SMART CITIES, SMART ISLANDS

Majorca is to host the first-ever Smart Island World Congress.

In a globalised world where cities are becoming the world’s real powerhouses what is going to be the role of islands in the future? What are their opportunities and challenges regarding issues such as efficiency, urban planning and socioeconomic development? Smart Island World Congress (http://www.smartislandcongress.com), the first global congress on smart islands will address these questions on 20-21 April in Calvià (Majorca), bringing together under a single roof more than 85 international experts and representatives of island administrations.

Smart cities, smart islands
The Smart Island World Congress emerged from demands by island territories to position themselves as host venues for congresses on technology and innovation. The congress takes advantage of the consolidated experience of hosting the international Smart City Expo World Congress, which has been organised by Fira de Barcelona since 2011 and is now the world’s leading event in the smart urban solutions sector and also the top smart cities summit.

The congress – organised by Fira de Barcelona, Calvià Town Council and Mallorca Island Council with the support of the Balearic Islands government and UN-Habitat – will focus on four main themes: New Connectivity; Urban & Social Development; Talent & Economic Growth; and Islands of the Future. Among the keynote speakers are geopolitical futurist, Parag Khanna, who will reflect on the role of connected islands in an urbanising world; and the former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, who will assess attendees about the Pathways Towards Sustainability during his speech.

Smart Island World Congress aims to provide a meeting point between governments, cities and companies to empower the islands in the global era and mitigate the special characteristics of islands, such as floating populations, seasonality, mobility and retention of talent.

The event will also have a networking zone where representatives of island cities, speakers, companies and visitors will meet during the event. Among the exhibiting partner companies are leading technology firms such as Microsoft, Fiware and Grupo Etra, and others from the tourism sector such as Meliá Hotels and Resorts. Some 1,500 delegates and 120 international island representatives are expected to take part, including Bahrein, Bali, Corsica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago. The first edition of the congress will host a prize-giving ceremony on the evening of Thursday 20 April to distinguish the best island initiatives for progress.