. Steve is the Executive Director of SALT, a ministry for the homeless, and on the board at The Franciscan Center of Baltimore. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Suzanne Seitinger


At Philips Lighting, Suzanne Seitinger is responsible for smart cities that leverage digital lighting (LEDs) to create safe, inviting and responsive urban environments. Her interdisciplinary background in architecture, urban planning and human-computer interaction spans research and design projects like the Digital Mile in Zaragoza, Spain and Urban Pixels, wireless LED pixels for ad-hoc media façades. LightBridge, a project in honor of MIT’s 150th anniversary in Cambridge, MA, used new configurations of low-resolution displays and sensor-activated urban screens to showcase the potential of responsive infrastructures in future urban lighting plans. Much of this research is summarized in Light for Public Space which describes how public lighting has changed in the last decades. Suzanne received a BA from Princeton University and a PhD, MS and MCP from MIT. Her PhD dissertation is titled Liberated Pixels: Alternative Narratives for Lighting Future Cities. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Russ Vanos


Russ Vanos, vice president sales and marketing, global software and services and smart cities for Itron, is a utility industry and connected community visionary who played a major role in driving early smart grid technology adoption in North America. He is now leading Itron’s global software and services marketing and sales and remains integral to the Internet of Things and smart cities initiatives for the company. Russ is on the boards of the Washington State University Energy Innovation Center and Envision Charlotte, is a member of Edison Electric Institute (EEI), sits on the Cisco Internet of Things Steering Committee, and is a founding member of the Smart Cities Council. He is a frequent speaker at industry events, including The Economist Innovation Forum, Meeting of the Minds, Smart City Council Meetings, Cisco IOT World Forum, and Smart City Expo. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Matthias Weis


Matthias Weis is Director of SM!GHT, a startup of the German energy supplier EnBW. He held various positions in the field of EnBW’s services for municipalities, where he obtained significant expertise in street lighting systems and smartcity development. In 2012 he started first projects with multifunctional lampposts. 2016 he achieved the Digital Leader Award and was voted in 2017 as one of Germany`s 100 most innovative people. He has a degree as Bachelor Professional of Business. Previously he had completed training as an electrician. He was born in 1974 in Heidelberg, Germany. View Guest page

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Marlyn Zelkowitz


Marlyn Zelkowitz, Global Lead for Future Cities and Internet of Things, SAP Public Sector Industry, is an evangelist for using technology to drive public sector outcomes and a regular speaker at public sector events. With more than 20 years’ public services experience, including implementing major technology and policy initiatives for public organizations in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining SAP in August 2008, Marlyn served as the Public Sector Value Creation Lead for IBM Global Business Services, focused on delivering tangible business value to government organizations through people, process, and technology changes. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, she holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton Graduate School of Management, and MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Lauder Fellow. View Guest page

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