Urban Tech Summit: How Technology Moves People

The Urban Tech Summit brings together academics, executives, entrepreneurs, government officials, and nonprofit leaders to solve today’s urban issues.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


October 23, 2018 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)


Free, apply to participate

Urban Tech is transforming cities: ride-share companies challenge public transportation networks; drone deliveries and so-called “floating transport” such as short-term bike and scooter rentals transform how people move. How do we adapt, encourage and prepare for urban technology? The answer is of critical importance to life and society, touching on issues ranging from economic growth to equality.

As part of the Zurich Meets San Francisco Festival and the swissnex Salon, this event will compare and contrast approaches of two sister cities, Zurich and San Francisco, as they work together to tackle urban mobility questions. Sessions will focus on key challenges and will include keynote speeches from thought leaders, short presentations and pitches to provide strategic insights into each topic, and breakout working sessions. The interactive format offers participants a platform to exchange their insights, challenge one another, cultivate new skills, and expand their networks.

The sessions, with 10-15 participants, will focus on:

This event is followed by a public Urban Tech Summit Ceremony.


12:00 pm Doors Open
12:15 pm Welcome to participants
12:25 pm Keynote(s) Overall Topic / Structure of the Day / Announcing Groups
1:00 pm Lunch Buffet
2:00 pm Breakout Sessions I 
Navigation and Wayfinding
Smart Mobility and Urban Development
Global Challenges, Local Regulations
Urban Swarm Behavior
3:30 pm Coffee Break
3:45 pm Breakout Sessions II: Workshop in multi-disciplinary teams developing recommendations on specific questions
Documentation of key findings
5:15 pm Preparing the Ceremony Presentation
6:00 pm End of the Workshops
6:00 pm Networking (Catering: Small Snacks)
6:30 pm Start of Urban Tech Summit Ceremony
Speech by Carmen Walker Späh, Head of the Department for Economic Affairs of the Canton of Zurich
Presentation of key findings by workshop participants
Jury feedback 
7:15 pm Final conclusions
8:00 pm Apéro


Corine Mauch
Corine Mauch

Corine Mauch has been the Mayor of Zürich since March 2009. She attended the University of Zürich as well as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich where she graduated in agricultural engineering. She speaks German, French, English and Mandarin. Born 1960 in Iowa City in the United States, Mrs. Mauch has been living in the City of Zürich since more than 25 years.
Darton Ito

Darton Ito has over 20 years of experience in transportation planning and policy. He currently leads the Office of Innovation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The Office of Innovation builds relationships within San Francisco and with other cities, with communities and with companies to facilitate alignment between emerging mobility services and San Francisco’s goals for a safe, equitable and sustainable transportation system.
Philipp Stauffer

Philipp is an entrepreneur, investor, futurist and Co-Founder and Managing Partner at FYRFLY Venture Partners, an early stage venture firm based in San Francisco with focused investments in data and intelligence. Philipp brings a proven track record of building and accelerating businesses in cloud computing, AI / machine learning, analytics, and other convergent technologies. An early crypto advocate with expertise in decentralization trends, Philipp is also involved in driving distributed ledger technology initiatives in pockets of innovation that include his home country Switzerland. Philipp is on the Board of the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce (SACC) and an Honorary Ambassador to Switzerland for Swiss/U.S. Economic Development (GZA). Philipp holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Micro Economics, University of Applied Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland.
Ratna Amin
Ratna Amin

Ratna Amin leads SPUR's work to create a high-quality transportation system in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and the Bay Area region. She leads major research projects, collaborates with transportation agencies and civic leaders on strategy, policy and planning, and educates the public about transportation. Ratna has published numerous transportation studies including Freedom to Move, SPUR’s first transportation policy report about Silicon Valley; Seamless Transit, an agenda to address the Bay Area’s fragmented transit experience; and the Caltrain Corridor Vision Plan. She created SPUR’s Transit+Design programs which promotes a human-centered public transportation system. She has master’s degrees in city and regional planning and transportation engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Additional jurors to be announced.


Anna Schindler
Anna Schindler

Anna Schindler studied geography at the University of Bern, where she specialized in urban development issues. In addition to working as a culture and architecture editor she has worked in various management and executive positions at two universities and as a lecturer at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW. Since November 2011 she is responsible for the office for Urban Development which contains the four subdivisions Office for Cross-cultural Issues, City and Neighborhood Development, Economic Development and the Office for Foreign Affairs.
Carmen Walker Späh

Government Councillor and Head of the Department for Economic Affairs of the Canton of Zurich, Carmen Walker Späh studied law at the University of Zurich. From 2000 to 2015 she ran her own law firm specializing in public and private construction law. After 13 years as Cantonal councillor, Carmen Walker Späh has been a member of the Zurich cantonal government since 2015. As Director for Economic Affairs she is responsible for the political areas of economics and transportation. She represents the canton on the Board of Directors of Flughafen Zürich AG, is President of the ZVV Transport Council and of the foundation board of the Innovationspark Zürich foundation.
Jeff Merritt
Jeff Merritt

Jeff Merritt is the Project Head, Internet of Things, at the World Economic Forum. He was formerly New York City’s first-ever Director of Innovation; and helped organize the first entirely online public election in US history, laid the groundwork for the world’s largest, fastest municipal Wi-Fi network and led the creation and adoption of new guidelines and tools to promote the responsible and equitable expansion of the Internet of Things. BA, University of Michigan; MA, Columbia University.
Johanna Scheurer
Johanna Scheurer

Johanna Scheurer is a Swiss designer working as an assistance and teacher at the art and design school F+F Schule in the department photography. Meanwhile she is engaged and since 2018 also working for Designathon Verein. Both working fields – education as a place for experimental work and the knowledge transfer happenings by co­-creation events like Designathon 15/17– are important tools for Johanna to express her deep belief in a more openminded and critical discussion about our future, which should be build by the people (bottom up) and needs to include more awareness – also for the nature. For several years she has been co­creating and organizing different events, where she is expressing her passion for designing atmospheres and participative get­-togethers and happenings.
Michael Baumer
Michael Baumer

Born in 1974, Michael Baumer graduated in computer science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich). He worked at ETH Zurich and is a successful entrepreneur. He speaks German, English and French. He was elected to the City Council of Zurich in 2018 and heads the Department of Public Utilities and Transport.
Nadja Müller
Nadja Müller

Nadja Müller is a passionate designer located in Zurich working in the fields of experience and interaction design. With a background in graphic design for print she came to web design and further into experience design. Today she aims at bringing together the analogue and digital world to one human experience. She believes in the creative mind of everybody in their own field and uses co­creation as a key for a successful collaboration. She strives to enable peoples knowledge and transforming this power through design methods in common solutions.
Nora Gailer
Nora Gailer

Nora Gailer is a Swiss designer working in the field of digital branding and interaction design. She is curious how people can get involved using different media and ways of communication. In her opinion co­creation and participation in design are important and will be even more in the future. To find solutions to complex problems need the idea and knowledge of many. She focuses in her work and on the different levels of inclusion and methods of addressing people when asking for co­-creation and joining processes.
Sara Irina Fabrikant

Sara Irina Fabrikant is Professor of Geography at the University of Zurich (UZH), where she has been the Director of the Department of Geography since 2014. Sara's research focus lies mainly in the field of Geographical Information Science. Sara finished her PhD at the University of Colorado in 2000. After positions as Assistant Professor at the University of Buffalo and the University of California Santa Barbara, Sara was appointed Associate Professor at the University of Zurich 2005. Sara is also one of the Co-Directors of the Digital Society Initiative at UZH.
Sarah Williams
Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams is an Associate Professor of Technology and Urban Planning. She also is Director of the Civic Data Design Lab at MIT's School of Architecture and Planning. The Civic Data Design Lab works with data, maps, and mobile technologies to develop interactive design and communication strategies that expose urban policy issues to broader audiences. Trained as a Geographer (Clark University), Landscape Architect (University of Pennsylvania), and Urban Planner (MIT), Williams's work combines geographic analysis and design. Williams is most well known for her work as part of the Million Dollar Blocks team which highlighted the cost of incarceration, Digital Matatus which developed the first data set on a informal transit system searchable in Google Maps, and a more a recent project that uses social media data to understand housing vacancy and Ghost Cities in China.
Sidney Sutter

Sidney Sutter is a Swiss filmmaker currently working in the field of online and explainer videos. He is curious about how to break down difficult topics in a nutshell and tries to find new ways to tell stories which are created by a swarm. Co­-creating stories is a key to the storytelling of the future. You need to get as many opinions as possible to break down a difficult topic into a believable video. In his work, he tries to combine the fun part of the internet with serious topics and through that make boring sounding videos accessible to everyone.
Simon Oschwald

Simon Oschwald is a Swiss designer working in the fields of product and spatial design. In his opinion, the quality of design gets better when it is discussed from different perspectives. Therefore he sees co­-creation as a crucial part when it comes to find new solutions for the complex problems of our time. In addition to this aspect, he always tries to find a playful approach to problem solving in his work.
Warren Logan
Warren Logan

Warren Logan is a senior planner for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. His work includes managing the agency’s emerging mobility studies and evaluating how these services impact the city’s long-range transportation goals. As part of his work, Warren recently released an evaluation report of emerging mobility companies in San Francisco. Warren continues to focus on identifying methods to improve collaboration between San Francisco public agencies and innovative technology companies to improve public transit service and mobility for San Francisco residents and workers.

swissnex Salon

The swissnex Salon is a new model for dialogue on how the future of our society is shaped: a platform that includes multiple perspectives and provides a critical lens on possible emergent futures. Taking inspiration from the values articulated within the Preamble of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, we examine the role of technology in shaping, distorting, and expanding societal foundations.