past event
Urban Innovation

Where the Sidewalk Ended: The Future of Smart Cities after the Toronto Waterfront Demise

What does the abrupt end to Sidewalk Labs’ much heralded—then fiercely debated—Toronto Quayside project teach us about the future of smart cities technology?  Join the Center for Urban Innovation and Aspen Digital to hear from experts on urban innovation, city government, privacy, and technology as we discuss how other cities have been grappling with these issues, and what changes in a post-pandemic world.  We also tackle hard questions like: how much privacy will residents swap for convenience?  What makes a city “smart” post-pandemic? And what makes cities so resistant to tech utopian visions?

We are joined by:

  • Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director, Global Privacy and Security by Design Centre
  • Nigel Jacob, Co-Founder, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston
  • Shireen Santosham, Former Chief Innovation Office, City of San Jose
  • Anthony Townsend, Founder, Star City Group
  • Jennifer Bradley, Director, Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation

Dr. Ann Cavoukian is recognized as one of the world’s leading privacy experts. Ann served an unprecedented three terms as the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada. Ann is currently the Executive Director of the Global Privacy & Security by Design Centre. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre at Ryerson University, and a Faculty Fellow of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Ann is the author of two books, The Privacy Payoff: How Successful Businesses Build Customer Trust with Tyler Hamilton, and Who Knows: Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World with Don Tapscott. Ann holds a BA from York University and an MA and PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in criminology and law.

Nigel Jacob is the Co-founder of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, a civic innovation incubator and R&D Lab within Boston’s City Hall. Nigel’s work is about making urban life better via innovative, people-oriented applications of technology and design. Prior to joining the City of Boston in 2006, Nigel worked in a series of technology start-ups in the Boston area. He was also previously the Urban Technologist in Residence at Living Cities, a philanthropic collaboration of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, is currently a board member at organizations such as Code For America and coUrbanize, and is an Executive-in-Residence at Boston University. This ground-breaking work has earned Nigel a number of awards including being named a Public Official of the year in 2011 by Governing Magazine, a Whitehouse Champion of Change and the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation award for 2012. Nigel is also a 12th level Wizard-Pirate with a special focus on causing chaos in large municipal bureaucracies via befuddlement spells.

Shireen Santosham leads Strategic Initiatives for the CEO at Plenty, a vertical farming company. Previously she was the Chief Innovation Officer for the mayor of San Jose where she was the visionary behind the San Jose Digital Inclusion Fund, which helped expand 5G technology within the city and close the digital divide for 50,000 San Jose residents in addition to championing autonomous vehicle pilots, a city-wide privacy policy, and user-friendly government. She has launched innovative initiatives across sectors throughout her career, including advocating closing the gender digital divide internationally at GSMA, launching the Center for Government while at McKinsey & Company, securing $50M to combat global overfishing while at Oceana, and standing up the Allen Institute for Brain Science while an investor at Vulcan Capital. Shireen received numerous awards for her work, including twice named to GovTech’s List of 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers and featured in publications like the New York Times, Bloomberg Technology, KQED, and Ars Technica. She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.P.A in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School, and a B.S. and B.A. with honors from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Anthony Townsend works at the intersection of urbanization and digital technology. He is the author of two books: Ghost Road: Beyond the Driverless Car (2020) and Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for A New Utopia (2013)—both published by W.W. Norton & Co. Anthony is the founder of Star City Group,  a strategy consultancy and planning studio that works with industry, government and philanthropy on smart city planning, innovation districts, and automated vehicle policy. He holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and minored in physics as an undergraduate at Rutgers University. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Jennifer Bradley is the founding director of the Center for Urban Innovation and the co-author, with Bruce Katz, of The Metropolitan Revolution (Brookings Press, 2013).  Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Jennifer was a fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, where she worked on the role of metropolitan areas in the nation’s economy and politics.  She has also spoken widely about urban issues, at The Aspen Ideas Festival, South by Southwest, the Code for America Summit, and Techonomy, and her essays have appeared in Newsweek, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, and Next American City.  Jennifer has a J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, an MPhil from Oxford University, which she attended on a Rhodes Scholarship, and a B.A. from the University of Texas.

Event information
Wed May 20, 2020
4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT