Smart Cities


“Smart cities are locally defined with common features including resident-centric services, a focus on problems based on community needs and priorities, data-driven processes, and sensors and connectivity.”

                                                                                   — Ed Lee, Former San Francisco Mayor

The theme of this Corporate Council on Smart Cities is a deep dive on the idea of scale: what is the appropriate scale for "smart"? Our keynote panel will present the grand vision and technical underpinnings of "EcoBlock", an initiative beginning as a $10M project in Oakland that looks to re-make a city block in a holistic, sustainable way. It is a partnership between UC Berkeley, Stanford, NASA, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and the City of Oakland. A second session will showcase the Stanford Digital Cities Program, and the council will close with presentations from five startups on their products and if/how their vision fits with different scales of action.


Council leads

Will Barkis

Will Barkis, PhD, runs the Smart Cities portfolio at Orange Silicon Valley and serves as Volunteer Technology Advisor to the San Francisco Mayors' Office of Civic Innovation where he is leading the creation of a Strategic Plan for Smart Cities and the Internet of Things for the city. Formerly, he directed two innovation programs at Mozilla and worked at the National Science Foundation, where he collaborated with the White House to launch the U.S. Ignite next-generation apps initiative.

George Livingston

George Livingston leads Orange Silicon Valley's portfolio on energy. George received his PhD in Ecology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to Orange, he worked as a fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington D.C. to guide early stage investments in solar energy technologies and catalyze market growth. He was a Data Science Fellow at Insight in Palo Alto, where he built a web tool for home buyers to estimate prospective utility bills. He has also held policy and analytical appointments at the Breakthrough Institute in Oakland, the University of California, Davis, and the Texas Water Development Board in Austin.


2019 speakers

Tony Nahas

Project Manager, UC Berkeley

Kate Ringness

CEO, The American Jobs Project

Herman Donner

Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford University

Pim Brouwer

Director Strategic Alliances & Partners, Streetlight Data


Ian Parker

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

Abdellah Cherkaoui

VP, Volta

Kevin Berkemeyer

Co-Founder & CEO at Station A

Joe DiStefano

Co-Founder, CEO at UrbanFootprint

Aram Shumavon

CEO at Kevala, Inc.


2019 agenda

2:00pm – 2:05pm: Welcome, Intros and Framing the Discussion with Will Barkis & George Livingston from Orange Silicon Valley

2:05pm – 2:15pm: Council participant introductions

2:15pm – 3:30pm: EcoBlock Initiative with Tony Nahas, Project Manager, UC Berkeley, Kate Ringness, CEO, The American Jobs Project and Ian Parker, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

3:30pm – 4:00pm: Stanford Digital Cities Visual Model Platform with Herman Donner, Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford Global Projects Center

4:00pm – 4:15pm: Break

4:15pm – 5:15pm: Startup Pitches and Co-Innovation Opportunities

5:15pm – 5:30pm: General Discussion, Wrap-up and Next Steps

5:30pm – 6:15pm: Networking Reception at Orange Silicon Valley


Previous speakers & startups


Karan Jhavar

Global Developer Lead, Nvidia


Marquis Cabrera

Global Leader of Digital Government Transformation, IBM


Shawn Guan

CEO, Umbo. CV


Nalin Balan

Director of BD, Reality AI


Paul Walborksy

COO, AI.Reverie


Ray Sikka

CEO, Sensitel



  • Ubiquitous sensors

  • Connected devices

  • Artificial intelligence

  • IoT


Sample use cases

  • Street lighting

  • enhanced connectivity

  • Air monitoring

  • Asset mangement

  • Parking & traffic control

  • Advertising monitoring

  • Energy systems

  • Predictive maintenance