CSCLeaders creates smarter, more inspired, enlightened and
globally connected leaders.
CSCLeaders assembles exceptional leaders from across the
Commonwealth to tackle Challenges, develop the Cultural
Intelligence and build the global relationships needed by the
leaders of tomorrow.
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by Christine Souffrant
In April 2014, 80 students from
around the world convened for the CSCLeaders for students programme
in Dubai to discuss the challenge for 2014-15: 'What makes a city
As a participant, I learned about the growing complexities faced
in ensuring sustainable ecosystems. I found that the core challenge
and solution to the problem was creating efficient innovative
cities and explored the smart city movement that was occurring in
countries around the world.
As students we discussed, we debated and we innovated different
ways for tackling the challenge in creating a smart city. Helped by
the mentorship of representatives from 20 companies across
Dubai, within just 24 hours we had generated some innovative
It was then that I asked myself - what would happen
if we extended this conversation outside of
CSCLeaders? What impact would we have if we turned
these conversations into ideas and these ideas into official
commitment to actions across Dubai and around the world?
That's when I thought of Smart City Weekend - an
initiative that brings together industry leaders, governments and
students to incubate ideas that can generate impact.
The collective insight at these weekend events can transform
lives and accelerate progress for all global smart city
The inaugural Smart City Weekend movement starts 31 May, 2014 in
Dubai. For the next 5 years we will initiate two Smart City Weekend
events per year across the UAE (10 in total) as we countdown to
Dubai Expo2020. After this, we will expand globally to ignite
incubation events around the world.
I hope years from now industry leaders, governments and students
who join this movement can look back on Smart City Weekend events
as moments of inspiration, innovation and impact. This is the
vision we have for this initiative and we welcome our world leaders
to join our commitment in ensuring smart city futures.
About the Author: Christine Souffrant
is an aspiring Haitian American entrepreneur with 7
years of business management experience, 6 years of
international study in over 26 countries, and 2 years of banking
& finance expertise. Christine is a Bill Gates
Millennium Scholar and a graduate of Dartmouth College. In 2013 she
decided to take a leap of faith and exit Corporate America to
pursue a Masters at Hult International Business School in Dubai
focusing on Social Entrepreneurship. Within 7 months she has
acquired several influential hats including: being Managing
Director of Startup Grind Dubai, a member of the Leadership Circle
of Jumeirah and Rotary's Rotaract Club, and the CEO & Founder
of Vended International, a social enterprise that is now a 2014
Poverty Alleviation Commitment to Action under the Clinton Global