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Mayor Kasim Reed Participates in Inaugural Rockefeller Foundation CityXChange Summit
Posted Date: 5/19/2017 5:15 PM
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News Release

Mayor Kasim Reed Participates in Inaugural Rockefeller Foundation CityXChange Summit

Global summit aims to bridge the gap between cities and the tech sector, creating new approaches and ideas to address and rethink the greatest urban resilience challenges of the 21st century

ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today that Mayor Kasim Reed participated in the inaugural CityXChange Summit, a program launched by The Rockefeller Foundation that aims to leverage the expertise of leaders from technology and venture capital to generate new approaches for solving the world’s greatest urban resilience challenges. By convening experts in government and technology, the goal of the conference was to create and foster new relationships that will help lead to better collaboration in the future. All cities that attended are members of 100 Resilient Cities, an organization pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation dedicated to helping cities build resilience to the social, economic and physical challenges of the 21st century. Chief Resilience Officer Stephanie Stuckey also attended the Summit.

“In our first year of membership in the 100 Resilient Cities network, the City of Atlanta has had access to extraordinary resources and expertise to support our effort to become one of the nation’s leading sustainable and resilient cities,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Participating in the CityXChange Summit offered the unique opportunity to collaborate with some of the most creative thinkers from the tech sector, and to shift our traditional thinking as we consider solutions to many of our most pressing challenges. We are excited to put new ideas to work with clean energy pilot projects at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in partnership with innovative industry leaders.”

The Summit, which was held at The Rockefellers Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy from May 14-17, was setup to provide a framework through which cities, startups, and venture capitalists can challenge each other to develop new models to work together and solve problems that will enhance public services and quality of life in urban centers. The Summit focused on a variety of issues that participating cities face, including: transportation, civic engagement, infrastructure, public safety, health and wellbeing, and resource management.

“By bringing together leaders in government and technology we can help each group better understand the others’ language, purpose and capabilities, breaking down the barriers to cooperation that have existed in the past,” said Rajiv J. Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. “CityXChange will not only bring innovative ideas and fresh thinking to some of our cities’ greatest challenges, it will also lay the groundwork for cities and tech to better collaborate in the future – with the goal of improving the lives of urban residents around the world.”

Mayor Reed kicked off the Summit with an opening panel discussion with two of his fellow mayors. Following the panel, Mayor Reed focused his discussions with the tech community on the City of Atlanta’s recent commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy for municipal operations by 2025. As a result of these discussions at CityXChange, Atlanta will focus on making Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport a model of resilience and clean energy initiatives with a best-in-class tech innovation center. Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest and most efficient passenger airport. Additionally, the City of Atlanta will seek opportunities to partner with venture capital funds to create public-private partnerships which foster innovative solutions to challenges in deploying clean energy, starting with a clean energy project at the airport.

The Bellagio Center, where the conference will be held, supports the work of scholars, artists, thought leaders, policymakers, and practitioners who share in the Foundation’s pioneering mission to “promote the well-being of humanity around the world.” It has a record of major impact, from meetings that led to the Green Revolution and the Global AIDS vaccine initiative, to residencies that have furthered the work of some of the world’s finest artists, writers, and scholars.

The City of Atlanta became a member of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities Network in May, 2016. Atlanta’s membership in the 100 Resilient Cities network, pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, provides the City with a Chief Resilience Officer, 100 cities with whom to exchange best practices, platform partners and support in forming a citywide resilience strategy to withstand acute shocks and alleviate systemic stresses. In response to the Interstate 85 bridge collapse, the City leveraged its membership in the 100 Resilient Cities network to partner with GIS software company Esri to create, an online portal to help commuters navigate traffic and transportation options in Atlanta.

In January 2017, the Chief Resilience Officer launched a comprehensive campaign to engage metro Atlanta residents and stakeholders on perceptions of the city’s resilience strengths and weaknesses. The City is reviewing the results of the Preliminary Resilience Assessment with the Resilient Atlanta steering committee consisting of key government, business, academic and civic community stakeholders who have committed to take an active role for Atlanta’s strategic planning process and addressing local challenges.

Mayor Reed attended the conferences at the request and invitation of the The Rockefeller Foundation, and all costs during the week are being paid by event organizers.

Attendees of the conference included:

• Athens, Greece
• Atlanta, GA, USA
• Cape Town, South Africa
• Jakarta, Indonesia
• Lagos, Nigeria
• Oakland, CA, USA
• Panama City, Panama
• Sydney, Australia
• Thessaloniki, Greece
• Toronto, Canada

• Airmap
• Bright Power
• Neighborly
• Nexar
• Organica
• Premise
• Propeller
• Shuttl

• Abbai Belai, Blue Nile Investments
• Adora Cheung, Y Combinator
• Michael Eisenberg, Aleph VC
• Sascha Haselmayer, Citymart
• Geoff Lewis, Founders Fund
• Nate Morris, Rubicon Global
• Matt Spence, Andreessen Horowitz
• Bradley Tusk, Tusk Holdings
• Ali Vahabzadeh, Chariot
• Steve VanRoekel, former US Chief Information Officer and Strategy Asst to Bill Gates
• Hunter Walk, Homebrew
• Jay Zaveri, Social Capital
• John Zimmer, Lyft

More on the Rockefeller Foundation can be found here, and more on 100 Resilient Cities can be found here.

For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed