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    Think smart. Think smart city. Think smart city seminar

    3 – 5 October 2018, Singapore – probably the world’s first smart city – hosts a top-level seminar on this vital topic for social, environmental and economic survival. The upcoming QS in conversation seminar University – Public Sector Partnership: Smart Cities provides an opportunity to reach beyond the jargon and understand how university-public sector partnerships can shape the smart cities of the future. Tony Martin reports.

    An online map that shows accessibility for wheelchair users across 500,000 locations across the world.

    In Seoul, a car–sharing company, websites that help people share things with their neighbours, schemes that match students struggling to find affordable housing with older residents who have a spare room.

    Jakarta’s Smart City Platform that includes an issue–reporting app, a flood map that crowdsources citizen flood reports from Twitter, and a crowdsourced traffic management tool.

    The above are a few examples of the fast-growing phenomenon of smart cities around the world. But what is a smart city exactly? Wikipedia’s definition is (abbreviated):

    “A smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. This includes data collected from citizens, devices, and assets that is processed and analyzed to monitor and manage traffic and transportation systems, power plants, hospitals and many other community services.

    The smart city concept integrates information and communication technology (ICT), and various physical devices connected to the network to optimize the efficiency of city operations and services and connect to citizens.”

    Achieving the benefits of smart city projects requires vision, collaboration and civic energy. The smart city, fortunately for society, excites government and academic leaders to lead progress in this powerful weapon against waste, pollution, social malaise and many other potential obstacles to the quality of our lives.

    Organised in partnership with the rapidly rising Singapore Management University (SMU), QS in conversation seminar University – Public Sector Partnership: Smart Cities will address collaboration between government and academia to realize the promise of “smart” public services and infrastructure.

    Powered by new technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), the public sector has the potential to be radically transformed, significantly raising the quality of community services while reducing costs. Delivering these smart services and infrastructure raises interconnected technical, managerial, social, political and ethical challenges which require innovative and interdisciplinary thinking.

    The smart city requires skilled manpower to build itself in a way that is not only efficient, but also sustainable and responsible. This need for new thinking and expertise makes universities natural knowledge partners for governments in smart-city endeavours. The achievement of deep university-public sector partnerships poses a number of important challenges, including the need to bridge the culture gap between government and academia.

    This unique QS in conversation seminar provides a platform to discuss university-public sector partnerships for the building of smart cities. It will provide an opportunity for the sharing of best practices from leading smart city projects in the United States, Japan, India and Singapore, as well as opportunities to learn about and discuss smart cities with expert colleagues from the Asian region and beyond.

    Reflecting one of his key research interests – urban systems and operations – Professor Steven Miller, SMU’s Vice Provost (Research) and Professor of Information Systems (Practice), has been highly instrumental in ensuring the delivery of the seminar, while strongly backing it is is Professor Arnoud de Meyer, SMU’s dynamic president since 2010.

    Previously Professor de Meyer was Professor of Management Studies at the University of Cambridge and Director of its Judge Business School, and was the founding Dean of INSEAD’s Asia Campus in Singapore.

    Professor de Meyer explains the importance of this edition of QS in conversation: ‘This topic is of particular significance in our present digitally-enabled world as Smart City solutions hold the promise to improve how we approach urban issues and shape how we live. Smart City solutions play a pivotal role in improving urban and community liveability, mobility, security, healthcare and efficient allocation of resources among many other areas.’

    He continues: ‘The seminar will bring together prominent academics and experienced public sector leaders who will share their experiences and insights on how universities can develop new capabilities and engage governments to drive impactful projects. It will showcase successful examples of how universities, government agencies and other organisations are collaborating to leverage data-driven systems to power the rapidly changing landscapes of Smart Cities, and highlight lessons learned from these efforts.’

    Sharing this passion is Mandy Mok, global head of fast-expanding, thought-leading QS Branding and Conferences division. A native Singaporean, she has first-hand experience of her city’s pioneering role in optimising resources.

    She strongly encourages participation in the seminar because, as she points out: ‘While university-public sector collaboration has already yielded many fruitful results in areas such as scientific research, defence and medicine, smart cities offer a brand new area of collaboration that is multidisciplinary in nature. It stretches from “smart” infrastructure to alleviate congestion and reduce energy consumption to “smart” services enhanced by automation, artificial intelligence and decision-support system. Crucial to its success is the engagement of citizens through smartphone technology.’

    A long and distinguished list of speakers will deliver the knowledge, wisdom and stimulus about smart city collaboration that will send delegates away with their heads spinning with ideas and possibilities for how they too can make a difference to the world we live in.

    Speakers from top universities, government bodies and other major organisations in eight countries will include (alphabetical by country):

    Professor Mark Fox
    Associate Director for Research
    School of Cities
    University of Toronto
    Professor Krithi Ramamritham
    Major Bhagat Singh Rekhi Chair Professor
    Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE)
    Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)
    Bombay, India
    Professor Hiroshi Esaki
    Graduate School of Information Science and Technology
    The University of Tokyo
    Ms Maimunah Binti Jaffar
    Head of Department
    Planning & Compliance
    Iskandar Regional Development Authority
    Professor Archan Misra
    Associate Dean (Research), Director – Centre for Applied Smart-Nation Analytics;
    LiveLabs, School of Information Systems
    Singapore Management University
    Ms Jyoti Shukla
    Singapore Infrastructure and Urban Development Hub
    The World Bank
    Dr Katharina Lange
    Executive Director, Executive Development
    Singapore Management University
    Professor Lily Kong
    Provost and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor
    of Social Sciences
    Singapore Management University
    Mr Ong Eng Kian
    Director – Centre for Liveable Cities
    Ministry of National Development
    Professor Steven Miller
    Vice Provost (Research) and Professor of
    Information Systems
    Singapore Management University
    Mr Tan Kok Yam
    Deputy Secretary
    Smart Nation and Digital
    Government Office and Strategy Group
    Prime Minister’s Office
    Associate Professor Kwon Young-Sang
    Associate Professor of Urban Design
    Department of Civil and Environmental
    Seoul National University
    Republic of Korea
    Dr Passakon Prathombutr
    Senior Executive Vice President and
    Chief Technology Officer
    Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion
    Agency (DEPA)
    Professor Ramayya Krishnan
    H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy
    Carnegie Mellon University
    United States of America

    QS in conversation seminar University – Public Sector Partnership: Smart Cities

    For your calendar:

    3-5 October 2018

    For your booking:


    For your destination:

    Singapore Management University Law School,

    55 Armenian Street

    Singapore 179943

    For your accommodation: