IEEE 7th World Forum on Internet of Things
14 June–31 July 2021 // New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Smart Cities

Description Speakers

Today, the places we call home – where we work or study – our towns and cities, have changed radically. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a cruel but critical wake up call. There is a new balance. A rethinking of what is of paramount importance to humanity. Protecting our health and community spirit. Safeguarding the local economies and jobs that keep our surroundings alive. Achieving a stronger level of resilience for our cities, from external and global influences. This change was already coming. A people-centric approach to delivering well-being in our cities has been a greater focus of smart city strategies and frameworks for the past few years. Urban digital transformation that is community-driven rather than technology-driven has been progressively making headway. Yet, this pandemic has accelerated the process. Whether we are developing new standards, best practices, playbooks, a smart city strategy, policies or solutions, listening and engaging with city stakeholders is, more than ever, fundamental.

Self-isolation and social distancing have released a new wave of digital communications between families, young to old. It has not only created a vastly wider audience of tech-savvy people, including the elderly, but a relationship with technology that responded to the needs of people to stay in touch or work from a distance. When technology responds and supports the basic needs of humanity, then it creates trust and adoption. In many households, during the pandemic, for kids and adults, this new wave of digital communications also underlined a stark issue. That of digital equality. Technology must be accessible to everyone.

As technologists, we have a strong opportunity to embrace this “people-centric” approach and collaborate with city stakeholders from the outset and invite citizens to get involved in the technology that will build in their future.

In this year’s Smart Cities track of the IEEE World Forum on IoT, in our June and July 2021 sessions, we will be focusing on this highly “people-centric” approach to digital transformation in cities. We will be looking at community engaged strategies, frameworks and projects that make smarter towns, cities and regions.

Our goal during this Smart Cities track, of the IEEE IoT World Forum on IoT, is to provide a platform for communications and collaboration on the state-of-the art in IoT. Not just between industry, government and research, but in reply to its complexity, we are inviting international experts across wider fields to join the conversation: from community to economics and finance; from healthcare to agriculture; and from urban planning to the environment, in order to provide a clear picture as to where we are today and where we are heading with the future of humankind and technology.

On the 21 June 2021, we will be holding three 2-hour sessions live from New Orleans, LA (USA) to a physical audience and broadcast worldwide, where leading Louisiana, national and international speakers from government, industry, community and education will present and discuss their perspectives on digital transformation in towns and cities.

Topics will cover:

  • flood and disaster monitoring, prevention and risk management
  • communications, data and AI/ML: achieving digital equality and security
  • power and energy: clean, affordable and sustainable
  • education: youth programs and young professional careers in IoT technology

Throughout July 2021, we will be hosting a series of live and recorded webinars with presentations and panel discussions from leading international speakers covering topics:

  • How to …? Build your smart city framework, strategies and policies
  • A city budget: financing priorities
  • 5G and smart cities: fostering digital equality
  • Smart buildings: connecting the dots
  • Community impact: the status quo and how to get communities involved and adopted
  • Transport and mobility: enhancing the experience
  • Feeding cities: access and health through blockchain
  • Data and AI/ML: understanding the complex behaviours of cities
  • Security and privacy: digital rights
  • Green, clean and accessible: how IoT and data is changing power and energy
  • Protecting our cities: crime and disaster monitoring, prevention and management
  • Sustainable and resilient: how to get there

All our sessions in June and July 2021 will provide time to focus on the lessons learnt from COVID-19 about smart cities. Understanding where IoT has been critical to fighting the effects of the pandemic, not just in health, but in local economies, transport and manufacturing, and where efforts need to be prioritised to build better or new solutions to become more locally sustainable and resilient.

Our goal in this event and within the IEEE Initiative for Smart Cities is for technologists to work alongside city stakeholders: government; industry; academia; community associations and the general public, to provide standards, best practices and digital transformation where required and in a way that respects and enhances the lives and livelihoods of citizens.

Track Co-Chairs

Joel Myers, CEO of Domila Ltd. (Dublin, Ireland)

Co-Chair of the IEEE IoT Initiative Smart Cities Working Group.

Leading technologist specializing in the creation and development of innovation technology solutions in the communications and management of services in Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and since 2015 in Business Networking.

His company, HoozAround Corp. is currently commercialising a mobile application called HoozAroundTM. This App offers very close-proximity networking for users to carry out business and social networking based on profile matching needs or interests in real-time, indoors and outdoors. Its aim is to bring people together that would otherwise never meet, face-to-face, in order to create new and more efficient opportunities to grow personally, socially as a city-wide community and in developing business. The app was successfully piloted at the IFA Berlin consumer electronics trade fair in 2017 and at the IEEE World Forum on IoT in February 2018 (Singapore).

Over the past few years Joel Myers has been focusing on the redefinition of the “Internet of People” exploring the goals of the smart city industry movement juxtaposed with the need for humanity to remain connected as physical people.

The work carried out by Joel Myers has been published in international newspapers and journals such as the BBC, New York Times, Hong Times, the Hindu Times, Wired, and Forbes Magazine.


Mohamed Essaaidi, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco

Mohamed Essaaidi, Prof. Dr., IEEE Senior Member and a Professor at ENSIAS, Mohammed V University in Rabat. He obtained  the State Doctorate (1997)  in Electrical  & Computer Engineering from Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Tetuan, Morocco. He was  the Director of International Cooperation at the Ministry of General Affairs and Governance,  Morocco (2019),  Dean of ENSIAS College of IT Engineering of Mohammed V University of  Rabat, Morocco (November 2011-May 2019),     Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tetuan, Morocco (2001-2011) and Assistant Professor at the same university (1993-2001).

Prof. Essaaidi is IEEE Global Cities Alliance, MEA Chairman (2021), IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee Member (2021), IEEE Teaching Excellence Editorial Hub, Member (2021).He is also a lecturer on Smart Cities at the ITU IoT Academy (2020-2021) and the  Chief of Party of Interactive Digital Center Morocco (2020-2021). He is the founder and past Chairman of the IEEE Morocco Section (2005-2015),  co-founder and chair  of IEEE Morocco Communications / Computer Society Chapter  (2006-2008)  and IEEE Education Society Morocco Chapter chair from 2007 to 2009.

He has been a member of Committee of Global Accreditation activities of IEEE Education Activities Board (2017-2018). He has been also Director of the Morocco Office of Arab Science and Technology Foundation, ASTF (2006-2009) and the Coordinator of ASTF RD&I Network of Electro-Technology (2006 – 2008).

He has authored and co-authored 10 books and more than 200 papers in international refereed journals and conferences in the field of Electrical and Computer engineering and its diverse applications including smart homes, smart mobility smart grid and smart cities. He has been the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal on Information and Communication Technologies, Serial Publications, India (2007-2011) and Guest Editor of several international journals. He is also an active member of the editorial boards of several international journals in the same fields mentioned above.

Furthermore, Prof. Essaaidi is  the founder and the General Chair / co-chair of several IEEE technically sponsored international conferences, including  Mediterranean Microwave Symposium (which is organized on yearly basis since  2000),  Information and Communication Technologies International Symposium (2005, 2007). He also organized and co-chaired IEEE Smart Cities Summit in May 2020, the US National Academies  5th Arab American Science, Engineering and Medicine Frontiers Symposium  in November 2017, Rabat, Morocco and US NSF sponsored workshop on Smart Cities in January 2016 in Rabat, Morocco. He has also served in the Organizing committees and TPC and presented keynote talks at many  other international conferences worldwide including on smart cities. He’s been also Committee Member of   IEEE Casablanca Core Smart City  in  2016 and a  member of Madinat Al-Irfane University Smart Campus initiative, Rabat.

Prof. Essaaidi holds 10 patents in the field ICT. Some of these patents received several international innovation awards. He was also a member of the IEEE 802.16 Sponsor Ballot Pool of IEEE Standard Association that defined the technical specifications for WiMAX, and of that of  IEEE P2784 – Smart City Planning and Technology Guide Work Group  (2020).

Prof. Essaaidi supervised several Masters and PhDs Theses and he has been the principal investigator and the project manager for several research projects in the framework of national and international programs.

Furthermore, in the framework of his  position as the director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of General Affairs and Governance, he was extensively  involved in  the coordination of the World Bank Morocco CPF (2019-2024) and OECD Morocco Country Program (2019-2021) among other international cooperation programs.

Rebecca Lee Hammons, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana USA

Rebecca Hammons is an associate professor in the Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS), a top-rated technology master’s program at Ball State University. She has extensive technology industry experience in establishing and leading software quality assurance, product development, project management, and IT teams.  Dr. Hammons has worked for Ontario Systems, Apple, Raytheon, Tivoli Systems and Wang, in addition to several niche software firms. She is a Certified Quality Manager and Certified Software Quality Engineer with the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and a Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner with Scrum Alliance. Dr. Hammons received her Ed.D. and M.A. from Ball State University, her B.A. from Michigan State University, and is completing her Master’s Certificate in Positive Psychology at the University of Missouri.

In CICS, she teaches Product Management, the Design of the User Experience/Human Factors, Human Communications Theory and Practice, Software Quality Assurance, Management, and other courses relevant to successful software and technology industry practice.

She is co-chair of the IEEE IoT Initiative Smart Cities Working Group, chair of the Global Cities Teams Challenge Ethics Action Cluster (NTIA/NIST), and chair of the Internationalization Taskforce for the College of Communication, Information and Media at Ball State University.

Current technology industry research interests include Ethics in Smart Cities, the Internet of Things for Elders, and Gold-Collar Workers. Dr. Hammons thrives on leading organizational change initiatives and coaching individuals and teams to reach their full potential.


Victor M. Larios, University of Guadalajara, Mexico

Victor M. Larios followed a higher education degree program at the ITESO University in Mexico (B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering), graduating in 1996. In 1997 he received a M.Sc. at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne in France, and then went onto get a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering in 2001. Since 2004, has been a Full Professor at the Information Systems Department at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico.

In April 2014, Dr. Victor M. Larios founded and became director of the “Smart Cities Innovation Center (SCIC)” at the University of Guadalajara, where he leads a group of researchers in Smart Cities and Information Technologies. The SCIC is a think-thank to help government, industry, and other academic partners to join efforts to improve the quality life and social well-being within an urban environment, by using technology as the core driver for transformation.

His primary research interests are Smart Cities, IoT Distributed Systems, Networking, Multiagent Systems, and Data Visualization using Virtual Reality.

Dr. Larios has published more than 70 papers in international scientific journals and conferences, and has published a book on “Serious Games”. Dr. Larios has ongoing collaborations in projects with High Technology industry and government, using design thinking and agile methodologies to accelerate technology transfer in living labs.

As an entrepreneur, he is the founder and CIO of the consulting company, IDI Smart Cities, which collaborates with Advion Solutions LTD. in Finland. Its main activities are market research, promote scholarships to develop local talent, and support for international projects in Latin American countries and the European Union. One of its key efforts is to introduce the Circular Economic Model as a sustainability component for Mega-Cities.

As a volunteer, Dr. Larios leads technically on the Guadalajara Smart City project for the government, and international ONGs, such as the IEEE. Victor M. Larios is a Senior Member of IEEE with 29 years of membership. Since 2013, he has led the “Guadalajara Core City” in the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative. Dr. Victor M. Larios is also a guest editor at the IEEE IoT Magazine and has been the IEEE International Smart Cities Conference (ISC2), 2020 general co-chair.

Since July 2019 he has been working together with Joel Myers, Chair of IEEE IoT Initiative for Smart Cities, to develop the “Internet of People” (IoP). A people-centric approach to connecting people within cities to build opportunities and growth, on a business and social level. In March 2020 the first IoP pilot project was launched by the Mexican State Government of Jalisco in order to support and incentivise local economies and communities in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, through the IoP cloud/mobile platform and a pioneering digital micro-currency, called HooziesTM.



Antono Liotta, Full Professor at the Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bolzano (Italy)

Antonio Liotta ( is Full Professor at the Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bolzano (Italy), where he teaches Data Science and Computer Networks. Antonio’s passion for artificial intelligence, has driven his academic career through the meanders of artificial vision, e-health, intelligent networks and intelligent systems. Antonio’s team is renowned for his contributions to micro-edge intelligence and miniaturized machine learning, which have significant potential in harnessing data-intensive systems, for instance in the context of smart cities, cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, smart energy, and machine learning with humans in the loop. He has led the international team that has recently made a breakthrough in artificial neural networks, initiating a new research strand on “sparse neural networks for embedded learning” ( Antonio was the founding director of the Data Science Research Centre at the University of Derby. He has set up several cross-border virtual teams, and has been credited with over 350 publications involving, overall, more than 150 co-authors. Antonio is Editor-in-Chief of the Springer Internet of Things book series (, and associate editor of several prestigious journals. He is co-author of the books “Networks for Pervasive Services: six ways to upgrade the Internet” ( and “Data Science and Internet of Things” (


Edna Pasher, Co-founder and Chairperson of ISCI Israel Smart Cities Institute

Dr. Edna Pasher earned her Ph.D. (1981) in Media Ecology at New York University’s Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. Edna Pasher founded EP as an international strategic management consulting firm in 1978 that provides customized consulting services to organizations both in the private, public, and third sectors. Edna is co-founder and chairperson of ISCI Israel Smart Cities Institute (NGO) which participates in international ICT R&D and innovation projects funded by the European Union, using a variety of qualitative and quantitative evaluation methodologies, modeling, modeling techniques, and analysis.


Fernando Bruegge, Research analyst at IoT Analytics, Germany

Fernando is a research analyst at IoT Analytics. He covers various topics ranging from AI and Industrial IoT to Smart City. He holds a BS in Psychology and a MS in Cognitive Science.

IoT Analytics is a leading provider of market insights and strategic business intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0. We are trusted by 600+ leading companies around the world, including globally leading software and industrial players. Our key workstreams across the tech stack include IoT applications, IoT Platforms & Software, IoT Connectivity & Hardware with a special focus on Industrial IoT and Smart City. The product offering consists of Market Reports & Databases and, bespoke Research & Consulting. Our clients rank us “4.6/5” on customer satisfaction and consistently score us as “better” than our competitors, highlighting the in-depth and holistic analyses built on our industry background analyst team and interview-focused research.


George Thomas, Vice President of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives, Connected DMV Managing Partner, New Urban Informatics

George Thomas is a thought leader and adviser to public and private sector organizations in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more than twenty three years, George has held roles in sales, strategy and consulting with senior positions in large enterprises, and at non-profits, where he has helped develop, evaluate and implement grant awards. A dynamic leader and team builder, George has helped clients develop successful strategies and execute transformational projects in operations, capital improvement, organizational change management, and strategic planning.

George founded, and serves as Managing Partner, for New Urban Informatics, a boutique advisory firm, providing expertise to some of the most innovative companies and governments focused on disruptive technologies analytics and Smart Cities. Clients include Hatch, a 9000-person Engineering & Design company, where he served as Global Director, Smart Infrastructure. In this role, he led Hatch’s efforts in helping clients create new smart and digital value for Infrastructure and Urban Planning domains. George supports the New Urbana Venture Studio, which combines the best of management consulting and venture studios to build companies, teams, and solutions that make a difference, with a focus on underserved communities.

He also currently serves as Vice President of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives for Connected DMV, a nonprofit regional collaboration across Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia – the DMV. Its participants include local jurisdictions, federal agencies, industry, community, and academia who work together to advance the region’s top opportunities, generate economic development, and shape a stronger future for the well-being of our region.

For 16+ years, George served as a Partner at IBM in roles such as Global Director of Strategy & Markets for IBM’s Government Industry vertical; Director of Smarter Cities for IBM Greater China, based in Beijing, China; and Global Director for Smarter Cities Sales Strategy & Execution. George has successfully delivered several complex, mission-critical transformation engagements which include innovative and breakthrough projects in technology, process and people transformation. Prior to joining IBM in 2000, George held senior positions with the management, business consulting and engineering practices of PSINet; Metamor; and Mott MacDonald respectively. In these roles, he was involved in global multi-million-dollar engagements covering complex implementations in finance, human resources, supply chain, reengineering, process improvement, and core heavy engineering projects.

George is a recognized industry expert at the intersection of business and technology in areas such as cognitive computing, deep analytics, smarter cities, optimization & simulation, Blockchain, the API economy, internet of things, and cloud computing. George is a founding member of the Smarter Cities Council, a member of the US Nation Institutes of Standards and Technology’s Executive Committee for Global City Teams Challenge, a member of American Society of Civil Engineer’s standards committee for resilience and sustainability. George is a mentor, board member and coach to several start-ups and innovative companies. He is a

regular speaker at conferences, radio shows and events including at the C40 Mayor’s Conferences, TEDx, Chambers of Commerce, the American Institute of Architects, Smart City

Expo, US Infrastructure Week, the World Bank, and the United Nations. George holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering and Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Gilles Fayad Director of Initiatives, AI Commons

Gilles is an innovation addict with 20+ years in new products development and ecosystems management worldwide at companies such as Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Rockwell, or Nortel. He first tackled AI  in the context of his Master’s of Electrical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and never stopped focusing on emerging technologies since then. In this context he was privileged to work on smart cities propositions in Dubai. His deep fascination for the impact of technology on society lead him to contribute his industry experience in in emerging technologies product development and ecosystem growth to AI Commons, where he runs an AI capacity building initiative in emerging countries. He also leads the technical workgroup of the IEEE AI-driven innovation for Cities and People, mentors startups, advises VCs, and occasionally tutors AI management courses.


Gyu Myoung Lee, Professor at the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), UK

Gyu Myoung Lee is with the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), UK and with KAIST Institute for IT convergence, Korea. Prior to joining the LJMU, he worked with the Institut Mines-Telecom, Telecom SudParis, France, from 2008. He has been actively working for standardization in ITU-T, IETF and oneM2M, etc., and currently serves as a WP chair in SG13, the Rapporteur of Q16/13 and Q4/20 as well as a vice-chair of ITU-T Focus Group on Autonomous Networks. He was also the chair of ITU-T Focus Group on data processing and management (FG-DPM) to support IoT and smart cities & communities. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.

I and Industrial IoT to Smart City. He holds a BS in Psychology and a MS in Cognitive Science.

IoT Analytics is a leading provider of market insights and strategic business intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0. We are trusted by 600+ leading companies around the world, including globally leading software and industrial players. Our key workstreams across the tech stack include IoT applications, IoT Platforms & Software, IoT Connectivity & Hardware with a special focus on Industrial IoT and Smart City. The product offering consists of Market Reports & Databases and, bespoke Research & Consulting. Our clients rank us “4.6/5” on customer satisfaction and consistently score us as “better” than our competitors, highlighting the in-depth and holistic analyses built on our industry background analyst team and interview-focused research.


Hector Dominguez Aguirre, Open Data Coordinator at the City of Portland, Oregon

Hector is the Open Data Coordinator at the City of Portland, Oregon and part of the Smart City PDX team. In addition to Open Data initiatives, Hector has led privacy and information initiatives in the City that includes use of ethical tools for technology solutions assessment, privacy and information protection principles, establishing the citywide privacy and surveillance technologies strategies and procedures, and policy development including the face recognition technologies and Surveillance policies.



Jim Frazer, Vice President, Infrastructure and Smart Cities, ARC Industry

Jim leads the Infrastructure and Smart Cities consulting team at ARC Advisory. Jim has authored many lighting, transportation and Smart City project specifications for end users as well as national and international standards for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the United States Department of Transportation.



João Barros, Founder and CEO of Veniam

An award-winning wireless engineer, academic leader and passionate entrepreneur, João loves to turn complex theorems and algorithms into products and services that can make a real difference in people’s lives. After more than a decade developing new wireless networking technologies at Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Universidade do Porto, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon, João founded two venture-backed startups, Streambolico and Veniam, where he serves as board director and CEO respectively. His work has led to 160 science and technology papers, as well as feature articles by NPR, BBC, MIT Technology Review, The Atlantic, and TechCrunch.

João Barros has received several awards, including the 2010 IEEE Communications Society Young Researcher Award for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, the 2011 IEEE ComSoC and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award, the 2012 BES National Innovation Award, the 2013 Building Global Innovators Grand Prize (ISCTE-IUL and MIT) and a state-wide best teaching award by the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts.

João Barros has a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Germany), his undergraduate education in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Universidade do Porto, Portugal and Universitaet Karlsruhe, Germany, and a performing arts degree in flute from the Music Conservatory of Porto, Portugal.


Jorge J. Gómez Sanz, Associate Professor at the department of Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence of the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of Madrid

Jorge J. Gómez Sanz is an Associate Professor since 2008 in the department of Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence of the Faculty of Computer Science at UCM. He holds a degree in Computer Science and a PhD in Computer Systems from the UCM. He has developed his research mainly in the field of Distributed Artificial Intelligence, with more than 150 publications and reaching more than 4400 citations and an h index of 31 according to google scholar. Other areas in which he has developed activity are Software Agents, the Internet of Things (Internet of Things or IoT), Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), Smart Grids and teaching innovation through Social Networks. He is a member of the IEEE CEDA, and participates on its behalf on the IEEE IoT Activities Board for the promotion of IoT in various fields. He also leads the IEEE IoT Education working group. Currently, he is vice-chancelor for Tecnology and Sustainability in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Kent Larson Director, Director at the City Science research group at the MIT Media Lab

Kent Larson is Director of the City Science research group at the MIT Media Lab. Before joining MIT full-time in 2000, he practiced architecture for 15 years in New York City. His research focuses on developing urban interventions that enable more entrepreneurial, livable, high-performance urban districts. Projects include compact transformable housing, ultralight autonomous mobility systems, sensing and algorithms to recognize and respond to complex human behavior, and advanced modeling, simulation, and tangible interfaces for urban design. He led the establishment of an international network affiliated City Science labs in Shanghai, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, Toronto, Helsinki, Hamburg, Andorra, and Guadalajara. Larson and his researchers from his MIT lab received 10-Year Impact Awards from Ubicomp in 2017 and 2019 for recognition of work that, with the test of time, has had the greatest impact. His book, Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks was selected as one of the Ten Best Books in Architecture by the New York Times Review of Books. Larson’s TED talk, “Brilliant designs to fit more people in every city,” summarized his vision for cities in the future. He has founded or cofounded multiple MIT spinoff ventures including ORI Living, an architectural robotics company creating systems for dynamically reconfigurable environments.


Kevin Taylor, Segment Development Manager, Smart Cities, Axis Communications, Inc.

Kevin Taylor is the Local Government & Smart Cities Segment Development Manager at Axis Communications, Inc. In this capacity, he is responsible for developing strategies and building ecosystem relationships to expand Axis’ presence as a thought leader and facilitator in the rapidly emerging Smart Cities space in North America.

Mr. Taylor has more than 19 years of experience building market share in the Low Voltage and Physical Security industry. He contributes to industry advancement through participation in the IEEE P2784 Smart Cities Standards working group, the NIST Smart Cities Ethics Action Cluster, and the CTIA Smart Cities Steering Committee.

Prior to joining Axis in 2014, Mr. Taylor held multiple positions of increasing responsibility within the Security Strategic Business Unit of Honeywell International. Mr. Taylor previously served as the Associate Director for the state of GA low voltage association, is a member of the American Society for Industrial Security, and served in 2020 as Co-Chair of the Smart Utilities Working Group of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association.


Matthias Finger, Professor Emeritus in charge of Digital Governance and Regulation at the Center for Digital Trust (C4DT) at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerlan

Matthias Finger is a Professor Emeritus in charge of Digital Governance and Regulation at the Center for Digital Trust (C4DT) at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL). He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Geneva. He has been an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University (New York), an Associate Professor at Columbia University (New York), a Professor of Management of Public Enterprises at the Swiss Federal Institute of Public Administration, and between 2002 and 2020 the Swiss Post Chair in Management of Network Industries at EPFL. Since 2010, he is a part-time professor at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy, where he directs the Florence School of Regulation’s Transport Area (FSR-T). Since 2017, he is also a professor at the Faculty of Management at Istanbul Technical University (ITÜ), directing the Istanbul Center for Regulation (IC4R). He is the founder (in 2014) of the global executive program on the Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems (IGLUS).


Michael M. Samuelian, FAIA, AICP, Founding Director of the Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech, New York NY

Michael Samuelian the Founding Director of the Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech, a venture that bridges tech industries and academic research to address pressing urban challenges and public needs. He is an urban planner, real estate developer, professor and most recently the President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. From the revitalization Lower Manhattan after 9/11 to the creation of a new neighborhood in Hudson Yards and the activation of Governors Island he’s helped plan, design and develop some of the most transformative projects in New York City. Michael is an Assistant Professor at Cooper Union.

Prior to his appointment as President of the Trust, Michael was a Vice President with Related Companies, where he was responsible for the planning and design of Hudson Yards. After 9/11, Michael was the Director of Lower Manhattan Special Projects at the New York City Department of City Planning, helping the city’s efforts to redevelop downtown.


Narendra Mangra, Principal at GlobeNet LLC

Narendra Mangra, Principal at GlobeNet LLC, is a transdisciplinary advisor and consultant in industry, academia, and government. He currently serves as the Future Networks International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR) Co-Chair, Applications and Services WG Co-Chair, INGR Young Professionals Education Chair, P1950.1 Smart Cities Framework Standards Development Co-Chair, Public Safety Task Force Contributor, Rural Communications Contributor, and the Telehealth Industry Connections Initiative Co-Chair. Narendra is also an Adjunct Professor at the George Mason University.

Narendra has a deep foundation in the wireless telecommunications ecosystem and wide experience with mobile and fixed broadband telecommunications, public safety, agriculture, transportation, and health care end users. His experience spans several key roles within the end-to-end mobile ecosystem stages, network design and deployment lifecycle, procurement lifecycle, and the program/project management lifecycles. His current interests include transdisciplinary frameworks, 5G and technology convergence, smart regions, and related ecosystems.


Ray Walshe, Director of European Observatory for ICT Standards (EUOS), Ireland

Ray is Senior Researcher in the ADAPT Research Centre in Dublin City University (DCU), IRELAND. He began his career in industry as a software engineer, software consultant and project manager with LM Ericsson, Software and Systems Engineering Limited and Siemens. Joining the School of Computing DCU in 1995 he delivers AI, IoT and Data Governance modules on Undergraduate, Masters, and PhD Programmes and is current (2021) Chair of the Graduate Diploma in Web Technologies. Ray is Chair of Big Data Value Association Standards Task Force, Chair of Network Development @ Gender Responsive Standards at the United Nations Economic Committee for Europe, Chair of the External Advisory Board of, Research Partner in and Co-Lead on ELITE-S Fellowship Programme for Emerging Technologies Standardization ( Ray has been a Digital Leader with World Economic Forum since 2016 and was appointed to the IEEE European Public Policy Committee on ICT in 2019 and is currently the AI WG Lead for IEEE EPPC. Ray was also appointed in 2020 to the OECD Network of Experts (ONE AI).


Ryan Kurtzman, Smart Cities Program Manager for the City of Long Beach, CA

Ryan’s experience includes developing community programs and policies that leverage technology to improve connectivity, mobility, digital equity, and economic outcomes for all residents. He also leads the City’s open data and data governance programs. Before that, Ryan served as a Policy Fellow for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti where he brokered partnerships and created program evaluation tools to advance the City’s Great Streets Initiative and park equity goals. He graduated from UCLA with a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a focus on transportation policy and planning, and serves on the Board for the American Planning Association Los Angeles chapter.


Rosaldo Rossetti, Associate Professor and member of the executive committee of the Department of Informatics Engineering, the University of Porto, Portugal

Rosaldo J. F. Rossetti is an associate professor and member of the executive committee of the Department of Informatics Engineering, and a senior research fellow and member of the directive board of the Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Lab at the University of Porto, Portugal. Dr Rossetti served as an elected member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE ITS Society during term 2011-2013 and was a member of the steering committee of the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative from 2013 to 2017. He is currently a co-chair of IEEE ITS Society’s Artificial Transportation Systems and Simulation Technical Activities Committee, for which he received the Best TAC Award in 2017. He has served as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems and the ITS Department editor of the IEEE Intelligent System Magazine. Dr Rossetti’s primary research interests include behavioural modelling, social simulation, and machine learning. He focuses on the applications of multiagent systems as a modelling metaphor to address issues in artificial transportation systems, future mobility paradigms, urban smartification, and explores the potential uses of serious games and gamification in mobility systems and sustainable development. He is also a member of ACM, APPIA (the Portuguese AI Society), and the European Social Simulation Association. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from INF-UFRGS, Brazil, and developed his doctoral research within Leeds University’s Institute for Transport Studies, UK.


Saifur Rahman, Director of the Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute, USA

Professor Saifur Rahman is the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech, USA where he is the Joseph R. Loring professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Millennium Medal winner.  He was the president of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) for 2018 and 2019. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. He has published over 150 journal papers and has made over five hundred conference and invited presentations.  In 2006 he served on the IEEE Board of Directors as the vice president for publications. He is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Power & Energy Society and has lectured on renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, energy internet, blockchain, IoT sensor integration, etc. in over 30 countries.  He is the founder of BEM Controls, LLC, a Virginia (USA)-based software company providing building energy management solutions.  He served as the chair of the US National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering. He has conducted several energy efficiency, blockchain and sensor integration projects for Duke Energy, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Energy and the State of Virginia. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.


Sandile Mbatha, Senior Manager for Research and Policy Advocacy Department in eThekwini Municipality, Durban (South Africa)

Dr Sandile Mbatha is the Senior Manager for Research and Policy Advocacy Department in eThekwini Municipality where he supports evidence-based policy development process through city-wide research and strategic planning. He is responsible for driving integrated city-level data processes for strategic decision-making. As part of this work, he is establishing strategic partnerships for building an inclusive data ecosystem necessary for supporting a data-driven city. He is also part of the team using a data-centred approach towards SDG institutionalization and indicator localization.

He is a former Director and founder of Ulwazi NS Research Consulting, an organisation focused on human-centric solutions to human settlements; informal land markets; urban planning; local economic development; water; food and energy issues in urban and peri-urban contexts. He holds a PhD in Architecture and Town Planning from the University of Stuttgart, with a focus on informal transactions in low income housing in South Africa. He has more than a decade of working with public and non-governmental sector through developing and implementing programmes for low income urban and peri-urban communities. He has also participated in various urban development programmes aimed at fostering development partnerships between the municipality and communities, particularly conducting research on urban renewal and driving stakeholder coordination and engagement. He also has vast experience as consultant across various sectors locally and internationally. He has held numerous fellowships which include the 2017/18 Academy for African Urban Diversity cohort, 2019 International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP); MGG Digital Academy Fellow 2021. He has also worked at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as a lecturer and has also served as an external examiner for postgraduate projects within the Built Environment and Development space.


Sandeep Agrawal, Team Leader at C-DOT, Bangalore, India

Sandeep Is working as a TEAM LEADER at C-DOT Bangalore. He joined C-DOT in 2008 after passing out from NIT Bhopal. He has 12+ years of experience on various telecom projects focusing on Strategic and Rural needs of India. He has worked on MAX-NG project to migrate legacy C-DOT switching technology to next generation (NGN) technology in BSNL network. He is responsible for overall Wi-Fi & Unlicensed band product development strategy in his present role in C-DOT.

Currently, he is leading and architecting the PM-WANI (Prime Minister’s Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) program at C-DOT.

Sandeep is actively involved in the standardization of Wi-Fi & Rural Broadband. He is a member of TSDSI-IEEE-SA forum and Spectrum sub-committee of 5G HLF (High Level Forum).

He is Chair of IEEE SA P2872 to build standards for “Interoperable and Secure Public Wi-Fi Infrastructure and architecture” and “Rural Communication” Industry Connect Program of IEEE SA. He is also Vice Chair of IEEE SA P2061 Frugal 5G to build “Architecture for Low mobility Energy Efficient network for Affordable broadband Access”. He is contributing in the IEEE 802.11bc Enhanced broadcast group for Emergency Alert service standardisation. He is also Chair of IoT Work Group and co-lead of Wi-Fi sensing group in WBA (Wireless Broadband Alliance).


Sander Dolder, Vice President of Initiatives – Smart and Sustainable Cities at NYCEDC, New York NY

Highly perceptive & even-keeled business development leader with 10 years of effective results transforming organizations and economies towards a low-carbon future by fostering innovation, growth, and systems change. Currently a Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation where I design, build, & lead efforts to expand the NYC economy by catalyzing emerging sectors, developing innovation ecosystems, implementing sustainability strategies, and forging public-private partnerships: specialized in strategic foresight, innovation ecosystems, sustainability, impact investing, and organization design; sector experience in urbantech/smart cities, cleantech, telecom, media, emerging tech, chemical, and public sectors; and skilled in project management, due diligence, urban planning, public policy, and public-private partnerships.


Sri Chandrasekaran, Director of Standards & Technology, IEEE India

Sri has been associated with the IEEE-SA and the IEEE India office for the past 4+ years with focus on standards engagements in India and executing the programs on the Emerging Technology programs within the IEEE-SA. In this strategic role, Sri drives standards related initiatives & programs globally across technology sectors which include amongst others IoT, Smart Cities, Sensors, eHealth and VLSI domains, and also to engage Indian engineering community to global IEEE standards development efforts.

Prior to joining IEEE, Sri was associated with Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (formerly Motorola Inc.) for 18 years, managing a global R&D team focused on Electronic Design Automation.

Sri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Madras University, India and a Post Graduation degree in Electrical Communication from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.


Tomi Ilijaš, Founder and CEO of Arctur, Slovenia

Tomi Ilijaš is founder and CEO of Arctur and he holds a MSc degree from Ljubljana University, Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Mr. Ilijaš is an entrepreneur focusing on Hi-Tech innovation, who has shared his knowledge and experience to many start-ups and spin-offs in the region. He participated in several EU funded R&D projects, inventing new business models in HPCaaS and successfully breaking the barriers in bringing HPC to manufacturing SMEs. Recently, his research focus is on transferring new technologies like HPDA, IoT and Blockchain from Industry 4.0 to tourism. He is also a member of EUROHPC Research & Innovation Advisory Group (RIAG) and member of PRACE Industrial Advisory Committee.


Vinod Bijlani, Lead of AI and IoT Practice for HPE, Singapore

Vinod Bijlani leads the AI and IoT Practice for HPE. He has contributed to the design and implementation of smart city projects and established intelligent public transportation and traffic ecosystems in India, Singapore, and the U.S. He has over 22 years of experience in creating solutions and is a distinguished inventor with 25 patents in AI and ML technologies. He actively shares his experiences by speaking at international forums, mentoring start-ups, and publishing articles. Vinod has been working with standards organizations, such as the IT Standards Committee Singapore (ITSC-SG) and TM Forum, building standards on AI Security and Video Analytics. He is also the lead mentor with IoT Tribe SG where helps nurture young, aspiring entrepreneurs. For more details on Vinod’s professional background, please refer to


Waleed Khalaf, CEO of Smart Way Consultancy (Bahrain)

Waleed is currently the CEO of Smart Way Consultancy, Bahraini based multidisciplinary advisory firm that specializes in Smart Technology & Sustainability consultancy. He holds an MBA from University of Wales (1992) and a BSC in Telecommunications (South Shields College of Technology, UK 1987).

Waleed has over 40 years of experience in telecoms and technology. He started his career in Batelco at 1987 as a controller marine communications. He then progressed to various managerial positions in Batelco including Manager of Call Centers (1992-1995), Manager of Customer Services Department (2000-2004) and Manager of Public Relations (2004-2005). In 2005 he joined Mena Telecom as VP Sales and Marketing.

Waleed then moved on to establish T-Linx Technology Solutions & Telecoms Advisory in 2008. T-Linx is the only specialized firm of its kind in Bahrain offering bespoke turn key technology solutions to its clients in the residential, commercial and hospitality sectors covering automation, integrated systems and new digital media.

Being founder of the first Bahraini firm in this specialization, Waleed is usually referred to as the go to CEO for consultation and advice for this niche clientele on the best fit technology solutions for their individual and business requirements, thus delivering a world class solution with a focus on our markets’ local attributes.

In 2017 Waleed founded Smart Way Consulting to focus on providing consultancy solutions and advisory on smart technologies and sustainable solutions for smart cities. Waleed also chairs the steering committee for the Bahrain Smart Cities Summit annual event which is curated and organized by Smart Way Consulting since 2016 and serves as a platform for sharing expertise on smart and sustainable solutions for cities and a catalyst for creating new opportunities for smart and sustainable projects.

Currently Waleed is a Board member in Bahrain Internet Society. Waleed is also an independent advisor to the Information Government Authority (iGA) Bahrain International eGovernment Forum 2018 steering committee.