Sunset over city

ASU Smart Region Summit

February 1, 2023 | 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. MST

Connecting smarter regions focused on innovation and inclusion.

Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ


ASU ISTB-4 building at night

Each year, the Smart Region Summit – convened by ASU and a diversity of partners – focuses on the application of human-centered innovation strategies that put into action the concept of the “smart city and region.” Smart cities and regions leverage technology to share vital information with the public, make data-informed local improvements, increase efficiency and optimize infrastructure and resources to meet community needs. 

For the fifth annual event, the 2023 Smart Region Summit will convene in-person to explore the ongoing and creative uses of smart technology – with a lens on ensuring this innovation is inclusive of all communities.

All smart city experts, technologists, faculty and leaders who want to convene and strengthen a partner network around increasing digital inclusion in smart regions are invited to participate and contribute to what’s next for advancing smarter communities, cities, regions and world.

Event Details

By participating, you will join us and strengthen a partner network around increasing digital inclusion in smart regions. During the Smart Region Summit, participants will:

ASU Tempe from A Mountain at sunset

Advance Innovation

Attend in-person sessions that focus on the application of new technologies, systems and innovation strategies.

People together at a conference

Expand Connections

Meet and network with changemakers who are building smart regions with a global mindset.

Hand holding tech

Industry Experts

Hear from of a panel of local, regional and national experts recognized as smart city and digital equity leaders.




Subject to change. All times are MST. 

8:00 a.m. | Welcome by Diana Bowman

Diana Bowman

A light continental breakfast will be available. 

8:15 a.m. | Act locally, think globally: Elected officials championing digital equity across the world

How do smart cities truly impact their community, state, region and – even broader – the world? We’ll kick off the Smart Region Summit by shining a spotlight on the exemplary digital equity and inclusion work being led by a group of international elected officials. 

From enacting change through new policies to championing local initiatives, discover the change that can be made with smarter, more connected cities around the globe – all centered on innovation and inclusion. 

In this panel discussion, hear from: 
Rachel Bernal, Mayor Kate Gallego, Sanjeev Khagram

9:00 a.m. | Global showcase: Digital equity and inclusion around the world

While we’ve made great strides in digital equity since the first-ever Smart Region Summit in 2019, access and inclusion to high-speed internet has risen to the national (and international) agenda — so how can we continue to work together to close the digital divide? 

Our panel of experts gives us a glimpse into the realities of under- and unconnected communities and shares advice on how to better connect rural and urban global citizens to the internet while improving digital literacy for more meaningful application.

In this panel discussion, hear from: 

Jochai Ben-Avie, Daniel Gutwein, Nicol Tuner Lee

Discussion moderated by Diana Bowman, Assoc Dean (ACD) & Professor, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, Arizona State University

10 min Humanity Break 

10: 00 a.m. | Lighting the spark: Igniting change to create a smart city

When it comes to innovation and inclusion, smart cities ignite the spark that advances change throughout the world. What are the actions that cities can take to make smarter, more connected communities? Attendees will leave this session with examples of the work that smart cities from across the corners of the U.S. are currently executing to fuel innovation and advice on how to be a spark in their local community.

In this panel discussion, hear from:

Erin Carr Jordan, Joshua Edmonds, Catherine Nicoleau, Deb Socia


Discussion moderated by Diana Bowman, Assoc Dean (ACD) & Professor, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, Arizona State University

10:50 a.m. | Lunch Break

11:30 a.m. | Keynote: Digital inclusion for all: How to advance efforts for tribal nations

As we set out to close the digital divide for everyone, it is critical to dedicate discussions, research and funding to our communities most affected. In Arizona, this includes tribal nations – which experience greater disparities in access to broadband, lack of infrastructure, and high cost for the internet. 

In this session, hear from experts Matthew Rantanen of the Southern California Tribal Chairman's Association and Traci Morris of American Indian Policy Institute at ASU will share the work being done to strengthen tribal nations and bring digital equity and access to tribal lands across the country.

In this session, hear from:

 Matthew Rantanen

12:25 p.m. - 2.40 p.m. | Accelerating change by building community connections  

Energized and informed by the discussions from our expert panelists, we’ll jump into a series of workshops for dedicated discussions that explore how we can partner together to create smarter cities, regions, countries and the world – grounded in conversations around innovation and inclusion. 

12:25 p.m. | Roundtable Discussions #1 (60 mins)

10 min Humanity Break 


1:35 p.m. | Roundtable Discussions #2 (60 mins)

2:40 p.m.| Bringing it home: Reflecting on how we activate smarter regions focused on innovation and inclusion 


Smart Region Summit brought to you with the support of: 

ASU Enterprise Technology
Maricopa County Seal

Amazon Web Services

Digital Equity Institute

Sun Corridor Network


A garden lunch buffet will be served at 11:00 a.m. We hope you enjoy the following menu: 

v- vegetarian, vg- vegan, gf- gluten-free

  • Center-cut roast sirloin sliders potato rolls, cucumber salsa, chipotle aioli (gf available)
  • Chicken Tinga Sliders queso fresco, poblano relish, potato rolls
  • Greek lettuce wrap (make your own) hummus, tomato, cucumbers, black olives, butter leaf lettuce (vg • gf)
  • Cesar Salad parmesan, asiago croutons
  • Tangy coleslaw dijon, celery seed (v • gf)
  • Crudite farm-fresh vegetables, ranch dressing (v • gf)
  • Desserts: Rocky Road cookies (vg), Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies (v)
  • Drinks: Tea, water, coffee, and pineapple lemonadeAtlasta promise: simple, sustainable and sophisticated


Need a hotel?

Coming to Phoenix, AZ from out of town? Welcome! The following hotels are located near the The Heard Museum. For additional information about airports and hotels, please visit ASU's Travel information for ASU campus visitors at 

Hampton Inn and Suites Phoenix Downtown
77 E.  Polk Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Book your stay

Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown
15 E Monroe St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 343-0006
Book your stay

Hyatt Place Phoenix/Downtown
150 W Adams St. Phoenix, AZ 85003
(602) 388-4888
Book your stay

Need directions to the Heard Museum? 

The Heard Museum is easily accessible via the Valley Metro Lightrail. The Smart Region Summit planning team highly encourages using alternative transportation such as carpool and public transportation. 

Click here for more information


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