Speakers


Assaf Biderman
Associate Director, Senseable City Lab, MIT

Assaf Biderman teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is the Associate Director of the Senseable City Lab oratory, a research group that explores the “real-time city” by studying the increasing deployment of sensors and networked hand-held electronics, as well as their relationship to the built environment. At the 2006 Venice Biennale, the group revealed the world’s first city-scale dynamic maps, describing the movement of pedestrian, busses and taxis in real-time.

In preparation for the 2009 U.N. Summit on Climate change in Copenhagen, the lab developed a hybrid bicycle wheel which captures the energy of braking to give riders an extra push. Biderman’s work focuses on engaging city administrations and industry members worldwide to explore how pressing issues in urbanization are being impacted by a wave of new distributed technologies, and how these can be harnessed to create a more sustainable future living in urban environments.





Marco Bressan
Open Platforms Director, BBVA

Marco is responsible for BBVA’s open platforms and big data initia- tives. This includes design and development of the platform and the services, applications and business models that it delivers. Until June 2012, Marco was Chief Innovation Officer, Transportation and Government for Xerox Corporation, helping to create and manage an innovation project portfolio to support business growth.

Marco was also responsible for the Services Innovation Laboratory within the company’s European research center, responsible for research teams in various fields such as optimization, artificial vision, automatic learning and ethnography. Bressan has previously worked as an independent consultant and set up companies with machine learning foundations in the fields of client intelligence, content management and biometrics. Over 30 scientific publications and 10 patents are the result of his career’s research work. This work has been applied in the fields of biometrics, data mining, satellite image, digital image management and industrial vision. He is a Mathematics graduate from the University of Buenos Aires, holds a Master’s degree in Artificial Vision from the Computer Vision Center (Barcelona) and is a Doctor in Computing Science and Artificial Intelligence from the Autónoma University of Barcelona. He is an active member of the computer vision and pattern recognition community.





Rex Britter
Visiting Scientist, Senseable City Lab, MIT

Rex Britter is a Visiting Scientist at the Senseable City Lab oratory in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Building Technology Group of the Department of Architecture, both at MIT. He retired from the University of Cambridge in January 2009, after 35 years of being the Professor of Environmental Fluid Dynamics in the Department of Engineering. He has undertaken research in industrial and environmental fluid dynamics; publishing 5 books and around 300 refereed papers and conference proceedings.

His research interests include turbulent fluid dynamics, particularly those involving buoyancy, the flow and dispersion of hazardous materials, and conventional pollutant dispersion problems in complex geometries such as cities, formalized model evaluation procedures, urban air quality, sustainable energy use in cities, and security issues. He was one of two editors of the Journal of Hazardous Materials from 1984 to 1995. In 1985 he co-founded and directed Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants Ltd, with a staff of typically 25, providing consultancy and operational environmental models for government and industry, until resigning in 2002. He has worked extensively with UK, EU and US government agencies and industries, particularly on the consequences of the release of hazardous materials. He currently works with civil and military Government Agencies in the UK and the US on security issues and has consulted for similar agencies elsewhere. He has a particular interest in the melding of rapidly and slowly evolving technologies within environmental and energy contexts.





Joseph F. Coughlin
Director of the AgeLab, MIT

Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D. is Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. His research provides insights on how demographic change, technology, social trends and consumer behavior will converge to drive future innovations in business and government. Based in MIT’s Engineering Systems Division, he teaches policy and systems innovation and is author of the on-line publication Disruptive Demographics. He is one of Fast Company Magazine’s ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of “12 pioneers inventing the future of retirement and how we will all live, work and play tomorrow.” Dr. Coughlin is a Behavioral Sciences Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a Fellow of Switzerland’s World Demographics & Ageing Forum advising and speaking to businesses, governments and non-profits worldwide. He has served numerous advisory boards including those for British Telecom Health, Daimler, Fidelity Investments, Gallup, Healthways, Nissan, Putnam Investments, Sanofi-Aventis, and Toyota.

He was appointed by President Bush to the White House Conference on Aging Advisory Committee. Dr. Coughlin has worked with governments in Asia and the EU, the World Economic Forum, OECD, and the Council on Foreign Relations on demographic change, technology and strategic advantage. He has been featured on ABC News, BBC, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Dr. Oz, News Asia, Economist, Financial Times, The Straights Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets throughout the world. Prior to MIT he was with EG&G a Fortune 1000 science & technology firm consulting to business and government worldwide.





Alan Davidson
Visiting Scholar, Engineering Systems Division, MIT

Alan Davidson is a Visiting Scholar in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. Until earlier this year he was Director of Public Policy for Google, where he opened a Washington DC office for the company in 2005 and led Google’s public policy work in North and South America. He has spoken and written widely on Internet policy issues including privacy, free expression, security, network neutrality, and copyright online.

Prior to joining Google, Davidson was Associate Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a public interest group promoting Internet civil liberties. Starting in 2000, he has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's program in Communications, Culture, and Technology. Alan previously worked as a Senior Consultant at Booz-Allen & Hamilton, where he helped design information systems for NASA's Space Station Freedom. He is an MIT alum (Course 18 and TPP), and has a J.D. from Yale Law School.





Emilio Frazzoli
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT

Emilio Frazzoli is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 2011, he has been the lead Principal Investigator of the Future Urban Mobility project at the Singapore-MIT Alliance on Research and Technology.

He received a Laurea degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Rome, "Sapienza", Italy, in 1994, and a Ph. D. degree in Navigation and Control Systems from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 2001. Between 1994 and 1997 he worked as an officer in the Italian Navy, and as a spacecraft dynamics specialist for the European Space Agency Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, and Telespazio, in Rome, Italy. From 2001 to 2004 he was an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2004 to 2006 he was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He was the recipient of a NSF CAREER award in 2002. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, and for the Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications.





Simon Giles
Director of Intelligent Cities Strategy, Accenture

Simon is Accenture's global lead for Intelligent Cities Strategy and is currently advising cities, government and developers on economic development, citizen centered design and digital masterplanning. He runs a global advisory team, based in London, that works with interdisciplinary teams of architects, engineers and digital designers to develop new development strategies for existing and new build cities. Simon also leads the advisory group for the World Economic Forum on Low Carbon Finance and Future Urban Development. He is currently working on projects in the UK, Mexico, Estonia, Denmark, Germany and Japan





Marta C. Gonzalez
Gilbert Winslow Career Development Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT

Before joining MIT, she was research associate at the Center for Complex Network Research (Barabási Lab) at Northeastern University, where she joined right after her PhD at Stuttgart Universität, Germany, in 2006.

Marta’s research interests and direction are mainly aimed at advancing the understanding of the laws and principles that characterize human behavior and result in collective social phenomena. More specifically her work falls into the category of complex networks and statistical physics applied to social dynamic systems. Current research explores human mobility patterns using mobile phone communication; data mining combined with geographic information systems (GIS), and urban transportation models (see details at: http://web.mit.edu/humnet/index.shtml).





Ede Jorge Ijjasz Vasquez
Director, Sustainable Development of the Latin America and Caribbean Region

Ede Jorge Ijjasz Vasquez is the Director for Sustainable Development of the Latin America and Caribbean Region, covering the areas of infrastructure (transport, energy, water supply and sanitation, and other municipal services), environment and climate change, social development, agriculture and rural development, disaster risk management, and urban development. Mr. Ijjasz joined this position in November, 2011. The Sustainable Development Department of the LAC region has a diversified active portfolio of about $17 billion.

Mr. Ijjasz has a Ph.D. and a M.Sc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in civil and environmental engineering, with specialization in hydrology and water resources. He has several publications in civil engineering, physics and geomorphology scientific journals. His most recent book is on Sustainable Low-Carbon City Development in China.





Kristian Kloeckl
Leader, Real-Time City, Senseable City Lab, MIT

Kristian Kloeckl leads the Real-Time City initiative at the MIT Senseable City Lab in Boston and Singapore and teaches design at MIT as well as the IUAV University of Venice. A trained industrial designer, he has conducted his studies in Austria, Italy, and the UK and holds a PhD in Design Sciences. Kristian has worked with Antonio Citterio in Milan and has consulted companies in Italy and Austria on industrial design and DESign strategy. His work is guided by an interest in how to give form to technological innovation and create meaningful connections between people, objects, space, and the digital data layers that pervade our cities today. His projects have been exhibited at the MoMA (2008), the Venice architecture Biennale (2008), the Vienna MAK (2009), as well as the Singapore Art Museum (2011).





Julio Lopez
Federal Deputy and Transport Secretary, State of Rio de Janeiro

Julio Lopes was born in April 6th, 1959 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, where he graduated in Business Administration and post-graduated in School Administration and Marketing at Cândido Mendes Faculty. After being a teacher for many years at the faculty where he graduated, he decided to run in the elections for Federal Deputy in Rio de Janeiro, being elected in 2002 with more than 70 thousand votes. During his mandate Julio Lopes was the Congress representative of a commission created with the purpose of fighting piracy, being recognized as a reference in this subject.

During the years of 2003 and 2004 Julio Lopes was the vice president of the Piracy Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI). At that time, he worked very close to the Federal Police, the Public Prosecutor´s Office and other authorities, achieving outstanding results, such as the prison of major smugglers Law King Chong and Lobão. In 2005 he was assigned to be the president of the Urban Development Commission, subordinated to the Ministry of the Cities, where he strove for the land regularization in Rocinha and Vidigal, two large poor communities in the southern zone of Rio de Janeiro city. In July, 2005 he was assigned to be the speaker of one of the most important law projects in the Congress: the one that sets the universal directives on Basic National Sanitation regulatory procedures, which will change existing regulation. Julio Lopes was the proponent of projects such as the one that establishes the installation of hydrometers and individual collection of water usage bills. Mr. Lopes was also the proponent of a very relevant project, which reduces the amount of tax paid in real estate transactions in order to accelerate business in this market. Presently Julio Lopes is Federal Deputy by the Rio de Janeiro and Transport Secretary of State of Rio de Janeiro.





Dietmar Offenhuber
Researcher, Senseable City Lab, MIT

Dietmar Offenhuber has a background in architecture, urban studies and digital media art and is interested in the spatial aspects of cognition, representation and behavior. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Senseable City Lab at MIT, working on his PhD dissertation. He holds a Diploma Engineer Degree in Architecture from TU Vienna and a master’s in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab. He was a founding member of the Ars Electronica Futurelab. In 2004, Dietmar was a Japan Foundation Fellow at the IAMAS institute in Gifu, Japan, then completed a professorship for Animation at the University of Applied Sciences in Hagenberg, Austria.

From 2006 to 2008 he worked as a Researcher at the MIT Media Lab. From 2007 to 2009 he was a Professor at the Art University Linz and a Key Researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media Art Research. In his artistic practice, Dietmar frequently collaborates with the sound artist Markus Decker and composers Sam Auinger and Hannes Strobl under the label “stadtmusik”. His work has been extensively exhibited internationally and been shown at places such as ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica, the Sundance Film Festival, Secession Vienna, the Seoul International Media Art Biennale, and Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid.





Chris Osgood
Co-Founder and Co-Chair, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Boston

Chris Osgood co-founded and co-chairs the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston.  As a research & development lab for municipal government, this Office explores how new technology, programs and designs can strengthen collaboration between the public and public sector.  Through partnerships with individuals and organizations inside and outside of City Hall, the Office has delivered numerous projects that are being tested and deployed in Boston and replicated and scaled in other cities.

Before joining the City of Boston, Chris earned his MBA from Harvard after serving for 5 years in the NYC Parks & Recreation Department as its Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor.  He is both a City Year and Haverford College alum.  





Jan Piotrowski
Online Science Editor, The Economist

Jan Piotrowski is a regular contributor to The World In, an annual foray into as well as a number of Economist blogs, including Babbage (science and technology), Johnson (language), Eastern Approaches (ex-communist Europe) and Game theory (sports). He covers a range of scientific topics, from particle physics to evolutionary psychology, as well as science policy. Mr Piotrowski holds a PhD in linguistics and philosophy from Warsaw University, where he lectured in semantics and translation theory. Before joining The Economist, he also worked as a translator and interpreter. In his spare time, he climbs rocks and, occasionally, snowboards down mountains.





Nimish Radia
Innovation & Research Director, Ericsson Research

Nimish Radia has over 19 years of experience in the IT, mobile, telecom, and finance industry with a strong combination of technology expertise and business acumen. He has proven leadership in transforming technology into multi-million dollar profitable vertical and horizontal solutions spanning Service and Web oriented architecture, Service Delivery Platforms (SDPs) for next generation communication and collaboration services, Identity and Context-Aware Services, Mobile Computing, Targeted Advertising, Big Data, and Cloud computing.

Dr. Radia is currently Director of Research leading Ericsson's research and innovation efforts in Silicon valley for next generation Services and Software in areas such as Big Data, social computing, and contextual user-centered solutions for Networked Society challenges including healthcare, public safety, media, and Smart Energy. Before joining Ericsson, he was Advanced Technology Executive at Sun for US Communications, Media, and Entertainment Sales. In this role, he led cross company virtual R&D team accountable for creating revenue generating solutions using Open Stack (LAMP, OpenID/Liberty, Open Social, etc.) software for mobile broadband providers ecosystem. Prior to Sun, Nimish was senior member of IBM Research and Advanced Software Technology Group driving R&D projects with customers globally. Nimish has been recognized several times for his technology and sales achievements. He holds 8 patents and 15+ invention disclosures and industry publications.





Carlo Ratti
Director, Senseable City Lab, MIT

An architect and engineer by training, Carlo Ratti practices in Italy and teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the Senseable City Lab . He graduated from the Politecnico di Torino and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, and later earned his MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK. Carlo holds several patents and has co-authored over 200 publications. As well as being a regular contributor to the architecture magazine Domus and the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, he has written for the BBC, La Stampa, Scientific American and the New York Times. His work has been exhibited worldwide in venues such as the Venice Biennale and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his ‘Digital Water Pavilion’ at the 2008 World Expo was hailed by Time Magazine as one of the Best Inventions of the Year.

In 2010 Blueprint Magazine selected him as one of the ‘25 People Who Will Change the World of Design’, Forbes listed him as one of the ‘Names You Need To Know’ in 2011, and Fast Company named him as one of the ’50 Most Influential Designers in America’. Carlo was recently a presenter at TED 2011 and is currently a program director at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow and a curator of the 2012 BMW Guggenheim Pavilion in Berlin. .





Florian Rothfuss
Head of Mobility Technologies, Fraunhofer IAO

Florian Rothfuss studied at the University of Karlsruhe, where he obtained his Master of Science in Business Engineering. Today, he heads the “Mobility Technologies“ department at Fraunhofer IAO in Stuttgart. Approximately 20 scientists from various disciplines as well as around 30 students work in his department and conduct research into future mobility concepts.

Florian’s research interest focuses mainly on urban mobility of the future, which will be characterized by networks, the shared use of vehicles and electric mobility. He is in charge of the “Shared use of electric vehicles” project, the key preliminary research project of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft regarding urban mobility. In this project, six institutes of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft are developing the technological prerequisites for the shared use of electric mobility resources. As part of the project, solutions for the shared use of vehicles and charging infrastructures as well as approaches for the shared use of mobility- relevant real time data are being developed.

Within the context of model regions for electric mobility, subsidized by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, Florian was also in charge of scientifically monitoring the model regions, focussing on electric mobility and the urban environment.





Albert Saiz
Daniel Rose Associate Professor of Urban Economics and Real Estate, MIT

An outstanding young urban/housing economist, Saiz pursues research interests in local public finance, real estate economics and urban economic development, with an emphasis on immigration and immigrant location choices, and the impact of skills on earnings and city growth. He will be conducting research and teaching in both the urban planning and real estate programs. He has done path-breaking work on the determinants of housing supply and the impact of immigrant inflows on housing prices in urban areas, and his work in progress valuing urban amenities and building design promises to open broad areas of collaboration between economists, urban designers and urban developers.

Since 2003, he has been an award-winning assistant professor of real estate in the MBA Core Program at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served as Co-Editor of the Journal of Housing Economics; a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; a research associate at the Penn Population Studies Center; a faculty fellow at the Penn Institute for Urban Research; and a research fellow at the Institute for the Analysis of Labor (IZA – Bonn, Germany). He holds a BA and an MA in economics from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (1995 and1997, respectively) and a PhD in economics from Harvard, 2002.





Sanjay Sarma
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT

Sanjay Sarma is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT and developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was also the the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008. He serves on the boards of GS1, EPCglobal and several startup companies including ESSESS. Dr. Sarma received his Bachelors from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Sarma also worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California.

He has authored over 75 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation and CAD, and is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research including the MacVicar Fellowship, the Business Week eBiz Award and Informationweek's Innovators and Influencers Award. He advises several national governments and global companies.





Saskia Sassen
Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University (www.saskiasassen.com). Recent books are Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press 2008), A Sociology of Globalization (W.W.Norton 2007), and the 4th fully updated edition of Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2011). The Global City came out in a new fully updated edition in 2001. She organized the research for and edited the volume on Human Settlement of the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (Oxford, UK: EOLSS Publishers) [http://www.eolss.net ].

Her books are translated into over twenty languages. She has received multiple honors and awards, including several doctor honoris causa from universities in the US and other countries. Her books are translated into over twenty languages.





Stanislav Sobolevsky
Co-Lead of the Network and Society Group, Senseable City Lab, MIT

Stanislav Sobolevsky is a Co-Lead of the network and society area at the Senseable City Lab at MIT since 2012. His background is in Mathematics (graduated with honors (1998) and he holds a PhD (1999) from Grodno State University (Belarus) and a Doctor of Science (post-Soviet academy higher scientific degree) from the Institute of Mathematics of Belarusian National Academy of Science in 2009. He held an Associated Professor academic title in Belarus in 2009.

His research interests cover network science, the modeling of complex systems and the theory of differential equations. Both his PhD and Doctor of Science theses were focused on general and analytic theory of ordinary differential equations. He authored one monograph, two textbooks, and over 50 papers in mathematics, network science and mathematical modeling. He has supervised one PhD candidate who successfully defended his thesis in mathematical modeling in 2010. His former work experience includes research, professorship and administrative positions in Belarusian Universities and Academy of Science.





Michael Szell
Postdoctoral Fellow, Senseable City Lab, MIT

Michael Szell has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Senseable City Lab oratory at MIT since 2012. His background is in Technical Mathematics (M.Sc., Vienna University of Technology) and in Physics (PhD, University of Vienna). His research interests cover the analysis and modeling of complex socio-economic systems, social dynamics and mobility, and social networks from a statistical physics viewpoint. Michael's PhD work focused on the analysis of social networks and collective behavior between players of his Massive Multiplayer Online Game "Pardus" (www.pardus.at). At the Senseable City Lab he is involved in projects focusing on social networks and human behavior in cities.





Matt Volpi
Director of Product Marketing, BigBelly Solar

Matt Volpi is Director of Product Marketing for BigBelly Solar, the leader in intelligent waste & recycling collection systems. At BigBelly Solar, Matt is responsible for product strategy, marketing, pricing and positioning for the company, which has more than 1,000 customers worldwide. Previously, Matt has held a number of product strategy positions at technology innovators, including Modiv Media (now Catalina Mobile), Sun Microsystems, Nokia and CMGI. Matt has an MBA from Babson College and a BA in Journalism from Penn State University.





Mitchell Weiss
Chief of Staff, City of Boston

Mitchell Weiss has been Chief of Staff to Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino since January 2010. He has helped deliver on Mayor Menino’s “shared innovation” agenda in key areas. Mitch has championed Boston’s Innovation District as a regional platform for entrepreneurship and economic growth; shaped New Urban Mechanics, Boston’s municipal innovation strategy; and contributed to Boston’s educational reform agenda, including its District-Charter compact. He has been recognized by the Boston Business Journal as one of Boston’s “Top 40 under 40” and by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as one of Boston’s “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders.”

From 2006 to 2009, Mitch was Executive Director of the Tobin Project, a catalyst for transformative research in the social sciences. In 2006, Mitch was a Service Leadership Fellow in Mayor Menino’s office. Prior to his transition to the public sector, Mitch worked at Merrill Lynch & Co., where he focused primarily on mergers and acquisitions. Mitch holds an A.B. with Honors in Economics from Harvard University and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, from where he graduated with high distinction and was named a George Baker Scholar. Originally from the Chicago area, Mitch resides in Boston with his wife and daughter.