SMART Cities Leadership

Schulich Executive Learning Centre

Schulich Executive Learning Centre


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Who should attend

The program is designed for any municipal leader who is concerned with innovation and creativity, and wants a thorough understanding of what’s required to prepare for and successfully implement SMART initiatives, including:

  • Directors and department managers of IT, Data Management, Internal Services, Planning, Business Management, Procurement, and Customer Service
  • Managers and Project Managers overseeing projects and departments that would pursue SMART initiatives or that could immediately benefit from such inputs.
  • Directors of Communications, Council Relations Managers, Media Managers and other professionals responsible for public relations and community interface

About the course

The SMART municipal future is coming. Are you and your department ready?

Smart cities is the topic of endless conversation, anticipation, and speculation in the municipal sector. But until now there has been little more than discussion groups and conferences to deepen one’s knowledge. The Schulich Executive Education Centre’s new one-of-a-kind Smart Cities Leadership program will close that gap by pulling back the curtain and comprehensively addressing the art and science of smart implementation.

Participants will do a deep dive into trends in smart design and management, and gain a comprehensive overview of all the elements and dimensions which must be considered and managed in order to move to a successful smart future in their municipality

What You Will Learn

  • The new world of integration: how to be SMART
  • SMART business processes: the new world of SMART economics
  • Platform service delivery models: the future of municipal services
  • Disruptive technologies and their Effects on SMART economics
  • The art of the possible (from a realist’s perspective)
  • Consultants, techies and scientists: the nature of SMART partnerships
  • Practical insights from top-flight project managers and visionaries
  • Integrating SMART approaches into current workflows and project designs


Workshop Day 1

The New World of Smart Economics

Facilitator: David Fell, CEO, Eastern Ontario Regional Network Economics and Business Models

  • What is a municipal business model anyway?
  • The public sphere: public versus private versus third-sector
  • Market failure and municipal intervention
  • Moving from pipes to platforms
  • Leveraging the sharing economy

Smart Infrastructure

  • Asset management programs
  • Green economy infrastructure challenges
  • Digital economy infrastructure: finance, build, maintain

Data: The New Currency

  • Measuring impact and outcomes and communicating the results
  • Measuring Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Writing a business case for new programs
  • The provision of open data
  • Managing self-service tools and attendant expectations
  • Balanced scorecard performance measurement
  • Data analytics to support smart

Workshop Day 2

The Art of the Possible: Strategizing for Smart Implementation

Facilitator: Lawrence Eta, CIO, City of Toronto

There is no shortage of visions of the future of cities from academics, vendors, think tanks, politicians, and city leaders. Understanding what’s required to move in that direction from a status quo of disparate systems, siloed departments and resource-deprivation is the realist perspective. Building and selling the smart roadmap is where the art of the possible becomes real.

  • How to undertake a current state analysis
  • How to develop roadmap for foundational/ city wide elements required: Process; Infrastructure; Data; Platform
  • Budget considerations
  • Governance considerations
  • Growth/scalability considerations
  • ROI development
  • Developing short- and long-term program and project scope
  • Talent required
  • Selling your strategy to executives and Council

Workshop Day 3

Digital Enablement – From Smart City to Smart Community

Facilitator: Nasir Kenea, CIO, City of Markham

Integration to be “Smart”

  • City services and how they depend on systems/process automation
  • Infrastructure and assets management practices for a smart city
  • The need for data integration for better informed decision
  • Digital infrastructure for a smart city
  • Architectural principles, standards and governance/shift in thinking
  • The ways in which smart cities are more than just what the city government does, and more about the whole community
  • Smart Communities

Smart communities experience

  • Partners and contributors
  • Cities’ role in fostering smart communities
  • Policy, partnership and governance frameworks
  • Ways in which smart communities differ from simple “economic development” but engender similar outcomes

Workshop Day 4

Where Success Leads – Smart Citizen-Centered Service and Connected Communities

Facilitators: Antoine Haroun, CIO, Halton Region; Jesse Adcock, CIO, City of Vancouver

Although the focus of municipal government in a smart and future-ready world remains the conferring of services on the citizenry, the nature of the service changes to become citizen-centered. We explore the social and political implications of this change, as well as the commensurate movement toward digitally connected communities.

  • What are the principles of citizen-centered services in a smart world?
  • How do smart initiatives change citizen expectations?
  • How can services be managed and improved to enhance smart function while mitigating municipal risk?
  • What security considerations are required to promote true citizen-centered service in a world of open data?
  • How does the promotion of smart citizen-centered values enhance the political will of Council?

Workshop Day 5

Smart Politics – The People, Their Drivers and How to Broker Success

Facilitator: Dan Mathieson, Mayor, Town of Stratford

In this workshop we will consider the transformation of organizational culture required to encompass and support smart operations leadership. Of particular interest will be the thorny topics of: the need to respond to political will, the need to engage with public perception, and overcoming a risk-averse orientation.

  • What is the political climate in the municipal field today?
  • What is the nature of future-readiness?
  • What expectations in the organization as well as in the citizenry are created by the current technological marketplace?
  • What are current media attitudes and what effects have they had on stakeholders?
  • What is the public perception of a future-ready municipality?
  • Staff-Council relations in a smart world
  • Municipal-provincial relations on a smart world


JP Gedeon

Biography JP Gedeon is a nationally recognized, published expert in leadership, leadership psychology, corporate transformation and cultural change. Over the past 20 years, he has held executive level positions in the private, public, academic and association sectors, having developed many of the...

Nasir Kenea

Nasir is Chief Information Officer with the City of Markham and has experience in senior ICT leadership and service delivery for well over a decade with responsibilities that include: providing strategic leadership and direction for the organization in all aspects of ICT and being a strong partne...

Dan Mathieson

Dan Mathieson is in his fifth term as Mayor and has sat on municipal council since 1995. During his tenure Dan has been a member on numerous boards and committees in healthcare, municipal affairs, law enforcement, athletics, not-for-profits, universities and colleges. He is currently Chair of t...

David Fell

After having built one of Canada’s fastest-growing profitable companies, David is now CEO of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN). This Private-Public Partnership has invested more than $175 million in Eastern Ontario to extend high speed broadband to rural residents. David’s previous star...

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SMART Cities Leadership at Schulich Executive Learning Centre

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