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Backcasting Transformation: Smart + Sustainable Cities in 2040

This workshop, co-hosted by the Nordic think-tank Demos Helsinki and Meeting of the Minds, will gather urban leaders from cities, corporations, start-ups, non-profits and academia to explore state-of-art methods on urban foresight. The workshop demonstrates how the Nordic way of using foresight in urban regeneration creates better, smarter and more sustainable cities.

periscopeThis event will be live webcast via Periscope. Periscope is a mobile app that allows you to watch live webcasts via your mobile device. Follow our Twitter feed to access our Periscope broadcast at the time of the event. If you do no have Periscope installed on your mobile device, you will be asked to install the app prior to joining the webcast.


April 12, 2016




Nordic Innovation House Silicon Valley, 470 Ramona Street, Palo Alto, CA, 94301 (see map below. Note: Parking in downtown Palo Alto is difficult. The city only allows a max of 2 hour parking on the street and 3 hours in lots. Our recommendation is to park at 445 Bryant Street in the parking garage. Purchase a day-long permit at the first floor machine near the elevator when you enter the garage for $17.50.)


$15.00 per person


This event is now full. To join a waiting list please email Caroline Firman.



Discussion 1

Welcome & What to Learn from Nordic Urban Foresight

Discussion 2

Nordic Urban Foresight & Lessons Learned from Smart Retro Urban Testbeds

Discussion 3

City as a Testbed for a Start-up: Waste of Time or Necessity?

Discussion 4

What Can US Cities Learn?



Gordon FellerGordon Feller
Board Co-President
Meeting of the Minds

Gordon Feller is Co-founder/Convenor of Meeting of the Minds, an annual leadership summit organized since 2007 by Urban Age Institute (UAI). Feller was for more than five years Director at Cisco Systems headquarters in Silicon Valley. He served in an executive capacity within the company’s programs focused on cities.

Prior to joining Cisco, Feller was CEO of UAI, an international non-profit research/training organization which began as a magazine inside the World Bank and was spun off ten years later in 2001. For 30 years, Feller’s advised on economic and technology issues with leaders of multinational companies, cities, NGOs / foundations, and national governments. His clients included World Bank, United Nations, German and Canadian national governments, The Rockefeller Foundation, IBM, Reuters, Metropolis, and United Cities & Local Governments.

Feller advises leaders on how advanced technologies enable leaders to solve complex problems — with a special focus on developing practical and forward-looking solutions where economics, technology, and sustainability intersect. His work is the basis of documentaries and other multimedia projects. Feller’s published hundreds of articles in newspapers, scholarly journals, and magazines, including CFO Magazine, Urban Land Magazine, TIME Magazine, Financial Times. He was formerly executive editor of Urban Age Magazine and Planet Earth Magazine.

Feller’s a keynote speaker at key leadership events. Columbia University awarded him a Bachelor’s in political science, cum laude, and a Master’s in International Affairs. AT Columbia he served as a Lehman Fellow, a Wallach Fellow and a Deans Fellow.


Harry PaloheimoHarry Paloheimo
Founding Member & CEO
Coreorient Ltd.

Harri Paloheimo is the founding member and CEO of Coreorient Ltd. The second generation sharing economy start-up develops crowdsourced solutions that save time, money and the environment. Piggybaggy.com is an internet service solution for last-mile delivery where deliver goods to each other along their way. 24/7 Community smart space concept is a distributed service platform and a hub in a smart container. In addition to technology development the company creates solutions for the whole society in collaboration with the government, the public sector and NGOs. Harri is a co-author of the non-fictional World after cheap oil (Routledge, 2014) and is an expert in the areas of natural resource scarcity, sustainable development, and crowdsourcing. He graduated from Aalto university in 2000 majoring in space technology and is a PhD candidate with his topic of transport energy efficiency improvement potential using crowdsourcing. Harri has lead research teams in Nokia, and is an author or co-author of a number of patents and scientific publications. His family of four lives in Espoo, Finland – without a car.


Aleksi NeuvonenAleksi Neuvonen
Co-Founder & Head of Research
Demos Helsinki
Aleksi Neuvonen is the co-founder and head of research at the Nordic think tank Demos Helsinki. His academic background is in futures studies and innovation research. At Demos Helsinki Neuvonen has completed tens of future forecasting projects, varying from scenario reports for European Commission research projects, to workshops on megatrends for NGOs, cities, ministries and corporations. Aleksi is currently working on his doctoral dissertation on futures research and urban planning at Tampere University of Technology in Finland and Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.


Johannes KoponenJohannes Koponen
Head of Foresight
Demos Helsinki

Johannes Koponen’s core competence is futures research and business model innovation with scenarios and other futures studies methodologies. He is responsible for foresight and futures studies at think tank Demos Helsinki as the Head of Foresight.

An award-winning innovator, Johannes founded Scoopinion, which won the biggest Nordic media innovation award in 2011 (Uutisraivaaja, by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation). In 2013, his project Herring, a computer game used to aid children’s hearing tests in three Finnish university hospitals (http://slidesha.re/h30Ivk), won a major healthcare gamification award (Gesundheit, by Sitra, the Finnish innovation fund).  

Additionally, Johannes designed the concept of a new health care center at Forum Virium Helsinki, produced a PSA-system and designed a social innovation facilitation process “Soundbites”. He holds an M.Sc. (Tech.) from Aalto university, is currently working on his PhD at University of Helsinki, faculty of Communication, and has a broad understanding about communication and media research, futures studies (TAIK/TSE) and product and service innovation (TKK).




April 12, 2016
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Nordic Innovation House Silicon Valley
470 Ramona Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301 United States
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