Join us for a live webinar on Wednesday, October 14th, to discuss popular themes from the #dear2015 group blogging event.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Opening Reception

Location: Hotel Shattuck Plaza – Crystal Ballroom, 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

Sponsored by City of Berkeley, Downtown Berkeley Association, & Noll and Tam

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Shuttles pick-up at Hotel Shattuck Plaza and Richmond BART station
Light breakfast and networking at The Craneway Pavilion 


  • Gordon Feller, Director, Cisco & Board Co-President, Meeting of the Minds

Setting the Context: Richmond’s Innovations at Work

Richmond is home to dozens of innovative organizations, programs and initiatives that fly under the radar. These groundbreaking approaches are improving the livability and sustainability of the city in numerous ways. Hear from some of Richmond’s local leaders regarding only a few of the many revitalization projects taking place here in the City of Richmond.


2015 Civic and Industrial Hackathon Winners

The top three Civic and Industrial Hackathon teams will present the apps and IoT solutions they developed as part of the 2015 Meeting of the Minds Hackathon. Their challenge was to develop an application for smart and sustainable cities that is directly relevant to the needs of Richmond. The top Civic team wins a $5,000 cash prize from Qualcomm. AT&T is providing a $5,000 gift to a local Richmond non-profit on behalf of the winning Industrial Hackathon team.

  • Moderator: Aidoo Osei, Director, Business Development, Smart Cities/Industrial IOT, Qualcomm
  • Industrial Hackathon Award Provided by: Ruth Yomtoubian, Director, AT&T Foundry

Civic Hackathon Judges:

  • Aidoo Osei, Director, Business Development, Qualcomm
  • Scott Mauvais, Director, Technology & Civic Innovation, Microsoft
  • Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Clara Brenner, CEO, Tumml
  • Adam Lenz, Environmental Manager, City of Richmond

Industrial Hackathon Judges:

  • Gordon Feller, Director, Cisco
  • Rika Nakazawa, Head of Global Strategic Partnerships, frogdesign
  • Mark Graham, Director of the Wayback Machine, Internet Archive
  • Ruth Yomtoubian, Director, AT&T Foundry
  • Corey Marshall, Director, Splunk4Good, Splunk, Inc.

Local Answers for Under-Resourced Cities – The Future of Partnerships, Pro Bono and Service-Based Innovation

How do you upgrade and improve millions of square feet of public housing? Can going to the doctor be painless, even at a public hospital? Find out the answers to these questions­ and how new private sector partnership models and pro bono services enable city government to implement lasting solutions. Many cities from New York to Chicago to Minneapolis-St. Paul to San Jose have successfully adapted the Civic Consulting model and are now working with civic-minded businesses on large-scale civic innovations with meaningful impact.

  • Moderator: Alexander Shermansong, CEO, Civic Consulting USA
  • Steven Newmark, Sr. Policy Advisor & Counsel, Office of the Mayor/Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, City of New York
  • Karina Totah, Senior Advisor to the Chair at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), City of New York
Coffee Break

Sharing the Road: BRT & Global South Urban Mobility

How are Global South cities in Latin America and Africa developing and implementing BRT and solving the interface between people and mobility systems? The reality is BRT is not possible in all cities. What factors are required to make BRT work? What other modes must exist alongside BRT for a complete transit system to successfully serve city dwellers? BRT in certain African cities is being co-developed in conjunction with other bus solutions – formal and informal. Comparing these trends to North American cities, a different kind of global mobility future starts to become more clear.

  • Moderator: Mary Skelton Roberts, Senior Program Officer, Climate, The Barr Foundation (Boston)
  • Juan Carlos Muñoz, Director of the Department of Transport Engineering and Logistics, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Santiago)
  • Roger Behrens, Director, The African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport (Cape Town)
  • Heather Thompson, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

Health: A Critical Missing Element of Economic Vitality

Despite increasing expenditures in health ($1T annually, 17% GDP), the US is falling in key indicators of health, whereby some measures health outcomes are just above the Czech Republic. Ominously, there is a high correlation between health and income and are now seeing life expectancy differences of up to 20 years based on a person’s zip code. Pioneers in the health field are now focused on how to improve health (especially those at the bottom of the health rung) through integration with upstream determinants of health such as education, the built-environment, micro-finance, and community organizing.  This session will feature leading national initiatives that are breaking new ground through innovative models of deep multi-sector collaboration.

  • Moderator: John Moon, District Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • Nancy Andrews, President and CEO, Low Income Investment Fund
  • Anthony B. Iton, Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities, The California Endowment
  • Sharon Roerty, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Networking Lunch


Workshop Tours

Workshop tours will bring delegates into local Bay Area neighborhoods to connect with a rich array of initiatives, living labs, innovators and organizations working at the cutting edge of urban sustainability and technology. The first two hours consist of behind the scenes, on-the-ground tours led by local leaders. The third hour consists of a small group brainstorm and workshop to discuss its scalability, transferability and replicability across cities and sectors. Workshop tours will leave the Craneway Pavilion at 1pm and return by 5pm via bus, foot or bike.

Workshop Tour 1: Richmond’s Waterfront Re-imagined – UC Berkeley’s New Global Campus
Workshop Tour 2: Bottom Up Innovation and Regeneration – North Richmond Parks, Greenways, and Food Systems
Workshop Tour 3: Lawrence Berkeley National Labs’ FLEXLAB – The World’s Most Advanced Energy Efficiency Test Bed for Buildings
Workshop Tour 4: Oakland Incubators, Makers, Revitalization and Entrepreneurial Strategies
Workshop Tour 5: Downtown Berkeley – Arts District, Transit, Entrepeneurship and Economic Development Strategies
Workshop Tour 6: Richmond’s Historic Downtown Revitalization, Housing Redevelopment, Blight Elimination and Social Justice
Workshop Tour 8: Distributed, Renewable and Democratized Clean Energy and Water
Workshop Tour 9: Toyota Mirai Ride & Drive: The Inner Workings of the World’s First Mass-Produced Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
Workshop Tour 10: Drones for the City – Urban Applications at Work

Workshop tours return to the Craneway Pavilion by bus.


Networking Reception and Food Truck Festival

Sponsored by Oracle at The Craneway Pavilion  

Thursday, October 22, 2015
Shuttle pick-up at Hotel Shattuck Plaza and Richmond BART station (sessions begin at 8:30am)
Light breakfast and networking at The Craneway Pavilion 

Welcome to Day 2


Food System Mapping and Resiliency Planning: Where Is Your Food Coming From During the Next Superstorm?

Understanding a city’s food system vulnerability in the event of natural disasters and its energy implications are challenges finally getting the attention of many urban centers. The session will highlight urban food mapping and resiliency strategies in three cities—Boston, New York and San Francisco. The City of Boston’s Office of Food Initiatives engaged ICIC to study the resilience and preparedness of Greater Boston’s food system in the event of a natural disaster. The project aims to understand the points of production, processing, and distribution of Boston’s food system and identify areas of vulnerability. As New York City is learning from Hurricane Sandy, the Office of the Food Policy Director is increasingly considering long-term food resiliency. San Francisco has also begun to address food resiliency – more so than many other cities – as decision makers realize that food is a critical part of disaster recovery in the short and long-term.

  • Kim Zeuli, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, ICIC

Urban Innovator Spotlight

Issue Media Group and Meeting of the Minds are proud to announce a new initiative, made possible by support from the Kresge Foundation.


Remixing the 21st Century Transport Recipe

  • ModeratorGordon Feller, Director, Cisco and Board Co-President, Meeting of the Minds
  • John HansonAdvanced Technology and Business Communications, Toyota Motor Sales, Inc.
  • Matt McClory, Manager, Toyota Technical Center, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc.

Richmond Bayway: Planning for the Waterfront in 2100

The San Francisco Bay waterfront poses a climate and seismic challenge. In thinking about the future of urban communities on the water’s edge, particularly Richmond, Tom Leader and his studio have developed a series of thought pieces and design concepts that challenge our notions about the viability of where and how we prepare for a changing climate, rising sea levels, shifting seismic activity, environmental impacts, economic livelihoods, industry, energy, and social sustainability.

Tom Leader, Founder, Tom Leader Studio

Coffee Break

Are We There Yet? Getting Farther Down the Road to the Smart City

Making smart city visions a reality will require “comprehensive approaches” that begin to transform each and every major corner of the city’s life, especially in urban infrastructure: power supplies, energy grids, broadband networks (wired and wireless), lighting, buildings, mobility, street design, etc. These innovations are reshaping our multi-faceted relationship with the city. This unique session will bring together leaders from different smart city sectors to discuss how a more comprehensive approach can truly be accomplished if we are to successfully upgrade more cities into smart and connected places to live, work and play. What will it take? How far are we from the next level on the path towards a successful smart city revolution? This session will provide a glimpse around the corner, offering a clear-eyed view of alternative, smart urban futures which are already emerging.

  • Moderator: Gordon Feller, Director, Cisco
  • Rick Azer, Director of Development, Smart Integrated Infrastructure Group, Black & Veatch
  • Russ Vanos, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Itron
  • Dave Pogue, Global Director of Corporate Responsibility, CBRE
  • Rosetta Carrington Lue, Chief Customer Service Officer, City of Philadelphia

The Water and Drought Crisis: Learning from Abroad

When Singapore gained independence in 1965, providing water for its population and economy was a seemingly impossible challenge for the new Government. Today, through sound water management policies and investments in R&D, the city-state boasts of a vibrant and thriving water sector. Singapore’s national water agency, PUB has put in place a long-term water supply strategy with four different water sources known as the Four National Taps: water from local catchments, imported water from Malaysia, high-grade reclaimed water (branded NEWater), and desalinated water. NEWater is the jewel of its water diversification strategy, meeting up to 30% of its current water needs, and is set to supply more than half of water demand by 2060. Together with a proactive community engagement programme to motivate the public to conserve and keep our catchments clean, Singapore has become a model of sustainable urban water management for the world.

  • George Madhavan, Director, 3P Network Department, Public Utilities Board, Singapore

Brazil’s Cities: In Contention, In Transition

Large-scale urban redevelopment in the largest South American economy is being driven by massive socio-economic forces, not least of which is the World Cup and Olympics. Many of these projects — in urban housing and transport (roads, rails, airports, BRT) — are displacing residents and affecting other fundamental rights. Deep impacts are being felt in the very neighborhoods where people live their lives. What is the government’s strategy, and how is it playing out in the real world, through both private and public investments? Who is the redevelopment process serving? What will the long-term impacts be? Many projects are hotly contested and have spurred a surge in bottom-up participatory planning, and that in turn is starting to make itself felt in national policies and in municipal government. Simultaneously, grassroots-oriented media outlets are telling the stories in ways that challenge mainstream media narratives. In this session you’ll hear about the latest developments from one of the most prominent sponsors of change-oriented organizations working to shift the debate about Brazil’s urban futures.

  • Letícia Osorio, Human Rights Programme Officer, The Ford Foundation, Brazil

Post-Bankruptcy Detroit: Where Do We Go Now?

Detroit, in its grit and glory, is forging a new dynamism – through connection and cooperation. New players complement the tried and true; new possibilities offer a frank hope. There are new styles of decision-making, too, that are inclusive and distributed. The Kresge Foundation’s President Rip Rapson will talk about the extraordinary circumstances associated with the city’s bankruptcy, which propelled philanthropy in unexpected directions. These new approaches represent the next generation of philanthropy for Kresge and for the entire sector. It arises from Kresge’s aspiration to effect meaningful change in society, shaped and tested by their efforts in Detroit.


Detroit to Memphis: Post-Industrial Urban Economic Development and Revitalization Strategies

Leslie brings her experience leading Detroit’s TechTown to Memphis, where she has taken the helm of an exciting new organization called the EPIcenter. The mission of both groups is similar: to reinvigorate struggling, post-industrial cities by championing residents with bold ideas and tenacity, and empowering them to convert those ideas into solid and sustainable businesses. From its inception in 2007 through 2014, TechTown served over 1,000 small companies and helped them raise $107MM in capital that created new jobs, vibrancy and an infusion of wealth into the local economy. Leslie is now standing up Memphis’ EPIcenter, a “front door” point of contact for entrepreneurs and creators that coordinates local resources around small business training, mentors, investors, networking, and technical assistance programs. From cloud-based services to coffee shops, Leslie fiercely believes that we can redefine cities and neighborhoods by catalyzing innovative ideas, and the audacious founders that develop them into startup companies.

  • Leslie Lynn Smith, President of EPIcenter and Vice President of Memphis Bioworks Foundation

Networking Lunch


Anatomy of an Expansion: One Region-wide Car Sharing Network is Filling Big Gaps

The sharing economy is now much more than two buzzwords. But how exactly to scale up? We’ve asked an executive from one of the sharing economy’s best success stories to unravel the mystery. How did the Bay Area arrive at its current state of play? Growing from a few hundred members sharing a few dozen cars in San Francisco in 2005, to tens of thousands of members sharing more than 1,000 cars across the city, East Bay, Silicon Valley and San Jose. This measured expansion is the result of a combination of Zipcar’s “build from the inside out” approach to car sharing, innovative policies put in place by several local governments and municipalities, and the recognition by leading universities of the benefits of car sharing. Today, the Bay Area stands as one of the most, if not the most, expansive integrated network of car sharing, and a case study for other cities and regions looking to do the same.


The New City Hall

Creating a connected urban community means linking young creatives to each other and to their city – particularly city hall. That is the core idea embedded inside Tel Aviv’s Young Adults Department – the first of its kind – created by Michael Vole. Reinventing local government means enabling innovative ways for young citizens to interact with each other and with their government. After testing new approaches, Michael has found some underlying principles that might also work in your city.

  • Michael Vole, Director, Young Adult’s Department, City of Tel Aviv, Israel

Next-Gen Commercial Buildings: From Lab to Marketplace

Today, 40% of energy is consumed by commercial buildings in the U.S. Additionally, people spend nearly 90% of their time indoors. How can we make buildings more efficient as well as provide a healthier and more productive environment for the individuals who occupy them? The answer is through technology innovation. There is no shortage of good ideas. The U.S. has always been a leader in innovating technologies, but as of late, a significant valley of death exists from getting these ideas out of the labs and into the commercial marketplace. If we are able to speed up the rate of adoption and commercialization path for sustainable building tech entrepreneurs, a domino of economic, social and environmental benefits will follow. Technology adoption will ultimately help our communities be more sustainable, improve the quality of life for occupants and create a wave of economic development as new companies emerge. Learn how Wells Fargo has created a unique program and platform that creates an ecosystem around the problem and opportunity related to commercial building energy use.

  • Moderator: Ashley Grosh, VP and Environmental Affairs Business Initiatives Manager, Wells Fargo & Company
  • Richard AdamsDirector of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Oren Schetrit, Co-Founder & CEO, Whisker Labs
  • Beverly Alexander, Co-Director, Cleantech to Market Program, Energy Institute at Haas

Digital Finance, Alternative Currencies and Housing in Vancouver

According to provocateur and THNK alumni Michell Zappa, “an industry-toppling, government-shifting, sector-disrupting revolution is underway. Think Napster, but bigger.” You have probably felt the undercurrents. Yet as economic waves rock the boat of capitalism, many are unprepared for what’s next. Looking at the future through this lens and using the Vancouver housing market as a petri dish for discovery, THNK School of Creative Leadership has asked “how might alternative and digital currencies increase access to affordable low-carbon housing for those in need?” This is the Challenge that THNK put to its first Vancouver cohort, inviting a diverse ecosystem that includes innovation partners like the City of Vancouver and the Digital Finance Institute to roll up their sleeves with the executive participants. We’ll find out what they’ve discovered about how fintech and alternative financial models are impacting urban landscapes and providing surprising hope for global communities.

  • Moderator: Kaz Brecher, Founder & Chief Catalyst, Curious Catalyst & Faculty, THNK School of Creative Leadership
  • Christine Duhaime, Executive Director, Digital Finance Institute
  • Mukhtar Latif, Chief Housing Officer, City of Vancouver

Municipal Financing – Expanding the Options

According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors polling data, 65 percent of respondents endorsed infrastructure spending as an important priority. While Washington policy makers continue to debate funding sources, there is an equally important discussion related to the financing model. Perhaps the way forward is a hybrid involving the most effective aspects of both Public-Private Partnerships (P3) and municipal markets. To that end, it is more likely that the solution to financing the massive backlog of U.S. infrastructure will not come from just the tried and true, but rather a new approach that the municipal industry should have an active voice in guiding.

  • Chris Hamel, Managing Director & Head of Municipal Finance, RBC Capital Markets

Innovations in Financing Infrastructure

American cities have been pushed to the limit in maintaining municipal fiscal health, squeezed by federal mandates coinciding with decreases in state and federal aid, and a continuing backlash against the bedrock source of revenue for local government, the property tax. And all this is just at a moment when investments in infrastructure have never been more necessary for metropolitan regions. George W. “Mac” McCarthy, president and CEO of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, will explore the use of the mechanism of value capture to finance urban infrastructure — widely used in Latin America, but just starting to get attention in the U.S.


Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding 2.0: Reinventing Urban Systems

Urban focused start-ups are re-imagining city services, raising capital, and scaling quickly. By disrupting traditional approaches and by some accounts, broken urban systems, they are creatively solving intractable and long-held urban challenges. Hear about some these innovations from the innovators themselves in social services, municipal financing, and the transportation sector. How are these urban systems changing? Where did these ideas come from? How did they evolve? What are the tangible impacts for cities and their residents, now and into the future?


Rethinking the Future Urban Workforce – New Education, Human Capital and Skill Building Models

What does the future urban workforce look like? How do cities support learning for everyone? Some high schools and community colleges are taking a different approach which combines skills  — and in some cases going beyond skill-based training. How do we prepare a workforce for economies that change fast, perhaps even every decade? Will formal education models still exist in 15 or 20 years? What are some of the new “advancement models” that don’t follow the classical approach? Hear from leaders in multiple sectors who are creating better methods and building stronger bridges between formal learning organizations, governments, the private sector, and non-profits.


The Colleges We Need to Create the Cities We Want

Community colleges (CCs) sit at the nexus of some of the most powerful forces reshaping our lives. The very best of such schools are positioning themselves as vital contributors to the retooling underway in their cities. CCs will change the ways that the next generation of leaders, makers, citizens get trained for their future roles. A place-based approach to learning requires that entrepreneurs connect with their communities. But changing how CCs link with neighbors, neighborhoods and businesses is easier said than done. As creatives move from holding jobs towards holding ‘work’, CCs must invest in whatever makes it easier for students to create their work portfolios. Education and work training have been separated from one another. Now, the best skilled-worker has formal training and succeeds when they have already applied it before entering the workforce. The new economy means what for training? How do we prepare someone for active participation in this new emerging economy?

  • Van Ton-Quinlivan, Vice Chancellor, California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office

Special Guest


Concluding Thoughts and Next Steps


The Unveiling of Mavericks, California’s Newest Beer

This unique beverage, brewed by Mavericks Brewing, a sister company of the Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., uses high purity recycled California water to create a remarkable taste. In collaboration with Meeting of the Minds, Mavericks is organizing a tasting event this evening. A panel of leaders from government, the food industry, and the water industry will participate in this blind tasting.

  • Introduced by Lenny Mendonca, Co-owner and Co-founder, Half Moon Brewing Co. & Mavericks Brewing

Judging Panel:

  • Jen Biesty, Executive Chef/Partner, Shakewell
  • Peter Fimrite, Environmental Writer, San Francisco Chronicle
  • Hugo von Meijenfeldt, Consul General, Consulate General of the Netherlands, San Francisco
  • Ed McCormick, President, Water Environment Federation
  • Mayor Tom Butt, City of Richmond, CA

Closing Networking Reception

Sponsored by Microsoft and Mavericks Brewing. Join us for a lively closing reception and beer from Mavericks Brewing- outside along the waterfront with views of San Francisco and the East Bay.

The Craneway Pavilion 

Meeting of the Minds is made possible by the generous support of these organizations: