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

VERT6: Smart Cities


On the face of it, the two simple words, “Smart Cities”, seem to imply the obvious: A city made more intelligent to its citizens, through technology. Yet, Smart Cities are anything but simple and obvious. Ask any of the cities, industries or research entities involved in smart city projects, and each will give you a different definition of what is involved in building a Smart City and what its priorities should be. It differs from global region to region; from city to city within a single nation; and over time, depending on the social, economic and political trends of the moment.

From a technology point-of-view, scratch the surface and we see Smart Cities as verticals covering Connectivity, Data, Energy, Transport, Buildings, and Governance. However, dig deeper and it now includes a far more complex and comprehensive vision of cities where we live, work and visit. Take the examples of employment, agriculture, healthcare and social well-being, to name a few. Today’s Smart City is very different one to that designed and developed a generation or so ago. Technology is no longer just a solution for providing more efficient resources and municipality services. Yes, it is still very much that, but it has evolved into something far more panoptic. It has become “People-Centric”, with a strong awareness to improve the many facets of our lives within a city, and provide a well-balanced, healthy and happy life.

It is projected that by 2025 smart cities will be a $1.2 trillion market. This will bring a wealth of incredible technology solutions and opportunities for new economies and job markets to develop and fill the gap in areas where work is dying out. But such positives come with a great responsibility. With over 55% of the world’s population living and working in cities today and two-thirds by 2050, how we use technology in our cities has a huge impact on humanity. We must work hand-in-hand with citizens, engaging their participation from the start of any process of building a smarter city, in order to achieve much wider-spread adoption. We must provide technologies that bring people and social and business communities closer together, physically, not just virtually, so they can thrive. In an environment that is green, secure, protecting our privacy, and which promotes social well-being.

The IEEE IoT Initiative – Smart Cities working group embraces such complexity and has dedicated the last 12 months to redefining the “People-Centric” approach within IEEE, and is currently working on KPIs, guidelines, and towards efforts for revised and new standards.

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 economics to 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.

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 has been the Dean of ENSIAS College of Engineering of Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco since December 2011 and he was a Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Morocco from 1993 till 2011. He is the founder and past Chairman of the IEEE Morocco Section (2005-2015), co-founder of IEEE Computer & Communication Societies Joint Morocco Chapter, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society and Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Morocco Joint Chapter and EEE Education Society Morocco Chapter. He has been also the founding 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 since 2006. He has also founded several IEEE Student Branches in different Moroccan universities and engineering schools. Furthermore, he has been a member of IEEE Global Committee on Accreditation activities since 2016. He has authored and co-authored 5 books and more than 200 papers in international refereed journals and conferences in the field of Electrical and Information and Communication Technologies. He has been the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal on Information and Communication Technologies, Serial Publications, India (2007-2011). He is also an active member of the editorial boards of several IEEE and other indexed international journals in the field of information and communication technologies. Prof. Essaaidi is the founder and the General Chair of several IEEE technically sponsored international conferences, including Mediterranean Microwave Symposium (since 2000), Information and Communication Technologies International Symposium (2005, 2007), International Conference on Multimedia Systems and Computing i(2009, 2011, 2012, 2014) International Renewable and Sustainable Energy Conference (2011, 2013, 2015) and International Conference on Complex Systems (2012, 2013, 2015). He has also been involved in the Organizing and Scientific Committees of several other international conferences held worldwide. He holds 10 patents in the field of Information and Communication Technologies. He was also a member of the IEEE 802.16 Sponsor Ballot Pool of IEEE Standard Association that defined the technical specifications for WiMAX. Prof. Essaaidi supervised several Ph D and Masters Theses and has been the principal investigator and the project manager for several international research projects.

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.