IESE Energy Club goes to Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona

Challenges and opportunities associated with energy are closely related with electric mobility and smart urban systems. The annual Smart City Expo World Congress is therefore a hot ticket for the IESE Energy Club, as it provides a glimpse of global leading-edge trends and developments right here in the heart of Barcelona.

The three-day event is a multi-disciplinary melting pot that brings together innovative technology players, urban planning experts, regulatory and financial institutions, and many more.


Conference smart city

Our members attended various events and had countless fascinating chats; below are just a few fascinating snippets we learn in the process.

  • Airports are competing with one another to lower carbon emissions. Whilst air travel is growing, it is also increasing associated with shame and guilt – so airports are increasingly looking to reduce their environmental impact in a bid to differentiate themselves and attract passengers.
  • Long-term policy vision and leadership are essential to transition to low carbon cities. The typical four-year political cycle is only a fraction of time that it takes to align different stakeholders and commence infrastructure projects. For example, Mexico City’s urban ecosystem has been getting increasing bike friendly since the then-mayor kicked off a pro-cycling strategy in 2008, and in Vancouver urban planning policy has systematically prioritized walking and cycling for over a decade.

Widespread adoption of low carbon mobility is as much about changing users’ perceptions as it is about the technology or infrastructure. For example, in many parts of the world cycling is associated with low income and subsequent lack of access to motorized transport. Urban centres that are strategically encouraging cycling are therefore investing in ‘culture change’ programmes to promote it as a desirable and aspirational choice for the wider public.

If these topics interest you, do not hesitate to join the Energy Club with its flagship event, the Global Energy Day on March, 27th where all the disruptive technologies will be discussed !