Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation
Mykhailo Fedorov is the driving force behind the process of digitalizing the Ukrainian administration. With his vision of “A state in a Smartphone”, he started major reforms aiming towards full and easy digital participation and accessibility of state services. He set up legislative frameworks and strengthened technical capabilities of the state, while ensuring data protection.
He established a new philosophy of providing e-services in a comprehensive and breakthrough framework and made Ukraine more attractive for businesses and start-ups. He implemented free digital education programmes for parents, teachers and civil servants. And in doing so, he vitally strengthened Ukraine’s digital resources crucial for the defense of his country.
“The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine from the very first day of its establishment in September 2019 is aimed at fighting bureaucracy, queues at gov offices and tonnes of ridiculous paperwork. We bring a brand new vision and approaches on how the state should interact with citizens. The state must serve its people; not being a tough monster and burden. I guess we succeeded in it: we simplify public services by making everything possible digitally. As well as everything that is considered impossible – we also managed to transfer online. That’s the point where you need a creative state of mind and a pro-active position. Full-scale war confirmed once again: simple solutions require bravery, not being afraid to fail and creative people. My team is exactly like that.“ – Mykhailo Fedorov
Landscape Architect, CEO and Founder of Landprocess
Kotchakorn Voraakhom is a renowned landscape architect and CEO of Thailand-based Landprocess, which addresses Bangkok’s vulnerability to climate change. With normal green spaces no longer enough, Landprocess focuses on enhancing landscapes for carbon storage such as urban forests, green roofs, and redesigning concrete surfaces to improve public health and adaptability to climate change. Kotchakorn Voraakhom was named to TIME Magazine’s list of 100 rising stars shaping the world’s future. She also chairs the Climate Change Working Group of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA World).
A prominent example of her work on innovative landscape solutions for urban resilience is the Chao Phraya Sky Park. Once an inaccessible ruin, the site became the first realised bridge park to cross a river in a capital city in the world. Another example is the Thammasat Urban Rooftop Farm, Asia’s largest. Its design repurposed wasted rooftop space to address food and water shortages in preparation for future climate challenges. Chulalongkorn Centenary Park, the first major green infrastructure project in Bangkok, addresses the same problem. Its facilities reduce urban flooding risk. With on-site water management, the park can collect, treat and store up to one million gallons of water, relieving overloaded public sewers during heavy rains.
“Creativity defines how you work within the limitations. It inspires to see new perspectives and sparks resilience. For me, being creative in a public space means seeing new possibilities to re-imagine the future.“ – Kotchakorn Vorrakhom
Brian K. Smith
Director, Office of Performance & Innovation, City of Minneapolis
Brian K. Smith’s work counters structural injustice. As Director of Performance and Innovation for the City of Minneapolis, he is responsible for overcoming deep-seated mistrust between the state and the population and, in particular, for protecting the socially disadvantaged. In response to the aftermath of the 2020 murder of George Floyd, who was killed by police violence and whose case prompted a wave of protests, the city of Minneapolis launched public safety reform in 2021. In a pilot program, unarmed mental health professionals can be dispatched instead of police to de-escalate conflicts. Brian K. Smith is leading the program.
He brings more than 20 years of public and private professional experience. His background includes work in nonprofit management, county government, policy advocacy and reform efforts in juvenile justice, social services, health and education. Prior to assuming his new role, he served as president of the Institute on Culture and Policy, which is dedicated to eliminating racial and ethnic disparities through systems change and community engagement. Brian also served for five years as the Minnesota State Coordinator for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, which is designed to provide reintegration into society for minor offenders.
“Creativity means everything to me. Often we do not reach our full potential because most bureaucrats are afraid to be creative. How can we achieve it? We have to listen to the people and get inspired by them as they are at the core of creativity that can inspire us.“ – Brian K. Smith