Keynote Speakers 2017

Daniel S. Iacofano
Founding Principal and CEO, MIG, Inc.

Daniel Iacofano has more than 34 years of experience in urban planning and community design for downtowns, transit-oriented development, neighborhoods and urban centers. He is nationally recognized as an expert and innovator in the areas of community participation, consensus building and facilitation. Daniel’s diverse projects have addressed transportation, housing, economic development, land use and regional growth. Daniel was has worked in a wide range of communities from Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Denver to Anchorage, Dallas and Washington, D.C. He is a leader in the national re:Streets effort, exploring the future of streets and what America’s roadways would be like if they were designed for living, instead of just driving. He is the author of several books including Meeting of the Minds, The Inclusive City and the upcoming Streets Reconsidered: Inclusive Design for the Public Realm.

Title of Speech: Designing the Inclusive City:  Neighborhood, City, Region



Arun Jain

Arun Jain is an urban designer and urban strategist with over three decades of international experience in practice, city leadership and academia. Based in Seattle, Washington, he advises public and private institutions engaging city and regional administrations, development companies, institutions, and foundations to improve cities and urban life. Arun has planned, designed, and directly influenced over 90 new private and public projects with a combined investment capital of over 14 billion US Dollars. He focuses on urban decision support tools, behavior sensitive infrastructure strategies, and development frameworks. Arun has contributed in several UN forums. Most recently he was invited by the UNODC (UN Office of Drugs and Crime) to discuss urban safety. Earlier he was UN policy unit expert for the UN Habitat III effort leading up to the New Urban Agenda declaration in Quito, Ecuador Habitat. Arun was also a lead expert in the UN Urban SDG development process (Goal 11). Arun has held academic positions in six universities. In 2016, he was a German Federal Government (DAAD) funded guest Professor at the Institute for City & Regional Planning (ISR), Technical University of Berlin. From 2003-09 Arun was Portland, Oregon’s first Chief Urban Designer. In 2001, he led the creation of a national policy structure and a development suitability tool for the island country of Palau. Arun has served on several international boards, including the IFHP (International Federation of Housing and Planning) and ARUS (Advanced Research in Urban Systems), University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. He has also been a strategic planning advisor to the Indian State Government of Karnataka (pop. 64 million). Arun received his professional Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi, India, and two Master’s Degree’s (City Planning & Architecture) from the then Urban Design Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.


Saskia Sassen

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought, which she chaired till 2015. She is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitization three key variables running though her work. Born in the Netherlands, she grew up in Argentina and Italy, studied in France, was raised in five languages, and began her professional life in the United States. She is the author of eight books and the editor or co-editor of three books. Together, her authored books are translated in over twenty languages. She has received many awards and honors, among them multiple doctor honoris causa, the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize in the Social Sciences, election to the Royal Academy of the Sciences of the Netherlands, and made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government.

Title of Speech: No Smart City if it Fails to Mobilize its People’s Intelligences


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