Shaping Future Cities

Falling Walls Circle Tables are lending the spotlight to world-leading scientists, science strategists and policy-makers from academia, business and politics discuss how we can apply science, research and innovation to get the world moving again.

In this Falling Walls Circle Table, the panel asked how we can begin to build future cities. Rather than prescribing this vision, the discussion centred around how citizens themselves can shape tomorrow’s society, and the role of digital innovation in creating it.

Technology has immense power in our lives and harnessing that power can be instrumental in building a positive future. Innovations such as driverless cars, smart grids, innovative architecture and personalised health may all play key roles in future cities. But meaningful implementation requires collaboration between technology, government and citizens.

Citizens today have complex relationships with trust – frequently wary of government, but widely sharing data with tech giants. Projects that actively engage and collaborate with citizens to create new technological tools can – in so doing – foster trust.

While much work centers on what technology can bring to future cities, vision is essential. Collaborations between tech and humanities can help empower citizens to imagine – and build – a brighter future.

Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. He is currently a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. He invented the concept of the Creative City in the late 1980’s. Its focus is how cities can create the enabling conditions for people and organizations to think, plan and act with imagination to solve problems and develop opportunities. The notion has become a global movement and changed the way cities thought about their capabilities and resources.

Charles helps cities identify and make the most of their potential by triggering their inventiveness and thinking and by opening up new conversations about their future. His aim is to help cities become more resilient, self-sustaining and to punch above their weight.

Jutta Juliane Meier is Founder & CEO of IDENTITY Valley

Jutta Juliane Meier represents a bridge between Germany and Silicon Valley. She is very passionately working with large corporations, governmental bodies and academic initiatives. Through her work, she is constantly confronting the impact and challenges new technology will bring to the world. Jutta co-founded an educational AI & Ethics initiative which recently published their first children’s book: ROBOY & Lucy – Superhero Glasses. In response to her core values she also founded the IDENTITY Valley with the purpose to enable a value based digital economy.

What location is to real estate, collaboration is to digital transformation? She loves to ‘translate and simplify’ between players who are becoming more and more equally relevant in the future: startups and corporations, digital natives & digital immigrants. Supporting them to converge, grow and recognize the best of both worlds is what motivates her day by day.

„Digital Revolution needs Digital Responsibility. #identityvalley“


As former Chief Creative Officer of Mexico City, Gabriella founded and directed Laboratorio para la Ciudad, the award-winning experimental and creative office of the Mexico City government, reporting to the Mayor. She is a Yale World Fellow, MIT Director’s Fellow, a GeorgeTown University Global Cities Initiative Visiting Fellow, a TED Senior Fellow, an Institute for the Future Fellow and has received several awards in different disciplines: from 1st prize in the Audi Urban Future Award to 1st Prize in the Best Arts Practice and TED City 2.0 award, as well as recognized as a leading “creative bureaucrat” in the Creative Bureaucracy Festival 2018. Gabriella is also part of the international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul on Social Innovation, as well as NACTO’s Streets for Kids, The XXII Triennale of Milan, C40 ́s Knowledge Hub, Harvard`s Mexican Cities Initiative, Canada`s MaRS Lab, amongst others.

Professor Evers is a Professor of Socially Intelligent Systems at the School of Computer Science and Engineering and she is the Founding Director of NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH).

She established to study the impact of technology on human society, and to bring industry, government and academia together to find ways to enhance the use of technology for the betterment of humanity. In addition, she is a chair and Professor of Human Media Interaction, University of Twente, the Netherlands. She is also the Scientific Director and founder of the DesignLab in the Netherlands, a centre for multidisciplinary projects with societal impact based on ‘Science to Design for Society’.

Prof Evers studied Information Systems at the University of Amsterdam, Business Information Science at UNSW, Sydney and has a PhD from the Open University UK. Previously, she worked for the Boston Consulting Group and was a visiting Scholar at Stanford University.

Prof Evers’ work exists at the intersection of Computer Science, Psychology, Design, and Electrical Engineering and focusses on human interaction with artificially intelligent systems and cultural aspects of Human Computer Interaction. It covers design of Artificially Intelligent systems that are able to interpret human social behaviours and respond to people in a socially acceptable way as well as the evaluation of the impact of such technology on people and society. She is a frequent public speaker in the media and at international fora such as the World Economic Forum at Davos.

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