Miami Tech & Startup News

Global expo aims to teach Miamians how ‘Sustainable is the New Smart’

Global expo aims to teach Miamians how ‘Sustainable is the New Smart’

By Riley Kaminer

Miami is perfectly poised for sustainable smart city innovation. Our region is hotbed for climate tech innovation, with innovators targeting this increasingly techy city that is on the front lines of climate change.

Why do cities need to be smart? By 2050, seven out of every ten people on planet earth will live in cities – double the amount of urban citizens today. Considering the fact that cities currently consume almost 80% of the world’s energy and produce more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions, the need for innovation is clear.

On December 12th to 14th, a global group of smart city experts will convene at the James L. Knight Center in Downtown Miami for the third annual Smart City Expo Miami.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Sustainable is the New Smart’ – a nod to the idea that cities should not just be resilient but also sustainable: intact for future generations. 

Organizers report that last year’s virtual event saw upwards of 5,000 participants from more than 85 countries tune in to hear from 50 different smart city experts. They are hoping for a similar virtual turnout this year, plus around 350 in-person attendees.

“Our event is about education, generating business, and enabling professionals to network,” architect and urbanist Bernardo Scheinkman, the event’s curator, told Refresh Miami. 

Scheinkman described the event as a “launchpad,” since his team will be organizing more smart cities-related events throughout the year on their digital platform. “December is just the beginning,” he said.

At the core of the event are a series of panel discussions and presentations from top smart city innovators such as Jonathan Reichental, CEO of Human Future; architect Paul Doherty, CEO of The Digit Group; and Bas Boorsma, Chief Digital Officer of the City of Rotterdam. 

A handful of local names will also be presenting: Daniel Kleinman from Seaworthy, John Renne of FAU, Leticia Latino-van Splunteren of Hollywood-based telecom company Neptuno USA, Raimundo Rodulfo from the City of Coral Gables, and keynote speaker Mayor Francis Suarez.

Web3 will be in the spotlight at this event. A panel of innovators will discuss how web3 technologies are creating new impact-driven opportunities around the world. This will feature Tarja Stephens and Stefanie Hingley, the co-founder and COO (respectively) of Mission Impact, a global education platform unlocking economic opportunities for women in emerging technologies. They will be joined by Anu Bhardwaj, founder of women-focused podcast platform SHEQONOMI; and Madison Roberts, the founder and CEO of a crypto real estate firm.

Alongside these presentations, smart city-focused companies will showcase their solutions in an exhibition hall. Journalists will meet for a roundtable discussion about how the media covers issues related to climate change. And CIOs from around the world will come together to rethink how we design, construct, and maintain the places we live.

As part of the event, sustainability non-profit Leading Cities will announce an open call for applications to its latest edition of AcceliGOV, a global competition for municipalities to reduce the risk and cost of implementing innovative smart city solutions. AcceliGOV will provide municipalities with a $100,000 pilot to enable them to implement a smart city solution.

Learn more and register for this year’s Smart City Expo Miami by visiting their website. Online-only virtual passes are free.


Riley Kaminer