Immersive technologies to empower sustainable & inclusive cities

September 22nd 11am PST/ 2pm EST

Since 2007, more than half the world’s population has been living in cities. This is projected to rise to 60 percent by 2030. Toward the SDG #11 goal of making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, Facebook offered an AR Developer Challenge to several US smart cities which brought together developers, artists, entrepreneurs, city officials, and more to develop concepts for improving the lives of their citizens using Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Join Facebook’s Director of FRL Policy and representatives from the cities of Raleigh and Town of Cary, NC, and Philadelphia, PA for a discussion on the influence of emerging technologies, and hear how AR tools and programs are changing the landscape of cities today.

Cindy Ball
Cindy Ball Policy Manager, Facebook Reality Labs Cindy Ball is a Policy Manager in Facebook Reality Labs, where she leads the development of Programs that use virtual and augmented reality to improve the lives of people, through applications in health, training, accessibility, education, job skilling, cultural storytelling, and more. Before this role, she led the Oculus Education program at Facebook. Prior to joining Facebook, Cindy worked at Microsoft for five years leading engineering teams to build online learning platforms and developing AR experiences and services for Microsoft Hololens. Earlier in her career, Cindy worked on TV animation technologies at Hanna-Barbera Productions, studied computer graphics at Caltech, co-founded the animation studio Tooned In, and built a children’s online game division at Flying Lab Software. She has an M.S. in Computer Science from Caltech.
James Hairston
James Hairston Director of Policy, Facebook Reality Labs James Hairston is Director of Policy for Facebook Reality Labs. Prior to joining Facebook in 2013, James was a policy advisor to the Head of the US Small Business Administration, served on President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, and was an economic researcher at the Center for American Progress. James holds a JD from Stanford, a BA from Harvard, and serves on the board of the International African American Museum being built in Charleston, South Carolina.
Tom Synder
Tom Synder Executive Director of Riot Tom is Executive Director of RIoT, supporting Internet of Things and disruptive technology industry growth. Under Tom’s leadership, RIoT has launched the RIoT Accelerator Program, RIoT Studios, which includes the RIoT Underground Podcast, and RIoT’s ED series. He has grown RIoT from a Research Triangle focused organization to one with an international reach. In his spare time, Tom co-instructs Product Innovation Lab, a Forbes award-winning multidisciplinary course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NC State. Prior to joining RIoT, Tom held an executive leadership role at the ASSIST Center, a National Science Foundation-sponsored effort to create wearable electronics for healthcare monitoring. Previously, he spent two decades in product development and technology incubation for multinational technology companies. He’s passionate about creating and fostering collaborations across disciplines, markets, and cultures. He enjoys the outdoors, woodworking, board games, big crowds, craft beer, and ideas that are just crazy enough to work.
Emily Yates
Emily Yates Smart City Director at City of Philadelphia As Smart City Director for the City of Philadelphia, Emily is responsible for managing and leading the implementation of the SmartCityPHL Roadmap that provides guidance on how smart and emerging technology solutions can improve the quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors while improving the delivery of City services. Throughout her career, Emily has worked to help cities position themselves as globally competitive by utilizing a systems approach to develop strategies, projects, and programs that exist within the intersection of sustainability, technology, and economic development. Most recently, Emily was Deputy Director with Envision Charlotte where she was responsible for leading the development of the Circular Charlotte strategy, which made Charlotte the first city in the US to have a citywide circular economy strategy, in addition to other local programming that created a smarter, more sustainable Charlotte. She has held a variety of positions in Europe and North America, including urban planning positions with both the District of Columbia and the city of Cleveland planning offices. Emily was a recipient of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt German Chancellor/ Bundeskanzler Fellowship, which funded a year of research focused on German approaches to the implementation of sustainability policy and climate change adaptation in brownfield development. Emily holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Arizona State University. She is a member of the Emerging Leaders in Energy and Environmental Policy (ELEEP) Network.

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