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Join the who’s who of Urban Planning, Real Estate and Technology on Oct. 26 at the Times Center.

Spend an inspiring, fast-paced day connecting with the nation’s urban innovators unpacking the ideas that will change our cities for good.

Join the conversations that will shape the future of our cities.

Explore and discuss solutions to our most pressing urban issues

Reconnect and network with the best urban innovators

Find the inspiration you need to reinvent urban life

Meet our Urban Innovators

Speakers include:

and dozens more

NYC Leadership Day Agenda

10 Executive keynotes and panels, networking breaks, leadership lunch and more

Moderated by acclaimed New York stand up comedian Eugene T. Barnes

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Visions of a Post-Pandemic City
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

In the wake of the pandemic, its lesson has been to demonstrate that any ‘new normal’ must emphasize a new way of understanding our communities—new considerations of urban space, of needs, of opportunities. Join the architect of the Domino Sugar Factory, Sunnyside and other NYC innovations in a conversation about the possible.

The Next Urban Agenda
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

The pandemic has upended career priorities and made us reconsider where we live. Fascinating new data is showing surprising choices in regional migrations, and revealing where people want to spend their work lives. Join three leaders and make sense of the numbers we’ll live by in the future.

SPEAKER(S): , , &
Building the New New York
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

What’s the new value proposition for developers and communities in New York? What neighborhoods and districts—from Harlem to Queens—are the new destinations for capital? Follow the money in this in-depth discussion on how we’re using and investing in space beyond traditional core office areas.

The Art of City Making Now
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

What has the pandemic changed for the creative class, those catalysts of city-building? What characterizes the urban centres that are calling to them now, and how can cities respond to attract them? Join the conversation between two of the world’s leading creative city experts will endeavor to find out.

Networking Break
Public Art for the 21st Century
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

BREAKFAST turns mechanical engineering and playful, emotional aesthetics into gallery-worthy kinetic and interactive installations. From real-time climate change to directional signage to engaging reflections of passers-by, their work points the way forward to new thinking about public art.

Courage to Change
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

Beyond 2020: We are at the forefront of a decade of change in housing. It will be all-encompassing, and more than just a “housing fight.” Cities, how we live, and how cities will grow in the future – this has all changed during the pandemic. What happens when a tech revolution collides with a pandemic?

Power to the Public
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

Hear the Obama-administration officials discuss the revolution that is public-interest technology—a user-centered approach in design and data that makes the delivery of government services more effective and efficient in the digital age. Problem-solving transformed; inspiration guaranteed!

Clean Transport on a Roll
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

With an Executive Order in place that sets an ambitious new target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emission, and the micro-mobility market surging post-Covid 19, join us to learn how we’ll move around New York next, make clean transportation accessible to all, and explore how mass transit, biking, and car travel might co-exist in a pedestrian-friendly city.”

How Urban Planning and Design Influences Urban Culture
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

Where do social justice and environmental sustainability intersect? In urban planning, to start with. Daily life in our segregated cities perpetuates an “us vs them” culture today. Find out how urban planning and design can be a starting point for equitable cities that support the ecosystems around them.

Curating Culture Post Covid
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

Discover the most impactful and important stories of architectural culture today with a focus on actionable ideas that address the biggest issue of our time: climate change, and with a mission to make architectural knowledge accessible to a global audience.

May The Force Be With You
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

The Green City Force, made up of young adults from frontline communities, may be NYC’s best hope to build a green city rooted in social, economic and environmental justice. Hear how they’re transforming their own lives, leading community transition, and promoting a regenerative, inclusive economy.

Build Better to Build Community
new york stage (IN-PERSON)

2020 was the loneliest year of an era when more of us live alone than ever. See how thinking of city-building, rather than individual tower buildings, opens up new ways of community-building—and how strategic sculpting and shaping of architectural elements can create future forms of togetherness.

WRLDCTY Cocktail and Change for Good Drinks (TBD)

Vishaan Chakrabarti

Architect and Author

Vishaan Chakrabarti is an architect and author. He is the founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism. In 2018 he was named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Chakrabarti served under Mayor Bloomberg as the director of planning for Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11.

Jeanne Gang

Founder, Studio Gang

Jeanne Gang is an American architect and the founder and leader of Studio Gang, an architecture and urban design practice with offices in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Gang was first widely recognized for the Aqua Tower, the second tallest woman-designed building in the world.

Andrew Carter

Chief Executive, Centre for Cities

Andrew Carter is the Chief Executive of Centre for Cities. Before that, he was the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Research. Andrew has over 20 years of experience working on urban economic policy issues for public and private development agencies, consultants and research institutes.

Michelle Peacock

Global Head of Public Policy, Waymo

Michelle Mallory Peacock is Global Head of Public Policy for Waymo. Her career has centred on growing government relations programs for large, small, established and startup companies in financial services, high tech and transportation.

Parag Khanna

Author & Founder and Managing Partner, FutureMap

Parag Khanna is a leading global strategy advisor, world traveler, and best-selling author. He is Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. Parag’s newest book is MOVE: The Forces Uprooting Us (2021).

Brent Toderian

City Planner, TODERIAN UrbanWORKS

Brent Toderian is an internationally respected practitioner and thought leader with over 28 years of experience in advanced urbanism, city planning, urban design, transportation and change management. He has advised and collaborated with cities, agencies, and best-practice developers around the world.

Chris Fair

President, Resonance Consultancy

A futurist, facilitator and strategist, Chris holds a Masters degree in Studies of the Future and has married his tourism, economic development, real estate and marketing expertise with futures methodologies to create development strategies that shape the future of places around the world.

Micah Kotch

Managing Director, URBAN-X

Micha Kotch serves as Managing Director of URBAN-X by MINI and Urban Us. URBAN-X is the accelerator for startups reimagining city life. Before joining URBAN-X, Micah served as Director of NY Prize and Strategic Advisor for Innovation at NYSERDA.

Cyra Levenson

Deputy Director and Gail Engelberg Director of Education and Public Engagement, Guggenheim

As head of the Guggenheim’s Education and Public Engagement Department, Cyra Levenson leads the museum’s efforts to reach a broad audience through programming, content development, partnerships and community engagement. Levenson has a role in partnering across the foundation’s international network.

Richard Florida

Richard Florida, Urbanist, Professor, and Author

Richard Florida is a researcher, professor and a Distinguished Fellow at NYU’s Schack School of Real Estate. He is an author of several global bestsellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class and The New Urban Crisis. He is an entrepreneur, as founder of the Creative Class Group which works closely with companies and governments worldwide.

Sam Chandan

Silverstein Chair & Academic Dean

Sam Chandan, Ph.D. is the Larry & Klara Silverstein Chair at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate. Prior to NYU, he was the Laurence and Susan Hirsch Adjunct Associate Professor at the Wharton School and a doctoral scholar at the Princeton University Department of Economics.

Charles Landry

Urbanist & Author

Charles Landry is an author, speaker and international adviser on the future of cities best known for popularising the Creative City concept. His book The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators became a movement to rethink the planning, development and management of cities.

Roger Wade

Founder & CEO, BOXPARK

Roger Wade is the Founder and CEO of BOXPARK, London’s award-winning food and retail revolution. BOXPARK includes the World’s 1st Pop-Up Mall, BOXPARK Shoreditch, BOXPARK Croydon, their 1st Food and Drink only development, and BOXPARK Wembley, a FanPark for Wembley Stadium, featuring 20+ street food outlets, 3 bars and over 300+ events a year.

Thomas Ermacora

Urbanist, Technologist, Futurist and Founder, Machines Room 

Thomas Ermacora FRSA, is a Danish-Italian regeneration architect, impact entrepreneur and futures thinker, helping communities, developers and local authorities making better and happier places.

Julian Agyeman

Author & Professor, Tufts University

Julian Agyeman Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the author or editor of 12 books, including Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World, Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability, and Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities.

Greg Clark

Urbanist, Author & Group Advisor, Future Cities & New Industries, HSBC Group

Prof Greg Clark CBE FAcSS is a highly experienced Advisor, Scholar, Non-Executive Director and Board Chairman. His core role as Senior Advisor on Future Cities and New Industries at HSBC Group covers future urbanisation, mobility, digital transformation, sustainable development, and impact investing.

Michelle Koh

Executive Director, Singapore River One

Michelle is the Executive Director of Singapore River One Ltd, a not-for-profit private-public partnership in the Place Management and Placemaking in Singapore River Precinct. At the helm of her leadership, Singapore River One Ltd became the first pilot Business Improvement District in Singapore in 2017.

Barney Steel

Founder & Director, Marshmallow Laser Feast

Barnaby Churchill Steel is a visual artist and co-founder of ‘Marshmallow Laser Feast’ (MLF) whose work bridges experimental genres and unfamiliar mediums, forging artistry, science and technology to sculpt the malleable texture of perception.

Chee Choong Ng

Senior Vice President & Managing Director, DHL Express Hong Kong and Macau

Chee Choong Ng is the Managing Director of DHL Express Hong Kong and Macau. With more than 20 years of experience in the logistics industry, Mr. Ng is in charge of spearheading the strategic growth and managing overall operations in Hong Kong and Macau.

Olga Stella

VP, Strategy & Communications, College for Creative Studies and Executive Director, Design Core Detroit

Olga Stella has almost 20 years of experience in economic development, public policy and coalition-building in Detroit. Her career has spanned working alongside residents in Detroit neighborhoods to helping to facilitate over $200 million in investment in the city.

Evan Meyer

CEO, Beautify Earth

Evan is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for artfully revitalizing urban settings, civic service, and building thoughtful organizations, communities, and cultures. Evan is the Founder of, a tech platform that speed tracks the urban beautification process through art.

Ashwini Chhabra

Chief Public Policy Officer, TIER Mobility

Ashwini Chhabra is the Chief Public Policy Officer at TIER Mobility, the leading shared micromobility operator in Europe. Prior to TIER, Ashwini established the Policy Development teams at Uber and Bird. He previously also held positions in NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s administration.

William Harris

President and CEO, Space Center Houston

William T. Harris is the President and CEO of Space Center Houston and the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, the nonprofit science and space learning center. Space Center Houston is the No. 1 international attraction in the greater Houston area, generating a $118.1 million annual economic impact.


Artist & Founder, BREAKFAST

Andrew Zolty is an artist and co-founder of BREAKFAST, a new media artist collective focused on creating forward-looking software-and-hardware-driven artworks that connect viewers to far-away places through interactive experiences and tell powerful stories about our rapidly changing world.

Eugene T. Barnes

New York Emcee & Comedian

Eugene T. Barnes is a stand-up comedian, host and emcee based in New York City. He’s been featured at some of the city’s biggest clubs including Caroline’s on Broadway and Gotham Comedy Club. He tours clubs and colleges around The U.S.

Adrian Ellis

Director, AEA Consulting and Chair, Global Cultural Districts Network

Adrian Ellis is the founding director of AEA Consulting and co-founder/director of the Global Cultural Districts Network, a collaborative network for people and organizations responsible for planning, leading and operating cultural districts around the world.

Usman Haque

Founding Partner & Creative Director, Umbrellium

With a specialty in networked urban environments, interactive architecture & community activation, Usman Haque has designed & built all sorts of things: spaces, structures, systems, platforms, companies. Trained as an architect, Usman is founder and creative director of Umbrellium, a London-based design & build studio dedicated to transforming urban environments.

Andrew King

Chief Design Officer, Lemay

Andrew King is a recognized leader in Canadian design practice, education and excellence. Responsible for the firm’s design leadership, he has evolved a critically recognized practice model that converges speculative practice, creative thinking and academic research.

Laura Crescimano

Principal, SITELAB urban studio

Laura Crescimano is the Co-Founder and Principal of SITELAB urban studio. SITELAB urban studio operates at the intersection of analysis and inspiration, with projects ranging from strategic planning and programming to urban design and design interventions.

Deborah Cullinan

CEO, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) CEO Deborah Cullinan is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the pivotal role artists and arts organizations play in shaping our social landscape. During her tenure at YBCA, she has launched several bold new programs, engagement strategies, and civic coalitions.

Gerardo Interiano

VP of Government Relations & Public Affairs, Aurora

Gerardo Interiano is Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs at Aurora, the company building self-driving technology to deliver the benefits of the future of transportation safely and quickly. He has more than fifteen years of advocacy, campaign, and legislative experience.

Nolan Marshall

President and CEO, DVBIA

Nolan Marshall is the CEO of Downton Vancouver Business Association. Nolan joins DVBIA from New Orleans, where he served as the Chief Engagement and Solutions Officer of the New Orleans Business Alliance. Marshall turned his attention to public policy and advocacy in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina.

Peter Murray, OBE

Curator-in-Chief, NLA

Peter Murray is Curator-in-Chief of New London Architecture (NLA). He trained as an architect but has spent most of his career writing about and commenting on architecture rather than practising it.

Ilana Altman

Co-Executive Director, The Bentway

Ilana Altman is a cultural planner and designer who has a background in art and architecture. In her role as Co-Executive Director she works with the community to implement innovative and engaging programming, revealing new possibilities for public space and cultivates the best visitor experience possible.

Bob Rennie

Founder & Executive Director, Rennie Group and President, Tate Americas Foundation

Bob Rennie is the founder and executive director of rennie group. Bob is currently the President of the Tate Americas Foundation, sits on the Board of Trustees at the Art Institute of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond and Gold Jubilee awards.

Sofia Song

Global Cities Lead, Gensler

Sofia is the global leader of cities research at Gensler’s Research Institute, where she leads a cross-disciplinary team to generate new insights and data that position Gensler as a thought leader, working to influence change at the city scale.

Kate Thompson

President and CEO, CMLC

Kate Thompson is the president and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC). Her exceptional leadership has been instrumental in the success of Calgary’s East Village and major city-building projects like the Central Library. She is now overseeing the development of over $1billion in major projects.

Demar Matthews

Founder and Principal, OffTOP Design

Demar Matthews is a Los Angeles-based architectural designer, theorist, and writer. He is the founder and Principal of OffTop Design. His introduction to the field was through his article “A Black Architecture Education Experience” on archinect. Demar believes architecture should not only be for the privileged.

Emily Tan

Senior Correspondent, CNBC International

Based in Hong Kong, Emily Tan is a Senior Correspondent for CNBC International. Emily covers breaking business and financial stories on Hong Kong, China and Taiwan markets. She has also covered the Taiwanese Presidential elections in 2008, 2012 and 2020.

David Johnston

CEO, Accept & Proceed

David Johnston is the Founder and Creative Director of Accept & Proceed, the B Corp creative studio dedicated to amplifying the power of visionaries. David has worked with clients including Nike, Rapha, Google and NASA and is the host of A&P’s podcast series, Endless Vital Activity.

Sarah Thornton

Author & Scholar in Residence at University of California, Berkeley

Sarah Thornton is an ethnographer who writes about art, design and people. Formerly the chief writer on contemporary art for The Economist, Thornton is the author of three books, including her bestselling Seven Days in the Art World.

Chris Gourlay

CEO and Founder, Spacehive

Chris Gourlay is the founder and CEO of Spacehive, Chris led the design and growth of the world’s first crowdfunding platform for projects that improve the civic environment. Chris has been featured in Sky News, BBC’s Today programme, WIRED, The New Scientist, and The Guardian.

Sonja Trauss

President and Founder, Yes In My Backyard

Sonja Trauss is President of YIMBY Law, a legal non-profit that enforces state housing laws. YIMBY Law ensures that opportunity-rich cities and low-density suburbs build their state-required housing allocations. YIMBY Law also advises lawmakers on necessary amendments to existing state laws.

Tom Scerbo

Senior Vice President & Metro New York Executive, AECOM

As a champion of design excellence, resiliency, and the integration of advanced digital solutions, Tom is responsible for strategic growth and profitability in the Transportation, Water and Wastewater, Program and Project Management, and Buildings + Places groups in New York and New Jersey.

Ethan Kent

Executive Director, PlacemakingX

Ethan Kent Co-founded PlacemakingX to network, amplify, and accelerate placemaking leadership and impact globally. Ethan has been integral to the development of placemaking as a transformative approach to economic development, environmentalism, social equity, design, digital space, and innovation.

Tamika L. Butler

Founder and Principal, Tamika L. Butler Consulting

Tamika L. Butler is a national expert and speaker on issues related to the built environment, equity, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, organizational behavior, and change management. From speaking, to writing, to training, Tamika has worked with a myriad of clients.

Tara Dawson McGuinness

Author & Founder, New Practice Lab

Tara Dawson McGuinness was tapped by President Obama to run the organizing healthcare effort for millions of Americans. She served as a senior adviser in the White House Office of Management. She is the author (with Hana Schank) of Power to the Public: The Promise of Public Interest Technology.

Hana Schank

Author & Director of Strategy, New America

Hana Schank is the Director of Strategy for Public Interest Technology at New America. Schank is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and the author (with Tara Dawson McGuinness) of Power to the Public: The Promise of Public Interest Technology.

Larry Leung

Vice President, Operations, K11 Concepts Limited

Larry Leung is the Site in Charge of 11 SKIES – the Hong Kong largest hub to be for retail, dining and entertainment, located next to the Hong Kong International Airport. Larry is currently overseeing all pre-opening matters of 11 SKIES across all spectrums.

Imogen Clark

Cofounder, Make Space for Girls

Imogen Clark, Co-Founder of Make Space for Girls, worked as a lawyer before concentrating on activities in the community sector. She believes in challenging the “hard to see” discrimination that arises when decisions are based on viewing life through the lens of the dominant groups in society.

Susannah Walker

Cofounder, Make Space for Girls

Susannah Walker, co-founder of Make Space for Girls is an author and former tv producer. Make Space for Girls campaigns for facilities and public spaces for teenage girls.

Michael Green

Founder & Principal, Michael Green Architecture

Michael Green is an award-winning architect, speaker, and author known for using design to create meaningful, sustainable built environments that benefit both people and the planet. Michael is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Dr. Bahiyyah Maroon

CEO, Polis Institute

Dr. Bahiyyah Maroon is President and Chief Data Officer at Polis Institute. Widely recognized for her contributions, Dr. Maroon is a recipient of the United States President’s Volunteer Service Award and has been a National Science Foundation Fellow.

Michael Lockwood

Principal, Populous

Michael Lockwood is the design director of Populous’ convention center practice. He’s delivered award-winning work in the heart of America (San Antonio’s $325-million convention center expansion and renovation) and the desert landscape of the Middle East (Qatar National Convention Centre)

Christopher Cabaldon

Mayor, Vice-Chancellor, Professor, Entrepreneur

Christopher Cabaldon served as mayor of West Sacramento for over two decades, making him the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history. He has been a featured speaker at the World Urban Forum, the New Cities Summit, the Innovation Growth Lab, and the Global Parliament of Mayors.

Jonny Klokk

Partner, Mad Arkitekter

Jonny Klokk is a partner at the Norwegian architecture company, Mad Arkitekter. He has extensive experience with complex buildings projects and urbanism of different scales. He has played an active role in the development of the Woho-project, as the responsible partner for the architects.

Robyn Marquis

Program Lead, New York Clean Transportation Prizes

Dr. Robyn Marquis currently leads the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program, which will support electrifying transportation, reducing air pollution, and enhancing clean mobility in underserved communities in NYS. Robyn also oversees NYSERDA’s mobility management investment strategy.

Derek Gagne

Principal, EDSA, Inc.

Derek B. Gagne is a Principal at EDSA. Fueled by his global awareness and personal travels, Derek is inspired by the understanding and application of movement, space, and context. Derek manages the day-to-day operations of the New York studio.

Dan Hill

Director of Strategic Design, Vinnova

Dan Hill is Director of Strategic Design at Vinnova, the Swedish government’s innovation agency. He has previously held design leadership roles at Arup Digital Studio, Future Cities Catapult, Fabrica, Sitra, and the BBC.

Rimma Boshernitsan

Executive Advisor, Founder & CEO, DIALOGUE

Rimma Boshernitsan is the Founder and CEO of DIALOGUE, a multi-disciplinary strategy advisory working at the intersection of people, technology, and society. Prior to DIALOGUE, Rimma was a strategic advisor to CEOs of businesses and Fortune 500 companies (Apple, Aesop, Lyft, Kraft Foods, and Chevron)

Alexandra Hagen

CEO, White Arkitekter

Alexandra Hagen is the CEO of White Arkitekter. An accomplished architect with long experience within the practice; she has held several roles, including director of White International. For the past seven years she has been managing director of White’s 90-person Malmö office.

Duleesha Kulasooriya

Executive Director, Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, Asia Pacific

Duleesha is the lead strategist for Deloitte’s Center for the Edge–a Silicon Valley-based management research institute exploring the edges of business and technology.

Dr. Sandhya Sriram

CEO and Founder, Shiok Meats

Dr. Sandhya Sriram is the CEO and co-founder of Shiok Meats Pte. Ltd., Singapore, the first cell-based seafood & meat company in Southeast Asia and the first cell-based Crustacean company globally. Shiok Meats has raised USD 20 Million in funding since its inception in 2018.

Steven Pedigo

Founding Executive Director, The LBJ School of Public Affairs

Steven is a professor of practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and the director of the LBJ Urban Lab. He is also director of research and advising for the Creative Class Group and VP, Economic Development, at Resonance Consultancy.

Jodie Lesh

Chief Transformation Office, Kaiser Permanente

Jodie Lesh leads Kaiser Permanente’s Office of Transformation. Jodie operates as a cross-functional orchestrator of complex, disruptive initiatives in support of the organization’s Shared Agenda, with the goal of creating more healthy years for members.

Mark Wee

Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council

Before becoming the Executive Director of DesignSingapore, Mark Wee has had a fruitful career as the founder of ANNEXA / Architects, ONG&ONG’s Experience Design Studio as well as an educator moulding young minds in multiple private and public organizations.

Yemie Sonuga

Broadway Performer and Actor

Yemie Sonuga is a Nigerian, Canadian, and American singer, actor, model, and writer. Her worldwide stage performances have included Disney’s The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, The Original Cast and World Premiere of Ghost the Musical *Broadway Album, and The International Tour of Fame the Musical.

Sheryl Kaller

Broadway Director, Drama League Council

Sheryl Kaller is a Tony-nominated theatre director and sits on the New York Drama League Council. Some of her Broadway credits include Mothers and Sons and Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts. She also recently directed the world premieres of Billy Porter’s play WHILE I YET LIVE at Primary Stages.

Gabriel Stelian-Shanks

Artistic Director, The Drama League of New York

Gabriel Stelian-Shanks (he/him+) is an award-winning director, writer, producer and Artistic Director of The Drama League of New York. He has directed over sixty theatrical, film, and television projects across the globe and is the author of twenty-two plays, screenplays, and television projects.

Jana Perkovic

Editor, SPACE10

Jana Perković is an editor at SPACE10, Copenhagen-based research and design lab on a mission to create a better everyday life for people and the planet.

Abby Chen

Head of Contemporary Art, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Abby Chen is the Head of Contemporary Art and Senior Associate Curator at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Chen has overseen numerous exhibitions and installations that highlight the intersectionalities of race, sexuality, gender, nation, migration, and technology in both the USA and Asia.

Eric Willett

Managing Director of Strategic Consulting, RCLCO

Eric is Managing Director in RCLCO’s strategic planning and management consulting practice. At RCLCO, Eric works with a wide variety of market-leading firms throughout the real estate industry to craft and execute organizational strategy, portfolio transformation, and corporate growth initiatives.

Jeroen Beekmans

Managing Partner, Pop-Up City

Jeroen Beekmans is co-founder and managing partner of PUC, a creative agency for spatial development headquartered in Amsterdam. PUC works for governments on integrated strategic spatial challenges. On, the agency conducts public research on global trends and their impact on space.

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

Journalist, KCRW Berlin

Special correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is based in Berlin. Her reports can be heard on NPR’s award-winning programs and read at She won the ICFJ 2017 Excellence in International Reporting Award for her work in Central and Eastern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Vernon Everitt

Managing Director, Customers, Communication and Technology, Transport for London

Vernon is responsible for Transport for London’s customer, communication, technology/data and city planning strategies and their delivery, which put customers at the heart of the organisation’s operations.He is active in supporting greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Andrea Curtis

Executive Director, Vancouver Mural Fest

As Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Vancouver Mural Festival. VMF hosts two major annual festivals: the Vancouver Mural Festival, and VMF Winter Arts, which attract hundreds of thousands annually. She was recently recognized as one of Canada’s 250 Must-Know Event Professionals (BizBash April 2021)

Ryan Martin

Partner & General Counsel, LDR Growth Partners

Ryan Martin is Principal and Co-Founder at LDR Advisory Partners and Partner and General Counsel at LDR Growth Partners. In addition to corporate governance and legal management, Ryan focuses on strategy implementation, organizational design and management of portfolios and strategic initiatives.

Theresa Howland

Vice President, Sponsorship & Marketing, Calgary Stampede

Theresa joined the Stampede in 2013 and has held leadership roles in sponsorship, marketing and communications. She was appointed as Vice-President, Sponsorship, Marketing & Employee Services in 2018.

Niara Sterling

DJ, Event Producer, and Host

Niara Sterling is a multifaceted artist who is known as a DJ and Music Supervisor. Originally from Springfield, Virginia, she began her music career in 2016. quickly realizing that music is one of her passions, Niara relocated her career from Washington D.C. to Brooklyn, New York.

Lutz Leichsenring

Executive board member, Berlin Clubcommission.

Lutz Leichsenring is the co-founder of VibeLab, and one of the world’s leading authorities on protecting the nighttime economy, -community and -culture. Since 2009, Lutz has been the spokesman and executive board member for the Berlin Clubcommission.

Tony Travers

Director, LSE London

Tony Travers is director of LSE London, a research centre at the London School of Economics. He is also a professor in the LSE’s Government Department. His key research interests include public finance, local/ regional government and London government.

Marcus Westbury

Founder, Renew Australia

Marcus Westbury is a consultant, strategist, and writer working with cities, companies, communities and government at the intersection of cities, culture, place and creativity. Marcus founded the multi-award-winning Renew Newcastle and is the author of Creating Cities (Niche Press, 2015).

Georgia Gould

Chair of London Councils

Georgia Gould was elected a Councillor for Kentish Town ward for Camden Council in 2010. She became a Leader in 2017. Under her leadership, the Council held the country’s first Climate Emergency Citizens Assembly in 2019 to inform the response to our climate and ecological emergency.

Nella Brodett

Director of Investment & Partnerships, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII)

Nella Brodett is the Director of Investment & Partnerships at Amii. After earning her Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University, Nella began her career in the Toronto tech sector working with startups, the provincial government, health technology commercialization and AI.

Chris Michael

Commissioning Editor & Special Series, International desk, The Guardian

Chris Michael is an international news and series editor for The Guardian, and host of the Reverberate podcast.

Zrinka Bralo

CEO, Migrants Organise

Zrinka Bralo is Chief Executive of Migrants Organise – a community organising platform for migrants and refugees acting for justice. Zrinka is a refugee from Sarajevo (Bosnia), where she was a journalist working with leading war correspondents during the siege in the 90’s.

Erin Kearns

Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Erin M. Kearns is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice & the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology and Education (NCITE) Center of Excellence at the University of Nebraska. Her work has been featured on CNN, The Economist, the Washington Post, and Vox.

Gary Pooni

President, Pooni Group

Gary Pooni is the President of the Pooni Group, a Vancouver-based technical urban planning and communications company with over 30 years of experience navigating real estate development approvals.

Franca Brodett

Associate Director, Advancement at Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Franca Brodett is the Associate Director of Advancement for the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta. She is also an entrepreneur, owner of Emerge Career Consulting.

Tonya Gayle

Executive Director, Green City Force

Tonya Gayle is Executive Director of Green City Force (GCF) where she created and led GCF’s development team from July 2014 to September 2020. She is a board member of The Corps Network focused on national service, and Environmental Advocates of NY focused on environmental justice.

Clare Inkster

Global Strategic Planner, William Grant & Sons

Clare Inkster is the Global Strategic Partner for William Grant & Sons. She is an accomplished marketing professional and workplace wellbeing specialist with a fascination for human behaviour, neuroscience and change.

Kristine Schmidt

Former VP, Capital Children Organization in Billund

Kristine Schmidt was formerly responsible for City Brand Capital of Children (Billund, Denmark). She has driven the place brand towards a dual bottom line of global reach and social impact. Kristine built a partnership from zero to 18 organizations committed to developing Billund as the Capital of Children.

Jack Backen

Director, Property Economics and Research, Cistri

Jack Backen specialises in the economics behind property performance. With qualifications in economics, law and finance, Jack joined Urbis Australia in 2005 and focuses on projects in Asia.

Olufemi Babalola

CEO, Gracefield Island

Olufemi Babalola is the Chief Executive Officer at Gracefield Island, a new city development that plans and establishes appropriate corporate structure and network of consortia to initiate and deliver a new island city on the Lagos Lagoon, Lekki Central, Nigeria

Kat Hanna

Masterplan Strategist, Euston Project, Lendlease

Kat joined Lendlease in 2019 as masterplan strategist for the 60 acre Euston over-site development. Kat has authored a number of reports and articles on urban development in London and regularly appears as a commentator on urban affairs across a range of publications, media, and events.

Terry Wong

Co-Owner and Partner, Blood Bros. BBQ

Terry Wong is one of the three ‘Blood Brothers’ of the Houston famous Blood Bros. BBQ. The culturally diverse and fresh-minded restaurant has gained publicity from the New York Times, Houston Chronicle, and Bon Appetit.

Mara Mintzer

Executive Director, Growing Up Boulder

Mara Mintzer is the Executive Director & Co-Founder of Growing Up Boulder. She is a passionate advocate for child-friendly cities, Mara presents and writes internationally on the topic of engaging young people in inclusive community planning and development.

Paris Smith

Participant, Territory Chicago

Paris Smith has been a part of the Territory program for 3 years. She is currently a senior at Lane Tech High School. At school, she is the Editor-in-Chief of Lane’s yearbook, a member of Lane Tech Organization of Women member, a part of the Cradles 2 Crayons organization, and a writing center tutor.

Isobel Araujo

Program Director, Territory Chicago

Isobel Araujo is the Program Manager at Territory Chicago, a design-based creative youth development organization, providing skill-building programs in urban design for young people. They’ve completed pop-ups, proposals, and semi-permanent installations to reclaim public spaces in our communities.

Allison Arieff

Director of Communications, Replica

Allison Arieff is Director of Communications for the urban technology platform Replica. An American writer and editor, she was, most recently, Senior Editor of City Monitor – The New Statesman. She was previously editorial director for the urban planning and policy think tank, SPUR.

Monica Ramirez Hartmann

​​Director, CoCrea

Monica Ramirez Hartmann is the Director of CoCrea (National agency for the development of the Creative Economy, Colombia) In 2016 she was appointed by the Mayor of Bogota as Director of a Cultural Agency responsible for the revitalization of the city center through cultural programs

Katie Baron

Author and Director of Brand Engagement, Stylus

Katie Baron is a British writer, strategist and futurist. She’s the director of the Retail & Brand Communications and Pop Culture & Media divisions of global foresight business Stylus, a senior Forbes columnist and has authored two books on visual culture – Stylists: New Fashion Visionaries and Fashion & Music: Fashion Creatives Shaping Pop Culture.

Vivian Cheung

Executive Director, Airport Operations, Airport Authority Hong Kong

Vivian Cheung is the Executive Director, Airport Operations of Airport Authority Hong Kong. She leads the Airport Management Division to oversee airport operations and aviation development and works closely with the airport community to support the development of Hong Kong International Airport.

Jorick Beijer

Urbanist and Director, Blossity

Jorick Beijer is an urbanist and co-founder of Blossity. Blossity turns trends into tactics for pioneering corporates, consumer brands and city governments. Ongoing work includes the EMEA HQ for Nike, the Global HQ of Siemens Healthineers and Brainport Smart District.

Bryan Buggey

Director, Economic Transformation & Climate Action, Vancouver Economic Commission

Bryan is a senior executive with more than three decades of experience as a leader in entrepreneurship and economic development. In his role as Director, he leads teams in charge of projects and programs aimed at supporting the Vancouver business ecosystem’s transition towards a knowledge-based, low-carbon, circular economy.

Jerry Koh

Senior Program Director of Impact Coalitions, MaRS Discovery District

Jerry Koh is a leader in utilizing systemic innovation he is currently the Senior Program Director of Impact Coalitions at MaRS Discovery District, where he leads a team of experts in climate action, cleantech, inclusive smart cities and systemic innovation.

Mary Rowe

CEO, Canadian Urban Institute

Mary is a leading urban advocate and civil society leader who has worked in cities across Canada and the United States. Mary comes to CUI with several years of experience as an urban advocate and community leader, including serving as Executive Vice President of the Municipal Art Society of New York (MASNYC)

Rosanna Vitiello

Bureau Chief and Co-founder, The Place Bureau

Rosanna Vitiello is a creative director with unparalleled international experience in envisioning cultural landscapes, destinations and urban districts. Described as scriptwriters for place, The Place Bureau’s strategic insight and collaborative placemaking re-imagines new frontiers for city-making, working in the spaces where nature and culture come together.

Laura Capobianco

Senior Policy Advisor on Safe Public Spaces in the Ending Violence against Women and Girls Section, UN Women

Laura Capobianco is a Senior Policy Advisor on Safe Public Spaces in the Ending Violence against Women and Girls Section, UN Women. Since 2012, she has contributed to the
development of a Global Framework on Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces and an accompanying global package of tools which is helping to support action in over 50 Safe Cities/Safe Public Space free of Violence against Women and Girls integrated programmes, spanning 32 countries, and adapted to context.

Stacie Chan

Partnerships Lead, Google Assistant UK

Stacie Chan leads Google Assistant Partnerships in the UK, partnering with innovative companies and brands on mobile & voice experiments. Previously, Stacie lead Search & News Partnerships in Google Asia-Pacific. Before joining Google, she was a journalist in San Francisco, and an actress in Los Angeles.

Sarah M. Kaufman

Associate Director, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management

Sarah M. Kaufman is the Associate Director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, where she has researched and educated about cutting-edge technologies in transportation for nearly ten years. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Planning, teaching Intelligent Cities and Advanced Projects in Urban Planning.

Charles Reed Anderson

Asia's IoT, Smart Cities, PropTech & Connectivity Pragmatist

Charles Reed Anderson is one of Asia’s leading technology industry innovators and thought leaders. His in-depth knowledge of emerging technologies, combined with his understanding of the market demand, provides him with a unique ability to separate industry hype from reality.

Cheong Koon Hean

Chairman, Centre for Livable Cities, Singapore

Professor CHEONG Koon Hean is currently Chairman of the Centre for Liveable Cities (Ministry of National Development) as well as the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

Charles T. Brown

Founder and Principal, Equitable Cities

Charles T. Brown is the founder and principal of Equitable Cities, a minority- and veteran-owned urban planning, public policy and research firm focused at the intersection of transportation, health and equity. He is also an adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

Gabriella Gómez-Mont

Founder and Principal, Experimentalista

Gabriella Gómez-Mont is the founder and director of Experimentalista, a novel type of nomadic and creative office specialized in cities. She was also the former Chief Creative Officer of Mexico City, and the founder of Laboratorio para la Ciudad (2013 – 2018).

Mark Thomas

Managing Director, Serviceworks

Mark is an entrepreneur and smart cities expert. He leads Serviceworks which specialises in smart mobility, city digitisation and citizen technology opportunities. He is a regular international speaker and media commentator on these issues.

Kristina Lao


Kristina Lao (she/her) is an Artist-Advocate and Entertainment Consultant from Hong Kong. She has toured nationally, hosted and performed at local and international festivals, collaborated with award-winning producers and appeared in numerous network TV shows.

Deidrea Miller

Director, Brunswick Arts New York

Most recently, Deidrea served as NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Deputy Communications Director, overseeing strategy for 25 city agencies, including Cultural Affairs, Media and Entertainment, Parks, Tourism, and Economic Development.

Sarah Kirby-Yung

Councillor, City of Vancouver

City of Vancouver Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung believes people-focused public space and urban design support vibrant and connected cities. Previously elected to Vancouver Park Board serving as Chair. As a Councillor she’s championed restaurant patios, pop-up plazas and pedestrian promenades.

Nate Sabine

Senior Business Advisor, Blueprint

Nate’s background in marketing and culture lead to his current role of Senior Business Advisor at Blueprint. Dealing with government, partnerships, public relations, and sponsorship, Nate touches every one of Blueprint’s ventures. He sits on the boards of the DVBIA and Hospitality Vancouver Association.

Aftab Erfan

Chief Equity Officer, City of Vancouver

Aftab Erfan (she/her) is a long-standing scholar-practitioner in the field of inclusion and social justice,
currently serving as the City of Vancouver’s first Chief Equity Officer. She was educated as an
environmental scientist and urban planner. In 2013 Aftab completed a PhD in Community and Regional
Planning at UBC.

Francis Ghesquiere

Urban Practice Manager, The World Bank

Francis Ghesquiere is a Practice Manager at the World Bank East Asia and Pacific Region, where he is in charge of a $4.5 billion portfolio focused on urban development, risk and resilience, and land management. He is also coordinating the World Bank Climate Change Support team in that region.

Matthew Hickey

Architect, Designer and Assistant Professor, OCAD

Matthew is Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, practicing architecture at Two Row Architect for 15 years, he currently oversees design and development for the firm. Matthew is an Assistant Professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto

Chris Chong

CEO, Retail & Workspace, CapitaLand Investment

Mr Chris Chong is CEO, Retail & Workspace of CapitaLand Investment. He oversees CapitaLand Investment’s asset management and operations for Retail and Workspace in Singapore and Malaysia, including CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, Ascendas Reit, and CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust.

Adem Holness

Music Curator, Horniman Museum and Relationship Manager, Arts Council England

Adem Holness FRSA is a senior artistic programmer and cultural strategist, currently working as Music Curator at the Horniman Museum in South London and Relationship Manager at Arts Council England. Adem is a fellow of Clore Leadership and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Arsha Cazazian-Clement

Director, Global Real Estate, Shearman & Sterling

Arsha Cazazian is a seasoned real estate executive with over 2 decades of experience. In her current role as Director of Global Real Estate for Shearman & Sterling, LLP., she is responsible for the delivery and management of the partnership’s 1 million sq. ft global real estate portfolio spanning 23 offices across 5 continents.

Victoria Elizondo

Chef & Owner, Cochinita & Co.

Born in Mexico raised in Texas, Chef Victoria Elizondo has been slowly building a Mexican culinary empire. From pop-up tents to a now brick and mortar, food truck and a packaged food line, Elizondo and her team are planning to keep their brand growing while maintaining their focus on made from scratch, vibrant and innovative Mexican cuisine.

Ope Amosu

Blọk Captain, ChòpnBlọk

Growing up in Houston as a child of Nigerian immigrants, Chef Ope Amosu personifies the Afro-American crossroads. Ope created what has now become his nationally acclaimed food and beverage concept, ChòpnBlọk, the crossroads where local communities and West African culinary traditions converge.

Brett Willman

Gateway Production Integration Lead, NASA

Brett M. Willman is a Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) Program Integration Lead for the Gateway Program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is responsible for leading teams to integrate the combined Power Propulsion Element (PPE) and HALO into one SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch vehicle for launch.

Michelle Rucker

Engineer, NASA Johnson Space Center

Michelle currently leads a cross-agency human Mars Architecture Team (MAT), developing crewed Mars mission concepts. Michelle has served as a system engineer in the Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) Programs and on the Constellation Program’s Orion and Altair lunar lander test and verification teams.

Kennie Ting

Director, Asian Civilisations Museum

Kennie Ting is the Director of the Asian Civilisations Museum and the Peranakan Museum, and concurrently Group Director, Museums at the National Heritage Board (NHB) Singapore, overseeing national museums and festivals managed by the NHB.

Jack FitzGerald

Director for Smart Cities and Real Estate Tech, Hitachi

Jack leads Hitachi’s smart city and real estate technology strategy in APAC where he works with key landlords and governments on large-scale technology platforms. He was previously at Lendlease in Singapore where he worked across their major projects in retail and commercial, both as a Development Manager, and with responsibility for technology planning and delivery.

Dr. Sharmi Watkins

Assistant Director, Human Health and Performance Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center

Dr. Sharmi Watkins is the Assistant Director of the Human Health and Performance Directorate at the NASA Johnson Space Center. In her time at NASA, Sharmi has also served as a flight surgeon, lead scientist for Exploration Medical Capability, and medical subject matter expert the Commercial Crew Program.

Join Us

Join us in-person in New York.*

NYC Leadership Day
Early Bird, $545
  • Access to WRLDCTY Leadership Day at the Times Center on Oct. 26
  • Exclusive live content with the nation’s urban innovators
  • Leadership lunch at the Times Center
  • In-person networking opportunities with the who’s who of urban planning, real estate and technology
  • Access to WRLDCTY online

*All NYC Leadership Day attendees must show proof of vaccination and abide by local mask mandates

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Park Central Hotel
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