Meeting of the Minds 2016 Annual Summit

October 25-27, 2016

Richmond, CA

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Opening Reception

Join us for drinks and bar bites at FIVE Restaurant and Bar in Downtown Berkeley as we kick-off Meeting of the Minds 2016.

Location: FIVE Restaurant and Bar, Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Berkeley, California

Sponsored by Noll + Tam

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Networking Breakfast

Location: The Craneway Pavilion


Welcome to Meeting of the Minds 2016

  • Gordon Feller, Co-Founder, Meeting of the Minds & Consultant, Cisco Systems HQ


Civic Innovation and Urban Fiscal Health, Transparency and Accountability

New software and smart design can be altogether transformational for archaic policy systems and the day-to-day experience of interacting with government. This session will dive into how new, agile software development is enabling the way government does procurement, improves the user (citizen and non-citizen) experience, and increases transparency, efficiency, and accountability. This session will touch on technology innovations at the federal and local level regarding immigration services, healthcare, voting and the fiscal health of cities – all core functions that make cities equitable, sustainable and livable.

  • Moderator: Adam Hecktman, Director of Technology and Civic Innovation, Microsoft (Chicago)
  • Dana ChisnellCo-Founder, Center for Civic Design & Consultant, US Digital Service, The White House
  • Lourdes GermanDirector, International & Institute-wide Initiatives, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy & Director, The Civic Innovation Project


Cities, Interactive Design, and Public Space

Future Cities Lab is focused on designing, building and crafting artistic and immersive experiences in cities that respond to the data flows, sounds and visceral senses of the city. Their projects look at the digital craft – a new form of craftsmanship that still requires a human to be at its helm. Nataly’s work lights up rail underpasses, connects neighborhoods, and challenges the notion and definitions of parks and engaging public spaces. What can we learn from this approach as we think about rebuilding and revitalizing urban spaces of all kinds?


Parks as the Accelerators of City Revival

Urban parks are an affordable way to revitalize cities while providing proven positive health and economic benefits to residents. In the last two decades, urban parks have gone through a renaissance. Philanthropy, creative financing sources, public demand, community action and adaptive reuse projects have brought about a new era of urban parks. What challenges still exist? How do we ensure every urban resident has a park within a ten minute walk? How do we enable underserved communities to design, build and maintain parks?


Coffee Break


V-to-X: Linking Vehicles to Infrastructure and Leveraging Smart City Data

Connected devices and cloud-based software solutions are rapidly disrupting and changing the landscape of transportation. New V-to-V, V-to-X, and V-to-D capabilities are altering how we can match supply to dynamic demand, combine multiple service models and make moving around the region smarter, more convenient, and altogether a different experience. What is in store for us as we move towards a more seamless, less congested and altogether altered transportation future? Hear from some of the foremost global innovators in this space.


The Big Shift: Rethinking Cities in an Age of Intelligent Machines

As Toyota Research Institute’s CTO looks around corners, Dr. Kuffner and his $1B+ organization are busy building intelligent machines of the future. What does the world’s largest automaker see in the road ahead? How fast and how far are we now traveling? What’s the urban mobility future? As ride-sharing evolves, and emerging tech creates new space for innovation, can we speed up the transition to a more sustainable city? Considering the massive allocations of scarce urban land to parking, when and where can cities make their move into the new world of safer and cleaner mobility?


Empowering Communities to Act: Lessons from California’s Leadership on Climate, Energy, Environment

This election is a critical moment for climate change and environmental justice. The change in the White House will be a dramatic shift, but voters in their local communities have space to take action. Voter registration is one step on the road, and this talk will describe how big the stakes are for citizens and for leaders, how leaders can show the way, whether elected or appointed, and how they partner with both private companies and the independent sector to make positive things happen.

  • Tom Steyer, Founder and President, NextGen Climate


Urban Sustainable Food Systems, Youth, and Employment

Urban youth employment and sustainable food systems – can we unite these sectors to make cities more equitable, livable and sustainable? The Town Kitchen has developed a hybrid for-profit/non-profit model to tackle this head on. Discover more about the meals you’re eating at Meeting of the Minds and how you’re supporting a local, sustainable economy in the process.


Networking Lunch

Choose a table with the theme of your choosing to meet like-minded leaders interested in the same issues.

Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

KP logo centered color


Workshops & Workshop Tours

There are two options for afternoon workshops. Delegates must choose one.

  • Option 1: Workshop Tours to depart the Craneway by bus or by foot, from 1-5 pm.
  • Option 2: Onsite workshops at the Craneway Pavilion, broken into two sessions from 1-2:45 pm and 3:15-5 pm.

Workshop Tour #1: Point Molate –  Envisioning a New Sustainable Waterfront Community

The Point Molate Peninsula in Richmond consists of 425+ undeveloped acres on the waterfront. It is the last remaining uninhabited shoreline property of this size on the San Francisco Bay. A portion of the site is the former historic location of the capital of the wine industry and at one time, housed more than 400 employees of Winehaven Institute. The historic brick buildings and employee housing still remain. The site has numerous challenges: road access, remaining contamination, industrial and crumbling infrastructure, etc. The site has incredible views, historic buildings, natural features, open space, parks, and more. Richmond’s Mayor’s Office and Planning Department have developed a vision for the area. The future of the site is up in the air: the City is asking for international expertise from Meeting of the Minds leaders to think through next steps. Those who join this workshop will tour the site for 1.5 hours with the Mayor and Planning Director and then sit down for a workshop to think through a redevelopment strategy and design for what could be an outstanding sustainable waterfront community.

Workshop Tour #2: Healthy Communities – Blazing New Paths in Urban Parks, Greenways and Trails (Walking Tour)

The City of Richmond has a long industrial history, making access to nature difficult. The National Park Service and several neighborhood and community organizations, including Urban Tilth, are building a network of urban parks, new access points to nature, and greenways in the city of Richmond. The Richmond Wellness Trail ( is a new interactive, nature trail which has the potential to connect nearby amenities such as the Kaiser Medical Facility, Richmond BART/AMTRAK Station, Center for Performing Arts and Downtown Richmond to the Richmond Greenway, several schools, the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, and ultimately the San Francisco Bay Trail and future Richmond Ferry service. Since last year’s Meeting of the Minds workshop tour visited the Richmond Greenway, new progress has been made on this 3 mile path being rebuilt and redesigned for and by the community. Lastly, new green spaces and projects are connecting to the Greenway, providing nature and community linkages that are unprecedented. This workshop tour will take delegates along the Wellness Trail to the Greenway and hear from the innovators on how these projects are coming being planned, designed, funded, and implemented. Please be prepared to walk a total of 5 miles. Bring your comfortable walking shoes, hat, sunscreen and a small backpack to carry water.

Workshop Tour #3: Breaking the Cycle of Blight and Creating Home Ownership

Current laws and policies inhibit the ability for cities to take quick action on abandoned and blighted properties. As it stands, properties need to be tax delinquent for five years before they can be acquired with clear title through a tax sale. Many properties need to be probated in order to be acquired and the process is challenging with few incentives for cities to turn around their housing stock. Moreover, current policies promote rental housing instead of low to moderate income home ownership. But new tools allow us to know immediately where these properties are located. The City of Richmond and the Richmond Community Foundation are radically altering these archaic laws and structures by passing and selling a social impact bond to finance the acquisition and rehab of these properties. Together, they have developed nationally recognized new strategies which include working with the County Tax Collector, Probate Judge, Home Depot, and philanthropy. The City of Richmond and the Richmond Community Foundation have successfully rehabilitated a handful of properties and created low to moderate income home ownership opportunities in Richmond. Join us as we visit blighted properties and rehabilitated homes to discuss how this new approach can be scaled, replicated and transferred across the country.

  • Jim Becker, President & CEO, Richmond Community Foundation
  • Tim Higares,Director of Infrastructure Maintenance and Operations, City of Richmond
  • John Knox, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Russell V. WattsCounty Treasurer-Tax Collector, County of Contra Costa, CA

Workshop #1: The Smart City – Nexus of Water, Energy and Technology

Location: Main Pavilion plenary area

The recent water crisis in Flint reminds us that state-of-the-art energy and water management are fundamental for city sustainability, resilience and basic human rights. More and more, upgrading old infrastructure and revamping historic assets through smart city investments, smart meters, microgrids, building energy management systems, intelligent water networks, and information and communication technologies that improve drought and flood resilience are feasible. Some utilities have years of experience gathering, managing and acting upon data to improve resilience and conservation goals, while advancing the state of the art in smart technology and customer engagement. If city leaders leverage the experience of first-mover utilities, and act as the convergence point between utility and other city systems, then smart, resilient and sustainable city programs can work. This workshop will focus on identifying the challenges for three stakeholders in the urban ecosystem: user/customer, utility, and city agency. Water and energy will be discussed through the lens of these stakeholder groups. What challenges still exist? What new policies, strategies and technologies are enabling those barriers to be broken down?

  • Moderator: Steph Stoppenhagen, Business Development Manager for Smart Cities, Black & Veatch’s Smart Integrated Infrastructure

Featuring lightning talks by:

  • Scott StallardVice President, Smart Integrated Infrastructure, Black & Veatch
  • Russ VanosVice President, Sales and Marketing, Global Software, Services and Smart Cities, Itron

Workshop #2: Leveraging a Global Network to Sustain Impact – Meeting of the Minds Over the Next 10 Years

Location: The Annex

Over the last 10 years, Meeting of the Minds has grown into a 22,000-person network across 50+ countries. As we head into our second decade, how could we engage our network if we thought more like a social movement? What roles do individuals and organizations play in the network? Movements often seem magical and spontaneous, but underneath, they have core elements that make them successful. Please join this workshop for a unique opportunity to explore the pillars of building movements and how that could drive engagement across our 22,000-person network. This workshop will be led by Context Partners, a community centered design firm with offices in Portland, DC, and Europe.

  • Moderator: Garett Brennan, Director of Network Cultivation, Context Partners

Workshop #3: Expanding Financing Strategies for Healthy Communities

Location: The Annex

The workshop will serve as a deep-dive brainstorm and discussion focused on how healthy communities – sustainable mixed-use projects including urban parks and green spaces – are being financed and what untapped creative financing mechanisms are available to fund, build, design, and maintain them. The workshop will focus on how urban leaders – particularly real estate developers, community development organizations, designers, and urban parks practitioners – can develop mutually beneficial financing strategies and collaboration models.

  • Moderator: Sharon RoertySenior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Featuring lightning talks by:

Workshop #4: Getting Ahead of Autonomous Vehicles – Carbon, Congestion, Energy and Policy

Location: The Annex

Autonomous vehicles are coming yet there are vastly different projections regarding the energy and carbon impacts. Some projections show 90% energy savings while others project 200% increase in energy consumption. It all depends on the policy frameworks set up now. Should all autonomous vehicles be electric? How will autonomous vehicles interact with the grid and how will they change the scaling of renewables? Should they be shared? Should we implement AV speed limits? These are just some of the questions that have yet to be answered. Join us as we dive into a lively discussion and workshop to start to build a policy framework across sectors.

  • Moderator: Amanda Eaken, Director of Transportation and Climate, Urban Solutions Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

Featuring lightning talks by:

Workshop #5: Public-Private Partnerships Delivering Affordable, Ubiquitous Broadband for All

Location: The Annex

City administrations on all continents are grappling with a common problem: how best to work with the owners of networks (wired and wireless) to deliver affordable, ubiquitous broadband for all their residents – not just for the elite. High-speed connectivity is a key driver and enabler for equitable urban economic development, education and health. Complex relationships with utilities, telecoms and other private investors have made it hard to achieve equal-access-for-all goals and the question of ROI is always top of mind. This workshop will focus on several cities which have developed successful public-private partnership models to overcome barriers to implementing high-speed broadband.

  • Moderator: Britt Harter, Director, Sustainability and Cities of the Future, PwC

Featuring lightning talks by:

  • Joshua Breitbart, Special Advisor for Broadband at the Office of the Mayor, New York City
  • Shireen Santosham, Chief Innovation Officer, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose

Workshop #6: Open Data Platform Strategies for Smart City Data

Location: The Annex

What lies ahead for open data platforms in the next ten years? This workshop will explore how the next generation of open data platforms can provide urban practitioners, designers, architects, engineers, and policy makers with the tools to integrate new decisions into the built environment and urban services. How can the next generation of platforms provide new insights and analysis which enable cities to more quickly achieve their budgetary and carbon reduction goals? Where is the smart city data space headed? And how do we get there faster?

Featuring lightning talks by:

Workshop #7: The Future of Work: The Rise of Innovation in Legacy Cities

Location: The Annex

Shifting economic and demographic forces have rearranged both city neighborhoods and how we work. Across the country, young, talented workers prefer to live and work in dense urban neighborhoods which has spurred a development boom in downtowns and their surrounding areas. Despite these changes, many poor neighborhoods continue to struggle with underinvestment in their physical assets as well as human capital, especially in legacy cities. Furthermore, most of this development has focused on live (multi-family) and play (dining) with little to no innovation in the rapidly changing area of work. This workshop seeks to answer: How do we design sustainable spaces for the future of work, which are inclusive to a range of users, including those new to the innovation economy? This workshop will address both physical and programmatic design, using the following design tools: user profiles, conceptual mapping, and rapid prototyping, among others.

  • Moderator: Joan Chase, Director of Place, DigitalC

Featuring lightning talks by:


Networking Reception & Smart City Start-Up Demos

Join us for food trucks, Mavericks beer, and demos from our smart city start-ups:

Reception sponsored by Cisco Systems and The Internet of Things Talent Consortium with drinks provided by Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. and Shannon Wines

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Networking Breakfast

Location: The Craneway Pavilion


Welcome to Day Two

  • Gordon Feller, Co-Founder, Meeting of the Minds & Consultant, Cisco Systems HQ


Driving Inclusive Innovation in America’s Cities

Learn from urban innovators from around the country who are driving efforts to accelerate minority-owned entrepreneurial activity and connectivity in their respective cities through a multi-city learning collaborative. This session will include specific strategies these cities are using to build a pipeline of minority enterprises in underdeveloped economic corridors, connect them to city-wide resources, measure their economic impact, use policy levers to sustain these efforts, and change the local and national narrative about this movement.


New Urban Tech Talent Pipelines

The global tech economy fueling our cities is reliant on an ever adaptable and retrainable workforce. How do we build inclusive training programs that attract and retain and truly prepare women, minorities, and tech workers across the spectrum? How is the private sector changing and partnering with a growing ecosystem of providers, training programs, and non-profits? Are there funding opportunities for these entrepreneurs? How do we increase the pie?


De-Risking Cities: New Approaches to Development and Operations in the Era of Urban Growth, Climate Change, and Cyber Security

Cities around the world are confronting profound opportunities and challenges represented by urbanization, globalization, climate change, and cyber risks. To be better prepared and respond to these opportunities and challenges, cities are adopting new alliances, partnerships, and citizen-inclusive approaches to planning, governance, operations, budget, climate change, and security. The overarching lens that unifies these issue areas is “risk” management, and in particular how city leaders, partners, and citizens, in increasingly integrated and technology reliant ecosystems, can “de-risk” urban environments, leading to more livable, resilient, and competitive places.


Coffee Break


Universal Basic Income & The Automation of Jobs

Universal Basic Income (the UBI) is gaining traction on the left and the right as a solution to growing inequality, the disappearance of the middle class and the ensuing disappearance of jobs through automation and redundancy. Several states and countries have experimented with or in the process of beginning experiments with UBI including Manitoba, Alaska, Finland, New Jersey, and most recently in Oakland (CA). UBI is now being debated among leaders in Silicon Valley, social service organizations, shared mobility start-ups, and beyond. The social compact needs an update. Is this the answer?


Housing First

Salt Lake City has been heralded for its ground-breaking systems change approach to breaking the cycle of homelessness. But is this model replicable in other cities where housing prices are at all all-time high and the institutional support, particularly from the Church, is less robust? What about housing first policy works? What creative financing mechanisms can other cities use to ensure that their residents are housed and stay housed? There are lessons to be learned from a lesser known success story in Santa Clara (CA).


Building Great Cities, Public Life, and Creative Citizenship

Great cities are art cities, made up of communities that are fueled by the collective imagination, aspirations, and actions of the people. We can’t make change in our cities if people do not feel empowered or inspired. It is still the privileged few who believe in their own empowerment. Great arts institutions are citizen institutions that do not equate participation with the ability to pay, but rather their ability to ignite public imagination. These are institutions that throw open their doors and offer their vast cultural resources to the civic and public life of the communities around them. What role do cultural centers play in instigating public life and creative citizenship in their communities? With a focus on an unprecedented partnership with the San Francisco Planning Department, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Market Street Prototyping Festival is one example of an arts center building cultural movement and leading change.


Planning for New Energy Futures and Disruptions

Distributed generation, renewables, the on-boarding of EVs/autonomous vehicles – these are increasingly disrupting the grid. In the process, historical relationships are also changing, especially between customer, utility, and energy innovators. Some city leaders are ready to act and are looking to leverage the experience of their utilities. The point of convergence between utility and other urban systems can accelerate resilient and sustainable cities. How are utilities who are currently investing in smart city technologies in energy and water adapting and planning for new energy futures? What new policies are needed for cities to scale new technologies and solutions? What choices are customers making as their choices widen? Which emerging energy innovations and technologies can make new realities possible?

  • Moderator: Christine Richards, Research Director, Zpryme
  • Scott StallardVice President, Smart Integrated Infrastructure, Black & Veatch
  • Russ Vanos, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Itron
  • Rich Barone, Manager, Demand Response, Hawaiian Electric


Networking Lunch

Choose a table with the theme of your choosing to meet like-minded leaders interested in the same issues.


Unpacking Urban Mobility Services and Transportation Governance

In the pursuit of new mobility solutions, a new mobility ecosystem is emerging between public transport agencies, private industry, NGOs and entrepreneurs. Which cities are making real strides by shifting investment priorities and accelerating technology adoption? Some cities subsidize ride-sharing and call it a public transit investment. Are these changes saving cities precious dollars, lowering carbon impacts, and providing equitable transportation options? Embracing the app-revolution is just the beginning. What more can and should be done now to get us where we want to be in 2050? This session will discuss how cities, with a particular focus on Boston, are tackling urban congestion and raising the bar on their own performance standards for moving people better, smarter, on-time and on-budget.


Deadline for Your Inputs on the ‘Ideas Wall’


Connecting a Fragmented Ecosystem of Providers: Tackling Hunger in Cities

Hunger is not a problem about food scarcity. It’s a problem of access, waste, and partnerships. Until now, major anchor institutions – such as hospitals and universities – and local human service organizations have been disconnected and without a way to efficiently connect large amounts of unused food to those who are going hungry. It seems like a simple idea but the complexity is enormous. Copia set out to change that through a new technology platform and most importantly, teaching us all how to think differently about creatively tackling a complex challenge like hunger.


Delegate-Led Breakouts

Is there a burning question, comment or issue that hasn’t been addressed or needs more discussion? We have designed these delegate-led breakout sessions to provide a space for you to propose a topic on our ‘Ideas Wall’. Your topics will become small-group sessions where you can discuss and brainstorm in an interactive setting.


Coffee Break


City Resiliency in Our Lifetime

Resiliency requires more than a good disaster preparedness strategy, and it involves a host of less-than-visible risks that cities have often ignored to their peril. It has a financial, environmental, energy and human dimension that shows up in myriad ways in our urban communities: in the structure of city debt; in the state of our utilities and infrastructure; in the (dis)connectedness between citizens and their government. This session will look beyond and behind the resiliency slogans, to get at a deeper understanding of how and where the pioneers are making it possible for genuine resiliency to emerge now in our cities, and not only in the next century.

  • Moderator: Stephanie Rico, SVP, Environmental Affairs, Wells Fargo
  • Laura Bloch, Region 9 Sustainability Advisor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Kate Meis, Executive Director, Local Government Commission
  • Larry Goldzband, Executive Director, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Committee


Leading Cyber-Threats for Smarter Urban Communities

What lessons about cyber-vulnerabilities can we extract from the experience of a dozen smart-city experiments? How do cities and citizens prepare as the Internet of Things proliferates? This session will be a tour d’horizon as we assess whether our cyber-problems have gotten worse as technologies are deployed and what we can do about it.


US Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge – Next Steps

The US DOT pledged up to $40 million to one city to help define what it means to be a “Smart City” and become the first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network. Columbus, Ohio was announced as the winner. What will Columbus’ transportation network look like in 2030? What policy responses have these cities developed in their proposals? Which of these cities will move forward with policies and programs despite not being picked?

  • Moderator: Amanda Eaken, Director of Transportation and Climate, Urban Solutions Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Spencer Reeder, Senior Program Officer, Climate & Energy, Vulcan
  • Sophie Shulman, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Transportation


Looking Backwards and Forward Towards the Next Ten Years

Meeting of the Minds 2016 marks the 10-year anniversary of the summit. As we look back, where were we blind? What trends did we not see coming? And how does that inform the way we see the next 10 years? We will also announce the results of our 8-month Network Survey. Who participates in the Meeting of the Minds global leadership network? What themes are most important to them? What sectors do they represent? Are they in or outside the US? How do we better serve this growing network of urban sustainability thought leaders?

  • Gordon Feller, Co-Founder, Meeting of the Minds & Consultant, Cisco Systems HQ
  • Jonathan H. Coleman, Sustainability & Advanced Technology Manager, Ford Motor Company
  • Rahul Chopra, Corporate Development for Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Closing Networking Reception

With special guest performance by RYSE Youth Center, Richmond, CA

Reception sponsored by PwC and Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.

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