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.

Vanessa Evers

NTU Institute for Science and Technology for Humanity

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.