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Smart City Expo World Congress announces keynote speakers

The congress programme themes include digital transformation, urban environment, mobility and inclusive and sharing cities

This year's Expo will bring together more than 20,000 attendees from 120 countries
This year's Expo will bring together more than 20,000 attendees from 120 countries

The keynote speakers have been announced for this year’s Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), which takes place 13-15 November at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue.


Among the speakers for the eighth international event for cities are: Rufus Pollock, economist and founder of Open Knowledge International; Andrew Keen, economist and author of How to fix the Future and Cult of the Amateur; Víctor Pineda, social development scholar and disability rights advocate; and Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker and economist Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner.


Making cities livable


This year’s theme is Cities To Live In and the congress programme will focus on the five main areas of digital transformation, urban environment, mobility, governance and finance and inclusive and sharing cities. It will cover topics such as data-driven cities, 5G and the future of connectivity, resilient cities, gentrification, innovative transport systems, multi-level governance, sharing and collaborative economy, circular economy and cities for all.


The organisers say the keynote speakers “exemplify the purpose” of the event’s aim to make cities better places in which to live.


Rufus Pollock’s Open Knowledge International foundation defines itself as a “leading international non-profit that empowers people and organisations with access to information and the tools and skills to make sense of it.” A recognised global expert on open data and open knowledge, he has worked with multiple governments and institutions such as the World Bank and the UN.


Entrepreneur and author, Andrew Keen, is considered among the world’s best-known contemporary analysts of digital business and culture, and the digital revolution. He is executive director of the Silicon Valley innovation salon FutureCast. In 2015, he was named by GQ magazine in their list of the 100 Most Connected Men.


The third keynote, Víctor Pineda, is president of World Enabled, an educational non-profit to promote the rights and dignity of disabled people and works to build cities for all. Professor at University of California, Berkeley, he is a leading global expert on disability rights, policy, planning and design, and has worked closely with cities and institutions like World Bank, United Nations, UNESCO or UNICEF.


Keynote speakers “exemplify the purpose” of the event’s aim to make cities better places in which to live

Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is widely known as the banker to the poor, the professor established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, fuelled by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right. His objective was to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans on terms suitable to them and by teaching them a few sound financial principles. Rated number two in Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2008, Yunus also serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation.


SCEWC aims to bring together more than 700 cities worldwide as well as 700 exhibitors and more than 400 speakers. Around 20,000 attendees are expected from from 120 countries.

Running in parallel with SCEWC18 will be Smart Mobility Congress, the International Integrated Water Cycle Show (Iwater), the Circular Economy European Summit and the Sharing Cities Summit.

Smart Cities World will be attending and reporting back from SCEWC18 before and during the event. We will shortly be launching the SCEWC 2018 hub site. Got a story around the show? Send it in.


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