Seventh Meeting of United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC), Virtual, 20 June 2023


As part of the United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) Initiative, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and UN-HABITAT, organized the Seventh meeting of the U4SSC Initiative that took place virtually on 20 June 2023, 0930 – 1610 hours CEST.

The United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) initiative is a UN initiative supported by 19 UN agencies and programmes to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” The U4SSC serves as the global platform to accelerate digital transformation in cities and communities.

The main objectives of the meeting were to:

  • Provide an update on the work of the U4SSC Thematic Groups;
  • Present the latest U4SSC publications;
  • Present the latest U4SSC KPIs Implementation worldwide;
  • Present the activities of the U4SSC Hub;
  • Approve the appointment of the new U4SSC Management Team;
  • Discuss new U4SSC activities and approve the U4SSC Annual Work Plan (2023-2024).

Latest U4SSC deliverables can be found HERE.

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Co-organized by:

Hosted by:

Related Information:

Invitation Letter

Outcome document ​

Date: 20 June 2023, 9:30 – 15:30 hours CEST

Venue: Fully Virtual

Contact: Cristina Bueti


9:30 – 9:45

Opening R​emarks

  • Seizo Onoe, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau and elected official of ITU
  • Paola Deda, Director, Forests, Land and Housing Division, UNECE
  • Edlam Abera Yemeru, Director of Knowledge and Innovation, UN-HABITAT

9:45 -10:00

Session 1: Appointment of U4SSC Chairman, U4SSC Vice-chairman and leaders of the thematic groups



  • Okan Geray, Chairman, U4SSC
  • Ramy Ahmed Fathy, Vice Chairman, U4SSC
  • Wendy Teresa Goico Campagna,Vice Chairman, U4SSC

10:00 – 10:30

Session 2: Update on the work of the U4SSC thematic groups


  • Pontus Westerberg, UN-Habitat and U4SSC Secretariat


  • Ramon Ferri, Co-leader of the Thematic Group on City Platforms [Presentation]
  • Okan Geray, Leader of the Thematic Group on artificial intelligence in cities [Presentation]
  • Warren Smith, Co-leader of the Thematic Group on Procurement for Smart Sustainable Cities [Presentation]
  • Bettina Tratz-Ryan, Co-Leader of Working Group 2 of the Thematic Group on Enabling People-Centred Cities through Digital Transformation [Presentation]

Questions & Ans​wers​

10:30 – 10:45

Session 3: U4SSC Country Hub


  • Paolo Gemma, Vice Chairman of the U4SSC


  • H.E. Ms. Karoline Edtstadler, Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution, Austria [Video]
  • Barbara Kolm, Chairman of the U4SSC Austrian Country Hub [Presentation]

Questions & Ans​wers​

10:45 – 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00 – 11:30

Session 4: U4SSC KPIs implementation in cities



  • Bekkul Dzhekshenkulov, Head of International Cooperation and Protocol Department, Bishkek City Municipality, Kyrgyzstan
  • Vakhtang Lomjaria, City government of Tbilisi, Georgia

Questions & Ans​wers

11:30 – 13:00

Session 5: U4SSC deliverables


  • Giampiero Bambagioni, U4SSC Vice-chairman


  • Leonidas Anthopoulos, Leader of Working Group 4 of the Thematic Group on Enabling People-Centred Cities through Digital Transformation –U4SSC deliverable on Guidelines for Unlocking Net Zero in Cities Through Sustainable Digital Transformation​” [Presentation]
  • Michael Mulquin, Co-leader of Working Group 3 of the Thematic Group on City Platforms – “U4SSC deliverable on Redefining smart city platforms: Setting the stage for Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms” [Presentation]
  • Ramon Ferri, Co-leader of the Thematic Group on City Platforms – “U4SSC deliverable on Smart tourism: A path to more secure and resilient destinations “ [Presentation]
  • Gulnara Roll, Leader of the Thematic Group on Innovative Financing Instruments for Smart Sustainable Cities – “U4SSC deliverable on Compendium of practices on innovative financing for smart sustainable cities projects” [Presentation]
  • John K Davies, Co-leader of the Thematic Group on Procurement for Smart Sustainable Cities – “U4SSC deliverable on Procurement Guidelines for Smart Sustainable Cities” [Presentation]
  • Ernesto Faubel-Cubells, Co-leader of the Thematic Group on City Platforms –“U4SSC deliverable on Reference framework for integrated management of an SSC” [Presentation]

Questions & Ans​wers​

13:00 – 13:30

Lunch Break

13:30 – 14:00

Session 6: U4SSC Management Team and Annual Work Plan 2023-2024


Questions & Ans​wers​

14:00 – 15:00

Session 7: U4SSC KPIs implementation in cities


  • Paolo Gemma, Vice Chairman of the U4SSC


  • H.E. Mr Kenneth Ofori-Atta, Minister, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Ghana
  • H.E. Mr. José David Montilla, Vice Minister, Digital Agenda, Ministry of Presidency, Dominican Republic
  • John Smiciklas, Verifier, U4SSC [Presentation]
  • Alexandre Bosshard, City of Pully, Switzerland [Presentation]
  • Mary Owusu, Executive Director, Smart Sustainable Cities and Historical Heritage Secretariat, Ghana [Presentation]

Questions & Ans​wers​

15:00 – 15:15


  • Vinod Kumar, Treasurer, Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF) [Presentation]

15:15 – 15:30

Closing R​emarks

  • Okan Geray, Chairman of the U4SSC


Leonidas Anthopoulos
Leader of Working Group 6 of the Thematic Group on City Platforms, Leader of Working Group 4 of the Thematic Group on Enabling People-Centred Cities through Digital Transformation

Dr. Leonidas Anthopoulos is a Professor in e-business and strategy at the University of Thessaly, Greece. During his current mission and at his previous job positions (as an Expert Counselor at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a Special Advisor of the Mayor of Trikala, Greece and as an ICT project manager at the Information Society S.A. (Greece)) he planned and supervised several critical projects, worth mentioning the smart city of Trikala. He is the Director of the “Intelligent Production Systems and Smart Cities” Research Institute and the Director of the Postgraduate Program in Agile Management at the University of Thessaly, Greece. He is a member of numerous committees, worth mentioning working for the ITU (Rapporteur of Q13 of the SG5), he is the head of the Smart and Sustainable cities’ working group for the Greek Standards, the Associate Editor of the IET Smart Cities journal etc. In the above missions he has focused among others on the role of ICT in city resilience in terms of systemic efficiency and social coherence, and corresponding works have been developed for the smart city of Trikala and the International Telecommunications Union. He is the author and editor of several book collections, which can be found in Cities, Sustainable Cities and Society, Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Government Information Quarterly (ElSevier), ACM Computing Surveys monograph for Springer etc. His research interests concern, among others, smart city, e-Government, Enterprise Architecture, Strategic Management, etc.

Giampiero Bambagioni​
Vice Chairman of the U4SSC

Giampiero Bambagioni is the Head of Scientific and International Activities of Tecnoborsa (Rome), an institutional Organization for the regulation and development of markets; Professor in charge of Economic evaluation of projects at the Faculty of Architecture of the Sapienza University of Rome, and Lecturer of Real Estate Finance in the Master Polis-Maker of the Politecnico di Milano University. Expert in Sustainable Lending connected with Evinronmental Social and Governance (ESG) Risks, and in Valuation of assets as collateral for bank loans and mortgages (including Non-performing Loans), areas in which he has published studies and books, among which the “Sostenibilità del valore nel finanziamento immobiliare” (i.e. Sustainability of Value in Property Financing). Giampiero deals with sustainable urban development and PPPs areas in which he is advisor for organizations, cities and local authorities. IVSC Europe Board Member (the International Valuation Standards Council is the global standard setter for property and business valuation), London. He was appointed Vice-Chair of the UNECE Committee on Urban Development Housing and Land Management.​

Alexandre Bosshard
City of Pully, Switzerland

Alexandre Bosshard is a member of the board of the Department for Industrial services and Technical Office of the City of Pully. Coordinator of this department and passionate about the projects that make the link between human and technical aspects, he has piloted several smart city projects in the fields of big data, mobility, e-government and open source in cooperation with industry (Swisscom), academia (EPFL), international organizations (ITU)  and other cities. He holds a master degree in engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), a postgraduate in applied psychology SNLP and a certificate in public administration management from the University of Lausanne. Alexandre  leads the implementation in the City of Pully of the U4SSC initiative developed by ITU and UNECE.

Cristina Bueti​​
ITU and U4SSC Secretariat

Cristina Bueti is the ITU Focal Point on Smart Sustainable Cities. She is also the Counsellor of ITU-T Study Group 20 “Internet of things (IoT) and smart cities and communities (SC&C)” and the Counsellor of the Focus Group on metaverse at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She also serves as TSB/ITU focal point for Latin America. Cristina Bueti graduated from the Faculty of Political Science, Law and International Cooperation and Development of the University of Florence, where she completed postgraduate studies in International Cooperation and Telecommunications Law in Europe. She ​also holds a specialization in Environmental Law with a special focus on Telecommunications. In 2003, Ms. Bueti built on her academic credentials by completing a specialized course in peace keeping and international cooperation with special focus on telecommunications at the Faculty of Laws, University of Malta, before joining the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva in January 2004. As part of the International Women’s Day 2016, she was named as one of the twenty Geneva-based inspirational women working to protect the environment. She has authored over 40 reports on telecommunication issues. A native Italian speaker, Cristina is also fluent in English, French and Spanish.​​​

Wendy Teresa Goico Campagna
Vice Chairman, U4SSC

Architect. Career Diplomat. A determined, committed, and goal-oriented professional whose primary objective is to put her knowledge into practice, ensuring that everything functions with the highest professional standards possible. Her competencies include public relations, strategic planning, project management, adaptability, teamwork, multicultural environments, customer service, responsibility, and perseverance, among others. Wendy Teresa Goico Campagna is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in multiple languages: English, French, and Italian. With over twenty-five (25) years of service to the Dominican State, Wendy Teresa Goico Campagna holds the position of Counsellor (Economic and Cooperation Affairs) at the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations (UN) and other International Organizations based in Geneva, Switzerland, and serves as the focal point of the Permanent Mission to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Since March 2023, Wendy Teresa Goico Campagna has assumed the responsibility, on behalf of the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic, for coordinating the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) within the ITU. From July 2022 to July 2023 has been appointed to serve as a Member to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Pension Plan management Board elected by the General Council, decision of 26 July, 2022. From July 2021 to November 2022, she served as Counsellor (Economic and Commercial Affairs) at the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
From July 2014 to July 2021, she served as Counsellor, in charge of the Trade, Investment, and Tourism Section and Trade Representative of ProDominicana (CEI-RD) at the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Canada. She dedicated her efforts to increasing and strengthening the existing relations between the Dominican Republic and Canada in an integrated manner, by promoting exports and attracting foreign direct investment to the country. She developed a new trade and investment strategy while enhancing the profile of the Dominican Republic, ultimately raising its image. From October 2017 to August 2021, she has been an active member of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) – Ottawa Chapter, and since 2019, she continuing her role as Honorary and Founding Member of OWIT-Dominican Republic Chapter. In 2007, she was appointed as Counsellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic (MIREX). In the same year, she became the Honorary Representative (by decree) of the Center for Export and Investment of the Dominican Republic (now Pro-Dominicana). From 2007 to 2014, she served as Counsellor for Commercial and Economic Affairs at the Embassy of the Dominican Republic to the Kingdom of Belgium, concurrent embassy to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, and the Republic of Poland, as well as the Mission to the European Union. During her tenure, she was responsible for bilateral investment and export promotion, tourism promotion, foreign investment, and the export of national products. Notable achievements include supporting the placement of Dominican products in the Brussels market, organizing multiple trade missions, and reactivating the Belgian-Luxembourg-Dominican Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where she served as Honorary Vice President for a period of two (2) years. In 1996, she embarked on her civil service career in the Dominican State, initially serving as an Architect at the Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC) from 1996 to 2007. During this period, she held two noteworthy positions: Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Control, Maintenance, and Supervision of National Tolls, and Deputy Director of Buildings, where she oversaw government construction projects.
Wendy Teresa Goico Campagna completed her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) in 1998. She further pursued her education and obtained a Master’s Degree in International Trade from the Institute of Education, Administration, and Development (ISEAD), accredited by the Complutense University of Madrid (2009-2010). Additionally, she has actively engaged in various trade promotion courses to enhance her expertise in the field.

John K Davies
Strategy 4 Technology Limited; Co-leader of the Thematic Group on Procurement Guidelines for Smart Sustainable Cities

John is an internationally driven, senior executive with experience that extends to strategic and operational roles within governments and business, large and small. Representing the UK Government internationally, the work has involved digital transformation programmes, procurement reform, trade and investment and government affairs. This includes successful leadership of multi-million pound international programme delivering innovative digital projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand.
Smart and Sustainable Cities – John has built and developed highly effective international relationships with overseas governments, multilateral NGOs and international businesses, including OECD, ITU, UN Agencies and The World Bank, with a focus on smart and sustainable cities gaining an understanding of international standards (ISO37106) and how to align to local requirements. John has worked extensively over his career helping technology start-ups and has a passion for the environment with a focus on ESG and Smart Cities working closely with the UN and its Sustainable Development Goals.

H.E. Ms. Karoline Edtstadler
Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution, Austria

In January 2020, Karoline Edtstadler was sworn in as Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution at the Federal Chancellery by President Alexander Van der Bellen.
Karoline Edtstadler was born in Salzburg on 28 March 1981. From 1999 to 2004 she studied law at the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, graduating with a Mag. jur.
She was a judge at Salzburg Regional Court from 2008 to 2011 and was seconded to the Federal Ministry of Justice from 2011 to 2014. Subsequently, Karoline Edtstadler worked as an adviser in the cabinet of the Federal Minister for Justice, Wolfgang Brandstetter, until 2016. In 2016 she was posted to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg as a legal expert (2016 to 2017). From 2017 to May 2019, she was secretary of state at the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Chancellor Kurz’s first government. Edtstadler was then a Member of the European Parliament and Head of Delegation of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) from July 2019 to January 2020. Karoline Edtstadler was initially appointed Chancellery Minister without Portfolio on 7 January 2020. She has been Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution at the Federal Chancellery since 29 January 2020. Since 2018, Karoline Edtstadler has been Vice-President of SPORTUNION Österreich and has been involved with the Austrian Workers’ and Employees’ Association (ÖAAB) in an honorary capacity. She has also served as a liaison officer for Equal Treatment Officers, first at Salzburg Regional Court and later at the Federal Ministry of Justice, and is a former member of the board of the Association of Austrian Judges’ expert group on fundamental rights.

Ramy Ahmed Fathy
Vice chairman, U4SSC

Dr. Ramy Ahmed Fathy is a senior executive, with 20+ years of technology and regulatory experience in ICT, leading largescale digital initiatives that span digital technology, and policy spaces. He serves on the board of several government institutions overseeing large-scale projects in the ICT and aerospace sectors, bringing his cross-vertical expertise in the teleco/digital domains.
In his capacity as Sector Head of Strategic Planning at the Egyptian Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), Fathy is spearheading teams tackling core regulatory functions including strategy and market development, market analysis, economic analysis, cost-benefit analysis for rule makings, regulatory impact assessment, standardization and technical aspects, international policies, cooperation and partnerships, research & development, and Industry 4.0 planning. Over the span of his career, Fathy has overseen the development and implementation of large-scale projects with multiple stakeholders in areas like smart cities, smart mobility solutions and intelligent transportation systems, augmented and virtual reality, digital agriculture, smart water management, aerospace, energy metering and distribution, robotics, embedded systems, IoT, 5G, and AI. He has done advisory work on advanced ICT/Digital solutions design and standards-based implementations with an emphasis on security, interoperability, and integration. In addition to his responsibilities in overseeing a diverse portfolio of projects in multiple vertical sectors, Fathy is leading a team that is promoting investments in the ICT sector to further diversify Egypt’s ICT economy, exploring opportunities for vibrant industrial, research and commercial clusters and addressing their market entry barriers. He is sealing partnerships with world-class global organisations to explore synergies and mutual collaboration opportunities. Fathy tackles techno-policy and standardization issues in international telecommunications through his engagements in mutiple industry and global telecommunications development platforms including the ITU, the IEEE, the World Bank, and OECD, among others, advocating governance, economic sustainability, interoperability, systems resilience and scalability.
He is currently serving in the ITU Council in addition to being the Vice-Chair of the Independent Management Advisory Committee (IMAC) Selection Committee. The purpose of the IMAC, as a subsidiary body of the ITU Council, is to serve in an expert advisory capacity and assists the Council and the Secretary-General in fulfilling their governance responsibilities, including ensuring the effectiveness of ITU’s internal control systems, risk management and governance processes. Fathy has been serving as Vice Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 20 (SG20) for the past 8 years, leading international standardization efforts on IoT and its applications including smart cities and communities. In March 2022, he played a key role in the establishment of an ITU/FAO Focus Group on “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) for Digital Agriculture” (FG-AI4A). As co-Chair of the group, he has been leading along with an international team of experts, the research on the use of emerging technologies including AI and IoT, to support optimized agricultural production and management processes.
Furthermore, Fathy currently serves as the Chairman of Regional Group Africa of ITU-T Study Group 20 (SG20RG-AFR), whereby he is driving the standardization and smart city development efforts within the African context. Moreover, he has joined the IEC-ISO-ITU Joint Smart Cities Task Force (J-SCTF) as an expert member, focusing on international harmonization and collaboration efforts to develop implementable smart cities standards that have an utmost impact of achieving the SDGs in cities and communities. Additionally, he is currently serving as board member in the IEEE Standards Association Standardization Board (SASB) as well as a member in two of its standing committees, the New Standards Committee (NesCom) and the Procedures Committee (ProCom)

Ernesto Faubel-Cubells
Head of Smart City Office in the Municipality of Valencia, MAtchUP Project Coordinator.

Computer Engineer/Master in CAD/CAM/CIM by Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (UPV). Diploma in ‘Advanced Course in Local Government Management’. Diploma of University Expert in e-education by UPV.
IT Project Leader Analyst in the Municipality of Valencia since 1994, holding different levels of responsibility. Currently, Head of Smart City Office, since September 2022. Since December 2017, I am the Project Coordinator of MAtchUP European SSC-01 project and from January 2023, the Coordinator of the South supernode of (TEF project for Artificial Intelligence). Representative of the City of Valencia in different international networks/initiatives (Scalable Cities,, U4SCC).
Part-time teacher at UPV, from 1996 to 2019.
CISA, ITIL and PRINCE2 Certifications.
Certified in English (C1), French (A2), German (A2) and Valencian (C1).
Vicepresident of the Professional Board of Computer Engineers in Valencian Region

Ramón Ferri
Segittur; Leader of the Thematic Group on City Platforms

Ramón Ferri is director of institutional relations of SEGITTUR, a state company dependent on the Secretary of State for Tourism of the Government of Spain. He is responsible for the intelligent destination platform. He holds a degree in Computer Science and a master’s degree in project management from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). He also studied the advanced course of “Local Public Management” at the INAP. He was an ICT project engineer at the ETRA R&D company, being project coordinator in the framework programs III, IV and V of the European Union. Since 2001 he combined his work as an analyst for ICT projects in the Provincial Council of Valencia with that of a senior technician of the Vice-Rectorate for R & D & I of the UPV. From 2005 to September 2007, he was the head of the ICT projects section of the Diputación de Valencia. From september 2007 to september 2022 he was head of the ICT service and smart city officer of the Valencia City Council. Ramón Ferri won the prize for professional career in National Congress of Innovation and Public Sector in 2015. In 2016 he also won the Best Local Administration Manager Award granted by Enertic.

Paolo Gemma
Huawei; Leader of Working Group 5 of the Thematic Group on Enabling People-Centred Cities through Digital Transformation

Paolo Gemma is a senior specialist and representative of Huawei on issues related to energy saving and environmental sustainability.
Prior to joining Huawei, Dr. Gemma was working with Nokia Siemens Networks, where he was responsible for EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) and electrical safety areas. He also worked in the Siemens Communications Division. Dr. Paolo Gemma also plays an active role in international standardization activities. Since 1993, he has been engaged in ETSI (European Telecommunication Standard Institute) activities and he also participates in the development of EMC standards. In 1997, Dr. Gemma joined ITU-T Study Group 5 on Environment, Climate Change, and Circular Economy as a Rapporteur and he is now the Chairman of Working Party 2 “Environment, Energy Efficiency and the Circular Economy”. He also acts as Vice-chairmen of the United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) initiative. In 2002, Paolo Gemma was appointed as the Secretary of the Committee ETSI TC EE and as of 2009, he holds the position of Chairman of the EEPS EE (eco Environmental product standard) working group. Paolo Gemma is a graduate of electrical engineering from the University of Genoa.

Okan Geray
Chairman of U4SSC and Thematic Group Leader

Dr. Okan Geray has more than 25 years of experience in consulting and advisory roles across various industries. He has consulted for a number of organizations in Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Turkey and Dubai. He worked at A.T. Kearney global management consulting firm for 6 years and was a member of the Global Telecommunications and Higher Technology core team before he joined Dubai Government in 2002. He has fulfilled strategic planning and policy roles in Dubai eGovernment, Dubai Smart Government, Smart Dubai Office and is currently working in Dubai Digital Authority as the Strategic Planning Advisor. His responsibilities include Strategic Planning, Strategic Performance Management and Policy Making among others. Dr. Geray was the Co-Chair of the Enhancing Innovation and Participation Working Group, part of the United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) global initiative. This working group addressed Smart Governance, Smart Economy and Smart People aspects in smart cities. He has led the two thematic groups “Guidelines on Strategies for Circular Cities” and “City Science Application Framework” in U4SSC. He is currently leading “Guiding principles for Artificial Intelligence in cities”, and co-leading “Enabling People-Centered Cities through Digital Transformation” in U4SSC. Dr. Geray is the Co-Rapporteur of ITU Study Group 20, Question 7 on “Evaluation and assessment of Smart Sustainable Cities and Communities”. He is a member of the IEC-ISO-ITU Joint Smart Cities Task Force (J-SCTF). He is also a member of the ITU Focus Group on Metaverse and is co-chairing Working Group 7 on “Economy, Competition and Regulation”. He was also the Co-Chair of the “Data Economy Impact, Commercialization and Monetization” Working Group, part of the ITU Focus Group on Data Processing and Management. Dr. Geray holds a double major B. Sc. degree in Industrial and Computer Engineering from Bosphorus University in Istanbul Turkiye, an M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Systems and Control Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in USA. He has published book chapters, several journal and conference papers, and teaches as an adjunct lecturer. ​

Barbara Kolm
Austrian Economics Centre; Co-Leader of the Thematic Group on Enabling People-Centred Cities through Digital Transformation

Dr. Barbara Kolm, Vice President of the Austrian Central Bank, Director of the Austrian Economics Center (#1 Independent Think Tank in Austria and #21 in the world), Professor of Austrian Economics at the University of Donja Gorica, Montenegro, and serves on several supervisory boards Vienna Insurance Group, Supervisory Board of Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein; Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien. She was appointed Vice-Chair of the UN ITU Focus Group on Environmental Efficiency for Artificial Intelligence and other Emerging Technologies (AI4EE) and Chair of the Thematic Group on the United for Smart Sustainable City Index. She has given numerous talks on the most pressing economic issues of our time, such as the geopolitical challenges posed by a rising China and the need for serious economic reforms to the bloated welfare states in Europe. She has successfully managed private enterprises and non-profit organizations, and has been engaged in other entrepreneurial activities, for instance building the Austrian Economics Center from scratch to being the leading think tank in Austria within 12 years. Additionally, she is the founder and organizer of the Free Market Road Show, a forum for discussions and the exchange of ideas, in co-operation with over 100 leading think tanks and universities.​

H.E Mr. José David Montilla
Vice Minister, Digital Agenda, Ministry of Presidency, Dominican Republic

Expert in digital transformation and cybersecurity with more than 23 years of experience. Master in Project Management at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. Bachelor of Business Administration and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Specialization in Project Management from the Business School of the George Washington University. Certified Consultant in DesignThinking by the University of Salamanca. Diploma in Project Management from the Universidad Iberoamericana. Diploma in Formulation of Electronic Government Strategies and Diploma in Interoperability of Interinstitutional Public Processes of the Organization of American States (OAS). Certificate in the Technology and Telecommunications Seminar by the Wuhan China Research Institute. Certificate in the Smart Cities, Cybersecurity & 5G Program at Harvard University. Member of the Project Management InstituteInternational Chapter and Member of the Project Management InstituteDominican Republic Chapter.

Michael Mulquin
Open and Agile Smart Cities; Co-leader of Working Group 3 of the Thematic Group on City Platforms

Michael Mulquin has spent nearly 30 years partnering with cities, rural areas, and industry on how technology can help neighbourhoods and cities work better. For the last ten years he has been focusing on the development and implementation of smart city standards.

He is Chair of the IEC Smart Cities Systems Committee and Co-Chair of the IEC-ISO-ITU Joint Smart Cities Task Group. He is City Standards Associate with the Connected Places Catapult and a member of the UK Government External Advisory Group on Secure Connected Communities.

He works with Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) to support the development of the Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs) that provide focused sets of requirements to support different aspects of building a local data sharing ecosystem.

H.E. Mr Kenneth Ofori-Atta
Minister, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Ghana

Ken Ofori-Atta assumed his second term as Ghana’s Finance Minister on March 30, 2021, following his reappointment by H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and after having served his first term from January 27, 2017 to January 6, 2021. Prior to his appointment, he was the Co-Founder and former Executive Chairman of the Databank Group (a leading investment banking firm), Ken brings to the Ministry over 30 years’ experience in the Ghanaian, African and international financial sectors. He was twice honoured by PriceWaterHouse Ghana as one of the Top 5 Most Respected CEOs in Ghana during his tenure in the private sector. Ken was the Executive Chairman of the Databank Group from 1990 until his retirement on February 14, 2012. Prior to co[1]founding Databank in 1990, he was an Investment Banker at Morgan Stanley and Salomon Brothers in New York. Ken is the Chairman of the Vulnerable 20 Group (V20) and the Climate Vulnerable Forum. He is the immediate past chair of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), and he is part of the Governing Board of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the Ministerial Committee of the ECOWAS Inter[1]Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and the ECOWAS Africa Trade Insurance Agency. Ken is also a past chair of the World Bank/IMF Development Committee and the G-24 Group. He went to Achimota School in Accra, Ghana; received a BA in Economics from Columbia University in New York, and has an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He was the first African to be honoured as a Donaldson Fellow at Yale University in 2010, a John Jay Fellow at Columbia University in 2011, and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Go Forth Class of the Aspen Institute. He is Co-Founder of the Aspen Africa Leadership Initiative, the first of the AGLN. Ken is married to Professor Angela Lamensdorf Ofori-Atta, a fellow of the AGLN. They are blessed with four (4) children and are committed Christians.

Mary Owusu
Executive Director, Smart Sustainable Cities and Historical Heritage Secretariat, Ghana

Dr Mary Owusu is the Executive Director of the Smart Sustainable Cities and Historical Heritage Secretariat, Ghana (SSCHH). As the head of this maiden organisation since October 2021, she oversees the U4SSC implementation for the city of Kyebi, Ghana. She is instrumental in laying the cornerstone for the Secretariat’s blueprint for designing and developing peri-urban areas into smart sustainable cities in Ghana. The Secretariat’s model which was co-created with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, uses a Venn diagram structure that recognises three stakeholder organisations for SSC realisation: the Traditional Council, the Municipal Authority, and a knowledge institution. The Secretariat’s role is thus to build a community of trust, transparency and collaboration with its stakeholder and partner organisations.
Dr Owusu has lived and worked in Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Ghana. In the last five years, she has worked as Outbound Mobility Coordinator at Dalhousie University, where she coordinated the implementation of the university’s Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) agenda within target diploma programs at the Faculty of Agriculture and a first of its kind Mobility and Access Pathway opportunity for Indigenous and African Nova Scotian students as well as students requiring greater accommodations or accessibility. She also worked as a researcher with the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute, and the Africville Museum, Halifax, Canada.
Dr Owusu has extensive experience in higher education. Her research covers topics in the fields of agriculture and local environment related knowledge, pedagogy, and transnational intellectual and development histories. She holds a BA (honours) and an MPhil in History from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, as well as a PhD in History from Dalhousie University, Canada. She is a 2019 Barbara Harlow Award recipient, 2014 Izaak Walton Killam Fellow, 2011 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Fellow, and a 2007 Cadbury Fellow. She currently teaches African History at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. In her time off, Mary enjoys home makeover projects and lifestyle coaching, and has a growing interest in curling.

Seizo Onoe
Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU

Seizo Onoe took office as Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on 1 January 2023. Known in the industry as “the father of LTE” (Long-Term Evolution mobile broadband), he now aims for global outreach to bridge standardization gaps, deliver the benefits of technology widely and speedily, and ensure meaningful and affordable broadband access for everyone. Before his election as TSB Director by ITU Member States, he completed an over 30-year career with Japanese mobile operator NTT DOCOMO. In 2021, he became Executive Vice President and Chief Standardization Strategy Officer for NTT Corporation and a Fellow of NTT DOCOMO. From 2017, he served as NTT DOCOMO’s Chief Technology Architect and President of its subsidiary DOCOMO Technology. From 2012 to 2017, he served as NTT DOCOMO’s Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, a Member of the Board of Directors, and Managing Director of R&D Innovation Division. Earlier, he served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of NTT DOCOMO’s R&D Strategy Department and Managing Director of the company’s Radio Network Development Department. Mr Onoe holds a Master’s degree in electronics from the Kyoto University Graduate School of Engineering.

Gulnara Roll
UNECE and U4SSC Secretariat

The Committee is an intergovernmental body which joints senior government officials responsible for national policies on housing, urban development, smart sustainable cities and land administration from 56 countries in the UNECE region. Ms. Roll supports the cooperation between the national as well as local authorities, experts and other stakeholders engaged in the Committee’s activities. Ms. Roll is working with the UNECE since 2009. Prior to joining the UNECE, Ms. Roll worked as Scientific Officer at INTAS – International Association for the promotion of scientific co-operation with the countries of the former Soviet Union in Brussels, Belgium; as Senior Research Fellow in International Relations at the University of Tartu in Estonia; and Urban Planner at St. Petersburg Urban Planning Institute in Russia. 

John Smiciklas
JD Global Sustainability Associates; Leader of Working Group 3 of the Thematic Group on Enabling People-Centred Cities through Digital Transformation

John Smiciklas is currently President of JD Global Sustainability Associates Inc. and works with clients, cities and UN agencies globally to address issues related to climate change, sustainability and corporate responsibility. In addition, John also works with the U4SSC initiative in helping cities globally implement key performance indicators to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals a. John’s prior experiences includes senior positions focused on climate, sustainability and corporate responsibility with the Canadian Steel Producers Association, PwC, KPMG, and BlackBerry among others. John is an author of several UN reports and papers on technology and climate change and is working on the development of key performance indicators related to digital transformation for smarter and more sustainable cities. John holds a degree in engineering from the University of Toronto and currently resides in Oakville, Canada.

Warren Smith
Leader of the Thematic Group on Procurement for Smart Sustainable Cities

Warren has over 25 years public and private sector experience in commercial and procurement management. He joined the UK Government Digital Service in 2012 with responsibility for its Digital Marketplace Programme, introducing user-centred, design-led, data-driven and open approaches in public contracting. Warren also championed the UK Government’s adoption of the Open Contracting Data Standard and the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard. Until July 2021, Warren led the Global Digital Marketplace Programme, helping governments in emerging economies improve systems that govern public spending, improve scrutiny through better quality open data, and build institutional capability and capacity to ensure sustainable change. Warren previously led a Thematic Group of the OECD Working Party of Senior Digital Government Officials, focused on ‘GovTech Commissioning’, supported the OECD Working Party of Leading Practitioners on Public Procurement as a peer reviewer, and contributed to the development of the OECD ‘Integrating Responsible Business Conduct in Public Procurement’ report. Warren is now Associate Director with CURSHAW, a commercial lifecycle consultancy working with governments around the world who want to modernise their public procurement – be that policies, procedures, processes, working practices – as a lever to achieve inclusive, equitable and sustainable policy outcomes with positive economic, social and cultural, and environmental impacts.

Bettina Tratz-Ryan
Gartner; Co-Leader of Working Group 2 of the Thematic Group on Enabling People-Centred Cities through Digital Transformation

Bettina Tratz-Ryan is a Vice President Research and responsible for intelligent urban ecosystem research that includes smart city and industry stakeholders, as well as the digitization efforts in the manufacturing ecosystems and Industrie 4.0 transformation roadmaps. As part of her smart city research, she analyzes the strategic citizen impact and business value of data and information analytics, Internet of Things, data marketplaces and exchanges, applications and complex architectures for cities and their industry partners. Her expertise integrates technology models with services and business measures for subsystems such as transportation, mobility, microgrid and buildings. She also works on the business impact related to the Industrie 4.0 framework. Mrs.Tratz-Ryan understands to build green IT and environmental sustainability roadmaps compliant to DIN EN ISO 14001. Mrs. Tratz-Ryan has more than 26 years of industry experience in IT networking for telecommunications, utilities, transportation, healthcare and local governments.

Pontus Westerberg
UN-Habitat and U4SSC Secretariat

Pontus Westerberg is a programme manager at UN-Habitat, the UN agency for sustainable cities, where he leads initiatives on digital technologies, people-centered smart cities and open innovation. He has advised governments on digital inclusion, civic technologies, smart cities and urban innovation in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. He represents UN-Habitat in the steering group of the Cities for Digital Rights Coalition, the UN Working Group on Artificial Intelligence and is an adviser to the Block by Block Foundation. Before joining the UN in 2012, he worked in the NGO sector for 10 years.

Edlam Abera Yemeru
Director of Knowledge and Innovation, UN-HABITAT

Edlam Abera Yemeru is Director of Knowledge and Innovation at UN-Habitat. In this capacity, she leads UN-Habitat’s work on data, digital transformation, smart cities, innovation and research. Previously, she was Chief of the Urbanization and Development Section at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), leading the delivery of technical assistance to African Member States in support of policies and strategies to leverage the potential of urbanization for economic diversification and inclusive growth. She has also led a number of normative and operational programs to promote sustainable urbanization at UN-Habitat, where she co-authored several editions of the Global Report on Human Settlements. Edlam holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Human Geography from the University of London.