Sub-Plenary 6: Leaders for Innovation

Languages: EN, KO, CH

As the urban population grows and increasingly complex urban issues arise, innovative civic leadership is emerging as a pivotal key to success. Due to the limited resources available at local level, local leaders are usually urged to ‘do more with less’ and this is not sufficient to address the fundamental problems that cities are facing. In order to overcome these challenges, it is crucial for city leaders to provide innovative solutions that could unravel the problems of the existing structure and culture of the organization. They need to have a concrete vision of the city and re-imagine the way to improve the quality of life by ‘doing more with more’. Decision made and actions taken by city leaders today will determine the future of the urban area.
In this session, local leaders will showcase the innovative solutions they are pursuing to tackle their most pressing urban challenges.
Each local leader will have 10 minutes to show 20 slides to visually convey the transformative work of their innovative policies and projects. The slides should primarily images or other graphics that provide visual context and support to the 10-minute presentation given by the local leader. The inspirational civic leadership will stimulate local decision-makers to foster innovation and explore mechanisms that lead to new solutions.


  • Showcase examples of how visionary leadership has led cities in achieving sustainability milestones
  • Increase understanding of the preconditions for visionary leadership and identify how local leaders can overcome barriers to change
  • Illustrate the potential of bold local leadership and good governance in spearheading innovative approaches to local sustainability

Kinlay Dorjee, Mayor, City of Thimpu, Bhutan

Michael Schmitz, Executive Director, ICLEI USA Office, Oakland, USA

Local leaders’ panel

  • Innovation: Our cities’ future
    An Pan, Deputy Secretary General, GuangZhou City Council, China
  • The global perspective on the Knowledge Pearl Cities
    Eckart Würzner, Mayor, City of Heidelberg, Germany
  • Green Industry Park Freiburg: An innovative hub for local transformation processes
    Dieter Salomon, Mayor, City of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
  • Strategies for Innovation in Boulder
    Matthew Appelbaum, Mayor, City of Boulder, USA
  • Divestment downunder: Dunedin’s journey towards clean investment

Location: DDP, Arthall 1 Date: 11 April 2015 Time: 14:00 - 15:30 Pan An An Pan dieter.salomon Dieter Salomon Don Iveson Don Iveson eckart.wurzner Eckart Würzner jinty_cut Jinty MacTavish