Agenda Released: “CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges” in London, October 18-20

Speakers include London Mayor Boris Johnson, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis, three-term New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. and New York, NY (October 7, 2015)—Growing populations and shifting demographics; policing and violence reduction; big data’s role in city operations; street design and transportation; the role of cities in combatting climate change; the proliferation of the sharing economy. These issues—some of the most pressing cities around the world face today—are among the topics to be addressed when global mayors and their top staff, urban experts, and community and business leaders converge in less than two weeks for CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges.” The third-annual summit, Sunday-Tuesday, October 18-20 and presented by the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, will take place at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel with fieldtrips to various London locations in the midst of vibrant and substantial change. All mainstage programming will be streamed and archived.

For its third year, CityLab will host its largest gathering yet of mayors from across the world, including Accra, Athens (Greece), Austin, Bandung (Indonesia), Bologna, Bristol, Christchurch, Denver, Florence, Jerusalem, Kansas City, Lisbon, Nairobi, Pristina (Kosovo), Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Washington, D.C., and others. This year’s nearly 400 participants represent more than 100 cities and 50 countries.

The summit will open on Monday, October 19 at 9:00AM GMT with Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th Mayor of the City of New York, David Bradley, Atlantic Media Chairman and Owner, the Aspen Institute’s CEO & President Walter Isaacson, and London Mayor Boris Johnson. The morning will also focus on lessons to be learned from India’s rapid urbanization; later conversations will tackle government’s digital transformation and making data work for cities with such voices as Jo Bertram, Uber’s Regional General Manager for UK, Ireland & Nordics, Mike Bracken, Chief Digital Officer of Co-operative Group, Hillary Hartley, Deputy Executive Director of 18F, and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

Also on Monday afternoon, The Atlantic’s Editor in Chief and Co-President James Bennet will interview Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis. On Tuesday, October 20 at 12:20PM, those grappling with tensions between communities and law enforcement will talk about challenges and solutions, including Rob Beckley, COO of the College of Policing, and Philadelphia’s Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

The two-and-a-half day summit, which will include plenary discussions, working roundtables, and networking opportunities, will also feature site visits to transformative projects around the city of London: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; Kings Cross Redevelopment Area; Clapham Underground’s Zero Carbon Food; and Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

The current program agenda follows. Media interested in learning more or RSVPing to attend CityLab should respond directly to this email or contact The Atlantic’s Anna Bross (

The presenting level underwriters for CityLab are General Motors and JPMorgan Chase & Co. McKinsey & Company is a knowledge underwriter. Airbnb is a supporting level underwriter; and Bechtel and Waze are contributing level underwriters.

CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges  
Program Details and Agenda

(**Note: All programming is subject to change and will be held at the St. Pancras Renaissance, except where noted. All times denoted in GMT**)


9:00 AM-7:00 PM: Check-In and Registration

1:00 PM-5:00 PM: London’s Changing Skyline: A Thames River Perspective with Benedict O’Looney, Principal, Benedict O’Looney Architects (NOTE: pre-registration required)

6:00-8:00 PM: Welcome Reception



9:00 AM: Introductions and Conversation

  • Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, 108th Mayor of the City of New York
  • David Bradley, Chairman and Owner, Atlantic Media
  • Boris Johnson, Mayor, City of London
  • Walter Isaacson, CEO and President, The Aspen Institute

9:30 AM: India’s Urban Transformation

  • Sheela Patel, Director, Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC)
  • Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
  • Bimal Patel, President, CEPT University

10:25 AM: How to Keep Cities Moving

  • Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, City of London, United Kingdom

10:50 AM: Dot Gov: Government’s Digital Transformation

  • Mike Bracken, Chief Digital Officer, Co-operative Group
  • Hillary Hartley, Deputy Executive Director, 18F
  • Dominic Campbell, Founder and Director, FutureGov
  • Ron Huldai, Mayor, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Moderated by: Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at Large, The Atlantic

11:45 AM: LUNCH (Depart for Field Trips)

Field Trips:

  • Crossrail, 11:45 AM-4:30 PM
  • Clapham Underground, 11:45 AM-3:30 PM


Innovating Affordability: The Search for New Answers on Housing

  • Nigel Jacob, Housing Innovation Lab, City of Boston, Massachusetts
  • George McCarthy, President & Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
  • Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land & Property, Greater London Authority
  • Moderated by: Jennifer Bradley, Director, Center for Urban Innovation, The Aspen Institute

Innovate from the Inside: How Your Employees Can Improve Efficiency, Drive Creativity and Establish a Higher Standard of Public Service

  • Michael Hancock, Mayor, Denver, Colorado
  • Charlene Han, Deputy Director, Public Service Division, Singapore
  • Moderated by: Charles Leadbeater, Author, “The London Recipe”

It Takes a City: Engaging Citizens in Ways that Matter

  • Myung Lee, Executive Director, Cities of Service
  • Dan Jones, Director, Innovation Lab, Nesta

Vacancy to Vibrancy: Cultural Intervention to Transform Urban Areas

  • Tim Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Artscape
  • Rick Lowe, Founder, Project Row Houses
  • Justine Simons, Head of Culture, Mayor of London’s Office
  • Moderated by: Kate Levin, Principal, Bloomberg Associates

Beyond Cool: What Millennials Want from City Life

  • Molly Turner, Global Head of Civic Partnerships, Airbnb
  • Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Sonja Miokovic, Global Director & Co-Founder, YouthfulCities
  • Moderated by: Sommer Mathis, Editor, CityLab, The Atlantic

2:10-3:20 PM: Concurrent Breakout Sessions #2

Your City, Your Brand, Positioning a City to Residents, Visitors and Businesses

  • Hila Oren, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tel Aviv Global
  • Frans van der Avert, Chief Executive Officer, Amsterdam Marketing
  • Luiz Villar, Executive Director, CasaDigital
  • Moderated by: George Fertitta, Chief Executive Officer, Bloomberg Associates

What’s Mine is Yours: How to Build Trust in the Sharing Economy

  • Carleen Chou, Global Head of Business Development, Fon
  • Raghav Gupta, India Country Manager, BlaBlaCar
  • Moderated by: Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at Large, The Atlantic

Results You Can Count On: Using Data to Protect the Public Health

  • Brenna Berman, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Chicago, Illinois
  • Julie Rusk, Santa Monica Wellbeing Project, Santa Monica, California
  • Jonathan Shepherd, Professor of Surgery, Cardiff University
  • Arzu Tekir, Executive Director, World Resource Institute Sustainable Cities - EMBARQ, Turkey
  • Moderated by: Kelly Henning, Director, Public Health Programs, Bloomberg Philanthropies

In Data We Trust: How to Bring the Bureaucracy Along

  • Beth Blauer, Executive Director, Johns Hopkins University Center for Government Excellence
  • Martha Johnson, Consultant
  • Stephen Bediako, Founder and Managing Director of The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP)
  • Moderated by: Stephen Goldsmith, Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School


3:40 PM: Presentation by Ricky Burdett, Director, LSE Cities

3:50 PM: Interview  

  • Giorgos Kaminis, Mayor, Athens, Greece
  • Moderated by: James Bennet, Editor in Chief & President, The Atlantic

4:35 PM: The Nimble Metropolis: Making Data Work for Cities

  • Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, Nesta
  • Paige Fitzgerald, Connected Citizens Program Manager, Waze
  • Pedro Peracio, Chief Digital Officer, City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Jo Bertram, Regional General Manager - UK, Ireland & Nordics, Uber
  • Herman Narula, Chief Executive Officer, Improbable
  • Katherine Oliver, Principal, Bloomberg Associates

5:35 PM: Conclusion of Afternoon Programming  

7:00-9:00 PM: Evening Program at the Museum of London


8:00-8:45 AM: Breakfast Brainstorms

  • Catherine Bracy, Senior Director, Partnerships & Ecosystem, Code for America
  • DW Gibson, Freelance Writer
  • Megan Sheekey, Bloomberg Associates
  • Heather Ring, Founding Director, Wayward

Field Trips:

  • Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • King’s Cross Redevelopment, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM


9:00 AM: Morning Remarks

9:10 AM: Changing Streets, Changing the World

  • Jan Gehl, Founding Partner, Gehl Architects
  • Alfred Vanderpuije, Mayor of Accra, Ghana
  • Mochamad Ridwan Kamil, Mayor of Bandung, Indonesia
  • Moderated by: Janette Sadik-Khan, Principal, Bloomberg Associates; Former New York City Transportation Commissioner


Innovation Speed Dating: 50 Conversation to Transform the Way Cities Work

  • Rob Adams, Director, City Design & Projects, City of Melbourne, Austraila
  • Jesper Christiansen, Head of Research, Mindlab
  • John Falcicchio, Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Rose Gill Hearn, Principal, Bloomberg Associates
  • Helen Goulden, Executive Director, Nesta
  • Femke Haccou, Urban Innovation Officer, City of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Sascha Haselmayer, Chief Executive Officer, Citymart
  • Ben Hecht, President & Chief Executive Officer, Living Cities
  • Maria Logotheti, Head of Mayor’s Office, City of Athens, Greece
  • Juan Felipe Lopez Egana, Executive Director, Government Lab, Chile
  • Anant Maringanti, Director, Hyderabad Urban Lab
  • Chelsea Mauldin, Executive Director, Public Policy Lab
  • Nicole Pollock, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Providence, Rhode Island
  • Stephane Vincent, Director, La 27e Region
  • Solomon Kidane Zegeye, General Manager, Transport Programs Management Office
  • Katie Appel Duda, Government Innovation, Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Itai Eiges, i-Team Director, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Joan Dunlap, i-Team Director, Mobile, Alabama
  • Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, Greater London Authority
  • Camilla Buchanan, Policy Advisor, UK Cabinet Office

Creatives, Contingents, Contracts: Re-imagining the Future of Work

  • Bryan Boyer, Partner, Makeshift Society
  • Sly James, Mayor, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Wingham Rowan, Director, Beyond Jobs
  • Moderated by: Mary Louise Kelly, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic

Spin Doctors: Are Public Services Better Off in the Private Sector?

  • Andrea Biggs, Chief Executive, Balance
  • Jason De Bono, Head of Mutals Campaign, Commercial Models, Cabinet Office
  • Craig Dearden-Phillips, Managing Director and Founder, Stepping Out

11:20 AM: LUNCH


12:20 PM: Communities and the Police: Global Perspectives on Collaboration

  • Charles Ramsey, Commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department
  • Rob Beckley, Chief Operating Officer, College of Policing
  • Ronald Davis, Director, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), United States Department of Justice
  • Robson Rodrigues da Silva, Chief of Staff, Policia Militar do Estado do, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Moderated by: Mary Louise Kelly, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic

1:00 PM: Closing Session - To Be Announced

1:30 PM: Program Conclusion