Agenda pg 1

7:45 am – 9:15 am – Busses running from Sheraton Crown Center to Plexpod Westport Commons

8:00 am – 9:00 am – Breakfast Downstairs in the Westport Room sponsored by Black & Veatch

8:50 am – 9:00 am – Welcome


9:00 am – 10:20 am

Medallion Theater

Ruthbea Clarke, Gordon Feller, Chelsea Collier

Connected Cities (R)evolution: A Curator’s Panel

We examine where the Smart City conversation’s been and where it’s headed as we establish an insight-driven framework for the rest of the conference.

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 A panel of practitioners will unite for a high-level view of the Smart City concept with a more detailed look at key factors, including the role of cities vs. countries, urban vs. rural areas and new models of decision-making and governance, particularly in the context of public/private partnerships.

9:00 am – 9:25 am

Ruthbea Clarke

Smart Cities and Gigabit Networks: An Overview

This opening session will help separate the reality from the hype, look at what has changed, and what opportunities next generation connectivity actually offers.

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Seven years after the release of the National Broadband Plan and Google’s announcement that it would build a gigabit network in some US city, one might argue that “smart city” has replaced “gigabit city” in the city-tech hype cycle. But hype aside, those seven years have seen transformative infrastructure slowly emerge.

9:25 am – 10:20 am

Ruthbea Clarke (moderator) Gordon Feller Chelsea Collier

Panel Discussion with Q&A

They will look at what, if anything, is really new in how cities are grappling with technology; how cities are thinking about connectivity in terms of broader community goals; and the most pressing micro- and macro-issues in what we now call the smart cities space.

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Gordon Feller has curated the longest running smart cities conference in the US and has worked at applying systems thinking across city siloes for over 30 years. Chelsea Collier helps to curate one of the largest smart cities events in the US, and has worked to understand how global lessons might be applied in a contemporary American context.


10:20 am – 10:40 am – Morning Break in the Westport Room (downstairs)


10:40 am – 12:30 pm Medallion Theater

Kevin Honomichl, Andy Huckaba, Caroline de Gantes, Christopher Mitchell

Utility Infrastructure as a Governing Model

Navigating the complexities of geographically defined political/municipal boundaries when deploying technology like fiber networks is no easy feat.  Utility companies offer a model not just for implementation, but also for how we govern and think about infrastructure. This session will provide a closer look at this model, including how it enables governance, funding, and maintenance.

10:40 am – 11:00 am

Andy Huckaba

Utilities, Fiber and State/Muni Regulation

The session will begin with a brief overview of how utility infrastructure is currently governed and where there is overlap and opportunity as we start to look at technology infrastructure, including fiber and connectivity.

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Andy brings multiple perspectives as a city councilman who deals with the local electric utility and fiber providers, a suburban official navigating a regional utility, a liaison to the National League of Cities, and a member of the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee.

11:00 am – 11:30 am

Caroline de Gantes

City Fiber and Open Access: The Huntsville-Google Fiber Partnership

While Google first made headlines for building its own fiber networks in Kansas City, Austin, and beyond, the Access division continues to look for new models for broadband deployment.

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In Huntsville, AL, the city government is building an open access fiber network, meaning the city will own and maintain infrastructure designed to be used by multiple service providers. Such a model can only work, if some service providers are committed as customers. Caroline will talk about Google Fiber’s investment and development of this model.

11:30 am -12:30 pm

Panel Discussion with Q&A

Kevin Honomichl (moderator), Andy Huckaba, Caroline de Gantes, Christopher Mitchell

10:40 am – 12:30 pm 1923 Room

Nigel Jacob, Andrew Rodgers, Denise Linn, Lev Gonick, Dominic Papa

Drafting a Digital City Playbook and Building Capacity

Technology projects tend to be more successful when they’re a piece of the larger puzzle, not just the sole emphasis. City leaders who have been there will draw from their real-world experiences to help you create a holistic, strategic plan that provides not only a foundation for planning and implementation, but also desirable outcomes. Even if new technology isn’t immediately on your city’s radar, now’s the time to have these conversations and plan for what’s ahead.

10:45 am -11:00 am

Nigel Jacob

Community Engagement, Vendor Engagement

An early pioneer in the civic tech movement, Boston’s Office of New Urban Mechanics has served as a model for cities in thinking about technology adoption, rapid prototyping and citizen engagement from within City Hall. Last year, Boston adopted a Smart City Playbook that was less a prescriptive set of adoption stepds and more a method for strategic citizen-focused scaling of the results of its prototyping and an approach for engaging with the myriad companies peddling smart city solutions. A year after its adoption, see how it is working so far.

11:00 am -11:15 am

Andrew Rodgers

Building Research Partnerships for Civic Impact

Chattanooga hasn’t always had a strong relationship between City Hall and the local university, but with the establishment of the Enterprise Center, a small non-profit that works with, but sits outside, City Hall and help from national partners like US Ignite, NIST, and MetroLab, Chattanooga is showing how the reserve of brainpower on tap at UT-Chattanooga can be applied toward pressing city problems.

11:15 am -11:30 am

Denise Linn

Philanthropy and City Government: A Collaborative Approach

The Smart Chicago Collaborative, which also sits outside City Hall at the Chicago Community Trust, was formed in response to software-based technology change. The organization has pioneered citizen engagement techniques around digital adoption, applied data projects, and civic user testing. But that same orientation has lessons for the spread of smart city hardware through the neighborhoods. Their dual focus on inclusion and tech innovation gives a unique perspective on the challenges of dealing with both incremental and exponential technology change.

11:30 am -11:45 am

Lev Gonick

Redirecting Community Capacity and Social Infrastructure

Just over a year ago, DigitalC emerged as an evolutionary pivot from Cleveland’s non-profit fiber network One Community. After 10+ years building out essential fiber infrastructure, the organization recognized the need to build out additional capacity in programming, engagement, and helping to drive a new civic agenda that is sensitive to the challenges of emerging tech. Hear how hard infrastructure investment was a natural pathway to “soft infrastructure” and the challenges of balancing between collaboration and competition in the civic tech ecosystem.

11:45 am – 12:00 pm

Dominic Papa

Starting from Scratch

The Institute for Digital Progress is the youngest of the organizations in this session, started by a city hall veteran with an understanding of the need but without a direct mandate. He will speak about the challenges of building this capacity in the height of the smart city hype cycle and how Phoenix has both carved its own path and learned from its peers.

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Panel Discussion with Q&A

Nigel Jacob, Andrew Rodgers, Denise Linn, Lev Gonick, Dominic Papa


12:00 – 4:30 pm – Connection Lounge

12:30-1:30 pm – Lunch Westport Room sponsored by Google Fiber


1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Room 1L

David Sandel, Pat McKeehan, Ken Harrington, Raj Jain, Megan Calabro

Inspiration Theater: Innovation Neighborhoods: Inclusive Economic Development

The innovation neighborhood builds upon the success of the Brooking’s innovation district model, the Kansas City Google Fiber and the Chattanooga Gig experience. 

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Cost effective and easy to implement, by developing the neighborhood economic ecosystem and high speed data and Smart City infrastructure, which attracts and creates employment and business opportunities for neighborhood start-up companies, the innovation neighborhood accelerates the overall economic development and prosperity of participating city neighborhoods. This session will discuss the evolution of the innovation neighborhood, the community development process used to assess, implement, manage and measure the economic benefits of the innovation neighborhood community platform.  This session is of interest to cities, city-university pairs, innovation districts, utilities and real-estate developers.

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm Room 1L

Allen Meyer

Inspiration Theater: Smart Cities and Fiber Planning

An interactive discussion on the demands and solutions for bringing high speed internet access to small to mid-sized communities across the U.S.  Solutions for simultaneously serving the needs of the municipality while creating an easy entry into the market for competitive ISPs to serve the businesses and residents.


1:30 pm – 2:30 pm   Room 1K

Barrett Sydnor

Metro Delegation Workshop

Before you can have answers, you need to have questions. Building upon the morning sessions—and the experience of delegates in their communities, this interactive workshop will catalog the questions that have been generated and begin devising strategies to gain the answers to those questions.

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Attendees will receive written documentation of session output. Limited to 15 attendees. While encouraged, not all members of a metro delegation need attend.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Medallion Theater

Bob Bennett Alan Howze

City Spotlight: A Tale of Two Kansas Cities

The neighboring Kansas Cities have taken different paths to incorporating technology into their infrastructure, process, and city governance structure, while working closely with one to share lessons and systems where appropriate.

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We’ve seen in previous Summits the different approaches to wooing Google Fiber, well before the cities had developed formal, internal innovation practices. KCMO hired a Chief Innovation Officer in 2013 and KCK a Chief Knowledge Officer in 2016—they will provide some insight into these job functions, how they are driving the city forward, and how they collaborate in a regional environment.

3:20 pm – 4:40 pm Medallion Theater

Doug Hohulin, Amy Zents, Sean Stokes, Mehan Jayasuriya, Sean Stokes

The Truth About Wired and Wireless

There’s long been debate about the potential of wireless networks driving their wired counterparts to obsolescence, yet they’re actually complementary technologies.

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 In this session, join us to examine this notion and also provide practical considerations for wired and wireless infrastructure planning that can be used now and in the decades to come.

3:20 pm – 3:40 pm

Doug Hohulin

Fiber and Wireless are Like Peas and Carrots

Nokia’s Doug Hohulin will help to level set this session on the state of wireless, future of 5G, IoT and how fiber and wireless infrastructure ought to be considered by cities in planning for the future.

3:40 – 3:50 pm

Amy Zents

An Engineering Primer

Amy Zents of BHC Rhodes builds on the technology and application endpoints with and an engineering perspective for more practical considerations for cities.

3:50 pm – 4:00 pm

Sean Stokes

A Legal Primer

The engineering approach, of course, is bound by the regulatory and contractual obligations to which hcities and their private partners must adhere.

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Sean Stokes, of Baller, Stokes & Lide  will provide a legal point-of view on how to manage city assets and rights of way with an eye toward wired, wireless, and smart city deployment.

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Panel Discussion with Q&A

Doug Hohulin, Amy Zents,  Sean Stokes, Mehan Jayasuriya

4:30 pm – 4:40 pm

Mehan Jayasuriya

Mozilla’s Wireless Open Innovation Challenge

Mozilla advocates for physical and software-based infrastructure to be inclusive and equitable across our cities’ populations.  

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Specific to wireless, Mehan Jayasuriya will share details of their Wireless Innovation for a Networked Society Challenges in partnership with the National Science Foudnation.

3:20 pm – 4:40 pm 1923 Room

Joan McDonald, Jeff Gavlinski, Allen Meyer, Deb Socia

How Cities Should Ask for Help: Managing the RFP Process

RFPs often play a fundamental role in fiber network projects, yet they can be overly broad—and that increases the likelihood of receiving a generic response to your request for proposal.

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Join us for insights to help cities better manage their requests in a way that more effectively covers the complete planning spectrum from holistic engineering needs to civic outcomes (and reduces the risk of receiving a cookie cutter feasibility study instead of what you a need: a specific project proposal).

3:20 pm – 3:40 pm

Joan McDonald

Four Cities, One Strategy: Smart Growth for Gigabit

Regional cooperation for building and maintaining infrastructure—as well as delivering the hard and soft benefits that ride on top of it—is a challenge in urban, suburban, and rural communities alike.  

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Westchester County, NY has over the past several months launched a Steering Committee for its Smart Growth for Gigabit Initiative, tying together the broadband fortunes of Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains and Yonkers in an ambitious project with an anticipated budget of three quarters of a billion dollars. Former NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald has been engaged to spearhead the initiative.

3:40 pm – 4:40 pm

Joan McDonald (moderator), Jeff Gavlinski, Allen Meyer, Deb Socia

Panel Discussion with Q&A

McDonald will lead a discussion with a handful of experts who have visibility to a wide range of communities engaged in project like this across the country. Our three panelists have worn multiple hats which should lead to a well-rounded discussion.

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Jeff Gavlinski helps develop P3 models for intelligent infrastructure at eX2 and also curates the highly regarded Mountain Connect conference, where a similar discussion was held in May. Allen Meyer spent many years at BHC Rhodes, an engineering company that helped plan the Google Fiber rollout in Kansas City and elsewhere and now leads Sherpa Fiber, an open access fiber network builder. Deb Socia represents nearly 200 Next Century Cities who are leading the way in broadband deployment, and she brings a fierce dedication to digital equity in these deployments as a former school principal and founder of Tech Goes Home.

4:50 pm – 5:30 pm Medallion Theater

Anthony Townsend

Digital Master Planning: Can We Bring the Smart Cities Hype Back to Earth

Technology pundits have long envisioned a world of ubiquitous computing, “in which individuals are surrounded by many networked, spontaneously yet tightly cooperating computers.” (Wieser, 1991) But as these visions become real, city governments are now on the frontline of the most massive legacy integration project in human history, as a multitude of public and private smart city and IoT systems get built out.

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This talk will look at how a handful of global cities – New York, Chicago, London, Barcelona, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dublin, and San Francisco – have created new comprehensive planning approaches to bring ‘smart city’ ideas to fruition. The huge variety of these plans will be discussed along three dimensions – what’s in the plan, how it was made and who was involved, and how it was implemented. The talk will conclude with a look at some of the most recent city IoT strategy RFPs and what it may tell us about the evolution of these digital master planning practices.

5:45 – 7:15 pm Busses running from Plexpod Westport Commons to Sheraton Crown Center

5:30 – 7:00 pm – Opening Day Reception in the 1923 Room

7:30pm

Community Connection Dinners

Check your email for an invitation to attend one of our hosted Community Connect dinners, an opportunity to mix and mingle early in the conference with some of your peers, hosted by one of our partner organizations.

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We will sort attendees between hosts and locations to achieve some diversity within groups and spread metro delegations out, so you might eat dinner with someone new rather than the person you came with.

National Digital Inclusion Alliance