July 2017

Pioneers 2017: Smart Dubai Takes Part in Government Technology Expert Summit in Vienna

Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr , Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, attended the Pioneers 2017 summit (themed: “GovTech - Technologies that Empower the Public Sector” ) on Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, Austria.

During the Summit, H.E. Dr Aisha led a discussion titled “Implementing Blockchain Technology Citywide” , where she boarded the subject of blockchain technology and ways to optimally implement it in cities. Dr Aisha cited Dubai as an example, deliberating on the Dubai Smart Office’s mandate and efforts to execute the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the emirate’s Executive Council. A collaboration between the Smart Dubai Office and the Dubai Future Foundation, the Strategy continually explores and evaluates the latest technological innovations – particularly in Blockchain technology – that allow for more seamless, secure, efficient, and impactful city experiences.

H.E. had been selected to lead a workshop where she presided over groups of participants as they worked to resolve a blockchain-related challenge that H.E. chose for them. The workshop concluded with each group giving a five-minute presentation covering their work.

“The Smart Dubai Office has been working tirelessly to transform Dubai into a full-fledged smart city,” H.E. Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr said. “Events like the Pioneers conference offer an ideal opportunity for us to meet other smart-city officials from around the world – especially as this year’s instalment has chosen GovTech as its overarching theme. This gives us access and insight into how governments around the world are approaching their own smart transformation and, on the flip side, provides us a platform to share our own successes and best practices with our international counterparts.”

Moreover, H.E. was invited to join an exclusive, invite-only dinner gathering with Mr Christian Kern , Federal Chancellor of Austria, the day before the summit (May 31). The dinner brought together 40 hand-picked influential figures with interdisciplinary business backgrounds, including Behshad Behzadi, Principal Engineer at Google Zurich; Andrew Chen, Head of Rider Growth at Uber; Melissa O'Young , Head of Community (New York) at Airbnb; and Brianne Kimmel, Growth Marketing Strategist at Zendesk; among others. The evening began with a special, behind-the-scenes tour of the Wiener Staatsoper (the Vienna State Opera, one of the oldest and most renowned opera houses in the world) covering the digital initiatives taking place at the cultural institution and how they seamlessly integrate innovation and tradition.

The event boasted an impressive guest list featuring influential tech figures in government around the world, including Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the EU Commission; Ulrike Huemer, CIO of the City of Vienna; Rosen Plevneliev , Former President of Bulgaria; Daniel Korski, Special Advisor to Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron; Anielle Guedes, Special Advisor to the President of Brazil; and Arno Kompatscher, Governor of South Tyrol.

Europe’s biggest technology incubator, the Pioneers summit gathers startups, investors, and executives from across the tech sector. This year, the summit turned its attention towards GovTech, gauging and discussing the opinions of leading stakeholders in the public sector to raise awareness and improve mutual understanding of GovTech and its potential. Talks covered a wide range of subjects such as the state of GovTech, investments in this high-potential sector, and “Smart City & Smart Data” as a revolutionary new approach to GovTech.