2015年11月2日，首期国际城市创新领导力研讨班在中山大学开班。开幕仪式在怀士堂举行，广州市外事办公室主任、广州国际城市创新研究会秘书长刘保春担任主持。广州市副市长蔡朝林、中山大学副校长马骏教授、UCLG（世界城市和地方政府组织）亚太区秘书长Bernadia Tjandradewi 女士、世界大都市协会秘书长Felip Roca先生和中山大学政务学院何艳玲教授分别围绕会议主旨做开幕致辞和主题演讲。
主题演讲环节，来自英国布里斯托的Shelly Nania以及来自印度海德拉巴的P.NarsingRao分别介绍了关于各自所在城市创新方面的成果。Shelly Nania在演讲中所强调的是布里斯托在投资数据基础设施建设的驱动力；智慧能源；智慧出行；公开数据：城市公开数据平台等方面的创新，特别是政府如何与公众一同建设智慧城市。P.Narsing Rao则在介绍海德拉巴的基本情况后，着重介绍了海德拉巴的产业转型、行政分权、电子化服务、财产税收等城市创新政策。研讨班成员在主题演讲结束后，进行了热烈的讨论。
On 2nd November 2015, the opening ceremony of the first workshop for Thought Leaders: Learning from Urban Innovation took place in Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou. This workshop is committed to addressing global issues through urban innovation and establishing a global community of sharing experiences on urban governance for cities around the world. Officials of international organizations and local governments from 22 cities of 12 countries participate in this workshop. The workshop is co-hosted by Guangzhou Institute for Urban innovation, Sun Yat-sen University, Urban innovation Committee, UCLG ASPAC and the METROPOLIS, and is organized by Center of Urban and Local Governance, School of Government of Sun Yat-sen University.
The Director General of Foreign Affairs Office of Guanghzou Municipal People’s Government Mr. Liu Baochun hosted the opening ceremony. Vice Major Cai gave the first speech on behalf of the Guangzhou Municipal People’s government conveying the idea that Guangzhou is well prepared to deepen urban innovation. He specially stressed the function of Guangzhou Award as an international platform, through which city leaders from the world could share wisdom and enhance understanding. The second speaker is Professor Ma Jun, the vice president of Sun Yat-sen University. His statement focused on sustainable urban development that is regarded as the momentum for pursuing public good. Then comes the speech of Madam Bernadia Tjandradewi, the Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC. She emphasized that cities should get inspiration from each other to tackle urban problems such as climate change, migration, discrimination and pollution. She appealed to city leaders around the world should work hand in hand so that no one will be left behind. Mr Felip Roca, the secretary general of METROPOLIS gave the last keynote speech. His speech was on urban capacity building and global cooperation for urban innovation. He indicated that urban sustainable development relies on continuing urban innovation. In the end, Professor He Yanling of Sun Yat-sen University gave her keynote speech and provided a brief introduction to the workshop. In her speech, she pointed out the 5 challenges city leaders have encountered, which formed the missions of this workshop.
After the opening ceremony, the first discussion took place. Professor Ye Lin from School of Government of Sun Yat-sen University moderated the morning session. Aioune Badinane, the Director of Programme Division, UN-Habitat gave a speech on Urban Development Planning and cooperation. He introduced Habitat III strategy for a sustainable urban future and covered many topics on challenges urbanization brings about, including poverty, sustainable transport, cultural heritage preservation, waste management, public space and so on. He addressed that it is the first time to recognize urbanization as the key of sustainable urban development in UN-Habitat. In the last part of his presentation, he led a productive discussion on the misuse of public space with a sharp insight. Several participants shared their experiences on sustainable urban development.
The afternoon session of the workshop consists of a roundtable discussion with the theme “Issues and Challenges in Urban Transformation” hosted by Nicholas You, the Advisor to the Guangzhou Award and Professor Ye Lin and two case-study presentations by Shelly Nania from Britol and P.Narsing Rao from Hyderabad. The main discussion question put forward by Mr. You is that “How does Climate Change, Localization and Urbanization affect your city?” All attendants stated their most concerned urban problems caused by these three irreversible changes, meanwhile shared practices that successfully tackle urban problems. The case study of Bristol has displayed its outstanding urban innovations such as smart mobility programme, citizens’ sensor box and REPLICATE programme. The City Hall of Bristol is making the city a laboratory for change as well as an Internet of things testbed. Mr. Rao presented several urban innovations in Hyderabad such as in digital services and decentralization through IT techniques. He also had an in-depth discussion with the attendants around citizen participation in urban innovation action. In the end, Mr. You closed today’s discussion with a comprehensive conclusion. He emphasized that city managers are to tackle old problems with new methods, however, the only effective way is the governance approach. How does local authorities engage citizens and at which point to engage them is the first level governance should answer. The higher level of governance is to modify the structure of government because the structure is the key to realize those bright innovations. Economy, governance and technology will be the new three pillars for sustainability.