Johanna Pitman

Program Director, CityConnect

Startups: engaging citizens and unlocking smart cities

Smart cities require more than clever use of existing and frontier technologies to solve urban challenges. It takes many people to visualise what a city should be, not just governments. A city needs to be as diverse as the population who live in it. It is only through engagement with diverse stakeholders, testing of a range of solutions, and facilitated collaboration that the promise of smart cities will be realised.

Startups and entrepreneurs by nature are diverse – they are customer-focused, they respond quickly to changing technology and customer needs, and bring new perspectives to address problems.

Johanna Pitman is leading CityConnect, an open innovation program that finds, funds and develops great ideas to solve urban challenges. She will share evidence and examples that show smart cities initiatives are more meaningful to citizens, and better reflect community needs when startups and entrepreneurs are integrated into the design and delivery of smart cities. Leveraging the experience of BlueChilli, Australia’s leading startup accelerator and incubator, Johanna is uniquely positioned to talk about the value of working with startups, and the best ways to harness the creativity of the startup community in collaboration with large corporates and governments.