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Demand Solutions brings together the world's most creative minds for one day to discuss and share innovative solutions to urban challenges.

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Hear from the world's leading creative minds, and the region's most promising entrepreneurs, as they present their ideas on how to improve lives in our cities at Demand Solutions.

Demand Solutions will cover:

  • Urban Mobility
  • Intelligent Cities
  • Housing
  • Climate Change & Resilience in Cities
  • Urban Farming & Gastronomy
  • Biomimicry
  • Open Government
  • Sustainable Architecture
  • Energy Efficiency


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Paola Santana Co-Founder & COO
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Jerry Sanders Chairman & CEO
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Jeremy Alain Siegel Designer
BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
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Rosa Malango Head, Resident Coordinator´s Office
UNDP Guatemala
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Nicolás García Mayor Founder
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Ryan Chin Managing Director
MIT Media Lab
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Beth Noveck Director
The Governance Lab, NYU
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Daniele Quercia Visiting Scientist
University of Cambridge, UK
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Jan Gehl Founder
Gehl Architects
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Yaniv Peer Associate
Exploration Architecture
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Laura Hernández Espinosa Director
Leo Espinosa Foundation
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Mohamed Hage CEO & Founder
Lufa Farms
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Sten de Wit Lead Innovator
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Gabriela Frias Business Anchor
Portafolio Global
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Pedro Moneo Founder & CEO
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Janette Sadik-Khan Principal
Bloomberg Associates
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Nancy Kete Managing Director
Rockefeller Foundation
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Robert Puentes Senior Fellow
Brookings Institution

Paola Santana is Co-Founder & COO of Matternet, a Silicon Valley startup creating the world’s next generation transportation system using networks of drones. Paola is a lawyer, entrepreneur and specialist in public administration, policy and procurement, having developed striking public-private partnerships and projects integrating exponentially advanced technologies. Paola is a graduate from Georgetown and George Washington University in Washington DC, and Singularity University, based in the NASA Ames Research Park of California. She is a Fulbright scholar, GoodxGlobal Tech Fellow, Gifted Citizen awardee and TEDx speaker.

Twitter: @PaolaSantanaM - @matternet

Jerry Sanders is Chairman and CEO of SkyTran Inc., a NASA Space Act company, headquartered at the NASA Ames Research Center near Mountain View, California, consisting of a high-speed, low-cost, elevated Personal Rapid Transportation (PRT) system. A former Navy SEAL, Jerry is also the subject of a popular Harvard Business School case study on entrepreneurship (The Jerry Sanders Case), which has been taught at the graduate business schools of Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Virginia, Kellogg, Cornell, UC Irvine and MIT. Jerry is an honors graduate of Queens College and of The University of Texas Law School, and he holds postgraduate Certificates in German Socio-economics from The Goethe Institute of Bonn, Germany, and in Comparative Constitutional Law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Twitter: @skyTran

Jeremy Alain Siegel directed the BIG team in its winning proposal for the Rebuild by Design competition, and now leads urban design of the subsequent East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. He has been working with BIG since the establishment of the New York office in 2010, and has been involved in a wide range of masterplanning and conceptual design projects – including the Smithsonian Institution Masterplan in Washington D.C., Rose Rock International Financial Center in Tianjin, China, Chicago Southworks, and most recently Google’s master development and expansion plan in Mountain View, California. Jeremy brings a focus on issues of cities, landscape, and the complexities of large-scale building types, and has taught design as a Teaching Associate at Cornell University as well as at the Parsons School of Constructed Environments with Bjarke Ingels. He has lectured internationally on issues of resiliency, and currently co-teaches an urban design studio at the University of Pennsylvania. Jeremy has a B.A. in Architecture from Cornell University.

Rosa Malango has 20 years of UN experience in development and humanitarian affairs, including responsibility for assignments in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Before joining the UN, Rosa worked in public relations for the private sector, and for the Embassy of Argentina in Nigeria. She is an alum of Harvard Kennedy School where she earned a post graduate executive education certificate from the Emerging Leaders program; she completed a post graduate course on Prevention of Armed Conflict from Columbia University, and has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Rosa has also completed several UN leadership programs including the Women’s Contributive Leadership program, the Management Development Program and the Emergency Team Leadership Program.

Twitter: @RMalango2015

Nicolás García Mayor is the founder of CMAX, an Emergency Shelter System Prototype that provides immediate housing for refugees. Nicolás created CMAX to improve the lives of people affected by natural catastrophes and other humanitarian crises. He is an Argentine industrial designer focused in humanitarian development and preservation of the environment. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the 2014 Outstanding Young Person of the World (TOYP) by the Junior Chamber International, and was nominated for the 2015 Business for Peace Award, given to business leaders whose actions and commitments constitute an exceptional contribution to the promotion of ethical behavior and peace. He is a consultant to the UN and conforms research groups with the CONICET in Argentina, Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, Nifeg (Nigeria Energy Future Group), among others.

Twitter: @NicoGarciaMayor - @cmaxsystem

Ryan Chin is the managing director of the City Science Initiative at the MIT Media Lab where he conducts research on disruptive urban systems in the areas of urban mobility, live/work, building-integrated agriculture, and big data analytics. Ryan is creating Autonomous Mobility-on-Demand Systems, a network of self-driving, shared-use, lightweight electric vehicles for cities. He also developed the CityCar, a foldable, electric, two-passenger vehicle, named by Time Magazine the “Automotive Invention of the Year” in 2007. Ryan has won awards for his research including the Katerva Award for Transportation (2014) and the 100K Buckminster Fuller Challenge (2009). He received at MIT his Ph.D. and M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences and a M.Arch in Architecture.

Twitter: @rccchin - @MediaLab

A lawyer by training and a techie by inclination, Beth Noveck works to build data transparency into government. As the US's first Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Beth Noveck founded the White House Open Government Initiative, which developed administration policy on transparency, participation, and collaboration. Among other projects, she designed and built Peer-to-Patent, the U.S. government’s first expert network. She worked in the design for ORGPedia, a platform for mashing up and visualizing public and crowdsourced data about corporations. Beth is currently on leave from her position as professor of law and director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School.

Twitter: @bethnoveck - @TheGovLab

Daniele Quercia is a computer scientist, named one of Fortune Magazine's 2014 Data All-Stars. His research area is urban computing. Daniele was a Research Scientist at Yahoo! Labs, a Horizon senior researcher at The Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge, and Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his PhD from UC London. He was a Microsoft Research PhD Scholar and MBA Technology Fellow of London Business School, and he also interned at the National Research Council in Barcelona and at National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo. He studied at Politecnico di Torino, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and University of Illinois.

Twitter: @danielequercia

Jan is an architect, Founding Partner of Gehl Architects, and former Professor and Researcher at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, from where he holds a Masters in Architecture. His career has focused on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city design towards the pedestrian and cyclist. Jan is known for turning Copenhagen into a walkable and biking city during the 70s-80s. Today, more than 50% of trips in Copenhagen are done by bicycle. He is also responsible for the design of New York’s democratization of public space strategy during Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, turning congested areas like Times Square into a walkable and enjoyable public space.

Twitter: @citiesforpeople

Yaniv, RIBA, FRSA, is an Associate at Exploration Architecture, a cutting edge practice leading the field of Biomimicry and its application in the architecture and design field. He trained at the Manchester School of Architecture after which he joined the world famous practice Future Systems, where he worked on several projects with Jan Kaplicky - including the Budvar Concert and Congress Centre.Since 2009 Yaniv has been collaborating with Michael Pawlyn at Exploration Architecture and joined the practice as Associate in 2011. Yaniv holds a Masters in Architecture and Urbanism from The University of Manchester.

Twitter: @exploration_arc

Laura Hernández-Espinosa currently serves as Director of the Leo Espinosa Foundation, FUNLEO, a non-profit organization based in Bogotá, Colombia, in which along with her mother, chef Leonor Espinosa, they work in building projects and strategies based on gastronomy as a motor of economic and social development. Laura focuses on promoting a food culture that assesses the potential of Colombian traditional cuisine, biodiversity and national identities, generating opportunities for rural communities. She holds a Bachelor in Foreign Affairs, a Postgraduate in Corporative Social Responsibility and a Magister in Development Studies of the University of the Andes. Her passion for traditional and modern drinks led her also to become a professional sommelier.

Twitter: @leoescocina

Mohamed Hage is the CEO and Founder of Lufa Farms, a company that designs and builds rooftop agricultural greenhouses. Mohamed conceived Lufa Farms in the early 2000's based on his childhood experiences with agriculture and fresh produce in a village just outside of Beirut. It was to provide fresh, local and responsible vegetables to Montréalais consumers that he created the first commercial rooftop greenhouse in the world in the winter of 2011. Mohamed´s present goal is to help this new agricultural model be progressively integrated into rooftops across major cities.

Twitter: @hage_mo - @LufaFarms

Dr. M.S. Sten de Wit is an innovator and strategic business developer at TNO, a Dutch organization for applied scientific research. Sten’s passion is to develop innovative solutions and partnerships at the interface of infrastructure, energy and mobility, focusing on cutting CO2-emissions and boosting sustainable energy production. He supports leaders of industry and government with strategic advice on sustainable innovation. In 2010, Sten initiated SolaRoad, a Dutch public-private partnership, to develop roads that also function as solar panels. Sten has a MSc in Applied Physics from Eindhoven University of Technology, and a PhD in Technical Sciences from Delft University of Technology.

Twitter: @SolaRoadNL

Gabriela Frias is co-anchor of CNN Dinero, CNN en Español. For more than 13 years, she has presented financial news from Latin America and the world for CNN, interviewing world leaders, reporting on the global financial crisis, and travel to high profile events such as the G-20 in Mexico and the World Economic Forum in Davos. Gabriela, who graduated with honors from Carlos Septíen School of Journalism in Mexico City, is recognized as a leader in business journalism in Latin America.

Twitter: @gfrias

Pedro is the CEO and founder of Opinno, an international open innovation network that connects entrepreneurs, investors and technology specialists across innovation hubs around the world to build new hi-tech startups. Pedro holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and a nuclear engineering degree from the French Atomic Energy Commission. Currently, Pedro manages Opinno while simultaneously taking on the role as Publisher of MIT’s Technology Review, Spanish & Portuguese Editions, Publisher (Online) for Harvard Business Review in Spanish, acting as an angel investor through Entrepreneur Capital and a philanthropist through Pedro is also member of the Young Presidents Organization and a Eisenhower Foundation Innovation Fellow.

Twitter: @pedromoneo

Janette Sadik-Khan, Principal, Bloomberg Associates; Former Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation 2007-2013.
Internationally recognized for her expertise in transportation issues, public policy development and innovative finance, Sadik-Khan implemented an ambitious program to improve safety, mobility and sustainability throughout NYC, and ensured a state of good repair on the city's roads, sidewalks and bridges. Sadik-Khan oversaw a series of innovative projects, including creating more pedestrian space in Times Square and along Broadway from Columbus Circle to Union Square, the planning and launch of seven Select Bus Service routes and the nation's largest bike share program, the addition of nearly 400 miles of bicycle lanes and the installation and design of more than 60 plazas citywide, and the publication of a Street Design Manual, which defined new standards for creating more durable and attractive streets. Sadik-Khan sits on the Board of Trustees of Occidental College, from which she holds a B.A. in Political Science, in addition to a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

Twitter: @JSadikKhan

As Managing Director, Dr. Kete leads the Foundation’s global work on resilience. During her 25 year career, Dr. Kete has brought technical, institutional, and managerial leadership to a number of major environment and societal challenges. Before joining the Foundation, Dr. Kete spent thirteen years at the World Resources Institute, first as Director of the Climate, Energy, and Pollution Program and then as founder and Director of EMBARQ. She also served on President Obama’s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Earlier in her career, Dr. Kete worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency where she led the development of the acid rain control title of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the first and as yet most successful application of market instruments for pollution control. Dr. Kete holds a PhD in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s in Geography from Southern Illinois University.

Twitter: @RockefellerFdn

Robert Puentes is a Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program where he also directs the program's Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative. The Initiative was established to address the pressing transportation and infrastructure challenges facing cities and suburbs in the United States and abroad. Robert's work focuses on the broad array of policies and issues related to metropolitan growth and development including transportation and infrastructure, urban planning, growth management, suburban issues, and smart cities. Prior to joining Brookings, Robert was the director of infrastructure programs at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia where he served on the Alumni Advisory Board, and is an affiliated professor with Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute.

Twitter: @rpuentes - @BrookingsMetro

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Meet the most innovative and disruptive startups from Latin America and the Caribbean as they pitch their solutions for improving lives at Demand Solutions Venture Night. The participating startups were selected through a competition and evaluated by a panel of expert judges. Don´t miss this special evening!





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