A Devex event in partnership with KPMG

Building the city of the future:

Step up now through collaboration and innovation

September 20, 2021 — 10 a.m. ET | 4 p.m. CET


Hosted by:


In partnership with:


About the Event

Cities around the globe are set to face increasingly complex challenges in the coming decades. With the number of people in urban areas projected to swell by 2.5 billion over the next 30 years — growing from more than half of the global population to 68% by 2050 — cities will play an important role in ensuring progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

With the vast majority of this growth expected in Africa and Asia, these trends will exacerbate existing urban issues, which are already under high pressure from overcrowding, pollution, climate change, diseases, waste, and inadequate housing. Ensuring sustainable and prosperous cities will require innovative, joined-up strategies that work toward smarter cities in which resources are used more effectively and equally.

This event, hosted by Devex in partnership with KPMG, will explore the various ways cities can incorporate innovative strategies to both manage urban challenges and accelerate progress on the SDGs, while also supporting cities to build back stronger following the COVID-19 pandemic.

New partnerships and innovative collaborations will be key in supporting the sustainable cities of the future. The event will therefore also take a deeper look at how the United for Smart and Sustainable Cities initiative is already providing support to cities around the globe and how it can be scaled to 10,000 cities with over 50,000 people by 2030.

This event will include live captioning.


10:00 a.m. ET

Welcome & introduction by Raj Kumar, President and Editor-in-Chief, Devex

10:05 a.m. ET

Fireside chat: Discussion of United for Smart and Sustainable Cities to introduce the initiative


• Kari Aina Eik, Secretary-General of United Cities and Chair of the U4SSC Cities KPI Implementation Program

• Raj Kumar, President and Editor-in-Chief, Devex

10:15 a.m. ET

Panel Discussion


• Stine Lise Hattestad Bratsberg, Partner and Head of KPMG Sustainability in Norway
• Sameh Wahba, Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice
• Hon. Bernard Faustino Dy, Mayor of Cauayan City, Philippines
• Klaus Heidinger, Sustainable City Solutions at Siemens Advanta

• Raj Kumar, President and Editor-in-Chief, Devex

10:55 a.m. ET

Closing Remarks by Raj Kumar, President and Editor-in-Chief, Devex


Raj Kumar

Raj Kumar

President and Editor-in-Chief, Devex

Raj Kumar is the founding President & Editor-in-Chief of Devex, the media platform for the global development community. A social enterprise dedicated to ensuring global development efforts do more good for more people, Devex was born in 2000 when Raj was a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School. Today, there are 100+ Devexers around the world serving a global audience of more than one million aid workers and development professionals. Beginning as a kid in Kerala, India, Raj has witnessed firsthand determined and courageous development work in over 50 countries - it’s what drives the Devex mission to “Do Good. Do It Well." He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Save the Children Board of Trustees, a media leader and former humanitarian council chair for the World Economic Forum, and has interviewed on-camera and on-stage hundreds of global luminaries on the most important challenges of our time. Raj is the author of the book "The Business of Changing the World," a go-to primer on the ideas, people, and technology disrupting the aid industry.

Klaus Heidinger

Klaus Heidinger

Head of Sustainable City Solutions, Siemens Advanta

Klaus Heidinger is the head of Siemens Advanta Sustainable City Solutions. This role involves working with City Leaders across the globe and providing methodologies, systems, and tools such as the City Performance Tool and City Air Management System to support cities to meet their economic and environmental targets. In this role, Klaus built up the Siemens Global Center for City Management in Singapore and the Centre of Competence City in London and before that he was heading various Business units for IOT Services in Italy and Austria. Before his career in UK, Italy and Singapore, Klaus acted as CEO for IT Companies in Linz and Vienna with a strong focus on digitalization in the public sector.

Sameh Wahba

Sameh Wahba

Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice

Sameh Wahba is the Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice. The Practice has over $30 billion in lending commitments and 400 staff. Sameh holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Harvard University and has 25 years’ experience in urban development, land, housing, disaster risk management, infrastructure and sustainable development. He co-authored the World Bank’s flagship publications on “Regenerating Urban Land: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leveraging Private Investment” and “The Hidden Wealth of Cities: Creating, Financing, and Managing Public Spaces”, as well as “Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery” (jointly with UNESCO). He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization and he sits on the boards for Cities Alliance, Resilient Cities Network and the WRI Ross Center for Cities.

Stine Lise Hattestad Bratsberg

Stine Lise Hattestad Bratsberg

Partner and Head of KPMG Sustainability in Norway

Stine has 20 years of experience working as an advisor. The last 12 years specialized within the Sustainability field. Started Pure Consulting in 2010 and sold the Company to KPMG in 2020. Stine is now partner and leading the Sustainability team in KPMG Norway, she is also a «Champion» in the global KPMG Network of specialists within the field. She is one of the pioneers on Sustainability strategies in the Nordic countries and working with many of the leading Norwegian companies working globally. With developing satiability strategies using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as the framework she has also achieved international attention, both in private and public sector. Her clients have won prizes both nationally and internattionaly for the work done on Sustainability/ESG. Stine has been invited to shear her experience both during High Level Political Forum, United Nation in New York and to the Government in China. Lately Advised the Norwegian Government on The new White Paper; Mål med mening (on how private and public sector in Norway must work to achieve the UN Sustainable developments Goals /The Agenda 2030 in Norway) and established a global partnership between United Cities and KPMG where she hold the leading position.

Hon. Bernard Faustino Dy

Hon. Bernard Faustino Dy

Mayor of Cauayan City, Philippines

Mayor Bernard Faustino Dy’s humble beginnings in public service have enabled him to make a name as one of the most effective leaders of his generation. He was nominated as one of the Science Ambassadors 2015 by the Department of Science and Technology, awarded Most Outstanding Mayor for two consecutive years, was nominated Youth Ambassador for Peace in 2014 and was named as the Manager of the Year. Prior to taking up his role as Mayor of Cauayan City, Bernard was Vice-President of the University of Perpetual Help System-Isabela and an Executive Committee Member of UPH-Isabela Management Inc. He has also been an active advocate of the Junior Chamber International, where he served as the National President of JCI Philippines in 2011 and was elected as the Vice President of JCI International in 2013, promoting positive global change. He holds a B.S. Business Administration Major in International Business from the University of California Riverside and obtained a Master’s degree in Organizational Development from Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute.

Kari Aina Eik

Kari Aina Eik

Secretary-General of United Cities and Chair of the U4SSC Cities KPI Implementation Program

Kari Aina has dedicated her life to bridging the worlds of the United Nations, global markets and cities to enable a more sustainable future. For 25 years she spearheaded and wove a global web of innovative partnerships that she is now deploying to elevate cities as the economic engines of ensuring we as a world fulfil our 2030 commitment to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and transition our global economy into one where leaving no one behind, is a reality. She is the Founder of the United Cities Funds and Founder of the United Smart Cities Program, now the United for Smart and Sustainable Cities Implementation Program (U4SSC-IP), supported by 17 UN agencies to uplift cities to achieve the SDGs. She serves as Vice Chair of the ITU Focus Group on Environmental Efficiency for Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies (FG-AI4EE), and is on the Advisory Boards of several organisations, she is also the Secretary General for the Organisation of International Economic Relations (OiER) and the United Cities, International Centre for Sustainability and Net 0 based in Vienna, Austria. Kari Aina lives and work currently from Norway.