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Connected Cities Northwest

In the early days of “Connected Cities”, many technology companies employed the term to see how many sensors they could sell to municipalities. The early days drove healthy profit margins and introduced new public sector customers all over the world. 

Today’s definition of “Connected Cities” is less about how many sensors your municipality has bought and more about how are you using technology to improve the social welfare of your community. Further, the term “Connected Cities” is an industry term that pushes for further data oppenness and a commitment to explore new ideas and to share them throughout the world. Today’s “Connected Cities” experts understand what technologies have been successful in Southeast Asia, Northern Europe, and everywhere in between. In many ways, every city in today’s society is a laboratory for innovation.

While many are in favor of opening up data streams to make better decisions within a municipality, there are many challenges that stand in the way, including data privacy protections. Unfortunately, many connected city initiatives are longer-term initiatives. As such, they are often derailed by elections, administration changes, and cost overruns. 

In short, while there are tremendous possibilities to use “Connected Cities” practices to improve our quality of life, there are many considerations left to explore. Come join our panel of thought-leaders as they explore how we can use information to improve the welfare of all citizens.


Greta Knappenberger

Presenter Greta Knappenberger

Speaker Website: Verizon

Greta Knappenberger is a Smart Cities Leader for Verizon.

Greta drives the strategy, alliances, solution and technology advocacy, as well as go-to market efforts for Verizon’s smart city offerings. Greta has worked in Smart Cities for nearly a decade, joining Verizon as Smart Cities Director, and has managed large smart city initiatives, bridging both the public and private sectors.

Greta brings with her over sixteen years of experience in the IT industry, having consulted for several Fortune 500 organizations, including Microsoft, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Stan Curtis

Presenter Stan Curtis

Speaker Website: URBAN.SYSTEMS

Stan Curtis is VP of Urban Systems

Stan Curtis is a senior business development executive, with experience in process modeling, performance assessment and change management. As a strategy consultant for IBM and Accenture, Mr. Curtis led practices in technology strategy, open innovation and platform-based development. Most recently with IBM, Mr. Curtis is still an advisor in their Smarter Cities research and continues his work with Accenture and White House Fellows on sustainability models and wellness management.

With a systems engineering background, a graduate degree in operations research from Berkeley, and research with MIT, Mr. Curtis is a founding member of IBM’s Open Innovation Council and advisor to New York and Silicon Valley startups.  Stan facilitated several IBM Global Innovation workshops. Recent workshops were featured in IBM Smart Cities research, GOSCON, CEOs for Cities, The Competitiveness Institute, the Congress for New Urbanism and a Masterclass with CK Prahalad. Mr. Curtis is active with Portland/Metro planning experts and is an advisor on Eco-Districts and CIB Task Force on Smart Cities (TG88).

Robert Monster

Rob Monster is CEO of DigitalTown, a global Smart City platform that is bringing Blockchain to cities and enabling communities to thrive locally while interoperate globally. Rob is also CEO of global domain registrar,, and Managing Partner of Monster Venture Partners, an early stage angel fund. Rob was previously Founder and CEO of Global Market Insite (GMI), the inventor of multi-country online market research, and acquired by WPP Group. Rob was also a Global Product Manager at Procter and Gamble with roles in Europe,Asia and the Americas.  Rob and his wife, Jill, a Naturopath, live in Seattle and have 5 children.

John Rousseau

John is currently Vice President of Creative at Artefact. He leads the firm’s work in strategy, design, and technology. As a thought leader, he has written about human-centered design, innovation, and emerging technologies including smart cities, augmented reality, and autonomous vehicles. In over two decades of consulting he has worked across multiple disciplines with a wide array of clients to bring strategic clarity, meaning and expression to products and services, experiences and systems. His clients have included Chase, Target, Nike, HP, Hyundai, Microsoft and Madison Square Garden among many others. Prior to joining Artefact, John was Executive Creative Director at frog, and was previously faculty at The University of Washington, Division of Design. He earned an MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from The University of Michigan.