Smart Region Summit | Virtual

Bringing digital equity to the forefront

Digital Immersive Event | Hosted via Zoom

Event update: Because the pandemic continues to be a concern globally, the 2022 Smart Region Summit will now be a one-day, virtual event.


January 13, 2022 | 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. MST

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Welcome to Smart Region Summit | Virtual!

The annual Smart Region Summit, convened by ASU and a diversity of partners, focuses on the application of new human and technological 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. Indeed, smart technology has the potential to bolster equity across a region by expanding the reach and creative uses of services and tools -- like high-speed broadband and 5G.

During this year's day-long, virtual event, our partner network will focus on the intersection of smart regions and digital inclusion with the goal of showcasing and designing, as a community, projects and work that bridges the digital divide. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the latest developments in smart technologies and connect with experts and next-generation leaders in the field.

Together, let's create more efficient places and spaces across Arizona and beyond that are optimized for all individuals.


Event Details


Industry experts

Hear from local and international technology leaders, researchers, faculty, students and changemakers who are prioritizing digital equity in their everyday lives.


Engaging programming

 Through dynamic plenary sessions, informative roundtable discussions and more, subject matter experts will share how they are generating community technology solutions that advance digital equity and infrastructure.

Tangible takeaways

Gain insights and explore how others are working to expand access in Arizona and around the globe to better inform your work. You’ll leave the Summit better prepared to take action.



8:30 a.m. Welcome: Broadband Access, the Future of Education and Innovation 

Brought to you by: 

9:15 a.m. Connecting the Under-connected This session will explore how industry leaders from Arizona and around the globe are working to expand access — across availability, adoption and utilization — to high-speed broadband for their underserved communities.

Brought to you by: 

10:30 a.m. Keynote: "Where Do We Go From Here" 

Who better to discuss the future of digital equity than the producer of the first empirical study proving the existence of the digital divide? Expert Larry Irving, President, Alumni Association at Northwestern University and President of the Board of PBS shares his insights on where we are on the journey to achieving digital equity for all and next steps to make the dream a reality. A panel discussion will follow.

Brought to you by: 

11:00 a.m. Digitally Invisible: How the Internet is Creating the New Underclass

11:30 a.m. Digital Roundup: The Latest from the Future of Tech Commission 

Followed by a Fireside chat with: 

  • Sandra Watson, President & CEO at Arizona Commerce Authority
  • Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership

12:15 p.m. Connected Public Safety and Transportation   Brought to you by: 

12:45 p.m. Connecting Native Lands 

  • Moderated by: Dr. Traci Morris, Executive Director of the American Indian Policy Institute
  • Alaina George, PhD candidate in the Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology doctoral program at Arizona State University in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society
  • Sascha Meinrath, Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State University
  • Matt Rantanen, Director of Technology at the Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association

1:15 p.m. Connecting Education and Learning

1:45 p.m. Partnerships for a Smarter Region

  • Moderated by: Dominic Papa, Vice President - Smart State Initiatives at Arizona Commerce Authority
  • Susan Anable, VP, Public Affairs, Southwest Region, Cox Communications
  • Lev Gonick, Chief Information Officer, Arizona State University
  • Maggie Hallbach, Vice President, Public Sector, Verizon Business Group
  • David Stevens, Chief Strategic Advisor - SLED at World Wide Technology

Our Sponsors

ASU has committed to building a Community of Care, where we are all doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Based on the CDC’s recommendations in areas of substantial or high transmission of the virus, ASU strongly recommends that everyone on campus wear a face cover when inside a university building, as well as outdoors when in a crowd. Face covers may be required for certain locations or events. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and get testedLearn more about ASU’s COVID-19 response.