(Past Event) Join us at the World Cities Summit 2024

February 23, 2024
Event Details

04 June 2024

8:45 am – 10:30 am (SGT)

Hall 404A, Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore

We are delighted to invite you to our event – Designed for People: Expert Insights on Building Smarter Cities – at the World Cities Summit 2024, Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore, on 4 June 2024, between 9.00am to 10.30am (registration starts at 8.45am). Register as a ‘Trade Visitor’ and select our session for complimentary access!

About ‘Designed for People’:

Today technology is everywhere but access to - and use of it - remains uneven. We are all talking about AI, 5G, IoT, and Big Data. But how can we best use these tools to improve people’s lives in cities, more fully realising the potential that urban areas and urbanisation offers? Working in cities in over 100 countries and territories, UNDP has carefully selected global experts and thought leaders to share their insights, lessons, and tips on how to apply technology to transform urban environments for people.

City officials are now expected to be digital experts, whilst city residents are looking to government - national and subnational - to provide high quality services and experiences. And urban innovators are building new digital products and solutions in collaboration with cities. However, technology is moving fast and sometimes it’s not always clear where and how these new ideas and innovations can have the best possible impact. And the next big thing in tech, might not be the best thing. Bringing together a curated group of urban and technology experts, ‘Designed for People’ will feature:

  • Unique and engaging ‘Lightning Talks’ that will get you up-to-speed with the latest technologies and innovations for your city, and provide you with key information and new perspectives.
  • Ways to build ‘Smarter Cities’ - places where people, not technology, are the priority. And where thoughtful usage of technology can make a real difference for people’s lives and livelihoods.

Technology is exciting, but its direction and potential is not always clear. ‘Designed for People’ will bring global ideas and innovation to the World Cities Summit - translating technology to support your work, and your city. And sharing what you need to know (and what you may not find anywhere else) about putting digital into practice.


  • Associate Prof. Angel Hsu, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Environment, Ecology and Energy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Angel is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Environment, Ecology and Energy (UNC-Chapel Hill). She founded and directs the Data-Driven EnviroLab. Her research applies remote sensing and geospatial data to evaluate environmental policy performance. She contributed to the IPCC 6th Assessment Report and led the 2018 UNEP Emissions Gap Report chapter on non-state and subnational actors. She advises governments and chaired the WEFs Global Future Councils. Angel was a TED Age of Amazement and TED Climate Countdown speaker. She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Policy (Yale University) and was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies (Yale-NUS College, Singapore).

  • Calum Handforth, UNDP

    Calum has led innovation and digitalisation efforts globally, and has also advised governments around the world. Calum has a wide-ranging background that includes experience in central and local government, the private sector, civil society, and international development. Calum was also Co-Chair of the Digital Infrastructure Taskforce, part of the World Economic Forum’s G20 Working Group on Smart Cities. He is also a Panel Member of the Mayor of London’s Infrastructure Advisory Panel, a Policy Fellow at the University of Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy, and a Churchill Fellow.

  • Cha-Ly Koh, CEO and Founder, UrbanMetry

    Cha-Ly is the Founder and CEO of Urbanmetry Sdn Bhd, a data company that cleans and analyses large amounts of city data, through its proprietary algorithms. Trained in city planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, Cha-Ly hopes to help governments, city planners, corporations and urban dwellers by providing insights into the city with big data. Since its founding, Urbanmetry has provided intelligence to various listed companies and government agencies including Sime Darby Property, Sunway Property, UEM Sunrise, Naza TTDI and so on.

  • Prof. Cheong Koon Hean, Chair, Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities

    Prof. Cheong is Professor of Practice in the Singapore University of Technology and Design and chairs both the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities and the Centre for Liveable Cities Advisory Panel. She is also Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Finland. Previously the CEO of the URA and HDB and Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of National Development, she played a key role in the physical transformation of Singapore, including Marina Bay; and pioneered smart and sustainable public housing. Honoured with multiple awards, notably the public service Meritorious Medal, she continues to serve on expert panels and boards globally.

  • Gullnaz Baig, Executive Director, Angsana Council

    Gullnaz is an Executive Director for the Angsana Council, a non-profit group committed to increasing the growth and prosperity of Southeast Asian businesses and economies supported by Monk's Hill Ventures. Gullnaz has previous experience in building teams, policies and processes across various big tech companies including Meta, Tiktok and Twitter, particularly in ensuring that they served communities across the Asia-Pacific well. She has also worked in an early-stage social media startup, building their safety and compliance teams from the ground up. Prior to stumbling into tech, She has worked on policy development across various portfolios for the Singapore government.

  • James Tan, Director for Smart City Technology Division, GovTech Singapore, and Director for Smart District Division, JTC Corporation

    James is the Director for Smart City Technology Division (SCTD) in Govtech, and holds a double portfolio in JTC as the Director for Smart District Division. This Division supports agencies to develop and deploy Geospatial, IOT and Robotics systems and assists living technologies that support our aging population. In JTC, James leads a team that develops the Open Digital Platform - the Smart District Operating System for System Interoperability and Estate Management, leveraging digital twin technology to build a command-and-control system for the Punggol Digital District in Singapore. The platform underpins smart estate management for sustainability targets and manpower optimisation.

  • Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, Chair, LIRNEasia

    Rohan is a policy entrepreneur focusing on the intersection of economics, law and technology. He founded LIRNEasia, a think tank active across South/South East Asia. He chaired the ICT Agency in 2018-19 and served as Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka. He was Associate Professor of Communication and Public Policy at the Ohio State University and Visiting Professor of Economics of Infrastructure at the Delft University of Technology. He received the SLT ZeroOne Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, and was recognized as an Internet Pioneer by the Sri Lanka Chapter of the Internet Society in 2015.

  • Prof. Simon Chesterman, Vice Provost (Educational Innovation), National University of Singapore

    Prof. Chesterman is David Marshall Professor and Vice Provost (Educational Innovation) at the National University of Singapore, where he is also the founding Dean of NUS College. He is Senior Director of AI Governance at AI Singapore and Editor of the Asian Journal of International Law. Previously, he was Dean of NUS Law (2012-2022), and Global Professor and Director of the New York University School of Law Singapore Programme (2006-2011). Prior to joining NYU, he was a Senior Associate at the International Peace Academy and Director of UN Relations at the International Crisis Group in New York.

  • Veronica Tan, Director for Safer Cyberspace Division, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore

    Veronica oversees the Safer Cyberspace portfolio in the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, where she leads the development of cybersecurity risk assessment frameworks for organisations and published the Cyber Essentials and Cyber Trust certification as national cybersecurity standards. Veronica actively engages in emerging technologies and was previously involved in developing emerging technology roadmaps in the Infocomm Media Development Authority. She is a Fellow with the Singapore University of Social Sciences and volunteers to support the university’s Fintech teaching and research activities. Before joining public sector, Veronica was in a network engineering role, managing carrier-grade networks in a leading ISP.

Master of Ceremonies:
  • Kay Vasey, Chief Connecting Officer and Founder, MeshMinds

    Kay, a tech lawyer turned founder of MeshMinds, blends art and tech to advance climate action. She has collaborated with giants like Apple, Meta and UNEP, creating impactful projects like "Run For Nature" and "100 Days to Beat Plastic Pollution". Her films and games, including the award-winning (PLASTIK) and "Sky Farm Island," educate and inspire global audiences towards sustainability. Her mission: turning planet protection into the world's most engaging game.