2017 Atlanta Agenda

at Georgia Tech is hosting this satellite conference for the second year in a row as part of the NSF-sponsored Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS), launched by UNC-Charlotte “to encourage a greater appreciation for social aspects of sustainability with a particular focus on engineering and its allied professions.” This annual, multi-site conference is brought together via webcast. We are excited to co-host this year’s conference with GT’s NSF REU Civic Data Science Program (Data Science for Social Good) and The Institute for People and Technology.

The 2017 INSS annual conference will be hosted across multiple sites. The keynote speaker, cross-site synchronous activities, and the technology bridge and wall panel will be accessible online through all sites and remotely. Local events and activities may not be held across all sites.

*Registration is full in Atlanta; all those who register will be added to the waiting list*

Atlanta Program PDF

Activities at Georgia Tech will be held in EBB1005

Tuesday June 6

Objective: Introduce and discuss key issues related to data and technology for sustainable communities
(red denotes simulcast across all sites)

8:00AM        Registration & Breakfast, and Collaborative Art Installation:
“Data for Imagination: Constructing Sustainable Futures”

Join new media local artist Bojana Ginn to construct a collaborative installation using light and organic fiber, inspired by data from the Atlanta Regional Commission. Participants will have a hands-on experience translating data into a sculptural piece of ecologically-conscious art.

9:00AM        Reflections on “Data for Imagination: Constructing Sustainable Futures”

  • Bojana Ginn, New media artist
  • Mike Carnathan, Manager, Research & Analytics Division, Atlanta Regional Commission
  • Jennifer Hirsch, Director, Serve-Learn-Sustain, Georgia Tech

10:15AM      Break

10:30AM      Formal welcome from Charlotte and site introductions

11:00AM      Keynote speaker Prof. David Ludlow Defining Smart City Governance – Architectures of Co-Creation and Integration

The dynamic of social and technological innovation is defining a new smart city governance, responding to the complex challenges of urban planning and simultaneously disrupting the governance model in fundamental ways. The background to this concerns effective integrated urban governance, that has proved to be a major challenge, and indeed a challenge too great for expert resolution alone. Accordingly, top-down expertise has increasingly sought the assistance of all stakeholders in a coalition of open governance that strives to respond effectively to the societal challenges of our time. The question for urban governance is extended from concerns to create a more integrated management of the territory, which has dominated the governance agenda for a generation, to a new emphasis on the means by which more participatory engagement can be achieved.

In this new landscape of integrated and participatory, open and co-created urban governance, opportunities to harness innovative social and technology solutions, derived directly from bottom-up engagement in the community, are driving expectations of a more effective policy implementation supported by the new legitimacy of the stakeholder coalition and community political capital. The interplay of social and technological innovation has the potential to transform the governance of our cities, as citizens are demanding more active engagement in the planning of their communities and the visioning of the future city. Technological innovation is providing new means of community engagement facilitating participation in planning as well as creating the potentials for the definition and delivery of more integrated solutions. The presentation will offer some of insights into the experience of European research and innovation projects concerning these dynamics of smart city governance, that is driving forward the agenda defining a new architecture for smart city governance.

12:00PM       Lunch & Roundtable Discussions of “Data In Action” Case Studies

1:45PM         Break

2:00PM         Cross-site shared activities: SESSION A. Select one to attend in person or join online.

Atlanta: Whose Data Is It Anyway?: Empowerment & Ownership of Community Research

Neighborhoods and communities of all types are often the subject of data monitoring and research by organizations such as police departments, public health agencies, and universities. Too often citizens and residents are not either aware of the information that is being collected about their lives, or they don’t adequately understand its implications and almost never are in control of the data that may impact their families and neighbors. Our panelists will discuss how Participatory Action Research, open systems data sharing, and quality community engagement can make a huge difference in whether a community is empowered or undermined by data.


  • Kwabena Nkromo, Founder & Lead Principal, Atlanta Food & Farm PBC (moderator)
  • Tabia Henry Akintobi, MPH, Associate Professor/Associate Dean, Community Engagement, Director of Prevention Research Center, Director of Evaluation and Institutional Assessment, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Christopher Le Dantec, Associate Professor of Digital Media, Georgia Tech
  • Terry Ross, Chairperson, Neighborhood Planning Unit T (NPU-T)
  • Jamie Wallace, Investigator, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office

Baltimore: Technology and Urban Sustainability
What has been learned at the global level and what needs to be learned at the local level to promote and enhance sustainability inclusive of all members of urban communities?  These panelists will identify initiatives and challenges for communities that wish to adopt and adapt smart technologies for this purpose.


  • Bill Kelly, Retired, American Society for Engineering EducationTechnology to Improve Sustainability in Cities: A Global Perspective
  • Tylis Cooper, Lecturer and Academic Coordinator, University of Baltimore How technology can address the maldistribution of resources: A historical look at Baltimore’s infrastructure and how place matters with community and individual sustainability
  • Moderator TBA

Charlotte:  Educating for Engaged Sustainability
This panel will bring together UNCC and Charlotte area partners to talk about what they might expect from an engaged sustainability course or concentration at UNCC. Students are key for meeting sustainability challenges of the future. How we prepare these students will affect how these challenges are understood and met. The Integrated Network for Social Sustainability can play a key role in creating conversations and opportunities around a vision of an integrated, interdisciplinary, and engaged sustainability. In the 2017 conference, we move towards this vision through a focus on how we can design engaged sustainability educational programs that reach beyond disciplines, campuses, and the three pillars.


  • Dan Fogel, Ph.D., Former Director of the Sustainability Master Program at Wake Forest University and Immediate Past Chair of Charlotte Chamber of Commerce GreenWorks Council
  • Ming-Chun Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Architecture, UNC Charlotte. Lee stresses the use of digital technologies in urban design and planning processes and emphasizes the importance of integrating computers into every aspect of urban design and planning education. Prior to joining SoA at UNCC, he has had more than seven years teaching experiences in digital visualization, geographic information system (GIS), and web-based applications both at the University of Washington and at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Lee also conducts research in the areas of community technology, digital democracy, and issues around media policy and public access to information and communication technology (ICT). Dr. Lee received his Ph.D. in urban design and planning from the University of Washington in 2008.
  • Terry Lansdell, Program Director, Clean Air Carolina
  • Nicole Peterson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UNC Charlotte (Moderator)

3:15PM         Break

3:45PM         Cross-site shared activities: SESSION B. Select one to attend in person or join online.

Atlanta: “Can Smart, Connected Communities Also Advance Equity? Three Perspectives from Research, Planning, and Design”

As we plan, design, engineer, and build smart and connected communities, equity is often overlooked— displaced by our focus on technology. But if we do not address equity from the beginning, we run the risk of exacerbating existing conditions of injustice. This panel will explore diverse approaches to addressing equity in research, planning, and design for smart and connected communities, to spark conversation on strategies and tactics appropriate for both public sector and academic projects.


  • Carl DiSalvo, Associate Professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication/SLS Smart Cities, Connected Communities Fellow (Spring 2017), Georgia Tech
  • Cicely Garrett, Deputy Chief Resilience Officer, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resilience
  • Jesse Woo, Research Associate in Privacy and Cybersecurity/SLS Smart Cities, Connected Communities Fellow (Spring 2017), Georgia Tech

Baltimore: Investing in Smart Cities to Improve the Lives of Low Income Residents

Can free access to the Internet, greater transit mobility, and smart cities technologies enhance access to opportunity and social mobility? This panel discussion will engage technology designers, low-income advocates, and public officials in a conversation about what smart cities investments would most improve the lives of low income residents in Baltimore.


  • Gerrit Knaap, National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) and Urban Studies and Planning, University of Maryland College Park
  • Kevin Kornegay, Morgan State University
  • Joe Carella, Vista Technology Partners, Inc.
  • Eli Knaap, Enterprise Community Partners
  • Andre Robinson, Mt. Royal Community Development Corporation

Lima: Three presentations listed below 


  • Simulation-Based Assessment of a Set of Management Measures for the Peruvian Communications Network in Case of Seismic Emergency in Lima City – David Chávez, D., Signals and Communications Theory Area Professor and Chairman; Director of the Rural Telecommunications Research Group; and Professor of Engineering at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru
  • Seismic Retrofit of Concrete Bridges Using Isolation Devices Anibal Tafur
  • Challenges in managing the hydroclimatic risks in Peru – Ronald Gutierrez Ph.D., Associate Professor in Civil Engineering at PUCP

Wednesday June 7

Objective: Develop key questions and work plan for Data Science for Sustainable Communities Action Group
(red denotes simulcast across all sites)

8:00AM        Breakfast

8:45AM        Keynote Listener Report

 9:30AM        Working Session: Small Group Action Plans

11:00AM      Technology for Smart, Connected Communities: The Bridge and the Wall


  • Rachelle Hollander, Ph.D., Director, Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society at the National Academy of Engineering. She is currently principal investigator on a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project to enhance the OEC and also leads CEES participation in the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS). For many years Dr. Hollander directed science and engineering ethics activities at NSF where she was instrumental in the development of the fields of research ethics and professional responsibility, engineering ethics, and ethics and risk management. She has written articles on applied ethics in numerous fields, and on science policy and citizen participation. Dr. Hollander is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and received the Olmsted Award “for innovative contributions to the liberal arts within engineering education” from the American Society of Engineering Education’s Liberal Education Division in 2006. She received her doctorate in philosophy in 1979 from the University of Maryland, College Park.
  • Emma French, Research Assistant, Center for Urban Innovation, Georgia Tech.  Emma is a recent graduate (May 2017) of Georgia Tech’s dual Masters program in Public Policy (MPP) and City and Regional Planning (MCRP). During Emma’s three years at Georgia Tech she worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Urban Innovation where she investigated sustainable urban food systems, local open data policies, and resiliency planning among other things. Emma was selected to participate in Serve-Learn-Sustain’s Smart City Fellowship in the Spring of 2017 and was also a member of the Misono (Japan) Smart City Studio led by Dr. Perry Yang. Post-graduation Emma aims to support the design and development of equitable, sustainable communities through participatory planning and critical policy analysis and evaluation.
  • David Chavez, D., Signals and Communications Theory Area Professor and Chairman; Director of the Rural Telecommunications Research Group; and Professor of the Department of Engineering at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. “Simulation-based assessment of a set of management measures for the Peruvian Communications Network in case of seismic emergency in Lima city.” Communication networks are one of the core services enabling smart and connected communities. In everyday life, their features and performance is mostly transparent to the users and mainly taken for granted, although it is proven that they fail under stress. The Peruvian Communications Network, as others in the world, is reported to have failed when coping with abnormal increases in service demand such as the occurrence of a seismic event. This presentation introduces a set of measures and recommendations for adequate handling of Peru’s communications network in case of a strong earthquake near Lima city using a hybrid network simulation methodology.
  • James Walker, Founder and CEO of Informative Technologies. Informative Technologies Inc. is a social enterprise that has researched and developed scalable, market-driven solutions to the digital divide and electronic waste since 2014. This is made possible by their ReviveOS™ software, which revives “obsolete” computers so they can run better than ever; thus breaking the cycle of planned obsolescence that’s built into competing operating systems today. Their vision is a digitally inclusive society where technology is reused—not discarded—and where people are empowered to achieve success through affordable access to information.

12:30PM       INSS Cross-site Conference Conclusion over Lunch

1:30PM         Atlanta Closing Session: Next Steps

2:00PM         Conclude

2:15-4:15PM Post-Conference Workshop: EPA EJSCREEN, C-FERST

Baltimore, MD

Charlotte, NC