Sustainability and The Internet of Things: Translating Technology into Action

Session Abstract:

Much of the discourse about sustainable development was launched by the Brundtland Report [1]. The report addressed the future of human existence on the planet and the impacts on society, the environment, culture, and economics [2]. The roadmap for progress in the future is voiced in the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) [3] that relate a more granular view to desirable, but still vague, traits, behavior, and outcomes. The SDGs have seen considerable attention from public institutions and industry. This includes many major corporations that have adopted plans of their own to meet Sustainability Goals [4]. Recognizing that over 70% of the Earth’s population will likely live in urban environments by 2050, this is a key issue for Cities. The Internet of Things (IoT) and accompanying infrastructure and technologies provide tools for improving our understanding of the state of the planet, making better decisions, and managing the dynamics that drive outcomes across the SDGs. The panel will cover Sustainability, the Internet of Things, and how the two are related. It will focus on how urban technology can translate into positive outcomes and results. The panelists will discuss specific application of IoT in Smart Cities concentrating on five aspects: Value for the citizen, impact on the environment, economic viability, responsible management, and the building of strong communities.

1. The Brundtland Commission:
2. The four pillars of sustainability:
3. The seventeen Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs):
4. McKinsey & Co., Insights on Sustainability, January 25th, 2022:


Dr. Adam T. Drobot is a technologist with over forty years of experience in industry, the public sector, and in research. Today his activities include strategic consulting, start-ups, and participation in industry associations and government advisory bodies. He is the Chairman of the Board of OpenTechWorks, Inc. a  company specializing in open source software. Previously he was the Managing Director and CTO of 2M Companies in Dallas, TX, from 2010-2012, and President  of the Applied Research and Government Business Units at Telcordia Technologies and the company’s CTO from 2002 to 2010. Prior to that, Adam managed the Advanced Technology Group at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). He also served as the Senior Vice President for Science and Technology as  part of his 27 years of service at SAIC from 1975 to 2002. He has published more than 100 journal articles, and is a frequent contributor to industry literature. He currently holds 26 patents. Adam is a member of Several Corporate Boards, and the FCC Technology Advisory Council. He is on the Board of the Telecommunications Industry Association where he has Chaired the TIA Technology Committee. He is the 2007 recipient of IEEE’s Managerial Excellence Award. For the IEEE he has Chaired IEEE Employee Benefits and Compensation Committee, the IEEE Awards Recognition Council, served as a member of the IEEE Awards Board. During 2017 and 2018 he chaired the IEEE IoT Activities Board that oversees the multi-society IEEE IoT Initiative. He holds a BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University and a PhD. in Plasma Physics from the University of Texas.

Victor M. Larios has received his PhD and a DEA (French version of a MS program) in Computer Science at the Technological University of Compiègne, France and a BA in Electronics Engineering at the ITESO University in Guadalajara, Mexico. He works at the University of Guadalajara (UDG) holding a Full Professor-Researcher position at the Department of Information Systems and he is the director of the Smart Cities Innovation Center at CUCEA UDG Campus. Besides, Dr. Victor M. Larios is the founder of the UDG PhD in Information Technologies in 2007, and has been leading projects in Guadalajara between academy, government and high tech industry as IBM, Intel and HP focusing his research to distributed systems, parallel computing, data analytics and visualization, serious games and smart cities. During the year of 2013, Dr. Victor M. Larios was a consultor and elected the Director of Science and Technology for the Guadalara Ciudad Creativa Digital A.C. project. Since July 2013, Dr. Victor M. Larios as volunteer, is the Guadalajara City Local Leader for the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative. In addition, Dr. Victor M. Larios is an IEEE Senior member with a valued membership of 22 years and as is the current secretary of the IEEE Computer Chapter at the Guadalajara Section.

Sander Dolder is a perceptive, enterprising, & collaborative business development leader with over 10 years of effective results transforming organizations and economies towards a low-carbon future by fostering innovation, growth, and systems change. I am currently a Senior Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation where I design, build, & lead efforts to expand the NYC economy by catalyzing emerging sectors, developing innovation ecosystems, implementing sustainability strategies, and forging public-private partnerships:

– Specialized in strategic foresight, innovation ecosystems, sustainability, impact investing, and organization design.
– Sector experience in urbantech/smart cities, cleantech, telecom, media, emerging tech, chemical, and public sectors.
– Skilled in project management, due diligence, urban planning, public policy, and public-private partnerships.

Dr. Anthony Michael Townsend is an Urbanist in Residence at the Jacobs Institute at Cornell Tech. He is an accomplished author and consultant working at the intersection of urbanization and digital technology. He is the author of two books: Ghost Road: Beyond the Driverless Car; and Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for A New Utopia—both published by W.W. Norton & Co.—and the founder of Star City Group (, a strategy consultancy and planning studio that works with industry, government and philanthropy on smart city planning, innovation districts, and automated vehicle policy. He holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and minored in physics as an undergraduate at Rutgers University. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

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