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: