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Urban Futurist and former Lord Mayor of Adelaide

Stephen is the former Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Australia and a highly respected City Planner who consults internationally on urban change, city futures, strategic planning and innovation in cities. He is a dynamic speaker, adviser, trainer and facilitator of preferred futures for cities, communities and corporations and is considered an international specialist on the relationships between technology, infrastructure, society and quality urbanism.

Passionate about cities and innovation, Stephen Yarwood is one of Australia’s best-known and respected contemporary Urbanists and Futurists who consults internationally on future city trends, urban innovation, leadership and creating positive change.

His consultancy city2050 provides expertise in urban governance, strategy and policy that is innovative, future-focused and outcome orientated.

Current Work:
Stephen is considered an international specialist on the future citizen and the relationships between people, technology, infrastructure, society, the economy and quality urbanism and is regularly featured in the media as a commentator.

His planning experience is exceptionally diverse; from strategy to implementation on many large projects dealing with most land use types and a diverse range of environment, economic, community, design and development issues.
Stephen has worked, researched throughout Australia and in New Zealand, Taiwan, Europe, the Middle East, China, India and the USA and is a consultant, podcaster, author, trainer, facilitator and Speaker.

Previous Experience:

Stephen was the Lord Mayor of Adelaide from 2010 to 2014 and remains the youngest person to ever be Lord Mayor of an Australian Capital City. During his time as Lord Mayor his emphasis on collaboration with the private sector and State Government delivered many outcomes and saw Adelaide recognised internationally as an innovative destination by Lonely Planet, National Geographic and The New York Times.

Stephen has a Bachelor of Arts in Planning, Graduate Diplomas in Regional & Urban Planning and Environmental Studies and an MBA from Adelaide University. He has also lectured at universities around Australia and Japan, Singapore and Thailand and is a Fellow and award-winning member of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Prior to being Lord Mayor, Stephen worked in the South Australian Government and Parliament, in Local Government and internationally as a planner, researcher, educator and speaker.

Talking Points

Smart Cities & Smart Citizens - the “here”, the “hyperbole” & the long game

More than ever, due to a changing economy, social values, environmental pressures and rapid changes associated with technology and the Coronavirus pandemic, the need to understand how the cities and communities are changing and our place in a rapidly evolving and unpredictable world is more important than ever.

Society and the economy are currently highly volatile and hence more than ever exploring and understanding what we are doing today, and the “long game” implications of smart cities and smart citizens, is a critical conversation that must be had now to ensure we maximise the best outcomes for people and places.

Deep Dive into the Issues that will Impact How we Live

Stephen can explore any number of a range of issues that will affect how we live to tomorrow.

The Future Citizen faces many uncertainties, including global and local mega and micro trends in an overwhelming number of aspects of their lives. From what they eat and drink, to why they work and how they move around their communities and the globe. We’ll be living longer in a drastically different context affected by social, environmental and economic changes we are yet to imagine, understand or even comprehend.

Ambiguity and change have become the new norm and “what next” and “when” are more relevant than ever before. There will be more than just a renewed focus on public health, with a pressing case for ongoing innovation in how we live as individuals, as well as within our social and community circles.

This presentation can be tailored to focus on any of the following issues:
- Water
- Food
- Environment
- Transport
- Infrastructure
- Wellbeing
- Aging
- Resources
- Travel
- Technology Futures

Innovation & Excellence in Governance, Leadership & Strategic Planning

Stephen Yarwood was the youngest Lord Mayor of an Australian Capital City in history.

Today his consultancy city2050 provides expertise in governance, strategy and policy that is innovative, future-focused and outcome orientated. It is valuable to cities, communities and corporations who understand that the future looks nothing like the past and aspire to be more prepared, connected and empowered. Stephen believes in the "possible" as well as the "practical" and knows that people achieve great things when empowered and motivated.

Stephen works internationally and Australia-wide with elected members, executives, planners, community leaders and change-makers to create preferred futures through speaking, training and consulting.
Stephen is a big picture thinker able to distill complex ideas into useful solutions and real outcomes. His understanding of how cities work is outstanding and his commitment to advancing the planning profession, in a time of rapid change, is highly regarded in Australia. City of Brisbane

Stephen is a well-respected innovative and creative urban expert that is visionary but practical. His knowledge and experience would be a valuable asset to cities preparing for the future.

Australian Local Government Association

Stephen is a dynamic and thought provoking workshop facilitator and trainer with excellent communication skills and an extensive knowledge of how cities work and are governed. At a time when it can be a challenge to get people to see issues differently, I was impressed with the way that Stephen seamlessly introduced ideas and different ways of thinking into the group dynamic. He collaborated with me as CEO to successfully engage Elected Members and Senior Executives to create a shared understanding of the opportunities the City of Prospect has moving forward.

City of Prospect
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