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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

La conversación sobre las ciudades en el XXX Future Trends Forum de la Fundación para la Innovaciión Bankinter

He tenido el placer de leer El año en que salvé a Einstein, una novela a medio camino entre el género policiaco, el histórico y la difusión científica. En esta novela, su autor, José de la Peña Aznar, pone el foco en uno de los congresos Solvay, al que asisten físicos eminentes en el periodo de entreguerras. Un congreso que supondrá un antes y un después en la disciplina de la física como ciencia. El libro es muy recomendable por lo bien tejida que está la trama, por un personaje principal muy creíble e interesante, y por lo que nos permite aprender de física a los que no nos movemos en esta disciplina.



Salvando las distancias, en los próximos días estoy en el Future Trends Fórum auspiciado por la Fundación Bankinter, donde tendré la ocasión de escuchar y debatir con personas eminentes sobre ciudades, tecnología y disrupción. En este caso no hay una dotación de policías portugueses con el encargo de proteger a un científico eminente, pero sin duda algunas de las sesiones serán intensas, como las descritas por José de la Peña Aznar en el congreso de física de Bruselas. Repasemos la lista de invitados.



Ciudades, tecnología y disrupción 

El XXX Future Trends Fórum tiene invitados de excepción, con Alberto Bernal, de Indra Smart Cities; con Charles Bolden de la NASA, especialista en tecnología aeronáutica, con una carrera militar previa en la marina de 34 años; con Manuel Cayre, que viene de Holanda fundador de la empresa Mobypark, que permite alquilar los espacios de parking cuando no están siendo usados por sus dueños; Kyle Corkum creador de Unión Point, que sostiene es una ciudad inteligente de bandera junto a Boston; Antonio Damasio, especialista en neurociencia; Hanna Damasio,  que es líder en neurociencia cognitiva; Natalia de Esteban-Ubeda que ha trabajado 10 años para la autoridad de transporte londinense; Jesús de la Quintana que lidera el área de soluciones urbanas para la consultora Tecnalia -coordina la iniciativa Medici, una potente alianza que busca anticipar nuevos paradigmas con tecnología que permita una mejora de la experiencia urbana.

Las áreas que se cubren van desde el emprendimiento al talento, la salud y la comunicación

John de Yonge, trabajando más de 19 años en tecnologías limpias, energía, innovación de capital y emprendimiento; James Fallow, periodista de The Atlantic; Gordon Feller, promotor de Meeting of the Minds, desde donde articula alianzas duraderas en torno a empresas corporativas de la talla de AT&T, Deloitte, Cubic,  Toyota, Ford, Volvo, Microsoft, PNC Bankinter, Well Faro... incluyendo fundaciones (Barrera,  Lincoln Instit.) y otros como UC Davis, National League pf cities, smithsonian, Case Western...); Bruno Fernández, co-fundador de Nexar; William Haseltine, presidente de Access Health International, experto en VIH y genoma humano; Jody Holtzman enfocado en productos y servicios para longevos para una economía global que se calcula alcanza 7.6 trillones de dólares americanos; Peter Hirshberg, Senior Fellow del USC Annenberg Center on Communication, Leadership and Policy, en la vanguardia de la innovación en Mass Media y tecnología emergente. 

Los expertos de la función pública también tienen un papel preponderante

Rick Jackobs ha trabajando como Vicepresidente Ejecutivo de la Alcaldía de Los Angeles, y ahora dirige Accelerator for America con el objeto de "conectar a las personas con trabajos que les llenen." Chris Johnson es un arquitecto laureado, especialista en planificación y director creativo de Gensler´s Middle East Región; Richard Kivel es director de un fondo de inversión, Grayvella, centrado en biotec, salud y tecnología en empresas europeas; El abogado Phillip Lader es presidente no ejecutivo del grupo WPP, un grupo de comunicación y publicidad que incluye a Ogilvy, Buson-Mrsteller, Young & Rubicam y asesor de Palantir Technologies, compañía de big data basada en Silicon Valley. Julia Li es fundadora de la empresa de educación HCD Learning, de Bridge+ y asesora china en MIT Media Lab; Chris Luebkeman, fundador de Foresight Innovation + Incubation team; Emilio Méndez es director del Centro de Nanomateriales (CFN) del Departamento de Energía del Laboratorio Brookhaven de los Estados Unidos, ha recibido el Príncipe de Asturias y el Fujitsu Quantum Device International Award por sus contribuciones científicas. Chim Nam Tan ha sido Secretario Permanente de Singapur, con 33 años de servicio público en áreas que incluyen el desarrollo en esta ciudad-Estado de las tecnologías de la información, economía, turismo, talento, Media, artes e industrias creativas.

Investigadores y CEOs disruptivos dialogando en las mismas mesas

Theresa Pardo es Directora del Centro para la Tecnología en el Gobierno y Profesora Investigadora en la Universidad de Albany; Marco Pedrazzo es un arquitecto centrado en innovación urbana; Jaime Rodríguez de Santiago- Concha es general manager de BlaBlaCar en Alemania, España y Portugal; John Rossant es fundador y presidente de The New Cities Foundation, con un interesante curriculum como corresponsal de prensa económica y como organizador de eventos de alto nivel, entre ellos, Davos. Anita Roth es directora de investigación sobre políticas públicas de Airbnb, y trabaja con alcaldías en Estados Unidos y Asia.

Un barrio eco-barrio co-diseñado

Tengo gran interés en conocer y escuchar a Victor Sáez, Director de tecnología de Barrio La Pinada, a dos Km. de Valencia. Y en este proyecto trata de aplicar tecnologías como IoT, Blockchain y Deep Learning... deseando conocer los detalles!; Jens Schulte-Bockum ha sido COO de Grupo MNT, operador de móviles en Africa y Oriente Medio. Eden Shochat es Partner en Aleph, un fondo que ayuda a empresas israelís a convertirse en grandes, escalables y globales.

No sin mujeres :-)

Paola Subacchi es otra de las personas que atienden las reuniones, senior fellow de Chatham House, es economista y escribe y es comentarista sobre el funcionamiento y la gobernanza del sistema monetario internacional. Khoo Teng Chye es director ejecutivo del Center for Liveable Cities del Ministerio de Desarrollo Nacional de Singapur. Stephen Trachtenberg es presidente emérito de George Washington University. Trachtenberg es autor de un libro publicado en abril de 2018: Leading Colleges and Universities, bajo el sello editorial de John Hopkins University Press. Nos acompañará también Wilfried Vanhonacker, co-fundador y ex-decano de CEIBS en Shanghái y MSM en Moscú.

Seguridad y protección de infraestructuras

Evan Wolfe tiene una gran experiencia en el área de protección de infraestructura y ciberseguridad, Chris Meyer es fundador de Monitor Talent y autor de Standing on the Sun, un libro reconocido entre los mejores de 2012 por Finantial Times que analiza cómo el capitalismo desplaza su centro de gravedad a economías de bajos ingresos, rápido crecimiento, con nativos digitales.

Esta es la lista, impresionante, de participantes. y no menos impresionante, la de facilitadores y personas de la organización del ·FTFCities, entre las que se incluyen a Juan Moreno Bau, Director Ejecutivo de la Fundación para la Innovación Bankinter, Marce Cancho, Manager del Future Trends Forum, y el equipo formado por Teresa Jiménez, Pablo Lancry, Raquel Puente, y Carmen Mojón.



Mis felicitaciones por haber sido capaces de preparar este impresionante programa y gracias por contar conmigo entre los invitados. Muchas gracias por invitarme. Espero que muchas de las ideas sean inspiradoras para las investigaciones aplicadas sobre ciudades que realizamos en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, y donde estamos cubriendo casos de Europa y Asia para aprender en perspectiva comparada.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

International conference on sustainability research and transformation, Leverage Points 2019

Professor Jens Newig from the Faculty of Sustainability and the Center for the Study of Democracy at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany is organizing the Leverage Points 2019 International conference on sustainability research and transformation, for February 6th-8th, 2019. Jens Newing´s work is available here.

For this conference Newig is inspired by the work of Donella Meadows’ “Leverage Points: Places to intervene in a system, and the conference will explore the deep leverage points that can lead to sustainability transformations.

The question of departure being: how do we transform ourselves, our science, our institutions, our interventions and our societies for a better future? One main conference theme will be on Re-structuring institutions for sustainability transformation.

"Institutional arrangements are deeply rooted structures that shape the rules of a system and, thus, have the power to advance systems change. Social structures, embedded in formal institutions (rules, regulations, and policies) enable, constrain, and guide human action, and thus shape sustainability transformations."

Whithin this theme, the potentials of systemic, institutional change as a leverage point for sustainability transformation will be explored, acknoledging that existing research often lacks a systems-oriented view, and pays only scare attention to processes of institutional failure and decline, and even less to potentially productive functions of such phenomena. This was actually the focus of the work I published on the regulaton of telecommunication [in Spanish] and further work that remains unpublished:
Telecomunicaciones y Política en Estados Unidos y España (1875-2002): Construyendo mercados.  Madrid: CIS/Siglo XXI, ISBN 84-7476-336-3. [Link for download]

Contributions are seek addressing this this gap and that (1) employ a perspective that goes beyond single institutions but take a complex-systems oriented lens; and (2) that pay close attention to phenomena of failure and decline of institutions and the extent to which these can serve as leverage points for sustainability.

This includes, but may not be limited to, issues and topics, such as:
- The role of institutions for sustainability transformations from various theoretical perspectives;
- Crises as triggers for adaptation towards sustainability
- Deliberate dismantling of unsustainable institutions
- The active management of declining institutions
- The identification and unlocking of path-dependency and system traps
- Analysis of institutional coherence, redundancies, and lacunae
- Perspectives on the interplay and integration between different institutions
- Democratic implications of transformation processes
 - Methodological challenges in analyzing and understanding institutional change. 

The conference is premised on three principles: 1) The importance of searching for places where interventions can lead to transformative change; 2) Open inquiry, exchange and co-learning across multiple theoretical, methodological and empirical research approaches; and 3) The need for reflection on modes of research and processes in sustainability research.

Abstracts with a maximum of 300 words should be submitted by 30 June 2018 via the conference website: http://leveragepoints2019.leuphana.de/call-for-abstracts/.
For more information please visit: http://leveragepoints2019.leuphana.de
If you have any specific enquiries about abstract submission please contact: Leveragepoints2019@leuphana.de



More info on my publication on leverage points and the role of institutions in socio political systems historically and from a comparative perspective follows...

Recent publications on cities and participation for download

I am pleased to share with you recent publications related to cities and more generally, participation, writen together with my team at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where the research of María Elicia excells. This research counts with the participation and co-direction of Iván Cantador from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
  • Defining the Engagement Cycle in e-participation. Proceedings of D.go’18, May 2018, Delft, The Netherlands. Cortés-Cediel, M. E., Gil, O., Cantador, I. 2018. ACM ISBN 123-4567-24-567/08/06. https://doi.org/10.475/123_4. Access to download
  • Engagement en ciudades inteligentes. Diseño de un marco de análisis teórico y aplicado para la participación ciudadana. Cortés-Cediel, M.E., Gil, O. 2018. Revista de Gestión y Análisis de las Políticas Públicas. Mayo. Access to download.
  • Citizen Participation and The Rise of Digital Media Platforms in Smart Governance and Smart Cities. International Journal for E-Planning Research.  Gil, O., Cortés-Cediel, M. E., Cantador, I. 2018. Indexed In: Web of Science Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), SCOPUS, INSPEC and 13 more indices. ISSN: 2160-9918|EISSN: 2160-9926. Accesible at IJERP. DOI: 10.4018/IJEPR.





Cities: XXX Future Trends Forum at Fundacion Bankinter

Cities is the focus of the XXX Future Trends Forum that Fundación para la Innovación Bankinter celebrates this year. The forum will allow to discuss about the many sides of technology and its relation with cities, and how this applies to the Spanish case. The discussions -l look forward to- will surely be very interesting.

These are some of the participants as for May 29th

Charles Bolden, Former Administrator of NASA. Bolden has overseen the safe transition from 30 years of space shuttle missions. USA
Kyle Corkum, Managing Partner and co-founder of LStar Ventures, leading development of the Union Point projecta 1,500 acre state-of-the-art smart city taking shape just outside Boston. USA
Antonio Damasio, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy at USC and Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute, USA
Natalia de Esteban, Consultant. Advisor to the European Commission on transport R&D and former Head of Innovation at Transport for London. UK
James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. USA
Gordon Feller, who led Cisco’s partnership with San Francisco and is the Founder of http://meetingoftheminds.org, focused on urban sustainability. USA
Olga Gil, Researcher in Smart Cities at University Complutense de Madrid. Spain
William Haseltine, a pioneer in DNA sequencing whose Foundation is developing models for distributed health care delivery. USA
Peter Hirhsberg, a Principal in the Maker City Project and Founder of the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. USA
Rick Jacobs,  CEO Accelerator for America. Accelerator’s mission to bridge the public and private sectors to connect people with fulfilling work. USA
Chris Johnson, Managing Principal at Gensler Middle East Region. An award-winning architect, he is the creative force behind a number of the firm’s landmark architectural and planning projects. UAE
Richard Kivel, Senior Manager: Bridgewater & Chairman Rhapsody Biologics. Focused on fast growth technology and healthcare related companies. USA
Philip Lader, Senior Adviser to Morgan Stanley. He is also a Senior Adviser to Palantir Technologies. USA
Emilio  MendezDirector, Energy Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA
Tan Chin Nam, Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Manpower; Chairman, National Computer Board; and Managing Director, Economic Development Board, Singapore
Eden Shochat, Equal Partner at Aleph, Finder of Needles in Haystacks. He is a serial entrepreneur and technology specialist. Israel
Jens Schulte-Bockum, Chief Operating Officer, MTN Telecom Group, South Africa
Stephen Trachtenberg, President Emeritus, George Washington University, USA
Wilfried Vanhonacker, Visiting Professor of Marketing, Ex-dean, CEIBS. He is recognized as an accomplished scholar, academic entrepreneur, pedagogical innovator. China
Evan Wolff, a Partner at Crowell and Moring leading their Cybersecurity group. USA
John de Yonge, Insights Director at Ernst & Young’s think tank EYQ, focused on innovation ecologies in second tier cities. USA

Thursday, 5 April 2018

III International Conference URBAN E-PLANNING: Mass online deliberation on urban issues. E-participation platforms


One year again I have joined the Conference organized at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, Portugal. This year it was jointly organized together with the emergent and very interesting International Journal of E-Planning Research. The international Conference was held in Lisbon, on 3 - 4 April 2018: III  International Conference URBAN E-PLANNING.

My presentation was on MASS ONLINE DELIBERATION ON URBAN ISSUES. E-PARTICIPATION PLATFORMS, THE CASE OF “DECIDE MADRID”


The programm of the conference is available here.
And here you have the powerpoints of a Conference that once again reaches top class discussions bringing together scholars and practitioners from four continents working in both English and French.


Monday, 19 March 2018

Smart Citizens, Shaping Future Cities #FTFCities _ XXX Future Trends Forum, under the aegis of Fundación para la Innovación Bankinter

This year I have the pleasure to participate under the aegis of Fundación Bankinter, in the XXX Future Trends Forum, focused on cities. Three people, Marce, Chistopher, and Juan Luis  among others, have been able to put together an impressive team of talented people making path-breaking contributions on cities: “Smart Citizens, Shaping Future Cities” that will be held on May 30th-June 1st, 2018, in Sintra, Portugal.

What is Future Trends Forum?

"El Future Trends Forum es el único think tank multidisciplinar e internacional focalizado en innovación. Formado por más de 400 expertos, el Future Trends Forum anticipa y detecta las tendencias de innovación, analizando su impacto en la sociedad y modelos de negocio...Todo el contenido generado por cada tendencia se publica en nuestra página web, y es difundido a través de las conferencias celebradas por todo el país, con el principal objetivo de anticiparnos al futuro y potenciar la innovación en nuestra sociedad."




These people will be among those enlightening the conversation in this year session on cities as for March 17th:

Gordon Feller, who led Cisco’s partnership with San Francisco and is the Founder of http://meetingoftheminds.org, focused on urban sustainability. USA
Peter Hirsberg, a Principal in the Maker City Project and Founder of the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. USA
Evan Wolff, a Partner at Crowell and Moring leading their Cybersecurity group. USA
William Haseltine, a pioneer in DNA sequencing whose Foundation is developing models for distributed health care delivery. USA
John de Yonge, Insights Director at Ernst & Young’s think tank EYQ, focused on innovation ecologies in second tier cities. USA
Natalia de Esteban, Head of Innovation at Transport for London, UK
Olga Gil, Researcher in Smart Cities at University Complutense de Madrid. Spain
Antonio Damasio*, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy at USC and Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute, USA
Tan Chin Nam*, Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Manpower; Chairman, National Computer Board; and Managing Director, Economic Development Board, Singapore
Jens Schulte-Bockham*, Chief Operating Officer, MTN Telecom Group, South Africa
Stephen Trachtenburg*, President Emeritus, George Washington University, USA
Charles Bolden*, Former Administrator of  NASA, USA


Previous to the elaboration programm we were able to hold a trasatlantic over-the-phone meeting where suggestions where shared regarding two questions: 1) experts and 2) general themes related to cities. I shared on this discussion and further messages my work on the regulation of data in cities and other levels of government at Facultad de Ciencias Políticas in Universidad Complutense. This work is concerned with power, ethics, governance, future trends and theoretical implications. I teach on this subject at UCM. Here you my find an intro.


This work crosses streams of research with other works carried out by members of the Smart Cities and Smart Government Research-Practice Consortium (SCSGRPC), of the Center for Technology in Government (University at Albany), directed by Theresa Pardo.


On the corporate side we will be able to learn and debate with people such as Mariola Pina, previous Head for Smart Cities at Hitachi, with actual expertise in Germany, Hawai, London, Manchester, and cities in Japan. I look forward to meet them all!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

A presentation for the global Consortium on Smart Cities at CTG, Albany University

I have volunteered to present myself -applied research and projects- at the quarterly meeting of the Smart Cities and Smart Government Research-Practice Consortium (SCSGRPC), the Center for Technology in Government (University at Albany). This is happening on Thursday, Feb the 8th (at 17h Madrid time)- when 27 members of the consortium have been called upon for the quarterly meeting. We will be working online. 

VIDEO recorded with the first part of my intervention [6 minutes] will be available here soon.

Prof. Olga Gil working at the Office of the Rectors,
IEJRP Lisbon Congress, 2017

Meghan Cook and Theresa Pardo asked me what I have learned from these hectic last six years in my return to Academia, and the two years joining the Consortium. I have learned mainly four things:

First of all, the Consortium gives me a sense of purpose and focus on a long term strategy for my research which is interesting. 

Second of all, I have been proactive contacting members of the Consortium when I need to work collaboratively. 99% of the members I contacted show commitment and help. For instance, I prepared a proposal for EU applied research funding of 10 million euros in 2016-2017.  In drafting this proposal and preparing the international network, members of the consortium where of outmost help and interest. Here I want to thank specially to Gboyega Odjo, who devoted a lot of time to this endaveour, and I feel specially in debt to, and also to Albert Meijer and Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolivar. There were more pleople from the consortium joining in the tight last stages, or through members´ recommendation. I want to thank you all of you for your commitment and kind help!!! 

Thirdly, I have learned that for newcomers as prospective leaders, EU projects need coachers with experience as previous leaders. Thus, a professor with this expertise is a rare jewel we should indeed treasure.

And lastly, I have learned that going hand in had with a strong university, as opposed to a weak one do make a difference in terms of credibility when asking for a big part of the pie in funds.

Now, the work I am doing in 2018

I work at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, at the School of Political and Social Sciences. This is public university and a big one, and we have over 4.500 students just in the social and political sciences school alone. The school is particularly strong on administration, theories and  public policy.

I am working on the regulation of data in cities and other levels of government and power, ethics, governance and theoretical implications. I teach on this subject at UCM. Here is the access to the Open Course Ware (in progress).

On research, publishing and advising postgraduate research I will present five highlights: 

  1.  I am publishing on platforms for the agregation of preferences in cities and countries in a comparative perspective. See one example in this PowerPoint:
  2.  I am a member of CITADEL H2020 Empowering Citizens to Transform European PubLic Administrations. H2020 Framework Program (under GA 726755 with 3,6 million euro, running from 1/9/2016 to 1/9/2020) directed by Daniel Diaz-Fuentes, from the University of Cantabria. This is a joint project with the innovation Basque firm Tecnalia as general coordinator. 
  3. I am further working on the analysis of platforms for e-participation together with a team of researchers in the informatics and mathematics school at UAM in Madrid. We focus on the analysis of data on platforms, and the use of recommender systems to make these platforms more useful to users. In particular, I study the governance and power implications of these platforms. These are recent works I am pleased to share with you: on e-governance, and on e-participation [enclosing this link soon].
  4. I am also working with two posdoc and doctoral students, advising on their thesis. We are preparing work to publish on New Chinese Cities, with Zheng Tian-Cheng, and on Participation in Smart Cities, with Elicia Cortés.
  5. From March 2016 to March 2017, I developed a join team to draft a proposal for the European Union H2020 Program. Even though I fail to get the 10 million funding from the Commission, I managed to unite 31 partners, including six cities European and two followers in Latin America (Cali) and China (Shangái). Together with the innovation firm Zabala, we presented a proposal entittled Co-Creating Green Node Networks in Neighborhoods for Urban Inclusion and Social Regeneration (SCC-02-2017). This proposal received a rating of 3.5 out of 5 from the European Commission evaluators. It has not been funded, but I have learned a lot through the process. This short proposal and comments from the EU evaluators are available for members of the consortium here if you are interested:
Previously, I had I published the book that I wrote in English (unpublished in English yet),
"How Cities Are Governed? Smart Cities” [Free downdload: http://tinyurl.com/smartcitiesUCM] The book covers the smart city plans of over eight cities in three different continents: the comparative cases of Shanghai, Iskandar, Cities in Japan, New York, Amsterdam, Malaga, Santander and Tarragona.

This book is based on the theoretical framework advanced by members of the consortium in 2011 to study and analyze smart cities (Chourabi et al, 2011). Chourabi´s work has been widely cited in Spanish afterwards.

A member of my research team, Julio Navío, from UNED University, had an offer to publish it in Spanish at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where he had presented the English version. One of my postgraduate students, Maider Perez de Heredia, translated the English manuscript to Spanish. The work for this research was funded by Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación and Accenture.  Part of the funds raised by Prof. Olga Gil for this research went to finance the budgets of the Department of Political Sciences at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (5%) and to FUAM (20%). Gil was a professor at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid from  2012 to 2015.

These funds from the private sector paid for all the trips and registrations to scientific congresses in the last four years. Olga Gil is very thankful for that!