State of Green Business

Sustainable, resilient cities take center stage at VERGE SF

Sustainable, resilient cities take center stage at VERGE SF

The role of technology in creating sustainable and resilient cities will be a key topic at our upcoming VERGE SF event, October 14-17, formally part of San Francisco’s Innovation Month.

In case you've somehow missed the buzz these last few months: VERGE San Francisco, the flagship in our global series of VERGE events, will bring together 800 professionals, city officials and tech entrepreneurs to explore how the convergence of technologies — specifically, energy, information, building and transportation technologies — is creating new opportunities for cities to enhance their services while reducing their environmental footprint.

More than two dozen mainstage presentations, workshops and tutorials at VERGE SF will focus on the theme of Resilient Cities. Sessions include “The Data-Driven City,” “Resilient Cities Through Climate Adaptation,” “The Shareable City,” “Innovating Management of City Resources,” “How Cities Harness Machine-to-Machine Technology for Buildings,” “How Cities Become Innovation Magnets,” and “The Future of Parking.”

“For better or for worse, cities are on the front lines of sustainability issues,” said Eric Faurot, GreenBiz Group’s CEO. “Today’s largest cities find themselves at a unique moment — determining whether and how to harness data and technology to create new levels of public service and operational efficiencies. We’re excited to bring together the leading companies, cities and thought leaders to explore what’s working and how to accelerate progress.”

The resilient cities program will bring together a diverse group of people and perspectives, a characteristic of conversations happening at VERGE. Like the overall proram, the individual sessions bring together large corporations, tech entrepreneurs and city officials — to dive deep into the specific challenges of cities, and the opportunities for all parties in the convergence of technologies.

In addition to the conference sessions, VERGE SF will feature VERGE Interconnect: a standalone microgrid and interactive showcase, enabled by an ecosystem of renewable and distributed energy-generation technologies. The project is being produced in partnership with the City of San Francisco and other corporate partners, using all off-the-shelf equipment. VERGE Interconnect will illuminate the potential for distributed energy and smart systems as a standalone, reliable and cost-effective power resource.

Among the more than 200 speakers will include city officials from Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Fremont and Vancouver, in addition to national and international leaders from regional, state and federal governments.

Other featured speakers include Apple sustainability chief Lisa Jackson, eBay data center lead Dean Nelson, Jones Lang LaSalle CEO Lauralee Martin, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive, Twitter VP of Products Michael Sippey — and executives from Akamai, AT&T, Dell, Deloitte, Ford, GE, General Motors, Google, NRG Energy, Sprint, Twitter and others. Entrepreneurs from startups such as Bloom Energy, BrightFarms, Junar, Nest Labs, STEM, Streetlline and Zimride will discuss their partnerships with cities, utilities and others.

The event also will feature Data Center Day, a daylong event focusing on next-generation efficiencies for data centers; and VERGE Accelerate, a pitch competition featuring startups at the intersection of tech and sustainability.

Image by GreenBiz Group