Karen Tay


Smart Cities

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Areas of Expertise

Autonomous Vehicles  •  Smart Cities  •  Facilitator  •  Moderator

About Karen

Karen is a Princeton-educated policymaker, strategic communicator and organizational transformer, who serves as a member of the Singapore Government’s top leadership corps. She has a wide spectrum of accomplishments, from implementing billion dollar changes to enhance equity in Singapore’s preschool sector to overhauling talent attraction and management to make the Singapore Government a top employer for top technology talent. Her expertise lies in smart cities, technology for public good, talent and network-building strategies to support digital transformation, leading change from within large organizations and supporting women’s leadership.

For her leadership and contributions across the United States and Asia, Karen has been recognized as a Women’s Forum Rising Talent, Business Times Top Women in STEM and Asia21 Young Leader. A sought-after speaker on the global stage, Karen has presented at South By South West, CES, the AI Expo, the XPrize, as well as the Singularity University Global Summit and Executive Program.

Autonomous Vehicles and the Impact on Cities - Singularity University Global Summit

An Interview with Karen Tay, Smart Nation Director, Singapore

The Future of Smart Cities

The Future of Talent Attraction & How Covid is Accelerating This

Speaking Topics

  • Digital Transformation: Peeling back the Curtain

    It’s easy to look at “indigenously technical” companies like Google and envy how quickly they can innovate. But what if your organization was not set up for the digital age, and you need to urgently transform it?
    How do you start breaking down Organizational and infrastructural silos?
    What approaches have different countries, cities and businesses taken?
    How do you approach the issue of recruiting new technical talent?
    What are the key success factors, Paradigm shifts and principles?

  • How to Build Smart Cities for the Common Good

    Why smart cities? Technologies like autonomous cars, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence seem like they hold remarkable possibilities for the future of cities, but will their impact be positive for all city-dwellers?

    Unless we’re deliberate about deploying technology in a way that serves all members of society—even those who cannot afford to pay—the answer is, not necessarily.

    Starting with a case study on autonomous cars, smart city expert Karen Tay discusses how we can ensure that the benefits of emerging technologies in smart cities are distributed equally throughout society for the collective gain, and shares ways for both cities and startups to evolve and collaborate in order to maximize public good.

    In this talk you will:
    – Understand some of the biggest challenges facing cities today.
    – See how emerging technologies can either exacerbate or mitigate these obstacles.
    – Consider the potential for working with Governments on building smart cities, and whether governments truly are still stuck in the 19th century.
    – Learn critical frameworks for startups and technologists who are aiming to maximize both public good and revenue.

  • The Future of Cities: Making Technology Work for Common Good

    Why smart cities? The potential of technologies like blockchain, AI, and IoT are endless, but will the effect be positive on the cities where we live, work, and play? The jury is not out, but popular films and novels tend to portray a more dystopian than utopian future. It doesn’t have to go that way. Technology can help us tackle some of the biggest existential issues that cities face — such as inequality, waste, and social isolation — but we have to first dream, and then work cross-functionally across technology, business models, policy, and planning to deliver it. Smart cities expert Karen Tay will take you on a tour of how to build smart cities for common good, and the implications for you as business leaders and citizens.

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