Jaromir Beranek, Head of IT and the Smart City Committee of the Prague City Assembly
Sonja Malin, Senior Business Advisor and Smart City Expert Helsinki Business Hub
Jose Antonio Ondiviela Ph.D., Western Europe Government / SmartCities Solutions Director, Microsoft
Damiano Cerrone, Consultant at Demos Helsinki Think Tank
Moderated by Alex Irwin-Hunt, Global Markets Editor and co-host of Rising Ecosystems Podcast at fDi Intelligence

We will discuss the future of work and how this differs for smart cities versus cites less focused on urban technology. Will urban tech solutions trigger better ‘liveable city solutions’ for people working, as well as for those living there?

What are the main pros and cons of the changes and are they here to stay, or will we eventually return to a more traditional working environment? How can cities position themselves to take advantage of the next opportunity?

Despite many companies having to close, others such as Amazon have thrived and shown record profits and have continued to invest heavily in FDI and expansion. We explore whether being a smart city will strengthen these fdi opportunities.

As many articles have suggested, COVID-19 has accelerated the changes we now see in our work places. With remote working and more flexible dual or hybrid working, we explore, what does that actually mean for our cities. Will companies opt for using shared working facilities rather than committing to large office spaces of their own?

If even major companies like Philips report 14% less patents being registered, then does this mean less opportunity for innovation other than the urban tech solutions already put into motion? Who will be responsible for driving this change?

Jaromir Beranek,
Head of IT and the Smart City Committee of the Prague City Assembly

Jaromir graduated in International Management and Law, having studied at universities in Prague, Cologne and Fort Lauderdale. A finance and portfolio manager with experience from the start-up world, Jaromir was elected as the Member of the Prague City Assembly in 2018. As the Chairman of the IT and Smart City Committee, he focuses on Smart City and data projects, advanced technologies, and innovation, and seeks to develop new partnership. Jaromir is a big proponent of clean mobility and open data.

Jarmoir is also a Member of the Executive Board for which supports promising talents and companies, develop relations between academia and industries, build Prague’s reputation abroad, and inform the public about various aspects of AI. As a non-profit initiative, there is a push for a prosperous innovation environment and it aims to contribute to the growth of the Czech economy and society.

The Prague City Hall is an authority responsible for public administration. Its activities are mainly focused on providing services to Prague citizens. It is a municipal and regional office of the City of Prague. The Capital City of Prague is administered independently by the City Council. Meetings of the City Council are convened in writing and with the communication of the proposed agenda by the mayor, as required, but at least once every 3 months. Meetings of the Assembly are usually chaired. The Mayor is elected by and is also responsible to the Assembly. The Mayor appoints and dismisses, with the prior consent of the Minister of the Interior, the Director of City Hall. The executive body of the Capital City of Prague in the area of ​​independent competence is the Council, which is accountable for its activities to the Assembly, that also elects it.

Smart Prague represents projects that are planned and implemented by the Capital of Prague within the frame of the Smart Cities concept. Its objective is to introduce smart technologies by the end of 2030. Some of the key Smart Prague projects include the Data Platform and Prague Virtualization.

Sonja Malin,
Senior Business Advisor and Smart City Expert Helsinki Business Hub

Sonja Malin has been part of the Helsinki Business Hub family since 2018. As a Senior Business Advisor for the Smart and Clean domain she advises foreign companies on all matters around investing in, setting up, and settling into the capital region and its networks. Her passion is to work with innovation-driven, growth-seeking companies that want to solve meaningful, global problems. She has over 10 years experience in international business consulting, and the years spent in bilateral trade between Finland and Germany have left a particular mark on her. Sonja has an MA from the University of Helsinki with studied at Aalto University and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. 

Helsinki Business Hub is the international trade and investment promotion agency for the capital of Finland. It helps foreign companies to set up their business, grow, and develop in Helsinki, which offers key business opportunities in (but not limited to) the following fields: Information and communications technology, Health: personalized health & med tech and Smart & clean solutions, especially related to smart buildings & smart mobility. It provides you with the right information and contacts and identifies the best growth opportunities for your business. 

Helsinki Business Hub will help you throughout your journey to Finland and the Greater Helsinki area – from the initial consideration to establishing and expanding your business. If you are looking to find the best location for your business, co-operation with Finnish companies, deal flow from Finland or opportunities for expansion in Greater Helsinki then this is the best place to start. You will be provided with the right information and contacts, and identify the best growth opportunities for you. Free of charge.

Jose Antonio Ondiviela Ph.D., Western Europe Government & SmartCities Solutions Director, Microsoft

Jose Antonio is the Microsoft Western Europe Public Sector Government Industry Executive for Cities & Regions. He joined Microsoft in 1995 and holds a wealth of experience in field sales, sales strategy, partners management, operations and marketing. Frequent speaker at International events like SmartCityExpo, Mobile World Forum, TEDTalk, EU Events… he is also UNESCO SmartCities SME Consultant.

Telecommunications Engineer MS at UPM Madrid, Human Sciences MS at UFV Madrid, Enterprise and Institutional Communication Management MS at UAB Barcelona, and Financial Business MS online INSEAD. Jose Antonio has recently achieved a PhD at UFV, Madrid with Thesis “Beyond SmartCities: How to create an Attractive City for Talented Citizens”. He is also Associate Fellow Researcher and Director of WW Observatory for Attractive Cities at UFV (Universidad Francisco Vitoria, Madrid, Spain) and he has a number of books and studies published on the subject.

Discover the new ‘normal’ in the post-pandemic workstyle. 4 W’s: New Workplaces, Workloads, Workforce and Worktools are defining this new way to serve the citizens (civil servants) and accommodate the City to facilitate citizen daily workhours. Over the last few years, Microsoft has consistently aimed to transform the way that people live, work, play, and connect through great technology. Microsoft is inspired by the genuine belief that it can change the world for the better.

Microsoft CityNext is helping cities around the world become more competitive, sustainable, and prosperous. With its partners, Microsoft is working with cities to engage their citizens, empower city employees, optimize city operations and infrastructure, and transform to accelerate innovation and opportunity. The portfolio organizes solution categories across five broad functional areas: Digital Cities, Educated Cities, Healthier Cities, Safer Cities, and Sustainable Cities.

Damiano Cerrone, Consultant at Demos Helsinki Think Tank

Damiano Cerrone is a consultant at Demos Helsinki, an independent think tank aiming to build sustainable and fair post-industrial societies. He develops studies and solutions to energize public and private enterprises dealing with the complexity of planning. In his academic research, he leverages digital footprints to study new solutions to retrofitting inner cities to contemporary life. Damiano is also a founding partner at SPIN Unit, and he’s affiliated with Tampere University, Terreform CAUR, and an RSA fellow. 

Demos Helsinki is the leading Nordic think tank focusing on the innovative use of natural and human resources. It makes systemic change happen with open innovation and foresight. The organisation publishes and advises globally. Partners include the European Commission, Unilever, Nordic Innovation, Finnish Prime Minister’s Office and many others in path to a smarter future. People come to the think tank looking for new ideas, new concepts, and strategic change when old solutions are no longer working. What makes its work stand out is its broad-based expertise in futures studies and use of first-class research.