Shireen Santosham, San Jose's Vision for a Smart City, Samsung Forum

From the deployment of broadband to autonomous vehicles to the proliferation of Internet of Things sensors and beyond, an array of technology-based innovations is leading to dramatic changes in cities. There is great potential benefit and risk that each of these innovations bring, and cities must balance a desire to be innovative and open with a commitment to govern equitable, healthy and safe cities. This talk will showcase the San Jose Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation’s efforts to leverage these technologies in order to solve the most pressing issues facing the nation’s 10th largest city. This means focusing on housing, transportation, closing the digital divide, helping residents better interact with City Hall, and enabling the tech community – from startups to established firms – to use the city as a platform for innovation.

Shireen Santosham is the Chief Innovation Officer under the Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose. In 2016, under Mayor Liccardo, she launched San Jose’s Smart City Vision initiative and has since championed affordable broadband, autonomous vehicle pilots, a comprehensive privacy policy, and apps and social media to help residents interact with the city more easily. Prior to joining the city, she launched innovative initiatives across sectors. She led research to size the gender gap in internet access for women in the developing world while a Director at GSMA, helped to launch the Center for Government while at McKinsey & Company, helped to secure $50M to combat global over-fishing while at Oceana, and helped to stand up the Allen Institute for Brain Science while an impact investor at Vulcan Capital. She was named to GovTech’s List of 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers in 2018, and her work has been featured in Bloomberg Technology, KQED, and Ars Technica.

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