Smart, Connected Communities Provide Focus for INSS Conference

Social sustainability has been defined as creating places that promote well-being by understanding what people need from the places they live and work.

UNC Charlotte continues to support this effort through the annual Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS) conference, scheduled for Monday, June 5, through Wednesday, June 7.

The 2017 conference theme is “Smart, Connected Communities,” and the keynote speaker will be David Ludlow, associate professor of European smart cities at the University of West England. He will discuss “Defining Smart City Governance – Architectures of Co-creation and Integration” at 11 a.m., June 6.

Other topics to be addressed during this year’s conference include:

  • Community leadership and civic problem solving in Charlotte and beyond
  • Educating for engaged sustainability
  • Technology for smart and connected communities: The bridge and the wall

Several panel discussions will be offered throughout this conference, allowing for in-depth exploration of various topics. One panel, Charlotte Smart Connected Community, will be June 6; participants will include Rob Phocas, energy and sustainability manager for the city of Charlotte; Emily Yates, deputy director for Envision Charlotte; and Robert Wilhite, managing director, energy practice, Navigant. That evening, bicycle equity in Charlotte will be the topic with panelists Debra Franklin, Charlotte Bicycle Advisory Committee and Biking with Purpose; Bethanie Johnson, Park Road Montessori and Women-on-Wheels; Dick Winters, Mecklenburg County Public Health and Trips for Kids; and Caitlin Doolin, former bicycle and pedestrian lanner, City of Baltimore.

INSS received significant support from a National Science Foundation grant awarded to UNC Charlotte in 2012. INSS is a global network of researchers. In addition to events in Charlotte, this year’s conference will include offerings at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, University of Baltimore and Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.

Organizers note this conference is designed for students, researchers, civic leaders or anyone who is interested in progressing social sustainability. Networking opportunities will be offered throughout the three-day event, as well as poster presentations from UNC Charlotte graduate students and a workshop for graduate students from UNC Charlotte and other institutions.

Conference attendance is free; however, prior registration is requested for logistical purposes.

Image: Lynn Roberson (shows attendees from a previous conference.)

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