About Jessie Feller Hahn, Executive Director, Meeting of the Minds

Jessie Feller Hahn is the Executive Director of Meeting of the Minds where she is responsible for identifying global urban sustainability, innovation, technology best practices and thought leadership, developing platforms for city leaders to share lessons learned, and building alliances and partnerships across and within sectors.

“With or without the pandemic, children’s safety should be a priority.” – Dr. Anne Kamau

Kenya consistently ranks among the countries with the highest traffic fatalities in the world – #18, according to the World Health Organization, and some estimates put it even higher. One of the most alarming statistics is that 1 in 10 traffic fatalities in Kenya is a child.

I recently spoke with Dr. Anne Kamau, Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi, about her research on transportation and children’s safety. Her research, funded by the Volvo Research and Education Foundations (VREF), is in collaboration with Dr. Regina Obilie Amoako-Sakyi at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana.

Unloading commercial real estate burdens, bringing supply chain components back to North America, and preserving cash

Could organizations unload 50% of their real estate burdens post-pandemic? Should essential components of supply chains be brought back to North America? And what’s the best thing companies can do in an environment like this?

I spoke late last week with Marc Mercier, a senior partner at the law firm Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP in Toronto. Marc works across multiple business sectors, including public and private finance, and his work gives him special insights into the rapidly changing economic crisis that governments and companies are dealing with right now. His thoughts on business continuity and supply chains is particularly prescient for this moment in history.

What New Trends Are You Seeing In AI and Cities Because of COVID-19?

I spoke yesterday with Benjamin Schmidt, PhD, an AI expert and President of Roadbotics, a company that uses AI to help cities monitor and manage their road infrastructure. I asked him about what he’s seeing in the AI community right now, how AI might be able to help cities through this crisis, and what kind of timelines he’s expecting for these changes.

How many people in your city have symptoms and where are they?

“What we’re trying to do is help cities get a very clear perspective of how many people in their jurisdiction have what symptoms, and where they are. And we feel like if we can do that effectively, efficiently, rapidly and inexpensively, cities are in a much better position to deploy their resources appropriately.” – Kitty Kolding, CEO, Chrysalis Partners

With testing availability still limited throughout the country, cities, counties, and states need to find innovative ways to survey their citizens to better understand the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. Kitty Kolding’s company, Chrysalis Partners, has developed a new data collection tool called the Covid-19 Symptom Collector, which is designed to fill this gap. This interview was recorded on April 13, 2020.

Released today: Meeting of the Minds Annual Report

We are excited to release our 2016 Annual Report with results from all our year-round programming. I think you will find the Annual Report helpful as you think about Meeting of the Minds’ impact in 2016 and how to engage with the Meeting of the Minds global...

Meeting of the Minds Announces Two New Board Members

Meeting of the Minds is proud to announce two new Board Members: Scott Mauvais and John Jefferson. Both have been long-time allies and supporters of Meeting of the Minds. They have repeatedly brought their expertise in urban and technology issues to our wider global...

American Urban Innovators are Filling Crucial Gaps

Together, Meeting of the Minds and Urban Innovation Exchange launched the Urban Innovator Series just 25 weeks ago with the support of the Kresge Foundation. Each week, we feature an “urban innovator” handpicked from around the United States. But what do we mean by...

Tech and sustainability leaders convene in Richmond, CA

For immediate release: When: October 20-22, 2015 Where: The Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbor Way South, Richmond, CA 94804 What: Meeting of the Minds is an annual, global leadership summit focused on the intersection of urban sustainability and connected technology. The...

2nd Annual Meeting of the Minds Hackathon sponsored by Qualcomm: Revitalizing Richmond

Although Richmond, CA is only 16 miles northeast of the thriving city of San Francisco, the city has been largely cut off from the region’s vibrant economic and technological trends for decades. With a strong potential for future growth and a population keen on...

San Francisco After the Great Quake and the Great Drought

This blog post is a response to the Dear 2015 group blogging event prompt: The year is 2050. Write a letter to the people of 2015 describing what your city is like, and give them advice on the next 35 years. For more responses, see the Dear 2015 Event Page. The year...

Dear 2015: An Invitation to Participate in a Global Discussion on the Future of Cities

Meeting of the Minds and Morris Strategy Group invite civic-minded leaders across sectors to participate in a group blogging event on October 6th. The event prompt is: The year is 2050. Write a letter to the people of 2015 describing what your city is like, and give...

Introduction to the Civic Innovation Spotlight

As the world’s leading center of innovation, San Francisco has a significant impact on international economic activity and culture creation. As the Bay Area Council Economic Institute reports, “the region’s ability to play a role in the creation of entirely new...