Value of CIOs to Soar in Smart Cities Movement

"The city as a platform" is key theme of WORLD FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT

TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2015 /CNW/ - The "smart cities" movement – where civic governments transform themselves to meet the new challenges they face – is a jumping-board for CIOs into organizational boardrooms, according to Bill Hutchison, Chair of i-CANADA and head of the WORLD FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT. 

"There are very few more important jobs in creating a successful Smart City than having CIOs onboard at both corporate and civic levels --  CIOs who have a deep understanding of the complex issues involved," said Mr. Hutchison.  "We are facing a transition from looking at the city as a source of problems, to dealing with the city as an Open Data fountain of solutions.  In this new environment, where the mayor, the city council, civic staff and the public interact to make decisions, the key player in 'doing it right' is the CIO.  CIOs will be more valued than ever in the new era of the Smart City."

The WORLD FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT is a gathering of seven international conferences in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on October 14-15.  It features an event of interest to CIOs: the Canadian i-Performance Awards (CiPA), where municipally-related applications are given 'gold medals' for best practice. 

"The SUMMIT will give CIOs a one-stop picture of the global practices for Smart Cities," added Mr. Hutchison.

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Speakers include:

Steven Adler, Chief Information Strategist for IBM, who will speak specifically about the 'City As A Platform';

Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD Univeristy, whose panel will address 'The City As Data';

CIO speakers including the CIO for the City of Toronto, Rob Meikle, and the Deputy CIO for the City of Toronto, Lan Nguyen;

The head of the European Commission for Policy Coordination, David Mair;

William Wallace, Executive Director of US IGNITE, the organization sparked by President Obama which is working on the development  of new apps in 200 communities, with profound impact on how Americans work, live, learn and play;

A panel on Innovation, Chaired by Invest Ottawa President Bruce Lazenby, with a view on how CIOs can help spur the engine of the Smart Community;

A session on Rural Communities and how to create "best in class" solutions without enormous resources;

A panel chaired by Bryon Holland, the President of the Canadian Internet Registry (CIRA)  -  responsible for the".ca" domain name – on how networks and systems are "the new oil" in our economy;

Pat Horgan, IBM VP of Manufacturing and Operations, will head a panel on Smart Government: Improving the Lives of Citizens;

A Technicity Forum chaired by IT World President and Group Publisher Fawn Annan, on how women leaders could form a new platform of linkages;

Other panels on Healthcare and Education.

Further technical sessions will deal with 5G networks, Mobile Services, Smart Grids, Sustainable Technologies, Big Data, and Smart Wearable Devices.

Hutchison said this is being done for CIOs and others because "Smart Cities are at the core of our competitiveness and social progress:"

  • "Smart Cities" rule the world today: urban areas generate 80% of all economic activity and 85% of all innovation. 
  • Cities designated as "Smart" have universally achieved higher rates of economic growth, better sustainability and higher environmental scores.
  • New global Smart Cities are challenging today's order  --  India alone is creating 100 new Smart Cities  --  and unless we transform with equal vigor our competitiveness will plunge even faster than it is doing today.
  • A Smart City is one that is founded on "People Data"  -  data that people collect and share publicly to empower communities and solve problems. 
  • Smart Cities depend on new applications that transform healthcare, education, safety, energy efficiency, and attract businesses. 

The WORLD FUTURE CITIES SUMMIT on October 14-15 will feature 175 global experts in seven international conferences under one roof, speaking to these issues.  It is the most powerful event on Smart Cities to be held in Canada. 

More information can be found at:

SOURCE World Future Cities Summit

For further information: Andrea Berry, StrategicAmpersand Inc. (for World Futures Cities Summit and CiPA), 416-961-5595 x428,; Barry Gander,

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