WhatWorks: The Idea That Changed My City

We believe urban progress begins with a small change that scales rapidly to impact many. For this reason, we have invited thirteen inspiring innovators from all around the world to share their smart ideas that are transforming their own cities at the NewCities Summit in São Paulo this June.

Twelve inspiring solutions for your city

As part of our approach to The Human City, the theme for this year’s NewCities Summit, we proudly introduce the What Works talk series, which will cover a range of urban innovations. Ten passionate entrepreneurs from around the world will take the floor to share a personal initiative that has positively transformed their urban community. Each lasting ten minutes, the What Works presentations will be engaging, dynamic and inspiring.

A series of engaging blogs telling inspiring urban stories

In celebration of this series, we have teamed up with The Huffington Post to produce a unique set of blogs offering insight into the ten projects. Each of our What Works innovators will be invited to write an original blog post about their project, sharing their vision and story with an international audience. This special What Works blog series will soon be published on huffingtonpost.com. Watch this space!

Our What Works speakers include:

  • Nirmal Kumar, Founder of G-Auto, Ahmedabad, India. Nirmal set up a cooperative of rickshaw drivers that began with only 15 members. G-Auto now operates in four major cities in the Gujarat state and includes more than 10,000 auto rickshaw drivers as members.
  • Rand Hindi, Founder of Snips, Paris, France. Rand is an entrepreneur, bioinformatician and algorithm architect. Based in Paris, Snips is a big data innovation firm specialising in predictive modeling for smart cities, urban dynamics and criminology.
  • Eric Bunge, Co-founder nARCHITECTS, New York, USA. Eric recently won a competition to design and build “micro-housing” in New York. The challenge was to create 55 homes, each the size of a small hotel room. The project was part of an initiative addressing the city’s shortage of studio and one-bedroom apartments.
  • Alessandra Orofino, Co-founder of Purpose Brasil and MeuRio, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil. MeuRio is an initiative developed by Purpose, a company that specialises on monitoring 21st century movements to challenge and solve urban issues. MeuRio provides citizens with meaningful ways of communicating with government as well as with private enterprises.
  • Eric van den Broek, Co-founder of the Mutinerie, Paris, France. In 2010, Eric co-founded Mutinerie – a coworking space within the center of Paris – with his two brothers and a friend. Today, many young entrepreneurs describe Mutinerie as one of the most influential and unique coworking spaces in Europe. Eric is also the co-founder of CoPass, the first global network of independent coworking spaces.
  • Naureen Kabir, Project leader of Urban (co) LAB, New Cities Foundation, Paris/New York. The Connected Commuting Task Force project, led by Naureen Kabir at the New Cities Foundation, has demonstrated how smartphone apps can help unlock the gridlocks and help relieve the stress level that urban commuters experience on a daily basis. This pilot project offers real insights into how our urban traffic can be managed and shaped in the near future, and is a major initiative carried out by the New Cities Foundation’s research arm, the Urban (co)LAB, in partnership with prestigious partner organizations.

What Works Master of Ceremonies

Our emcee for this dynamic series of talks is Greg Clark, global advisor on cities, based in the UK. He is an expert international peer reviewer on city development for international organizations and has led reviews in more than 100 cities. He is an experienced and thought-provoking moderator of global gatherings of city leaders and innovators, and has hosted a number of city conferences for the EU, Financial Times, World Bank, OECD and the UN.

For the latest updates on What Works, please check our Twitter and Facebook pages. The NewCities Summit will take place in São Paulo, Brazil, from June 4- 6, 2013. www.newcitiessummit2013.org


Press contact:
Thomas Ledwell
Director of Communications
+1 514 987 0029

About the NewCities Foundation

NewCities is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to making cities more inclusive, connected, healthy and vibrant. Focusing on people, places and policies, we bring together a global network of public and private sector leaders and Urban Tech innovators to foster results-oriented collaboration. We also produce actionable research that can be implemented by decision-makers across sectors.

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