Mansueto Institute Joins 2018 CityXChange Summit

Mansueto Institute Pritzker Director, Luis Bettencourt, joined global city, technology and venture capital leaders at the Rockefeller Foundation’s CityXChange Summit


Summit brought innovative ideas and fresh thinking to some of the world’s greatest urban challenges and laid the groundwork for cities and technology companies to better collaborate in the future


In early May, Luis Bettencourt attended the Rockefeller Foundation’s CityXChange Summit, a program launched last year that brings together city leaders from around the globe with technology innovators to collaborate on solving tough urban resilience problems. By convening experts in government and technology, the conference will generate new approaches for solving the world’s greatest urban resilience issues and lead to better tech-city collaboration in the future. All cities in attendance are members of 100 Resilient Cities, an organization pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation dedicated to helping cities build resilience to the social, economic and physical challenges of the 21st century.

“We’re convening this conference to help bridge the massive gap between what cities need to build resilience, and what tech entrepreneurs are currently providing,” said Michael Berkowitz, the President of 100 Resilient Cities. “By bridging the tech-city gap, we can unlock solutions that can improve the lives of millions – if not billions – of urban residents over the long term.  By participating in this conference, Luis Bettencourt will not only lay the groundwork for better tech-city collaboration globally, he will help advance a key urban challenge.”

The Summit, which takes place at The Rockefellers Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy from May 20-23, was created to provide a framework through which cities, startups, and venture capitalists can challenge each other to develop new models to work together and solve problems that will enhance public services and quality of life in urban centers. The Rockefeller Foundation (RF) and 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) released a roadmap report last year with a summary of key learnings and approaches devised during the inaugural CityXChange Summit 2017 to encourage successful city/tech collaborations more broadly.

At the Summit, each participating city presented a particular challenge they would like the tech sector and urban resilience experts to help advance. Then over the course of the convening, each city worked side-by-side with a cross-sector group of innovators and experts to explore potential solutions and opportunities for collaboration and partnership. Startups attending the conference had an opportunity to demonstrate their technology and discuss how it can help cities in their efforts to build resilience, and tech leaders shared their insights on how startups might improve their technology to be able to grow and help cities.

Participants left the Summit equipped with new relationships, new ideas around potential tech-driven solutions to a major priority area for the city, and a roadmap of best practices designed to help each city better utilize and adopt new technologies in support of resilience.

Attendees of the conference include: 


  • Accra, Ghana
  • Athens, Greece
  • Atlanta, Georgia, US
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Calgary, Alberta, CAN
  • Chennai, India
  • El Paso, Texas, US
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, US
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
  • Pune, India
  • Quito, Ecuador

VC/Tech Leaders:

  • Michael Eisenberg, Aleph VC
  • David Soloff, Bowery Capital / Premise Data
  • Peter Calthorpe, Calthorpe Associates
  • Ellie Wheeler, Greycroft
  • Matt Spence, Guggenheim Partners
  • Steve VanRoekel, Innovation Consultant to Rockefeller Foundation & Former US CIO
  • Prashant Mehta, Lightbox Ventures
  • Tomicah Tillemann, New America, Blockchain Trust Accelerator
  • Marjory Blumenthal, RAND Corporation
  • Micah Lasher, Sidewalk Labs
  • Phil Deutch, Social Capital
  • Jay Zaveri, Social Capital
  • Bradley Tusk, Tusk Ventures
  • Luis Bettencourt, Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, Univ. of Chicago
  • Adora Cheung, Y-Combinator

Start-Up/Demo Companies:  

  • Julia Haselmayer, CityMart
  • Mani Vajipey, Banyan Nation
  • John West, BioGill
  • Susmita Mohanty, Earth2Orbit
  • Bill Collins, L03
  • Ahmad Wani, OneConcern
  • Courtney Sung, Remix
  • Sagie Davidovich, SparkBeyond
  • Joe DiStefano, UrbanFootprint
  • Joao Barros, Veniam

More on the Rockefeller Foundation can be found here, the CityXChange Summit 2017 Roadmap Report can be found here and more on 100 Resilient Cities can be found here.