November 17, 2020
ONLINE – On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, WeGO’s Executive Committee (EXCOM) convened online to review the Secretariat’s achievements in 2020 and to decide on key agenda ítems guiding the organization’s direction for the future. Hosted by the Moscow City Government under the theme of “Rethinking Smart Cities: Agile and Connected”, the event offered a full day of programming, attracting over 900 observers from around the world.
The program began with welcome addresses from Sergey Cheremin, Minister for Moscow and Head of Department for External Economic and Internal Relations, and Kyong-yul Lee, Secretary General of WeGO. Governor Sergey Morozov of Ulyanovsk Region and Mayor Dato’Sr Hj Rozali Bin Hj Mohamud of Seberang Perai, both members of WeGO’s EXCOM, also delivered congratulatory remarks to WeGO, commending its achievements since its founding in 2010 and emphasizing the continued need for the development of smart sustainable cities.
In the official meeting, 12 EXCOM members gathered to approve 26 new members, authorize the establishment of a new WeGO regional office for Africa in Abuja , and review the WeGO 2030 Masterplan which will be presented for adoption at the next General Assembly meeting.
As one of the main topics of the year, the event included two thematic sessions related to COVID-19. During the high-level policy dialogue, government, industry, and research leaders tried to assess how cities have used smart technology in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that leadership is now the key determining factor in the success of pandemic-related policy measures. Citizen Engagement was the focus of the second part as experts on economics, data, population, and filmmaking commented on the themes of short films produced by citizens from five cities around the world on how the pandemic has changed their lives, and discussed the related implications for innovative social and data policies and the birth of new industries and modes of education.
The final session of the nine-hour program was the Smart City Driver Online Workshop – the culmination of a series of collaborative smart city solution development workshops between WeGO members and partners. Following a call for proposals launched in August this year, representatives from Ramallah and Abuja were connected with WeGO’s partners Solar Impulse Foundation and Smart Cities Council, respectively. In an open conversation and demonstration of the WeGO Activator, the workshop showcased WeGO’s digital processes and tools that support its members in refining smart city project ideas and connect them with other players in the market.
A dedicated online platform was developed for this year’s EXCOM where observers could watch the live broadcast of the event, take virtual tours of Moscow’s smart city facilities, view the online concert performed by classical pianist and conductor Mikhail Shekhtman, and take quizzes through the WeBOT (WeGO chatbot). WeGO’s 10th anniversary was celebrated through the showcase of a commemorative video.
EXCOM is WeGO’s main decision-making body that supports and guides the Secretariat in its activities. It convenes every year in a host city, selected through a bidding process, around a larger smart city event that features plenary sessions, workshops, exhibitions, and site visits. This online EXCOM was held following the cancellation of the 5th General Assembly in Makati City due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 5th General Assembly has been postponed to 2021.