Majorca, the world’s capital of smart islands with the second edition of the Smart Island World Congress

The countdown begins for the celebration of the second edition of the world leading conference on smart islands, Smart Island World Congress. The purpose of the event is to strengthen ties between island territories to face shared challenges such as climate change, economic competitiveness, technological innovation and tourism. The congress will bring together 95 speakers, a hundred representatives of islands from around the world and 20 exhibitors.
Within 10 days the Majorcan municipality of Calvià will become the world’s capital of intelligent islands with the celebration of the second edition of the Smart Island World Congress, the main meeting and dialogue point between insular territories of the entire planet. Organised by Fira de Barcelona, and supported by the Government of the Balearic Islands, the Consell de Mallorca and the Ajuntament de Calvià, the congress will focus on the tourism industry, the future challenges faced by the islands and their own resources.
15 conferences will be developed with the participation of 95 international, national and local speakers, including island leaders, industrial experts and people responsible for research centres, universities, governments and international organisations. These conferences will address issues such as smart and sustainable tourism, social welfare, cultural heritage, seasonality, start-ups, business incubators, mobile connectivity, climate resilience, renewable energy, waste management, and infrastructures.
The second edition of the Smart Island World Congress reinforces its more relational side and will organise for the first time a professional event, called Island2Island, in which the participating islands will be able to arrange meetings between them, with the participating companies or with the visitors, with the purpose of establishing business relationships and finding business opportunities. Moreover, and as it happened in the last edition, the contest will also have an exhibition space with more than twenty participating companies, including Orange, IOTLABS, Grupo Etra, Wongo, Tirme and Meliá Hotels International.
Among the parallel events that will take place, the workshops on climate resilience and technological innovation stand out, as well as the celebration of a Hackathon event in which participants will compete to develop a prototype with IoT technology that will solve a problem affecting the islands.
After last year’s success, the highpoint will take place on the afternoon of 23 April with the Smart Island awards. Awards will be given in three categories: best smart island, best smart destination, and best proposal for sustainable development.
Main International speakers
Among the 95 lecturers that will take part in the show, the main ones are Doug Lansky, consultant and international expert in tourism and Lauri-Ann Ainsworth, Director of Development and Communications of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean, the foundation of the Virgin group, which leads the support for start-ups with social purposes.
Lanksy, author of a dozen books on tourism and articles for National Geographic Traveler, Esquire, The Guardian and The Huffington Post, and speaker of the World Tourism Organization and TED lectures, will talk about the main challenges the tourism sector faces today, the formulas to improve the traveller’s experience, as well as innovative business models that contribute to guarantee the sustainability of the sector. In turn, Lauri-Ann Ainsworth, an expert in marketing, communications and entrepreneurship, will focus her presentation on how new companies can bring social value to the islands.
Another prominent speaker will be Kate Brown, Executive Director of the Global Island Partnership, the UN association that promotes inter-island collaboration in areas such as natural conservation and sustainability. Brown will participate, along with Davon Baker, Director of IT of the island of Grenada (the second smallest country in the world), in a paper that will address the relations of the islands with the sea: related economic activities, energy production and the fishing industry, among other topics.
Another relevant event will be the dialogue between Luis Gerardo Rivera Marín, Secretary of State of Puerto Rico and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, as well as the paper on cooperation between islands, with the outstanding participation of the Secretary of State of the European Union, Jorge Toledo.
The fourth industrial revolution will also have a space in the congress with a panel that will reflect on the challenges the islands face in relation to the digitalization of industrial processes, with the participation of the professor and coordinator of the SmartDestination group of the University of the Balearic Islands, Bartomeu Alorda, the consultant and specialist in Thermal Sciences, Aleksandar Ivancic, and the director of the Department of Renewable Energies of the Technological Institute of the Canary Islands, Salvador Suárez.
The second edition of the Smart Island World Congress will have the outstanding participation of international institutional representatives. Among them, the adviser of the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission, Brendan Devlin, who will participate in the panel on “Energy transition towards decarbonisation”. And Prime Minister of the Cook Islands (New Zealand); the mayors of Mindelo (Cape Verde), Zanzibar (Tanzania), Port Louis (Mauritius), the Greek islands Tinos, Milos and Tilos (the first island in the Mediterranean that will operate exclusively with renewable energies); and the lieutenants of the mayor of Ajaccio (Corsica) and Hvar (Croatia).
Smart cities, smart islands
The Smart Island World Congress, supported by the World Bank, UN-Habitat, Global Island Partnership and Dafni Network, is the leading global event on smart islands that offers insular territories a space for debate where they can jointly face the challenges of the future in the field of technology, innovation and domestic resources. The congress takes advantage of the consolidated international experience of the Smart City Expo World Congress, organised by Fira de Barcelona since 2011 and consolidated as the world leader in the smart cities sector.
Palma, 13 April 2018