Consider this a happening, a sparkling and flavourful event for urban developers, planners, thinkers, bankers, bikers, artists and IT guys.
Quality interactions, active networking, constant challenging and questioning, different future visions, relaxing and having fun.
A two-day long international happening (a non-conference) dedicated to unusual ideas for the future development of cities will take place in two unique venues in Riga – “Godvil” in the territory of former factory “VEF” (May 31st) and VEF Culture Palace (June 1st).
Jan Gehl co-founded Gehl Architects in 2000 with Helle Søholt and held a Partner position until 2011. Jan is currently a Senior Advisor at Gehl. He also continues to research and develop the people first approach through his books and lectures. Over the course of his career that started in 1960, he has published several books, including, “Life Between Buildings”, “Cities for People”, “New City Spaces”, “Public Spaces – Public Life”, “New City Life”, “How to Study Public Life” and most recently “People Cities” / “Mennesker Først”. Jan’s books have been published in more than 35 languages and are considered important texts for any urban strategist today. He has done extensive work in Riga, most notably the masterplan for Old Town and the centre in 2001, which was one of his first major undertakings outside Denmark. In 2017 “Changing Mindsets” exhibition celebrating Jan Gehl was on display in Riga and Tallinn (organized by Danish Cultural Institute). Jan is also an honorary fellow of RIBA, AIA, RAIC, and PIA.
Charles Marohn - known as "Chuck" to friends and colleagues - is a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in the State of Minnesota and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He is the Founder and President of Strong Towns. Marohn has a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute.
Marohn is the lead author of Thoughts on Building Strong Towns — Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 — as well as the author of A World Class Transportation System. He hosts the Strong Towns Podcast and is a primary writer for Strong Towns’ web content. He has presented Strong Towns concepts in hundreds of cities and towns across North America and in 2017 was named one of the 10 Most Influential Urbanists of all time by Planetizen.
Marohn is a long-time commentator on KAXE Northern Community Radio. He currently co-hosts KAXE's Dig Deep program, a monthly examination of public policy issues affecting Minnesotans. Chuck grew up on a small farm in Central Minnesota. The oldest of three sons of two elementary school teachers, he joined the Minnesota National Guard on his 17th birthday during his junior year of high school and served for nine years. In addition to being passionate about building a stronger America, he loves playing music, is an obsessive reader and religiously follows his favorite team, the Minnesota Twins. Chuck and his wife live with their two daughters in their hometown of Brainerd, Minnesota.
Alexander Ståhle aka Stockholm Cyclo, is one of the most popular and well-known speakers on urban futures and design in Scandinavia. He holds a PhD in Urban Design and is CEO of the studio Spacescape in Stockholm, and has been working with world-famous architects such as Bjarke Ingels and Foster and Partners on the most complex urban development projects in Scandinavia. Alexander lives in Stockholm with two children and no car.
Greg Lindsay is a senior fellow at the NewCities Foundation and the director of strategy of its offshoot LA CoMotion — an annual urban mobility festival in the Arts District of Los Angeles. He is also a non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, Urbanist-in-Residence at BMW Mini’s urban tech accelerator, Urban-X, a contributing writer for Fast Company, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.
Aivaras has 20 years of experience of managing large pools of money across Emerging Markets in public, private equity and real estate. During 2002-2014, he co-owned and was at the core of building a Stockholm based company East Capital, one of the largest and most reputable AM companies mainly focusing on Emerging Europe with AUM of USD 4bn. After the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, Aivaras, a Lithuanian national, was asked to serve as Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. Over 1.5 years, he built and managed the strongest and most reform-minded team in the entire government. Abromavicius has a B.A. in international business from Concordia International University, Estonia and Concordia University, Wisconsin. Currently Aivaras holds positions of Chairman of the Board at Ukrainian Corporate Governance Academy, Chairman of the Board Riverside Development (Riga), Member of the Board in SUP (Ukrainian Enterpreneurs' Union). He was born in 1976 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Aivaras is married to a Ukrainian woman and in 2008 they settled in Kyiv where their three children were born.
Mārtiņš Zemītis is currently a European Semester Officer and economic analyst at the European Commission Representation in Latvia. Having obtained a BA degree in International Relations from Stanford University (USA) and LLM degree (with Honours) in International and EU law from Riga Graduate School of Law (Latvia), he has worked for a number of national institutions, including Latvian Investment and Development Agency, Parliament of Latvia and Ministry of Regional Development and Local Governments, international institutions, including the European Parliament, World Bank Group and World Trade Organization, and diplomatic missions in Latvia and the US. He has been a Research Assistant at the Hoover Institution (USA) and Research Fellow at the Brasenose College of Oxford University (UK). His intellectual interests span foreign trade and investment, effects of globalization, competitiveness of firms and nations, higher education, research and innovation policy, and multi-annual budgeting.
Larisa Tsvetkova is a member of board of directors of id22: Institute for Creative Sustainability and research associate at the Institute for Urban Planning and Design Methods at the Technical University of Brunswick. Trained as an architect, she has worked at the interface between research and practice on a number of projects in Russia and Germany. Her focus lies on community-led housing and inclusion. With id22 she co-edited the book "CoHousing Inclusive—Self-Organized, Community-Led Housing for All" (published in 2017) and initiated the interactive educational format "Access All Areas" (since 2013) with the focus on urban inclusion and accessibility.
Dainis Rupainis is Business Development Manager of EstateGuru in Latvia. Dainis is an Economics and Business Administration graduate from Aarhus University, Denmark and has also studied finance and strategic management at Korea University Business School. His passion is real estate in the Baltics and alternative investing markets. The mission of EstateGuru is to provide hassle-free and flexible financing to property developers and entrepreneurs and property backed investment opportunities to its international investor base. To date, EstateGuru has been growing more than 300% a year and has established itself in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and Finland with more than 300 loans issued amounting to over €50 million.
Mikko was born in Finland but has lived in 4 continents (Europe, US, Africa and Asia) and has just relocated from Beijing, China back to Europe and to Malta after a more than a decade in China.
While majority of his work during last 25 years has revolved around developing business models and strategy in software companies, the result-oriented approach has led to ‘’all sides of the negotiation table’’ successfully helping companies raise money, investing in companies (in the role of a Venture Capitalist as well as a private business angel), selling companies and also buying companies in diverse cultural environments.
Besides direct assignments to companies ranging from start-ups to listed companies, Mikko has been actively building ecosystems around companies via various initiatives internationally including incubators and accelerators and chambers of commerce.
Currently Mikko works at his own consulting/corporate finance company Lion Partners with both private and public clients in EU and Asia.
Taichi Goto is Founder and President of Region Works LLC, and Visiting Professor of Global Innovation Center, Kyushu University. As a project designer he works with variety of stakeholders in designing and managing strategic projects for sustainable development. His recent works focus on placemaking, economic development and societal innovation, and ranges from a rural town with 5,000 residents to a bustling city center of Shibuya, Tokyo. He loves tennis, football, eating and travel, which he believes all essential for quality of life.
Philippe Crist is Administrator and Programme Manager of the Corporate Partnership Board of the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He coordinates the research of the ITF’s Corporate Partnership Board and manages international research projects for the ITF’s 59 Member countries. His current work focuses on disruptive urban mobility scenarios and examines how car-based and active mobility, public transport and taxis must adapt to these. He is also leading work on Data science and public policy within the ITF investigating new strategies to leverage knowledge derived from new and rapidly growing data sources to improve transport decision-making. He is a recognized world expert on transport disruption, cycling safety and urban mobility. In 2016 he won the Danish Cycling Embassy's Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion. His other work currently looks at managing mobility in rapidly growing urban areas, assessing GHG emission strategies in the transport sector, as well as investigating national transport asset and network management strategies. A French-American dual national, he is an ex-competitive cyclist and avid mushroom hunter. He also does much of his best thinking on a bicycle.
Since 2007 it's Angelo Meuleman's mission to make shared mobility the most rocking concept in the world of transport. Which is not a difficult task for him, as he's is convinced that shared mobility 100% rocks. Angelo is innovation and policy director at Taxistop, a Belgian non-profit car-sharing and carpooling operator. Het travels around in Europe as shared mobility consultant and partner in many European projects. In Belgium, he's the initiator of a new concept for urban designers: Mobihubs, a local hub with at least shared mobility, collective transport and bike-facilities. Inspired by the MadCityConference he organised another non-conventional attractive conference: Shared Mobility Rocks!
Jarkko has Master of Science degree in automotive engineering, minoring in marketing and is a car enthusiast. He has worked for over 15 years in Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS) sector in both public and private sector projects so despite his age, he can be considered a dinosaur in the ITS sector already. Jarkko is currently Area Manager for Nordics and Baltics in MaaS Global and has previously been CEO of a Norwegian tracking company's subsidiary in Finland and has held positions both in sales and product management.
Biljana is an urban planner and architect based in London. She is a passionate advocate for creative, responsible and collaborative placemaking that benefits all. Biljana currently splits her time between working as an urban integration specialist on Crossrail 2, the biggest new infrastructure project in London, and as an independent consultant and facilitator providing support to a number of local authorities and community organisations developing built environment policies and projects, and using statutory Community Rights in England. Previously she led a UK-wide training and mentoring programme for community groups working to regenerate historic buildings and sites they love, and a programme of support to communities in England piloting neighbourhood planning under the Localism Act (2011). She is a Non–Executive Director of the Academy of Urbanism; a Design Council’s Built Environment Expert (BEE), a member of Croydon Council’s Place Review Panel and The Glass House Community-Led Design’s Enabling Panel. As a Winston Churchill Fellow Biljana studied approaches to community engagement in urban planning and development in Australia, New Zealand and Cuba.
Renāte Strazdiņa has more than 15 years’ experience in management consulting - mainly on issues related to the public sector, education, research and development, information systems and business processes. Previously, Renāte was a Director at the Ernst & Young Baltic (EY) Management Advisory Department, while serving as the Head of the Public Sector in Latvia and the role of Head of the Education Sector in the South-Eastern Europe, worked for PwC and Balta (part of RSA group). Renāte also has broad competence in strategic project management, e-service process management, IT system implementation management and project audits, as well as in the design and implementation of IT strategies.
She holds a Doctorate in Engineering from a Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology at the Riga Technical University and a Master's degree of Social Science in Management. Renāte Strazdiņa is a leading researcher at the Riga Technical University, a member of the IT Center for Business Process Analysis Technology, and a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Renate is also an active community member, in 2017 she was elected as a Member of Board of Latvian Information and communications technology association (LIKTA). In LIKTA she is responsible for ICT industry development – co-operation with research institutions and innovations, digital economy, e-skills and ICT education.
Just recently Microsoft Latvia General Manager was elected as a Member of Board of American Chambers of Commerce in Latvia. In association she will continue working on promoting transparency and good governance to improve the business climate in Latvia.
Professor who transforms lives. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Media Lab), he founded research on Persuasive Cities that encourage healthy and sustainable routines. He believes that our world can become a better place thought purposefully designed urban spaces that successfully blend technological advancements with human nature. His work on Transforming Sociotech Design (TSD) leverage socio-psychological theories to design sustainable transformations of our societies towards wellbeing and prosperity. Prof. Stibe has worked for a number of Fortune 100 companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Oracle. He has received awards from the MIT Media Lab (USA), Nokia Foundation (Finland), Dr. Theo and Friedl Schoeller Research Center for Business and Society (Germany), and the Ministry of Education and Science (Latvia). Currently, Agnis is building a Theory of Transforming Wellbeing (TTW) at ESLSCA Business School Paris. He will discuss ways to succeed with transforming lives and businesses.
Nissa is an Urbanist at Future Cities Catapult, with a background in planning, development and data science established over 4 years’ experience working in the private and third sector. Her work at FCC has involved engaging with the planning process to develop concepts and help prototype new tools and innovations that work to disrupt the wider industry areas. At the moment she is working on a ground-breaking project focused on identifying routes to digitisation within the planning sector.
Mariliis has an extensive experience in corporate communications from a Nasdaq OMX listed, blue chip company. Amongst other functions, as a member of the top management, she was responsible for investor communications, branding and marketing, crisis communications, internal communications and CSR for nearly 9 years. Mariliis has enhanced the role of the communication’s function within the company from corporate services function to executive role, grew an independent brand out of tap water, increasing tap water consumption from 48% in 2011 to 85% in 2015, helped to increase the company’s value by transparent communications.
She is a co-founder of fintech startup Paytailor, thus well oriented in an agile startup ecosystem and fintech world.
Mariliis's true passion lies in communications, brands and sustainability. Being about the business, targeting the whole value chain - from customers and partners to communities and environment, helping businesses to grow and create new opportunities. Mariliis is active in competitive sports and heavily engaged with increasing community's awareness on health. She holds BA from Psychology, MBA in Business Administration and Postgraduate degree in Public Affairs (London).
Troy Hayes is Founder and Managing Director of Troy Planning + Design which he started up in 2013 with the mission to apply a fresh and innovative approach to plan-making for cities, towns and neighbourhoods in the UK and US with offices in London, Manchester, Hampshire and Portland Oregon. Troy is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI) and is a certified member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).
Troy has extensive experience preparing Local Plans, neighbourhood plans and development proposals for local planning authorities, local communities, and landowners. Troy's project experience includes spatial strategy formulation, housing supply and delivery, Green Belt Reviews, infrastructure delivery plans, CIL, community engagement strategies, sustainability appraisals, Local Plan and site viability, neighbourhood planning, urban extensions and the planning of new towns. He has extensive experience participating in Local Plan Examinations in Public.
Troy a has recently been developing a number of innovative planning and participation tools and models including Complete Neighbourhoods Model; City Gaming; and an Interactive GIS Planning Model.
Carmela Barbera, PhD in Management and Innovation (The Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan), is a Research Fellow at the Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Bergamo, Bergamo (Italy). Her research interests include accountability, accounting systems, performance measurement, change, social reporting and participatory mechanisms in the public sector.
Toms Kreicbergs is a finance specialist and a writer whose work have been translated into 10 languages. Toms started his career in Wall Street, working in two major investment banks in the New York region. Since 2011 he has been living and working in Latvia. Tom is currently fighting for a modern, low cost 2nd pension pillar market as the CEO of IPOs "Indexo".