May 22-24 2017

Smart cities: engaging creativity and youth Going Global 2017 - Image

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Sannam S4’s Vice President Sharon Bamford captivated the multicultural audience with a lively appearance at her Going Global panel on youth and Smart Cities this week.

Sharon’s starting point was the reason for India’s unique approach to Smart Cities – the sheer scale of the country, the commitment of the government to public consultation, and the integration with other initiatives such as ‘Make in India’. She went on to identify entrepreneurship as a key outcome of a Smart City and argued that universities should be part of the urban eco-system.

Her co-panelist Dr Ewan Simpson from Kazakhstan developed Sharon’s argument further by describing how his institution was committed to ensuring their students thought creatively. By focusing on young people, the debate moved away from the technology.

Deploying some rusty yet effective Hausa, Sharon then invited Nigerian delegates in the audience to describe how Abuja, which had just been a piece of land when she had worked in Northern Nigeria in the 1980s with VSO, had become a Smart national capital.

With moderator Dr Jagan Shah wrapping up the session right on time, Sharon concluded by saying that, ‘Technology is not actually the driver of a Smart City. In reality it is about people, good governance and society.’

Sharon Bamford

Vice President
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