Panellists
Dr. Ing Heba Aguib, Chief Executive RESPOND at BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Munich
Yuriy Nazarov, Innovations and Smart City Technologies Expert, NGO Smart City Hub; and represented the City of Kyiv as CIO from 2016-2020
Cassi Welling, Chief Operations Officer at Hawa Dawa
Moderated by Jonas Schorr, Co-Founder & Managing Director Urban Impact

Firstly we will discuss the impact of COVID 19 and the second wave. How cities and businesses have adapted and what technologies have been vital in order to achieve goals with both immediate and ‘slower emergencies’ that are still important to tackle, particularly related to environmental issues and social wellbeing. We will cover areas such as data, networks, digital communities, tech etc and highlight any positive effects of the current pandemic.

Responding to the crisis has entailed taking radical policy decisions at an unprecedent speed, in order to ensure the safety of populations worldwide. Nevertheless, other slower emergencies equally put our cities at risk, such as air pollution. WHO estimates that this takes the lives of around 7 million people a year. Innovation and technology has become even more vital to tackle these issues and we speak to the company Hawa Dawa about lessons learned and future possibilities.

The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs has set efficiency, supply security and environmental sustainability as strategic objectives of its energy policy and Munich has become a leading European location for cleantech companies. We ask our panel to discuss how this has led to new technologies, organizational changes, collaboration amongst cities, corporates and academics.

From a city perspective, we highlight why is it important to be involved in urban tech development and answer the question, how does that translate to smart future investment and opportunities for both cities and businesses?

Dr. Ing Heba Aguib, Chief Executive RESPOND at BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt in Munich

Heba Aguib joined the BMW Foundation in July 2019 with the ambition to strengthen the link between Tech4Good and investors to make a difference. An engineer by profession, Heba believes that technology can play a crucial part in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda. Before joining the team, Heba already had a close connection to the Foundation, as a member of the Foundation’s global Responsible Leaders Network since 2017.

Before that, Heba played a major role in establishing the Aswan Heart Research Centre of the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation in Egypt. As head of its Biomedical Engineering and Innovation Laboratory and Honorary Fellow at Imperial College London, she led multidisciplinary projects for developing new computational solutions for early diagnosis and prediction modelling in cardiovascular disease. She is also the HealthTech Expert for the Digital Arabia Network, founded 2018.

Heba studied Mechanical Engineering at Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany, with a focus on numerical simulation and automotive engineering. After her studies, she worked at the Department of Aerodynamics at BMW AG in Munich. In 2010, she received a doctoral degree in Micro Technology and Medical Device Technology at TUM.

Driven by a firm belief in the importance of capacity building, research and education for sustainable development, she also joined TU Berlin as Deputy Managing Director in 2011 to help establish the first satellite campus of a German public university in the MENA Region and Africa, run as a nonprofit public-private partnership. She contributed to cross-sectorial projects in the fields of urban development, renewable energy, water management, and vocational education.

On the occasion of the company’s centenary in 2016, BMW AG expanded its commitment to corporate citizenship. Since then, the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt and the Eberhard von Kuenheim Stiftung have been combining their activities in order to increase their global impact.

For this reason, the two foundations have consolidated their staff and operations into the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt. To account for the growing international orientation of the foundation, it was renamed “BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt” in 2017.

In 1959, Herbert Quandt secured the independence of BMW and thus laid the foundation for the successful development of the automobile company. In recognition of his entrepreneurial achievement, BMW AG in 1970 established the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt.

Through its Responsible Leadership programs, global network, and impact investments, the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt aims to promote the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Yuriy Nazarov, Innovations and Smart City Technologies Expert, NGO Smart City Hub; and represented the City of Kyiv as CIO from 2016-2020

Yuriy Nazarov is Innovations and Smart City Technologies Expert, NGO Smart City Hub; and represented the City of Kyiv as CIO from 2016-2020. In 2015, he co-founded the Kyiv Smart City initiative which has brought together government, citizens and businesses to transform Kyiv into a smart city. In 2015 Yuriy started to work in the Kyiv City State Administration and for the past four years he has been Head of the ICT Department in Kyiv City State Administration. More than 40 projects have been implemented in a very short time under his leadership in the fields of Security; Transport; Medicine; Housing; E-government.


Within 5 years the Kyiv Smart City Initiative has become a leading player in the field of smart urban planning, based on the principles of open data, intelligent and transparent management and the transformation of Kyiv into an innovative, digital and progressive city.
The main goal of the initiative is the introduction of the best practices of smart cities throughout Ukraine and the digital transformation of cities.

Kyiv Smart City Forum 2020 is the fifth annual Kyiv Smart City Forum since it was started in 2015. It is an open platform for discussions about the future and the event is considered to be one of the largest in Eastern Europe based on the topic of smart city ecosystems.


Kyiv Smart City Forum 2020 was conducted online for the first time on an innovative platform, bringing together 10,000 participants. including the world’s leading experts on the development of smart cities and the introduction of new technologies in the lives of residents. The headline speaker of the forum was the founder of Facebook Live, American entrepreneur Randy Zuckerberg.

Participants talk about the readiness of the city and citizens for crisis situations, about the automation of processes and technologies that help people to feel safe and secure in the new world. It is designed to provide unique content, different points of view, experience of professionals in improving all aspects of smart life. It allows you to learn about new smart tools and help your city respond to challenges.

The platform includes a real time stream of speeches from leading Ukrainian and international speakers, virtual expo zone, live communication with the smart community, interactive events, built-in video chats for participants and exhibitors, quizzes and ratings in Ukrainian and English.

Cassi Welling, Chief Operations Officer at Hawa Dawa

Cassi is Chief Operations Officer at Hawa Dawa, where she helps build internal capacity for developing successful external partnerships across business, policy and innovation. Prior to this, Cassi worked at specialist UK economic regeneration consultancy Hatch-Regeneris, where she undertook research to drive the development of high-tech and innovation sectors in the UK; held positions in the management & marketing teams at Europe’s largest online language learning platform ‘Babbel’ and most recently managed an accelerator for innovative clean-tech ventures as part of Europe’s largest climate innovation network, Climate-KIC. She is a member of the advisory board for Falling Walls Ventures and a loan editor for KIVA, a not-for-profit microfinance platform committed to improving access to finance for underserved communities.

Air quality data driven insights at your fingertips. Whether for mobility, smart health, responsive cities, city planning or prop-tech applications, Hawa Dawa’s combination of IoT, AI and earth observation data allows it to generate ubiquitous data coverage of air quality, whilst its smart algorithms help you fully understand and capitalise on this new commodity. The company helps you navigate through this wealth of innovative data, co-creating new and sustainable products, services and revenue models for the next generation of business. In addition, its aptitude to understand and leverage air quality data from satellites and through cooperation with both NASA and ESA, means the company is changing the game on a global scale. Covering the entire value chain of air quality information end to end.
Partners include companies such as MunichRe, Siemens, Swiss Post, Swisscom and many more.

The company has received several awards including from the German Federal Ministries of Traffic and Digital Infrastructure and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. It is counted among the Top Ten Innovators in Germany and subsequently Top 35 under 35 in Europe by the MIT Technology Review. Also voted the top Technological Concept by the Karl Kolle Foundation, winner of the Smart Cities Vertical of the Swiss Kickstart Accelerator and winner of the Copernicus Digital Transport Challenge run by the German Federal Ministry of Transportation & Copernicus Masters.