Annual Summit


November 27-29, 2018

Spotlighting Innovations in Smart and Sustainable Cities

The 12th Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit convened in Sacramento, California with the purpose of spotlighting tools and best practices working for smart city leaders across the globe.

430 leaders gathered to build partnerships across sectors and from city-to-city. The event focused on emerging and tested urban sustainability solutions that are scalable, replicable, and transferable for cities and regions. Discussions were rooted in a deep understanding of technology and equity as key drivers for smart cities.

The 2018 Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit was made possible by the generous support of these organizations.


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Media Coverage

Who came to the 2018 Annual Summit?

Urban Sustainability Summit Photos


  • Public Sector 20% 20%
  • Private Sector 51% 51%
  • Non-profit sector 19% 19%
  • Academic 7% 7%
  • Philanthropic 3% 3%


SVP/Director or Higher

What do past attendees of the Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit say?

“I really loved the workshop that I did, #5, looking at new development happening around downtown Sacramento. I also liked the prompted discussions at the tables in between the speakers as well as the variety of speakers who presented.”

“Very relevant topics, excellent presentations and conversations on stage, and very fruitful and open discussions around the tables. I particularly liked that despite the tech and smart cities background neither the selection of topics, moderators and guests nor the conversations were tech-centered.”

“I liked the short topics and the wide range of topics. The format is extremely good! I also liked that food was included in the event, so that there was very little to distract me. I just had to show up and participate. Everything I needed for the day was included. Thank you for that!”

“The speakers and the cadence of the conference were very good. Time use was efficient and the subjects were relevant.”

“It was interesting to be in a room with professionals from other sectors rather than same sector.”

“Superior speakers with great policy experience.”

*Results from the 2018 Meeting of the Minds Delegate Survey

Event Schedule Overview

Annual Summit sample schedule
Annual Summit sample schedule - mobile version

Beer Tasting on November 27

The Meeting of the Minds 2018 Annual Summit kicked off with an informal beer tasting led by UC Davis Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences, Charles Bamforth.

Sacramento is one of the great brewing cities of the United States. Once home to the second biggest brewery west of the Mississippi, Sacramento and nearby cities house some of the nation’s finest craft brewing companies. Sierra Nevada, founded in Chico, is legendary not only for its quality products but also for the company’s environmental approach, with attention to minimizing material and energy usage and maximizing efficiencies and use of co-products. Their lead is followed by many local breweries. And just across the causeway is UC Davis, home to North America’s pioneering brewing school, with the first ever LEED Platinum pilot brewery. We joined its leader, Distinguished Professor Charlie Bamforth, aka “The Pope of Foam”, for an informative and hilarious journey into the delights of some delicious and intriguing beers.

Beer Tasting on November 27

The Meeting of the Minds 2018 Annual Summit will kick off with an informal beer tasting led by UC Davis Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences, Charles Bamforth.

Sacramento is one of the great brewing cities of the United States. Once home to the second biggest brewery west of the Mississippi, Sacramento and nearby cities house some of the nation’s finest craft brewing companies. Sierra Nevada, founded in Chico, is legendary not only for its quality products but also for the company’s environmental approach, with attention to minimizing material and energy usage and maximizing efficiencies and use of co-products. Their lead is followed by many local breweries. And just across the causeway is UC Davis, home to North America’s pioneering brewing school, with the first ever LEED Platinum pilot brewery. Come join its leader, Distinguished Professor Charlie Bamforth, aka “The Pope of Foam”, for an informative yet hilarious journey into the delights of some delicious and intriguing beers.

November 27, 6-7pm (before the Opening Reception). Free with full registration to event. You will be asked to RSVP on the registration form.


Julie Sloat

Allison Arieff

Columnist; Editorial Director
New York Times; SPUR

Jannet Walker Ford

Darrell Steinberg

City of Sacramento

Mike Stevens

Michael Tubbs

City of Stockton

Thais Blumenthal de Moraes

Waffiyyah Murray

Better Bike Share Partnership Program Manager
City of Philadelphia

Event Agenda

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


Emerging Urban Trends and Solutions in Arizona

While some may say that Arizona is the least sustainable place in the US, there’s another story to tell that may shed a different light. This session will unpack the water, development, infrastructure and future city building underway in Arizona that may surprise us all.

  • Moderator: Lev Gonick, CIO, Arizona State University
  • Grady Gammage Jr, Founding Member, Gammage and Burnham
  • Mark Hartman, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Phoenix
  • Mayor Jenn Daniels, City of Gilbert, AZ
  • TBA


Lifespan Design for Cities

Cities suffer from “grey ghettos” where the elderly are dying of poor food access, extreme temperatures, lack of socialization, and access to healthcare. Old and young are disproportionately affected by poor urban planning, design, infrastructure and policies. Patricia Moore, an icon in industrial design, calls this lifespan design. How do we design our cities to better serve our populations under 10 and over 50 and those that need physical assistance? Hear from Patricia on global best practices that are changing the way we age, how our children are raised in cities, and what we, as urban practicioners, can do about it.

  • Patricia Moore, President, MooreDesign Associates


How Cities Prepare and Design for Electric Mobility

  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA


Small Group Discussions At Your Table


Humanizing Data for City Leadership

The proliferation of complex data from smart systems poses a meaningful challenge for city leaders, since many are not analysts or technologists. To address this gap, smart city data needs more than slick dashboards and complex visualizations. The data needs to be humanized: repackaged, contextualized and translated, so that all city staff and stakeholders can easily consume, digest and act upon critical findings. Once transformed, these refined insights directly inform urban or regional policy decisions, and can become a powerful weapon in the fight against climate change, housing crises, homelessness, traffic congestion, pedestrian fatalities, sprawl, and a dozen more urban challenges. Kitty will explain the step-by-step approach to “going beyond the dashboard” to humanize the mountains of available smart city data, and convert it into accessible, actionable materials that drive growth and positive change.

  • Kitty Kolding, CEO, Chrysalis Partners


Behavior Change Strategies for Urban Challenges

  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA


Meeting of the Minds 2018 Opening Reception

Location: Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, 1230 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 

Opening Reception sponsored by Lyft

Thursday, February 20, 2020


Networking Breakfast

Location: Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel

Breakfast sponsored by DKS Associates


Welcome to Meeting of the Minds 2020 Annual Summit: Setting the Context


Inclusive Economic Development Strategies

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg will describe his vision for a new era of inclusive economic development in which every child growing up in Sacramento is prepared to join the modern workforce and the local economy produces enough jobs to employ them. He will describe the new policies, incentives and funding that will help move the needle toward greater equality in this growing metro region.




Stockton's Revival - Universal Basic Income, Collective Impact and Economic Empowerment

The City of Stockton, only three years out of bankruptcy, is ranked among the most fiscally healthy cities in the United States and is re-imagining its economic destiny through bold leadership by Mayor Michael Tubbs, the collective impact model of multi-sector partners, and a firm commitment to evidence-based policy innovation. In this conversation, we'll hear about the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, which is the country's first-ever city-led Guaranteed Income initiative, and how it fits into a larger theory of cradle-to-career systems change that is catalyzing education reform, health and trauma transformation, neighborhood investment, and workforce development in a city of promise.




Commercial-Scale Food and Job Creation in Innovative Urban Spaces

Today, less than 2% of the US population are farmers and 20% of the nation’s farmers are beginning farmers (in their first ten years of operation). Millennial farmers make up a growing percentage of US farmers and want to be closer to customers in urban and suburban settings. How are developers, planners, foundations and cities supporting commercial ag production in our neighborhoods? Hear how several US cities and urbanized regions including West Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and others are innovating, rezoning, and encouraging the development of productive urban farms and providing opportunities for beginning farmers to get their start. Hear from one of the leading voices on the myths and emerging solutions for the future of farming and food production in the United States.

  • Mary Kimball, Executive Director, Center for Land-Based Learning


Autonomous Delivery and Freight in Cities - What's Next

udelv is a Burlingame, CA-based company inventing autonomous delivery with a custom-made, public-road electric and autonomous vehicle. Since launching one of the world’s first self-driving delivery vehicles on public roads in February 2018, udelv has completed 1,000+ deliveries for several retailers. udelv dramatically decreases the cost of local deliveries, adds delivery window flexibility, and significantly reduces the carbon footprint of freight. The company is rapidly expanding its operations across the country in places like Arizona, and others to be announced. What are the implications of lean, affordable and autonomous delivery in cities? What can we expect in the next five years?


Small Group Discussions at Your Table


Coffee break


California and Dubai - Resiliency Planning and Preparing Our Cities for Extreme Weather and Drought

California and Dubai have something in common - resiliency and drought planning among increasingly extreme weather. Dubai provides a future snapshot of where California is headed in some scenarios. California’s wildfires over the past two years put this into an urgent and stark reality. What can California learn from Dubai’s approach? What can Dubai learn from California’s approach? Hear a lively discussion and comparison of policies, practices, and technology solutions from the Climate Policy Advisor to Dubai’s Council of Governments and Professor Pinter from UC Davis.

  • Moderator: Gordon Feller, Co-Founder, Meeting of the Minds
  • Camille Amoun, Policy Advisor, Dubai Council of Governments
  • Professor Nicholas Pinter, Shlemon Chair in Applied Geosciences, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences & Associate Director, Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California Davis


SFO and the NY/NJ Port Authority - How Two Major Airports are Preparing for Rising Seas

This session will focus on how, in a post-Sandy era, four of the busiest airports in the world are preparing for and coping with sea level rise and climate change. The San Francisco International Airport and the NY/NJ Port Authority airports (Laguardia, Kennedy, and Newark) are developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to prepare for sea level rise and climatic impacts. In particular, this session will focus on their strategies, solutions, design and approaches being developed to protect their operations and infrastructure amid increasing threats which have far reaching impacts for the global economy.

  • Moderator: Colin Campbell, Advisory Senior Manager, Deloitte
  • Erin Cooke, Sustainability Director, San Francisco International Airport
  • Josh DeFlorio, Chief of Resilience and Sustainability, Engineering Department, Port Authority of NY & NJ


In the Era of New Mobility, The Streets of the Future Must Change

The foundation of cities is our largest public asset: streets. Today, we're trying to reclaim this critical public asset to prioritize shared multimodality — that is, making space for people on foot, bikes, scooters, transit, and other ways to get around. With so many privately operated, publicly accessible modes coming to streets near us (and soon AVs), how cities work with new mobility providers and create policies will have direct impact on how people move — and simultaneously emphasize necessary changes in street design and infrastructure investment. During this time of rapid change, how can new mobility better serve the existing public transit backbone in a holistic transportation ecosystem? How can we learn from past lessons and ensure that our communities’ values are reflected in cities’ policies? With better tools and data today, how can cities take a proactive role in managing both public and private modes, to ensure equitable, safe, and accessible outcomes? Remix is a technology platform for cities to take their planning ideas from vision to implementation. Tiffany and her team of 50 urban planners and technologists are based in San Francisco and Amsterdam, and work with over 250 cities around the world.


A Neighborhood Approach to Smart Cities

Soofa works with neighborhoods in multiple cities around the country providing agile, people-centric technology solutions in public urban spaces, parks, and along transit corridors. Hear from their co-founder and CEO about how they approach working with cities to co-develop solutions that provide accessible and democratized technology relevant for all citizens.


The Nation's First Truly Smart Communities - What It Takes

Verizon and its strategic partners such as Black & Veatch and the City of Sacramento are working to roll out the backbone of smart cities in communities across the country to enable 5G, intelligent traffic, vision zero solutions, pedestrian safety, and public wifi - all while creating jobs. Hear about the inner workings of how two public-private partnerships are working to deliver the backbone for future smart city solutions to be deployed.


Lunch with the Day's Speakers

Grab your lunch and take a seat at any table with the day's speakers to continue the conversation, ask questions and engage in an intimate and lively dialogue. Each table will have a sign on it that corresponds to the day's sessions. First-come first-served.


Workshop Tours

Workshop tours will bring delegates into local Sacramento and Davis neighborhoods to connect with a rich array of initiatives, living labs, innovators and organizations working at the cutting edge of urban sustainability and technology. The first three hours consist of behind the scenes, on-the-ground tours led by local leaders. The fourth hour consists of a small group brainstorm and workshop to discuss its scalability, transferability and replicability across cities and sectors. Workshop tours will leave the Sheraton Grand at 1pm and return by 4pm for the workshop portion.

Workshop Tour #1: Oak Park Neighborhood - Place-Based Investment, Schools, and Community Development (Sold Out)

The last two years have been particularly transformational for Sacramento as new development of the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods has catalyzed new investment and economic development while also posing gentrification challenges. The Oak Park neighborhood, which sits adjacent to downtown but separated by a highway, has a long history of underinvestment, industrialization, and poverty-based challenges. Several organizations are working to provide place-based investment, solutions and community development strategies including The St. Hope organization, Councilman Schenirer’s office and others. The St. HOPE organization was founded in 1989 to change that. Founded by NBA All-Star and Oak Park native Kevin Johnson, St. HOPE is a nonprofit community development corporation whose mission is to revitalize the Oak Park community through public education, and economic development. St. HOPE has opened the 40 Acres Art and Cultural Center, a 25,000 square foot mixed-use facility located in the heart of Oak Park’s commercial district which today houses Old Soul, Underground Books, The Guild Theater, and 12 loft-style apartments. The real estate business helps support several schools including a K-12 charter school serving primarily African-American students. Councilman Jay Schenirer’s office has developed a unique collaborative between 12 schools in the neighborhood across public, private and charter schools which brings together the principals of each school to work together towards joint efforts. Join this workshop tour as we unravel the unique St Hope and Oak Park model in place-based investment in holistic neighborhood redevelopment.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:

Workshop Tour #2: Scaling Innovative Green and Smart Energy - Sacramento Municipal Utility District (Sold Out)


This tour, hosted by SMUD, will highlight three of Sacramento’s most unique demonstrations of emerging technology and energy innovation including:

  • Grid Rabbit @ The Hyatt Regency: An End-to-end Hardware and Software IoT Smart Building and Room Solution
  • 2500 R Midtown: A Residential Smart Community
  • ArchNexus: The Living Building Challenge

GridRabbit at The Hyatt
The GridRabbit platform at the Hyatt Hotel provides energy efficiency, demand response and whole building management services, while incorporating a fleet of electric vehicles and a battery energy storage system to optimize whole building performance. The product is part of SMUD’s Innovation Generator program to support innovation and product launch of new businesses.

2500 R Midtown
Together with Pacific Housing and Sunverge Energy, SMUD demonstrated the ability of the Sunverge Solar Integration System to monitor and control battery storage, intermittent solar generation, smart thermostats and time-based pricing in a new construction project. Thirty-four highly energy-efficient single-family homes were designed to generate solar energy and store it for use during periods of peak energy consumption and to optimize performance. This community demonstrated the ability to integrate energy storage, intermittent generation of electricity from solar and other smart technologies within the home, allowing them to be controlled and aggregated to help manage electrical grid resources, while allowing customers to have more direct control to manage electricity use and minimize costs.

The Arch | Nexus SAC living building gives more than it takes. It’s a fossil-free, all-electric building that uses onsite renewable power generation to produce more energy than it needs, so it can be fully operational 24/7, 365 days a year. Arch Nexus partnered with SMUD to take advantage of the Savings by Design program, which provided financial incentives and staff expertise to help gain significant energy savings on the project. In fact, you’ll even find SMUD’s salvaged utility poles reused as steps to support the plant trellis lined along the building’s exterior. Other key project features include:

  • Building re-use
  • Water harvesting & treatment
  • Energy efficient systems
  • Photovoltaic solar
  • Daylight harvesting
  • Absence of harmful chemicals

Join SMUD for an exciting glimpse of energy innovation in action.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:

  • Kathleen Ave, Climate Program Manager, Energy Strategy, Research & Development, SMUD
  • Lupe Jimenez, Manager, Energy Storage and Electric Transportation Programs, SMUD
  • Josh Rasin, Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Supervisor, SMUD


Workshop Tour #3: Electric Community CarShare for All (Sold Out)

How do we make sure all Californians benefit from the incentives for new clean, electric vehicles? Our Community CarShare Sacramento is the first of its kind in the nation to crack the affordable EV challenge and is doubling in size in 2018. The Sacramento Air Quality Management District received a $1.3M grant in 2015 and a $1M expansion grant in 2017 to implement electric, free car share service for affordable housing developments in underserved communities. The District, in partnership with housing agencies, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) and Mutual Housing of California, and Zipcar, has launched a groundbreaking all-electric, free community carshare program for affordable housing residents. Our Community CarShare Sacramento provides hundreds of residents in four Sacramento affordable housing complexes with free access to eight electric Kia Souls. Six of the zero-emission vehicles are stationed at the residential communities and two additional vehicles are available for reservation by registered users at the Sacramento Valley Station. Eligible residents of SHRA Alder Grove, SHRA Edgewater, SHRA Riverview and Mutual Housing at Lemon Hill have access to these exclusive community cars for short trips like errands, appointments, and meetings. Residents of these communities receive a free membership and may use the cars up to three times a week, with a maximum three hours reservation period (9 hours per week total). Zipcar operates the reservation system and maintains the fleet. Residents are currently signing up for the program at or with printed surveys at workshops, and are reserving the vehicles using or self-service kiosks on site. There is no cost to use Our Community CarShare for the residents. Hear from the leaders and residents benefiting from this innovative program and discuss the strategies and policies they employed to launch and maintain this program including partnerships, financing, policies, community engagement, and more.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:

Workshop Tour #4: Active Transportation - Right of Way, EVs, BikeShare and Parking (Sold Out)


(This workshop tour will be led on Jump bikes (e-bikes) so please plan accordingly; disability access provided - please contact us if you need other accommodations). Sacramento is piloting and rolling out numerous low-tech and high-tech mobility initiatives to ease congestion, parking demands, and a rapidly changing mobility landscape through electric bikeshare (JUMP), bikeway treatments, pedestrian programs, a new parking permit framework, curbside management with TNCs, curbside EV charging, and other mobility solutions. Hear from three of the City of Sacramento's leaders and their partners on how they are developing new programs, policies and frameworks to address a rapidly changing mobility and delivery landscape, address Vision Zero goals, and prepare for the autonomous revolution.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:


Workshop Tour #5: Downtown and Riverfront Revitalization - K Street Corridor, Golden 1 Center & Sacramento Railyards (Sold Out)

Sacramento’s downtown and riverfront are undergoing massive redevelopment and revitalization to attract tenants, businesses, and start-ups downtown - all with the intent on creating a more livable, sustainable, and growing region. This workshop tour will take participants on a tour of the K Street Corridor to see the redevelopment, revitalization and transportation efforts including affordable housing, mixed use projects, transportation connections to Amtrak, and more. The tour will take delegates to the The Golden 1 Center - home to the Sacramento Kings - which serves as one successful anchor to much of the new economic activities downtown. The bus will then pick up delegates to drive them through the 422-acre Railyards redevelopment project on the riverfront - the largest downtown urban infill project in the country which will include new housing, a new soccer stadium, Kaiser hospital, courthouse, parks and more. The tour will end in Old Sacramento - Sacramento unique 28-acre historic Landmark District. Half a dozen new housing developments are under construction, built or under review downtown. Many of them are mixed use with a high number of affordable units walkable to transit. Hundreds of miles of fiber optic infrastructure provided by a new $100M partnership with Verizon is providing the foundation for a new era of smart city solutions in Sacramento including wifi in public spaces, health services, and more. The city is experimenting with curbside EV charging, electric bikeshare, curbside management, pedestrian programs and other mobility solutions to address the changing needs, congestion and population downtown. How does it all come together to create a livable, healthy and vibrant Sacramento? Join us as we better understand Sacramento’s downtown history, trajectory, and challenges on a walking and bus tour of Sacramento’s downtown and one hour sit-down discussion and workshop with local leaders at the forefront of this work.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:

  • Josh Leachman, Vice President, Project Development, LDK Ventures
  • Richard Rich, Railyards and Riverfront Project Manager, City of Sacramento
  • Richard Robinson, Public Affairs Director, Kaiser Permanente Sacramento and Roseville
  • Michael Ault, Executive Director, Downtown Sacramento Partnership
  • John Gard, Principal, Fehr & Peers
  • Jeff Dorso, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Sacramento Kings
Workshop Tour #6: Food & Agriculture - Creating an Integrated Health & Food System in the Sacramento Region

California is the nation’s most agriculturally productive state and its capital city is emerging as a local food systems hot spot. Known as America’s Farm-to-Fork capital, Sacramento is surrounded by farms, ranches, and vineyards and, more recently, a set of organizations creating a coordinated approach to a health-promoting food system for the region. However, for a region with such food growing capacity and abundance, sadly close to 20% of the population is challenged by food insecurity. Local non-profit organizations, social service agencies, entrepreneurs, and others are collaborating to connect urban agriculture, farmer training, food emergency response, equitable access to good food, school gardens, adult nutrition and cooking education, economic development and jobs creation, and restaurants and food retail. Join this tour to visit sites linking the production, distribution, and education of local healthy food and discover planning tools and approaches for creating a comprehensive urban healthy food system. Attendees will visit Soil Born Farms and Food Literacy Center project sites. Soil Born Farms is a non-profit urban farm and education center focused on improving health through the activation food production and food education activities in urban neighborhoods. Soil Born Farms primary training and education center is a 55 acre urban farm located 15 minutes from downtown Sacramento. The Food Literacy Center projects provide school cooking programs in thirteen schools in Sacramento and have partnered with the school district, the city parks district, and developers to run community gardens in a creative P3 agreement. Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is the leader in hunger relief efforts and will discuss their innovative ways of enhancing the emergency food system and its work with over 220 partner agencies to take on the food insecurity challenge that plagues the region.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:

Workshop Tour #7: Growing Food, New Farmers, and Creating Jobs in Innovative Urban Spaces

The Center for Land-Based Learning is one of the nation’s leading organizations working in partnership with schools, developers, private and public landowners, and non-traditional stakeholders to develop urban and suburban farms, train new farmers, create jobs, and grow commercial scale food for cities - all in innovative and underutilized urban spaces. They have been developing an “Agrihood” in Davis, CA, and working with ULI to develop best practices for Agrihood development across the US in order to integrate commercial-scale food production in master planned developments. They also work in partnership with the City of West Sacramento to rezone districts to create urban farms, as well as with supermarket chains to provide food for low-income families. Hear from the Center’s Executive Director and her partners on how the Sacramento Region is leading the way in training the next generation of farmers (many millennials) and food entrepreneurs by providing underutilized farming spaces and marketing opportunities that improve sustainability and viability, create jobs and provide local access to high quality food for their communities. The workshop tour will stop at the Cannery Urban Farm in Davis and the West Sacramento Riverfront Farm with a stop at the brand new 2-acre Drake’s Brewing location at The Barn (a buyer of the produce next door). Enjoy a beer tasting at Drake’s and hear how the new brewery and farm are partnering to deliver local, fresh food and redeveloping a district along the waterfront. This workshop tour will also be led by Andrea Lepore, a local developer, restauranteur and food entrepreneur who will show several of her projects including the Food Factory and the future Solomon’s Delicatessen, an adaptive reuse project at the site of a former Tower Records at 8th and K Streets.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:

  • Mary Kimball, Executive Director, Center for Land-Based Learning
  • Andrea Lepore, Founder + Creative Director, Lepore Development & Co-Founder, Food Factory
Workshop Tour #8: Carbon Neutrality – What Cities and Regions Can Learn from How UC Davis is Implementing a Campus-Wide Approach

This workshop tour will take participants to the University of California, Davis to learn why and how the university has received the ranking as the most sustainable university in the world. With deep roots as a land-grant institution and a long-standing status as the #1 school in the nation for agriculture, UC Davis has leading expertise in all areas of the food-energy-water nexus. UC Davis has over 1,400 buildings which account for over 60% of the campus' total energy use. Currently, campus researchers and practitioners are pioneering research, strategies and technologies for achieving carbon neutrality and improving services by using the campus as a living laboratory. This ambitious program aims to demonstrate to campuses globally, as well as cities and regions, to achieve their own carbon neutrality goals. UC Davis has a campus-wide approach to carbon neutrality including: 16 megawatt “solar farm,” the largest PV installation on a university campus in the US, the Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester which converts waste into energy. Workshop tour participants will also have the opportunity to see the nation’s largest planned zero-net-energy (ZNE) community (West Village), the Honda Smart Home, and cutting edge research being done by its centers of excellence in energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling, and water. Join university experts in various fields for a robust discussion on how to implement the UC Davis approach on campuses (corporate and academics), cities and regions across the country.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:

  • Benjamin Finkelor, Executive Director, UC Davis Energy and Efficiency Institute
  • Kurt Kornbluth, Director, Program for International Energy Technologies, UC Davis
  • Joshua Morejohn, Director, Facilities Management of Energy and Engineering, UC Davis 
  • Jill Brigham, Executive Director, Sustainable Wine and Food Processing Center, UC Davis
  • Nicole Graeber HathawaySenior Development Engineer and Communications Director, California Lighting Technology Center, UC Davis
  • Stephen Wheeler, Professor, Department of Human Ecology, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design, UC Davis
Workshop Tour #9: Homelessness, Housing, Water Access and Rights



This workshop tour will unveil the strategies, policies and practices being developed and deployed in the Sacramento region to address homelessness, transitional housing, and environmental justice. Hear from many of the region's leading non-profits and organizations on how Sacramento is addressing housing the homeless, transition strategies to secure housing, homeless access to water, sanitation and stewardship of water quality, pollution controls, the human right to water and sanitation, and water affordability. In small groups, workshop tour participants will visit the American River Parkway, Discovery Park and a prototype for a new transitional housing village solution. Participants will also hear from leaders regarding Prop 1, mobile shower and restroom strategies, approaches to deconstructing the criminalization of homelessness, political and public engagement strategies, and more.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:

  • Colin Bailey, Executive Director & Managing Attorney, The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
  • Steve Watters, Executive Director, First Step Communities
  • Bob Erlenbusch, Executive Director, Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness
  • Cori Ring-MartinezSacramento Area Program CoordinatorEnvironmental Justice Coalition for Water
  • Sister Libby Fernandez, Founder, Mercy Pedalers
  • Faygo, Resident, City of Sacramento
  • Daniel Aderholt, Moses of the Homeless, American River Homeless Crew



Workshop Tour #10: Sacramento - 100 years of Flood Management Innovation

Both the city of Sacramento and California as a whole have long histories of damaging floods. Many decades of investment in flood control have led to strengthened protections, but flood risk has not been reduced to zero, and will never be. Across the state, an estimated 7 million California residents and $575 billion in infrastructure are at risk of flooding (CA DWR, 2013). On this workshop tour, participants will visit three illustrative examples of flood management in the Sacramento area and discuss structural and non-structural flood risk management approaches.  The Sacramento region has pioneered innovative flood management approaches for over a century. Recent milestones include development of the 2017 Central Valley Protection Plan, modifications to Folsom Dam, improvements to the local levee system, construction of a six-mile setback levee in West Sacramento River, and plans to expand the historic Sacramento and Yolo bypasses to prepare for a changing climate. Large investments have been made in recent years in managing the significant flood hazard that threatens the Sacramento region, and lessons have been learned in both structural and non-structural approaches.  The trip and subsequent discussion will highlight the range of options available to communities facing river and coastal flooding, with a focus on the relative strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for balancing structural vs. non-structural approaches to managing flood risk. Delegates will visit the following field sites:

Stop 1: Natomas area levee improvements – drive along 6.7 miles of the Natomas District levee overlooking the Sacramento River. See the new levee improvements implemented to protect this once undeveloped area and learn about the challenges of financing levee improvements and managing flood risk in a rapidly growing region.

Stop 2: Sacramento Weir and Bypass -  Visit the historic Sacramento Weir constructed in 1916 to protect Sacramento from floods on the Sacramento and American Rivers.  Learn about the states’ plan to expand the flood bypass system to better protect the Sacramento metropolitan area.

Stop 3: Southport Levee Setback Project in West Sacramento – drive along 9.1 miles historic levee along the west side of the Sacramento River.  Hear about why the City of West Sacramento River decided to setback 6 miles of levee and learn about the recreation and fish and wildlife benefits the project will provide.

Workshop Tour Facilitators:

  • Professor Nicholas Pinter, Shlemon Chair in Applied Geosciences, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences; Associate Director, Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California Davis
  • John Cain, Director for California Floodplain Management, American Rivers
  • Chris Unkel, Conservation Director, Central Valley River Restoration, American Rivers (retired)
  • Tim Washburn, Former Director of Planning, Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency



Networking Reception

Location: Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel

Reception sponsored by JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Friday, February 21, 2020


Networking Breakfast

Location: Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel

Breakfast Sponsored by Daimler


Welcome to Day 2 of Meeting of the Minds 2018 Annual Summit


Resilient Recovery from Natural Disasters

This session will focus on how city-regions recover from natural disasters, particularly their water, energy and infrastructure systems. This session will dive into emerging resiliency strategies and the financing mechanisms being developed and deployed in regions such as Puerto Rico, the Middle East, India and elsewhere.


Delivering 100% Renewables & Equity Metrics at Work in Los Angeles

The nation’s largest municipal utility - Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - has aggressive goals to achieve 100% renewables, create jobs, deploy an EV charging station on every street, solar for renters - all while using equity metrics to ensure that clean, green power and water arrive for the full spectrum of angelinos. Hear from one of the nation’s only Latina female utility commissioners on how LA is rethinking its approach and delivering real outcomes for their city.

  • Aura Vasquez, Commissioner, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power


Utilities of the Future

Utilities are in an interesting driver’s seat, enabling them to use their capital in new ways to remake the industry. Some utilities are changing the game through the use of new technologies, platforms to tie together all their assets, and marrying technology with assets that were not previously connected. Hear from two of the nation’s leading utilities on how they are pushing the envelope and accelerating the transition to green, sustainable, and connected regions.

  • Moderator: Sharelynn Moore, Senior Vice President, Networked Solutions, Itron
  • Debra Smith,General Manager & CEO, Seattle City Light
  • Arlen OrchardCEO & General Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District


Small Group Discussions at Your Table


Coffee break


Anchor Institutions 2.0 - Engaging Hospitals in Community Investment and Affordable Housing

Hospitals have historically been highly engaged in charity and community investment work. But a new form of that work is beginning to take hold to fill in the funding gap in cities around the country, specifically around affordable housing. Deep research and data have closely tied health outcomes with the quality and affordability of housing making this a highly correlated and important predictor of healthy communities. Kaiser Permanente recently announced a $200M investment fund for affordable housing. A dozen regions around the US are developing affordable housing plans in partnership with major hospital institutions in their region. Hear from the innovators behind this shifting ecosystem on how they are designing, planning, bridging sectors, creatively financing and accelerating this work.

  • Moderator: Abbey Cofsky, Managing Director, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Robin Hacke, Executive Director, Center for Community Investment, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
  • Maggie Super ChurchVice President for Market Innovation and Impact, Conservation Law Foundation
  • Dr. Sam RossChief Executive Officer, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System
  • John Vu, National Vice President of Strategy, Community Health, Kaiser Permanente 


Mobility-as-a-Service – Why Public Officials Need to Define their Region’s Strategy

Public agencies are now facing enormous pressures to adapt to a changing mobility environment ranging from buses, rail, shuttles, AVs, bikeshare, scooters, ride-sharing, car-sharing, and more. As a result, public agencies need to be front and center at defining their MaaS strategy in their regions. Hear how multiple cities - Los Angeles, Sydney, and London - are working with the private sector to make MaaS happen across jurisdictions and multiple agencies.

  • Matt Cole, President, Cubic Transportation Systems


Smart & Unified Platforms Across All Transportation Modes

Toyota is adapting and changing from an automobile company to a mobility company. At the core of this shift is a focus on creating a unified experience for the end user - the person moving from point A to point B. Whether they are using carshare, rideshare, a rental car, own car, scooter, e-bike, i-Road, AV, bus, or train - Toyota’s aim is to provide an agile and integrated software experience to move easily through all chosen modes. What will this look like in five to fifteen years? How do they intend to create a ubiquitous and smooth experience for all of us as the mobility landscape continues to change, congestion worsens and our needs shift?

  • Powell Kinney, Chief Product Owner, Mobility Services Platform, Toyota Connected North America


Moving the Needle: Sustainable Travel Behavior Change Strategies

How do cities get people out of their cars and into more sustainable travel behaviors? In this session we'll hear about successful efforts to move the needle on voluntary travel behavior change. We'll learn from cases representing multiple continents and travel modes, and explore how factors such as governance and behavior change theory influence success.


Lunch with the Day's Speakers

Grab your lunch and take a seat at any table with the day's speakers to continue the conversation, ask questions and engage in an intimate and lively dialogue. Each table will have a sign on it that corresponds to the day's sessions. First-come first-served.



The Night Economy - Cities Five to Nine

The night economy makes an important contribution to city vibrancy and viability.  From entertainment districts to hospitals, “life at night” is part of how we live, work, and play in urban places. Nightlife contributes to culture and economic development, though also presents challenges for public safety, transportation, and quality of life. Valuing the night economy while navigating its downsides raises a number of questions. For example, how can residential and entertainment uses successfully co-exist? How can mobility for visitors and workers be managed for safety and efficiency? How do we ensure creatives aren’t displaced as neighborhoods change? Cities around the globe are beginning to address these and other issues through a designated "Night Mayor" or "Night Economy Manager." This session will explore what issues “night mayors” face and how they are creating smart solutions for the "5 to 9" side of their city’s economy.

  • Moderator: Melanie Nutter, Principal, Nutter Consulting
  • Tina Lee-Vogt, Program Manager, Community Development Department, City of Sacramento
  • Jocelyn Kane, Former Executive Director, City of San Francisco Entertainment Commission



Technology-Enabled Healthy & Local Food for Smart Cities

With the advent of new smart technologies in IOT, Big Data, and AI, urban agriculture is rapidly evolving beyond community farms, school gardens and greenhouses. But how can cities effectively integrate agriculture into the built environment in a responsible and intelligent way? Henry and his team have developed a toolbox of solutions for cities to identify and encourage feasible urban agriculture solutions across the technology spectrum no matter where your city is located. The solutions encourage affordable and local food to residents based on a city's sustainability, food access, and resiliency goals. Henry's work with Atlanta, New York City, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia demonstrate how cities can use scenario planning to address their long-term food needs and connect smart agriculture to the smart city agenda.


Blockchain for Clean Energy Solutions

Beyond the headlines and hype, how might blockchain function as a tool for creating sustainable, resilient and democratic energy systems? In this session, we'll hear about use cases and emerging best practices pertaining to blockchain technology for clean energy and address practical questions regarding power consumption, regulation, security, and system integration.  

  • Moderator: Rick Kubin, Vice President, Clean Energy Blockchain Network
  • David Martin, Co-founder and Managing Director, Power Ledger
  • Kristen Brown, Principal, Technology Innovation, Exelon Utilities Strategy & Policy, Exelon


The Hydrogen Economy Future

How long will it take to transition to a hydrogen economy? What are the remaining key barriers? Technology? Infrastructure? Policy? Planning? Pricing? Hear from one of the leading visionaries working on the hydrogen economy future on the key strategies to move from a dirty energy economy to a clean, hydrogen-based one.

  • Chris HostetterGroup Vice President, Advanced Technology Research, Toyota North America


Small Group Breakouts at Your Table


Coffee Break


Investing in Relationships - Funding Conversation, Collaboration and Co-Creation

The Nature Conservancy is working in cities using a holistic, inclusive approach that prioritizes collaboration with partners and engages residents to develop community-driven conservation solutions, with a special focus in frontline communities. To support this vision, the Conservancy’s North America Cities Network has developed a small grants program that funds relationship-building projects with local organizations. Since 2015, the Network has awarded 37 grants to community partners in 17 cities to facilitate development of collaborative relationships outside of a traditional outcome-based granting model. Using the small grants approach, the Conservancy creates space to address power dynamics in institutional relationships, develop emergent solutions and learn honestly and openly from both successes and missteps.

  • Moderator: Meera Bhat, North America Cities Director, The Nature Conservancy
  • Scotty Feldman, High School Farm Program Director, Jones Valley Teaching Farm
  • Mashonda Taylor, Chief Community Relations Officer, Woodlawn Foundation


Reclaiming and Reframing Our Streets - The National Street Service

Streets make up the largest portion of our cities - more than housing, parks, schools, or businesses. In fact, by area, city streets comprise a larger portion of our country's public space than all national parks put together. What if we treated them with the same treasured and honored perspective that we have for our national parks? The National Street Service aims to reframe our thinking about streets to build a shared understanding of the full value and potential they can offer. Greenfield Labs, in partnership with Gehl Studios, has developed a curriculum for participants to change their vision of what streets can and should be in our cities, tested and iterated upon across five vastly different cities - San Francisco, Boise, Philly, Pontiac, and San Antonio. Through this work we have developed a set of insights and design principles that capture what we have learned across these cities. Hear from two of the leaders of this project on key lessons learned, solutions for urban practitioners, and how we can reclaim our streets.

  • Moderator: Allison Arieff, Columnist, New York Times & Editorial Director, SPUR
  • Ryan Westrom, Mobility Partnerships Lead, Greenfield Labs, Ford
  • Anna Muessig, Project Manager, Gehl Studios


Workforce of the Future - Bridging the Gap Requires a Rethink

Organizations of all kinds are slowly starting to face one of the realities of our time: new jobs will look very different in the next decade than they do today. What roadmaps are leaders developing as they seek to prepare all kinds of people all along the skills and age spectrum? How exactly are our leading organizations stepping up to this challenge to address changing industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, education, and more? Prepping for the digital and AI revolution’s impacts will require initiative in all spheres. It is as true for employees who manage cities as it is for employees who manage the enterprises which thrive inside those cities.


Closing & Next Steps


Closing Networking Reception

Location: Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel


The 2018 Meeting of the Minds Annual Summit convened at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel.

Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
1230 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

The Sacramento-Davis region provides an exciting backdrop for the key urban issue areas discussed at the Annual Summit through plenary sessions and workshops: water policy, mobility, EVs, electric bikeshare, parking, downtown and waterfront redevelopment, housing, inclusion and equity, food systems, health, homelessness, climate resiliency, IoT, innovative governance, and more. Workshop tours on the afternoon of November 28th will break all 400+ participants into small groups to explore the region’s neighborhoods and see first-hand how innovations are being developed, implemented, financed, and scaled.

Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel