City of the Future 2021 City of the Future 2021

Moving Beyond Networking


Chelsea Collier
Digi.City, Founder

As the Founder of Digi.City and Editor-At-Large for Smart Cities ConnectChelsea Collier is focused on the development of smarter, more equitable, more connected communities. She is a University of Manchester (UK) Simon Industrial & Professional Fellow (2019), a Marshall Memorial Fellow (2018) and an Eisenhower Fellow (2016). She lives in Austin, Texas and is active in the local tech and social impact communities. Her masters and bachelor degrees are from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jennifer Sanders
North Texas Innovation Alliance, Executive Director
Dominic Papa
Arizona Commerce Authority, Vice President of Smart State Initiatives

Dominic Papa is the Vice President of Smart State Initiatives at the Arizona Commerce Authority. In the role Dominic leverages his expertise in emerging governance models and strategic partnerships to drive a broad portfolio of Smart State projects. Dominic was instrumental in the founding of the Connective, the nation’s largest and most connected Smart Region.  


Prior to the ACA, Dominic was the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Institute for Digital Progress, an innovation-driven, smart city nonprofit. In 2016, Dominic built the Smart & Connected AZ Council, which provides cities with an “Innovation as a Service” model, a platform that allows local governments, private industry and academic research institutions to collaboratively design and develop new innovative technology pilots that advance solutions to public challenges, have a measurable impact, and the potential to scale. Within its first six months, the Council helped the region secure a $6 million DOT grant around congestion management technology.  


Prior to his time in the public sector, Dominic was a professional soccer player. Dominic has a B.A. in Political Science and Italian, a M.A. in Public Administration, and a J.D. from the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.  

Smart city concepts have taken over our imaginations, but what about city development beyond networking? How do strategic partnerships play a role and where does collaboration exist between utilities, urban developers, and civic innovators?