Exploring Our Future in an Urbanized World
Fall 2015


In 2014, AGS mounted an “Expedition to the Future”, and a topic that prominently recurred through much of the dialog was “urbanization.” An ever increasing proportion of the world’s population will dwell in urban areas by 2050, even as the world’s total population swells by billions. The geographies of our urban habitats are poised to change radically by 2050, and the implications of this for local, regional, and global decision makers are significant and paramount to our well-being. The spatial-temporal processes and patterns that will reshape our cities – and the rest of the planet - are many and interrelated, and will manifest differently in different places over time. In short, there is no single “urban habitat” and it is imperative that we, as a global society, understand the variety and interconnectedness of the world’s towns, cities and mega-cities as they evolve by 2050

The AGS Fall Symposium brings together leaders in business, government, science, and education that might not otherwise have the opportunity to interact, and provide opportunities for discussion, debate, and collaboration to further the understanding of the future of our cities.

Topics and Speakers

Day 1
Breakthrough Trends in Urban Sustainability

Dr. David Kaplan, Professor, Kent State University

Mr. Colin Reilly, Director, Geographic Information Systems, NYC Dept of Information Technology and Telecommunications

Dr. William Solecki, Professor, Hunter College

Dr. V. Kelly Turner, Assistant Professor, Kent State University

The Geographic Implications of Migration, Immigration, and Resettlement

Dr. Marie Price, Professor, The George Washington University

Ms. Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner, NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs

Dr. David Rain, Director of Undergraduate Studies, The George Washington University

Dr. Audrey Singer, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Future Energy Landscape

Mr. Niel Golightly, Vice President, Shell Oil

Mr. James Scrivener, President and CEO, National Solar

Professor Michael Bradshaw, Professor of Global Energy, University of Warwick

The Future of Urban Infrastructure

Mr. Norman Anderson, President and CEO, CG/LA Infrastructure Inc.

Ms. Andrea d'Amato, Vice President, Kleinfelder

Mr. Nicholas Davis, CEO, GridMarket

Dr. Michael Yoder, Professor, University of Arkansas

The Future Geography of Economic Exclusion and Integration

Dr. Deborah Popper, Professor, College of Staten Island

Ms. Claudia Juech, Associate Vice President, Rockefeller Foundation

Mr. Patrick Ellis, Human Geographer, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Secondary Cities Shaping the World's Urban Future

Dr. Lee Schwartz, The Geographer, USA

Dr. Shlomo Angel, Senior Research Scholar, New York University Stern Urbanization Project

Dr. Somik Lall, Lead Urban Economist, The World Bank

Complexity, Multi-dimensionality, and Vulnerability: The Future of Urbanization

Dr. Richard Wolfel, Professor, US Military Academy

Dr. Amy Krakowka Richmond, Professor, US Military Academy

Dr. Mark Read, Deputy Head, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, US Military Academy

Smart Cities, Urban Sensor Webs, and Robotics

Mr. George Percivall, Chief Engineer, Open Geospatial Consortium

Mr. Terry Bennett, Senior Industry Program Manager, Autodesk

Mr. Michael Heimbinder, Executive Director, HabitatMap

Dr. Laxmi Lamasubramanian,Deputy Director, CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities at Hunter College

Dr. Mor Naaman, Associate Professor, Cornell Tech

Day 2
Emerging Urban Forms

Dr. Christopher Tucker

Ms. Story Bellows, Co-Director, Mayor's Office of Urban Mechanics, City of Philadelphia

Mr. Christopher Curry, Senior Executive Vice President, The Howard Hughes Corporation

Future Game Changer - Vertical Farming

Dr. Antoinette WinklerPrins, Director, Environmental Programs, John Hopkins University

Dr. Dickson D. Despommier, Emeritus Professor of Microbiology and Public Health, Columbia University

Big Cities = Big Data

Mr. Anthony Quartararo, CEO, Spatial Networks

Mr. Anthony Calamito, Federal CTO, Boundless

Mr. Mikel Maron, Data Team Member, Mapbox

The Future Role of Cities in the Geo-Strategic Landscape

Mr. Keith Masback, CEO, United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation

Ms. Susan Gordon, Deputy Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Dr. Alexander Murphy, Professor, University of Oregon

Cities at Risk of Disaster

Dr. Robert Chen, Director, Center for International Earth Science Information Network

Dr. Ebru Gencer, Executive Director, Center for Urban Disaster Risk, Reduction and Resilience

Mr. Jacob Rosengarten, Chief Enterprise Officer, XL Catlin Group

Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Assistant, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Sensing Urban Change from Above

Hon. Jeffrey Harris, Chairman of the Board of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and the Open Geospatial Consortium

Mr. Omar Balkissoon, CEO, OGSystems

Mr. Brian Follmer, Vice President, Leidos

Mr. Lawrie Jordan, Director of Imagery, ESRI

Mr. Bryan Lane, Product Owner, Pixia Corporation

Mr. Andrew Zolli, Plante Labs

Human Security in the Future Urban Habitat

Mr. Al Di Leonardo, President and CEO, Human Geo

Dr. Melinda Laituri, Director, Geospatial Centroid at Colorado State University

Col. Patrick Mahaney, Director, US Army Strategic Studies Group

Urban Social Research and Technology Design

Mr. Mitchell Sipus, Co-Founder, Symkala

Investing in an Urban Future

Ms. Adrianne C. Dicker Kadzinski, CEO, Structuring Strategic Capital LLC

Mr. Dylan Hixon, President, Arden Road Investments

Mr. Josh Wilkes, Portfolio Manager, Pine River Capital Management

Mr. Andrea Zanon, Risk Management Business Development Coordinator, The World Bank


Big City = Big Data
Mr. Anthony Quartararo
CEO, Spatial Networks
The Future of Vertical Farming
Dr. Dickson Despommier
Columbia University
Urban Social Research & Technology Design
Mr. Mitchell Sipus
Co-founder, Symkala
The Geographic Implications of Migration and Resettlement
Dr. Marie Price
Councilor, AGS
The Future of Urbanization
West Point Scholars
Sensing Urban Change From Above
Mr. Jeffrey Harris
Chairman of the Board, USGIF
Urban Sustainbility
Dr. David Kaplan
Councilor, AGS
Keynote Address
Dr. Joan Clos
Executive Director, UN-Habitat
Investing in an Urban Future
Ms. Adrianne Kadzinski
Mr. Christopher Jones
Mr. Dylan Hixon
Mr. Josh Wilkes
The Future Geography of Economic Exclusion and Integration
Dr. Deborah Popper
Vice-President, AGS
Emerging Urban Forms
Dr. Christopher Tucker
Councilor, AGS
Cities at Risk of Disaster
Dr. Robert Chen
Councilor, AGS
The Future Role of Cities in the Geo-Strateigc Landscape
Ms. Susan Gordon
Deputy Director, NGA