Dr. Robert Muggah

Singularity Expert: Security, Smart Cities, Data Visualization

Robert Muggah specializes in smart cities, digital resilience, public security and the design of new technologies. He is co-founder and principle of the SecDev Group - devoted to supporting clients mitigate digital risk, strengthen cyber security and harness the digital economy. He is co-founder and research director of the Igarapé Institute - an award-winning think and do tank working on data-driven safety and justice based in Latin America and Africa. Robert advises McKinseys, Google and Uber, and is an Associate at Princeton University. For two decades he has advised national and municipal governments and international organizations on issues ranging from crime prevention and stabilization to urban planning and climate resilience.

Robert is (or has been) a fellow or faculty at the University of Oxford, the University of San Diego, the University of British Columbia, the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, and the Graduate Institute in Switzerland. Between 2000-2010 he founded a think tank focused on security (based in Geneva). He advises the World Economic Forum's Council on the Future of Cities and is a multi-term adviser to the annual Global Risk Report. Robert has authored eight books - most recently Terra Incognita (with Ian Goldin, Penguin/Random House 2020) and many peer-review articles. He is a regular contributor to the Atlantic, BBC, CNN, El Pais, Financial Times, Folha de São Paulo, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Guardian, Economist, New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Wired and he gave TED talks in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Robert received his DPhil from the University of Oxford.

The biggest risks facing cities — and some solutions

What Makes Cities Fragile, and What Can We Do About It?, a Conversation with Dr Robert Muggah

Robert Muggah: The Greatest Problems Facing Modern Cities

Social Technology | SingularityU Brazil Summit

Speaking Topics

Redesigning Our Cities Will Shift Us from Urban Fragility to Resilience

Cities are key to our surviving the twenty-first century. If we design them right, we just might make it. We get them wrong, and humanity is in deep trouble. The biggest challenges are not just faced by the world's global cities in advanced economies, but especially in fast-growing urban agglomerations in Africa and Asia where 90% of future population is set to take place. A precondition to moving from fragile to resilient cities in the coming decades is good information.

In this session, we’ll review the global threats to our cities and explore some of the strategies urbanites are deploying to address them. We will explore a Big Data visualization that tracks literally dozens of climate and anthropomorphic risks. In this session you will:

– Better understand how fragility is affecting thousands of cities, especially in the Global South where most urban population growth is taking place;
– Explore a number of climate-related challenges facing cities such as drought, rising sea levels, and deforestation;
– Examine trends in rapid urbanization, migration and political violence in cities around the world; and
– Review key design principles that can help build cities that both mitigate and adapt to gravest challenges of our era