CANCELED - Government Institutions and Urban Tech Innovation
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Perry World House | World Forum


How can we drive technological innovation, and encourage governments to get involved?

Join Perry World House, Penn IUR, and MUSA for a conversation with David Moinina Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and David Milestone, former Acting Director, USAID Center for Innovation and Impact.

They will discuss strategies to drive tech innovation and uptake in governments; partnerships with the private sector; what areas of civic urban infrastructure are most ripe for technological advancement; and tech success stories. Allison Lassiter, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, who has developed Penn’s first course on Smart Cities, will moderate the conversation.


David Moinina SengehDavid Moinina Sengeh is Chief Innovation Officer for the Government of Sierra Leone and heads the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation in the Office of the President. The Directorate facilitates innovation and entrepreneurship in Sierra Leone. Prior to his government service, Sengeh was a Manager at IBM Research Africa, leading a team that designed and implemented AI-enabled systems for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of disease. He completed his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he developed award-winning inventions and technology for human augmentation, and has been credited with seeding the development of the innovation ecosystem in Sierra Leone through Global Minimum, which he co-founded in 2007. Sengeh has been a Senior TED Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, an Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Fellow, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

David Milestone headshotDavid Milestone is the former acting director of USAID’s Center for Innovation and Impact (CII), which applies business-minded approaches to the development, introduction, and scale-up of health innovations. To do so, CII invests seed capital in the most promising ideas and applies a rigorous, market-oriented approach to cut the time it takes to transform discoveries in the lab to impact on the ground. Prior to joining USAID in 2012, Milestone held various strategic marketing roles for four years at Stryker, a medical device company, where he led innovation, introduction, and strategy initiatives in India. He has also worked as a management consultant providing guidance to Fortune 500 companies on strategy and operations.


Allison Lassiter headshotDr. Allison Lassiter is Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania's Stuart Weitzman School of Design. She examines opportunities to use landscape infrastructure and technology to build resilience and increase adaptive capacity in cities. Her current research focuses on urban water management, including: identifying relationships between household water consumption and urban form; identifying relationships between weather and water use preferences; and valuing environmental services associated with decentralized stormwater management. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, working with the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. She received her Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from University of California Berkeley; Master of City Planning, Environmental Policy and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and B.S. in Computational Biology from Cornell University.