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Futurist Panel Session, KSA: The Future of NEOM and smart Cities with Cityscape


In this panel session futurist Matthew Griffin explores the impact that emerging technologies, both current and distant, will have on the future of Smart Cities and the lives of citizens in Saudi Arabia and beyond.


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Firstly, thank you to the team at Cityscape Global in Riyadh for asking me to join ministers and regional entrepreneurs on a panel to discuss the role that emerging technologies will play in powering future smart cities such as the half a trillion dollar smart city NEOM, and 13 other Saudi Arabian gigaprojects.


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On the panel we had myself, Dr. Maher Shirah, the Director General of Smart City Development and the KSA RCRC, Musaed Alotalbi, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation and Smart Cities, Othman Al Dahash, CEO of IOT Squared, and Feras Albanyan, CEO of AQALAT, and first discussed how the more commonly known technologies will help transform how citizens live and work in these ultra modern cities.


Cityscape, The Future of NEOM and Smart Cities, with Futurist Matthew Griffin


Then we dove in and explored how the impact that these technologies will have on the privacy and security of individuals, explored how cities could become self-funding and tax free havens thanks to Citycoins which use the city’s own infrastructure and Web 3.0 to make and mine cryptocurrencies that are tradable on decentralised exchanges, and explored how, throughout the life of these cities Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computing power will progress enough to turn these cities into Exascale computer nodes – and the impacts thereof.


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Then, finally, we rounded out the session by covering the ethical questions some of these technologies raise and how to deal with those, before final summaries and close.

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