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The Accelerators provide an unprecedented opportunity to learn from and network with the world’s leading city innovators, researchers, and select executives from the technology and start-up community. Working together, attendees will discuss, define and create solutions for the future of your cities.

The Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator series has been developed to enable multi-disciplinary discussions between senior leaders across the gamut of topics that make up Smart Cities. Unlike conventional, domain-specific conferences where topical content is narrow and participants are generally from the same discipline, the Accelerators bring together people from many sectors and places, fostering cognitive diversity and creating a ripe climate for innovation. The goal is to create and stimulate conversation that would normally not take place elsewhere.
 
The Summits and Symposia provide three important benefits to participants:
  1. Education – As experts in their fields, participants learn from one another through interactive sessions and dedicated talks. These aim to educate, raise important questions, and present the latest data on trends and the current state of the Accelerator topics.
  2. Multi-disciplinary Engagement – The Accelerators are sized such that even across sectors during the main session, a conversation can occur amongst all participants. Questions and answers are not only between the speakers, but also discussed among the participants. Facilitators and moderators ensure engagement and are a catalyst for the conversation.
  3. Action – The ultimate goal of the Accelerators is impact, so action is a critical component. The Accelerators dedicate significant time to action sessions with the participants. An active action development format drives the discussion and ideas presented into a set of plans that participants will take back to their respective cities.
 
In today’s globally connected world, cities are challenged by the need to provide more than just the basic necessities of infrastructure and traditional city services. From bridging the gaps of connectivity and digital divide to open data and economic development, city leaders are being asked to do more now than ever before. Without enough money to solve all the challenges they face, public private partnerships are critical as cities look to get smart, compete globally and provide quality of life for their citizens. To lead the next civic generation, cities must enable — and drive — innovation in their communities, providing creative solutions to urban problems that will improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for their citizens.
 
Why attend a Smart Cities Accelerator?
 
Through the Smart Cities Innovation Accelerators, you will explore the critical needs required to drive innovation in your community.  You will take a deep dive into questions concerning infrastructure, education, community involvement and economic programs. The Accelerator will address the critical leadership attributes needed to choose and implement a mix of collaborative strategies, governance models, and technologies. Most importantly the real world collaboration and innovation sessions produce strong, practical and action-centric takeaways that will help you make your community an innovation leader for the future.
The Smart Cities innovation Accelerators are invitation-only programs.  Other applicants will be reviewed and accepted on a case-by-case basis. The Accelerators are provided complimentary to City Leaders with no tuition fee to attend and some Accelerator events may also include a subsidy for travel and hotel expenses. Attendance is limited, so we encourage you to apply soon.
 
The program is structured with interactive sessions that use Harvard’s proven case study model where participants learn from real life examples and work with peers to solve problems. This format is complemented by in-depth discussions where participants share their own personal experiences, best practices, and the key challenges they have faced. With plenty of networking and socializing opportunities, the program will be an immersive experience that allows you to learn as well as connect with like-minded senior leaders.