Note for participants: please go to My Account to obtain the login link for the keynotes.

We are excited to announce keynotes by Jessica Seddon, former Director of Integrated Urban Strategy at the World Resource Institute, and Paul Zimmerman, Councillor for the Southern District in Hong Kong and CEO of Designing Hong Kong. The keynotes will be held on June 3rd, during the opening session, and on June 5th, before we start the last day.

Second Order Smart: Science and City Transformation

Keynote Jessica Seddon on June 3rd
Translating science into action can be challenging – knowing the contours of a problem, or the path to a solution is several steps away from an individual, let alone a broader social response to that knowledge. How can we reduce this lag between learning and doing? This is more than an academic question – it is an everyday practical challenge for cities working to deliver infrastructure, services, and sense of community to their residents in a fast changing social and environmental context. This talk will propose a new concept of city intelligence,  focusing on how science shapes social systems, including both actor knowledge and preferences but more importantly alter the range of relationships and institutional designs that are possible. It draws on insights from economics, sociology, and behavioural science to motivate a broad taxonomy of ways that science can create systemic impact, and illustrates these possibilities with examples from my and others’ experience in city and subnational change.

Jessica Seddon
Jessica Seddon

Visiting Research Fellow, Princeton Environmental Institute and M.S. Chadha Center for Global India under PIIRS

Jessica has worked as a researcher, strategist, and leader on institutional design initiatives for more than two decades in the United States, Latin America, and South Asia.  Her work focuses on the interaction between technology change and institutional environments to identify and seize new opportunities for solving complex social challenges. She is particularly interested in ways in which innovations in how we detect and process information shape the risks and opportunities for responding to environmental change.  Jessica was most recently Director of Integrated Urban Strategy at World Resources Institute (WRI), where she continues to serve as Global Lead for WRI’s air quality work. Prior to joining WRI, she founded and led Okapi, an institutional design and strategy consultancy incubated by IIT Madras. Jessica earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and her B.A. from Harvard University.

Keynote Paul Zimmerman on June 4th

Jessica Seddon
Paul Zimmerman

CEO of Designing Hong Kong

Paul Zimmerman is CEO of Designing Hong Kong, an elected District Councillor representing the Pokfulam constituency, and a board member of Civic Exchange, Professional Commons, Hong Kong Democratic Foundation, and the Patient Care Foundation. His Hong Kong Government advisory functions include the Harbourfront Commission. Paul has a Masters in Social Science (Economics) from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and a Masters of Arts (Transport Policy and Planning) from The University of Hong Kong. He arrived in Hong Kong in 1984 and became a Chinese citizen in 2012.

Current campaigns of Designing Hong Kong:
1. Waste Reduction (beverage packaging, food containers)
2. Conservation (reduce and reverse loss of country parks, wetlands, and areas reserved for agriculture, green belt and other conservation uses)
3. Sustainable Urban Development (master planning, land supply, urban renewal/over development, harbourfront, infrastructure)
4. Liveable City (walkability, harbourfront, public space)