City-dramaturg at KVS, City Theatre of Brussels
Tunde Adefioye, was born in Los Angeles and grew up in part in “The Bottoms” of Inglewood. Earned a degree in Women's Studies (2003) at San Diego State University and a post-bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology (2006) at San Francisco State University and a Master's degree in Bioinformatics (2007) Leeds University (UK).
Together with others 2009 in Leuven he founded Urban Woorden, with the aim of involving young people who have difficulty accessing literature and culture. In 2013 was awarded with the Culture Prize for Cultural Education by the Flemish government. In 2016, he began working as a city-dramaturg as part of the artistic team lead by Michael De Cock. City dramaturgy, aims to use the city as a conceptual canvas to create a discourse with different aspects of the city of Brussels and beyond. This allows for a broadening of the mission of the KVS as well as catalyzing new and enriching exchanges and creations. In the meantime he has done dramaturgy for Sachli Gholamalizad’s (Not) My Paradise, SLOW #01 & 02, and together with Kristin Rogghe the dramaturgy of Junior Mthombeni’s Malcolm X. In 2017, together with the Warrior Poets curated Beyond the Binary, an evening that focused on the intersection of queer identity, ethnicity and gender. Since 2017 he has been engaging in lectures and speeches. This included giving a series of 6 guest lectures for Luca Leuven, a keynote speech at the 2018 IETM plenary meeting in Porto Portugal and a keynote at the Wales Arts International conference.
Founder and CEO at Manifesto Market and Founder and Chairman at reSITE
Martin Barry is Founder and Chairman of reSITE, a global non-profit focused on improving urban environments. He is also Founder and CEO of Manifesto Markets, an award-winning and internationally expanding Proptech that built the first fully cashless market space in the Czech Republic while turning a no-go zone into a new vibrant landmark of the Czech capital.
reSITE is focused on improving the quality of life in cities, with its main activities in experience design and event organization in Europe and the United States. As a landscape architect, Martin has led multi-disciplinary teams on complex urban projects in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He is the 2016 recipient of the President’s Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and his projects at W Architecture have received dozens of design awards in North America. He is a Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow with the Design Trust for Public Space in New York.
Ph.D. and an Assistant Professor in Urban Geography at the University of Helsinki
She specializes in research of urban segregation and development, as well as social and spatial educational dynamics. Her writing and research projects include themes such as the links between socio-economic segregation of urban neighbourhoods and the educational outcomes in comprehensive schools, immigration and housing choices of highly skilled migrants, as well as social cohesion in the context of the Nordic welfare state.
Chief Digital Officer, The City of London
As London’s first Chief Digital Officer, Theo will play a leading role in realising the Mayor’s ambition to make London the world’s smartest city, ensuring that the capital’s status as a global tech hub helps transform the way public services are designed and delivered, making them more accessible, efficient and responsive to the needs of Londoners.
Theo joins with extensive public and private sector experience. As Cabinet member for Finance, Technology & Growth at Camden council, Theo established Camden as London’s leading digital borough through its use of public data – and this year they received national recognition as Digital Leaders ‘Council of the year’.
He’s worked at GovTech accelerator Public Group, advising start-ups on the growing market in local public services, and was previously Head of Policy & Public Affairs for the video games industry’s trade body, Ukie.
Theo was recognised with an MBE for services to local government digital transformation in the Queen's 2019 New Year's honours list.
Anna Lisa Boni
EUROCITIES secretary general
Anna Lisa Boni has been secretary general of EUROCITIES since June 2014. Before joining EUROCITIES, she was director of the Brussels office of the French region Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. She has 25 years of professional experience in EU public affairs in the field of local and regional government. She has worked for the city of Bologna in Italy, and with European and international networks and the European Parliament. Anna Lisa has a masters degree from the University of Bologna in political science, and from the University of Leuven in European studies.
Secretary General of METREX
Henk Bouwman is Secretary General of METREX, the Network for European Metropolitan Regions and Areas, with 47 member organisations from all over Europe. Since his appointment in 2016 he has been building out the network and he has been instrumental in developing new METREX focus groups and portals to reach out beyond the network. The metropolitan dimension is the common thread in his work. Henk Bouwman has established in 1998 his own urbanism practice UiP urban producers London | Lyon that specialised in in how cities can maximise socio-economic benefit from rail-infrastructure. Henk is educated at the University of Technology and holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture and Urbanism. Henk has held a number of academic.
CTIO Barcelona City, Founder of DECODE project and Visiting Professor IIPP
Francesca has a PhD in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Imperial College, London and MSc on Digital Economy from University of London, Birbeck. As Senior Programme Lead at Nesta, the UK Innovation Agency, she has led the EU D-CENT project, the biggest European Project on digital democracy and digital currencies.
She also led the DSI project on Digital Social Innovation in Europe, advising the EU on digital social innovation policies. She has been teaching in several universities in the UK and Italy and she has advised Governments, public and private organizations and movements on Technology and Innovation policy, and its socio-economic impact.
Francesca is an adviser for the European Commission on Future Internet and Innovation Policy. She is currently the Commissioner of Digital Technology and Innovation for the City of Barcelona in Spain and she is leading the DECODE project on data sovereignty in Europe.
Francesca's work focuses on one of the key issues of our time: how can we give people the ownership of their data? In her recent report (co-authored with Evgeny Morozov), she explores how can societies regain control not only over digital technology, data, and infrastructure, but also over the services that are mediated by smart technologies—such as utilities, transportation, education, and health
She has been listed in the Top 50 Women in Tech by the Forbes Magazine, and in the World's top 20 most influential people in digital government by Apolitical. She has also been featured in the Italian Magazine Repubblica "D", amongst the 100 Women Changing the World.
Former Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-Habitat, at the level of Under Secretary General by the United Nations General Assembly
He held this office from October 2010-December 2017. During his mandate, Dr. Clos led the process of elaboration of the New Urban Agenda, and he was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).
Born in Barcelona on 29 June 1949, he is a medical doctor with a distinguished career in public service and diplomacy. He was twice elected Mayor of Barcelona, serving two terms from 1997 until 2006. He was Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Trade of Spain between 2006 and 2008. This ministerial function included the Spanish Energy portfolio. Prior to joining the United Nations, he served as the Spanish Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan.
In 2016, he was honored with the Jane Jacobs Medal by the Rockefeller Foundation in recognition of his leadership with the New Urban Agenda.
Architect, D.Sc. (Tech.) in strategic urban planning at the City of Helsinki
My current responsibilities deal with integrated planning processes on various scales from the organizational to the local and transnational levels. I am interested in the research-based development of collaborative planning practice in interdisciplinary contexts for enabling knowledge co-creation and mutual learning for sustainable urban futures.
I also research and teach at the Aalto University. With a background in urban planning, and organization sciences, my research interest is in the networked dynamics of planning practice, with a special focus on the human perspective of complex planning processes.
Prof., Dipl.-Ing. DASL, Professor in transportation planning, HSR Switzerland
Gunnar Heipp is professor for transportation planning with department of integrated studies for spatial, urban and mobility planning at the University of Applied Sciences HSR in Switzerland.
After having been involved in the famous development of the tram-train system in Karlsruhe, he was more than 15 years the Director for strategic planning, infrastructure, digitalization, sustainability and innovation management of the Munich Public Transport Company SWM/MVG.
Besides this, Gunnar is engaged in numerous associations and foundations. In 2018, Gunnar has founded his own consulting company, focusing on strategic urban development and mobility. Customers are cities, public and private companies and start-ups in Germany, Austria, France and Scandinavia.
He holds a master in civil engineering, studies urban planning in Karlsruhe (Germany) and Trondheim (Norway), took classes in management and economy at the St. Gallen Management School and is a fellow of the German Academy on Regional and Urban Planning (DASL).
Professor of Real Estate Business at Aalto University, Finland
Dr. Prof. Junnila has worked several times as a visiting scholar in the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University. Before joining the academy, Dr. Junnila worked in numerous positions at consulting industry, for example, as a Head of Business Development and a Department Manager at Pöyry. He has also worked as a Business Director at Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra).
Currently, Dr. Junnila's research focuses on low-carbon urbanization, life-cycle technologies and management, and sustainable business innovation in built environment. He has initialized and managed several major European and national research projects with more than thirty academic and industrial partners.
CEO and co-founder of Maptionnaire
Maptionnaire is a powerful community engagement tool that helps urban planners and city developers create map-based tools to get ideas and insights from residents – thus enabling and encouraging public participation. Maptionnaire is a spin-off from Aalto University where Maarit did her dissertation. In her dissertation she studied the opportunities for urban planners to take advantage of PPGIS tools like Maptionnaire. Currently Maptionnaire is a global SaaS service used in over 30 countries.
Maarit is passionate about making the interaction between residents and experts smoother, thereby supporting the creation of more livable and lovable cities. Her tool is helping cities to change their way of interacting with residents in a more inclusive way by making the community engagement process easier and more efficient.
Director at the Helsinki Region Environmental Authority HSY
She leads the implementation and monitoring of the metropolitan climate strategies as well as the production of regional data and air protection in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. She has long experience in land use planning and decision-making processes in cities and municipalities. In her role as head of master planning she also developed participatory planning methods and stakeholder involvement in land use planning. That gives her a solid background for the development of metropolitan level services. Currently HSY is preparing the programme for Sustainable Urban Living for the metropolitan area. HSY provides advanced regional spatial data to serve and support urban planning, research and decision making. HSY received an official recognition of excellence of open data production.
She is director at the Helsinki Region Environmental Authority HSY, Helsinki (FI), and she was formerly the Chief Advisor, Department of Environment and Transport, Oslo, (NO).
She has a M.Sc. (tech.), Aalto University, (FI) an Executive MBA degree from Henley (UK). She is Vice-President of Metrex, The network of European metropolitan regions and areas.
An executive advisor at Demos Helsinki
Tuuli Kaskinen will be your host during the Helsinki Impact Conference.
With over ten years’ experience tackling the most important issue of our time – climate change – with companies, NGOs and governments, she’s found systemic modelling and shared value thinking to be the key tools in the development of sustainable innovation. When she is not working towards a more democratic and sustainable world at Demos Helsinki, Tuuli serves a member of the board and advisor for Fortum Corporation, the University of Turku Finland Futures Research Centre, The Finnish Crafts Organization Taito and the Helsinki Neighbourhoods Association Helka.
Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
Prior to this term, he was European Commission Vice-President for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro from July to October 2014. Before that he served as Prime Minister of Finland (2011–2014) and Minister of Finance (2007–2011). He was Member of Finnish Parliament (1999–2014) for the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus).
Jyrki Katainen is Vice-President of the European People's Party (since 2015 and from 2006 to 2011) and he was Chairman of the National Coalition Party of Finland between 2004 and 2014.
He was Member of the Finnish Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly 2003–2007, Member of the Administrative Council of the Finnish Broadcasting Company 2003–2005, Member of the Finish Delegation to the Western European Union Parliamentary Assembly 2004–2005 and the Deputy Member of the Finnish Delegation to the Nordic Council 2001–2003.
Jyrki Katainen has MSc in Political Science from the University of Tampere, Finland (1998) and he did an Erasmus exchange year at the University of Leicester, UK.
His hobbies are running, cycling, cooking and tennis.
A senior projects’ coordinator for the knowledge society and smart cities projects of EUROCITIES in Brussels, Belgium
Nikolaos Kontinakis has coordinated the Green Digital Charter initiative and EUROCITIES’ work for the development of a performance measurement framework for smart cities under the CITYkeys project , the promotion of green ICT via the ICTfootprint.eu project and the Smart Cities Information System .
He also leads EUROCITIES’ international cooperation work and the network’s contribution to the EU-China innovation platform on sustainable urbanisation (URBAN-EU-CHINA and TRANS-URBAN-EU-CHINA projects).
For the last 16 years, he has worked as a project coordinator and researcher in the areas of smart cities, climate change mitigation and adaptation, energy efficiency and energy transition, and the sustainable development of local authorities.
Project manager of the open data service Helsinki Region Infoshare
Mrs Tanja Lahti has been working for the City of Helsinki since 2006 and last six years as Project manager of the open data service called Helsinki Region Infoshare. The HRI service is owned by four cities of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and provides public information of these cities as open data for anyone to use freely in any purposes. Helsinki is one of the forerunner cities in open data on the global level. In addition to releasing data the HRI also enhances dialogue between the city organizations and community in order to encourage stakeholders to utilize open data e.g. in improving services and creating innovations.
Mrs Lahti has a Master of Administrative Sciences (Regional Studies) degree from the University of Tampere and large expertise in open data, smart city development and co-operation with other cities.
Senior Urban Planner, Planning Agency for the Paris Metropolitan Region (IAU, France)
Paul is a Senior Urban Planner for the Planning Agency for the Paris Metropolitan Region (France), conducting research and advice on strategic transformative projects for the Paris Region, metropolitan & city authorities in France and worldwide. He is currently working on highway transformation strategies for the Paris Region, drawing on international experience.
He has been involved in the Paris Olympic Project, the Regional Masterplan 2030, the Ring Metro Study, and green infrastructure projects. Paul also pilots international exchange of experience on sustainable urban redevelopment strategies. He has been a member of the International Advisory Board for the 4th New York Regional Plan and Coordinator for the Metropolis world association. He also teaches strategic and tactical urban planning at Sciences Po Urban School, Paris.
Head of Urban Planning division, City of Helsinki
Since June 2019 Rikhard Manninen has been the Head of Urban Planning division being in charge of land use, city structure an transportation planning at the City Of Helsinki.
Before he has worked several years as the Head of Strategic Urban Planning. He has been responsible e.g. of the new Helsinki City Plan that was approved in the City Council 2016. He is also an expert member in the regional land use, housing and transportation planning commission of Helsinki Region.
Head of Section Urban and regional Development, Municipality of Vienna
Kurt Mittringer works as Head of Section within the Department of Urban Development and Planning, municipality of Vienna. He studied spatial planning at the technical University of Vienna, worked for a short time as assistant at the University-Institute of town- and regional Planning and changed to the City Administration of Vienna.
Specialized in the field of Urban renewal he gradually stepped through different departments and sections which deal with urban planning and development. During this periods he was involved and partly responsible as project manager of 4 Urban development plans and 2 Strategic plans of Vienna. Thus qualified he is also head of the administrative Office of the City Development Commission which consists of the Vienna Government and the highest senior officials.
In dealing also with regional aspects within the city (and crossborder) development he is also experienced in political coordination. His section also provides an official Representation of the City of Vienna in the “Planning Association East” (PGO –Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland).
He is Vice-President of Metrex, The network of European metropolitan regions and areas.
Professor of Spatial planning and Policy, University of Helsinki
Sami Moisio is a human geographer who works on the interface of regional studies, planning and politics. Moisio’s research interests include state spatial transformation, political geographies of Europeanization, city-regionalism, political geographies of economic geography, and the geopolitics of the knowledge-based society. Much of his current research is concerned with the ways in which different places, regions and spatialities (such as the “global”) are constituted, transformed and re-made in political processes and struggles, as well as in various social practices and knowledge production.
Deputy Mayor of urban planning and transport, City of Tallinn
Andrei Novikov, born in 1982 in Tallinn, has been working in different positions in Tallinn City Government since 2005. He has been an adviser to the Mayor, Deputy Head of Lasnamäe District Administration and Head of Kristiine District Administration. In 2015 he was elected to Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) where he was member of European Union Affairs Committee and Finance Committee. Since 2017 he is a member of Tallinn City Government and holds the post of the Deputy Mayor on urban planning and transport.
Mr Novikov has graduated Tallinn University of Technology specializing on business finance and economics (MA). He speaks Estonian, Russian, English and French.
Head of Urban Planning and Design of City of the Hague
Erik Pasveer (1959) is leading a team of 65 professionals working on regional and urban planning and design of urban projects. Before this, he worked as Head of Urban Planning and Design of City of Delft, as a consultant and as a researcher and teacher in urbanism and planning at universities and academies in the Netherlands and abroad. He is member of the managing committee of Metrex, the European network of metropolises and metropolitan regions.
Co-founder and a director at IPoP – Institute for Spatial Policies, Ljubljana, Slovenia
IPop is supporting communities towards sustainable urban development. Marko's focus is on sustainable mobility and governance. He leads a national programme promoting active travel to school, introducing ‘walking buses’ and ‘bike trains’ in schools around Slovenia. More than 70 schools took part since 2016, involving more than 3000 children. He also coordinates Jane's Walks in Slovenia, citizen-led walking conversations inspired by Jane Jacobs. 152 walks were organized in 38 towns and cities around the country since 2011.
In 2009 Marko initiated a national network of NGOs active in urban and spatial development, which he coordinates. He is part of URBACT, an EU-wide networking and knowledge sharing programme helping cities to provide integrated solutions to urban problems, also since 2009.
He is a co-author and contributor to a number of studies for municipalities, national ministries or the European Commission. He writes articles for various newspapers and blogs, speaks and facilitates debates at conferences, seminars, workshops. He is also a local activist in the street, where he lives.
Town planner and urban designer at the Lyon Town Planning Agency (Urbalyon)
Sébastien Rolland is the project manager of "Inter-Scot", a public partnership that aims to coordinate policies and actions of 13 masterplans within the Lyon Metropolitan Area (3.2 million inhabitants). To further develop and implement a Polycentric Metropolitan Vision he works closely with elected officials and directors of local authorities on the development of territorial projects.
He has developed expertise in territorial foresight combining creativity and collaborative methods notably by creating a serious game (“Prospect’us”) in 2018. He also engages in urban design projects such as the rejuvenation of riverbanks, motorway re-use, improved access to train stations and public spaces.
As part of the international activities team of Urbalyon, he is the representative for Asia. In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, within the Greater Lyon city to city program signed, in order to share the masterplan expertise (and more). In India, Sébastien has been involved, alongside Espelia Consulting, in the Indian Smart City Mission as technical assistant hired by the French Development Agency (Nagpur and Puducherry).
Since 2008, he teaches "Urban development and Infrastructure Project" for The École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État, (ENTPE) an engineering school part of the French Grandes Écoles.
Chief Digital Officer, The City of Helsinki
Mikko Rusama is the first Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at the City of Helsinki and Chairman of the Board at the Forum Virium Helsinki, the City’s innovation company.
Helsinki’s vision is to be the world’s most functional city that makes the best use of digitalisation. Mikko is heading Helsinki’s digital transformation.
His task is to advance utilisation of digitalisation in the City organisation, produce digital reforms essential to the implementation of the City Strategy and manage the related processes of change.
Mikko has more than 20 years versatile experience within the development of digital services and products, mainly in the media, games and public sectors. Earlier he held the position of CDO at Finland’s national broadcasting company Yle. In addition to Yle, Mikko has worked for companies such as Sanoma, Sulake, European Game and Entertainment Technology and Codetoys.
Mikko has MSc in Computer Science and MBA from the Henley Business School.
Senior Expert in Urban Transformations team at Demos Helsinki
Kaisa Schmidt-Thomé has extensive experience and research background in interdisciplinary Urban Studies, and strong expertise in societal interaction of research. In her Dissertation she studied urban regeneration with case studies from Germany, the US and Finland. Her current projects deal with urban futures, city strategies, and collaborative localisation of the SDGs at the local level.
Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, City of Helsinki
Anni Sinnemäki has been the Deputy Mayor for the City of Helsinki, responsible for city planning and real estate, since 2015. Since June 2017 she is in charge of Helsinki's Urban Environment Division. She has been a member of the Helsinki City Council since 2005.
Sinnemäki was Member of the Finnish Parliament for 15 years (1999–2015), representing The Green League of Finland. She was Member in the Council of State as Minister of Labour from 2009 to 2011. From 2009 to 2011 Sinnemäki was also the chair of the Green League. As a Member of Parliament she was a long-standing member of Finance, Environment and Defence Committees.
Her special focus areas in city politics are sustainable growth and low carbon transport. One of the main questions is how the city can build enough housing to meet the demands of a growing city and at the same time preserve forests and green areas. The most important project of this City Council term for her has been the ambitious Carbon Neutral Helsinki 2035 Action Plan.
Sinnemäki holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Helsinki. Her major was Russian literature. She has published two collections of poems and she also wrote lyrics for albums by Ultra Bra group. She is born in Helsinki, is married and has two children.
Senior consultant at the Helsinki-based think tank Demos Helsinki
Henrik Suikkanen will be hosting the Helsinki Impact Conference together with Tuuli Kaskinen. He is a senior consultant at the think tank Demos Helsinki and he is specializing in urban transformation. Henrik is especially interested in the changing role of cities in the contemporary society as solvers of global problems at the local level. At Demos Helsinki, he is advising companies and cities in foresight and strategy work in topics like urban mobility, climate action and co-creation of lively urban environments.
Manager of Helsinki 3D+ and responsible of creating, maintaining and delivering virtual models over the whole city
3D+ also integrates new technology and workflows to processes and city services. 3D+ is 2016 Be Inspired Award Winner and currently focus of the production is on Helsinki Energy-Atlas, Masterplan on City Information Model and Smart Kalasatama Digital Twin.
Working over 25 years with 3D and GIS in building design and city planning Jarmo has practical understanding of the great potential in 3D. In his free time Jarmo is a jazz fan, plays saxophone and renovates his early 1900´s villa. Jarmo is Architect and M.Sc (Civ.Eng) from Helsinki University of Technology.
Professor of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki and Head of the Department of Computer Science
Sasu Tarkoma is also Director of the Helsinki Center for Data Science and affiliated with the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT. He has authored 4 textbooks and has published over 160 scientific articles. He has seven granted US Patents.
His research has received a number of Best Paper awards and mentions, for example at IEEE PerCom, ACM CCR, and ACM OSR. As an example flagship research project, he is leading the MegaSense project, which aims at deploying a wide array of urban air-monitoring stations and employing the data within prediction models.
Leading international thought-leader on cities, and practitioner in advanced urbanism, city planning, urban design, transportation and urban change management
Brent Toderian is highly sought-after as an advisor to cities, governments & best-practice developers across the globe, with recent engagements that have included the cities of Sydney, Auckland, Oslo, Groningen, & Medellin.
Brent’s establishment of TODERIAN UrbanWORKS in 2012 followed 6 years of significant achievement as Chief Planner for Vancouver, Canada, a city known for its innovative planning, design, mobility, sustainability & urban livability.
Brent was the founding President of the Council for Canadian Urbanism; Canada’s only regular radio columnist on “city-making” on CBC Radio; and a frequent speaker and writer for Fast Company, the Huffington Post, CityLab, Planetizen, & many other publications. In 2017 Planetizen ranked him one of the 100 most influential urbanists who ever lived.
Professor of Urban Geography at the University of Helsinki and Director of Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies
Mari Vaattovaara has a master’s degree in geography and in landscape architecture. In 1998 she gained her doctorate on the topic of social differentiation in the metropolitan area. Her current research interests relate to the social and spatial developments in urban areas, segregation, immigration, housing preferences, and housing choice as well as to the housing policy. In addition she has been working in the projects related to accessibility, creative and knowledge industries as well as to the competitiveness of urban regions.
In addition to the academic research Mari Vaattovaara is a requested discussant in the public forums. She is also the vice-chair of the board of The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) and a member of the supervisory board of the Mortage Society of Finland. She was awarded the prestigious Snellman Award from the University of Helsinki in 2013. The award is given for meritorious work in disseminating academic and scientific knowledge.
Mayor of Helsinki
After an extensive career in Finnish national politics Mr. Jan Vapaavuori became the Mayor of Helsinki in June 2017 after winning the election with a record number of support. As his first task he set forth a city strategy, laying ground for an ambitious four-year agenda. The strategy champions Helsinki as the “most functional city in the world” with a special focus on sustainable growth, digitalization, global problem solving, creativity and the best possible conditions for happy everyday city life. The strategy also defined Helsinki as a test-bed for start-ups and smart city development projects resulting in an increased global relevance for the city.
In 2012 to 2015 Mr. Vapaavuori served as Minister of Economic Affairs and in 2007 – 2011 as Minister of Housing. Since 2015 he worked as Vice President of the European Investment Bank. As Minister of Economic Affairs, he negotiated the Meyer Turku shipyard sale that played a key role in renewing the Finnish maritime industry. As the Minister of Housing Mr. Vapaavuori created a program that resulted in a decrease of long-term homelessness by fifty percent - a model that has gained international recognition. From 2003 to 2015 Mr. Vapaavuori was a Member of Parliament. During his term as MP, he served among other things as chair of the party's parliamentary group. In addition to his career in national politics, Mr. Vapaavuori has a long-standing career with the City of Helsinki as Member of the Helsinki City Council and as the chairman of the City Board.
Mr. Vapaavuori graduated as Master of Law from the University of Helsinki.
Deputy Mayor of Vienna (2010–2019), Adviser
Maria Vassilakou started her political career as Secretary General of the Austrian Students’ Union. In November 1996 she became Member of the Vienna Provincial Parliament and in 2004 Head of the Parliamentary Group of the Green Party. From November 2010 until July 2019 Maria Vassilakou served as Deputy Mayor of Vienna and Executive City Councillor for Urban Planning, Traffic & Transport, Climate Protection, Energy and Public Participation.
Maria Vassilakou is the first Executive City Councillor with a migration background. She was born in Greece and migrated to Austria as a student in the mid 80s. She studied Linguistics and Psychology at the University of Vienna (Magister degree, 1994) and acquired 2019 an MSc degree from the London School of Economics (LSE Cities Programme).
Maria Vassilakou envisages Vienna as an open, modern, affordable, family friendly and diverse city. In her 9 years serving as Deputy Mayor Maria Vassilakou was responsible for a vast transformation agenda comprising numerous innovative projects. Maria Vassilakou is currently providing her experience and know-how from leading Vienna, the world´s most livable city (e.g. Mercer Ranking 2010 - 2019), working as an independent adviser with cities, NGO´s and multilateral organizations worldwide to develop smart solutions for livable cities and a sustainable global urban future.
Vice Mayor for Housing and Real Estate, City of Stockholm
Dennis Wedin was born in 1988 in Stockholm. He has a background as the Secretary General for The Swedish Moderate Youth Party, as well as Political Advisor at the Region of Stockholm.
Current positions and assignments
- Vice Mayor for Housing and Real Estate
- Member of Stockholm City Council
- Chair of the Real Estate Committee
- Chair of the Executive Board of AB Familjebostäder (municipal housing company)
- Chair of the Executive Board of Bostadsförmedlingen i Stockholm AB (City of Stockholm’s housing agency)
Previous positions and assignments
- Secretary General for the Moderate Youth Party
- Political Advisor at the Region of Stockholm.