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Robert Ouellette

Founder & Editor, MESH Cities, Canada

Robert Ouellette is the founder and editor of www.meshcities.com. His insights into the overlap of design, information technology, and cities help organizations compete in a massively changing, energy-constrained world. Apple, Sony, Motorola, Levi Strauss, Siemens, Boeing, Indigo Books, University of Toronto, MaRS, the City of Toronto, the City of New York, the Canadian Olympic Committee and others have profited from his work. 

Realizing the role advanced logistics technologies would play in the growth of Smart Cities, he learned energy efficient design at the Boeing Aircraft Co., where with two colleagues he sold the first production Dash-8 aircraft. As a scholar he was nominated for the U of T's top academic award. His architectural thesis earned a City of Toronto Urban Design Award and influenced Toronto's Entertainment District master plan.

 Ouellette directed the U of T's Information Technology Design Centre (ITDC) from 1997 to 2001 where Smart City innovator Dr. Bill Mitchell of MIT helped guide faculty research. The ITDC was the first academic Centre of Excellence for Alias. In 2001 his campaign for Levi Strauss received the Revolution Award. In 2003 he launched Forum Bureau to build social media-driven insights and content. His online initiative to improve Toronto's transit system sparked a crowd-sourcing event Harvard Business Review called a breakthrough business idea of 2008. 

As VP of Special Projects and board member, he managed the Zerofootprint ZEROprize and Re-Skinning Awards in partnership with the World Urban Forum. In 2010 he spoke at the Think Green Global Forum in Nanjing, China. In 2009 he was invited by Canada's Parliament to present his views on Bill C-300 and in 2006, was an invited respondent at the U.N.'s Sustainable Cities conference. He is the past chair of the Sierra Club Ontario. Robert holds an honours degree in Architecture from the U of T, an Ivey MBA, and is also a National Newspaper Award nominee.

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