Speaker's Profile

Karuna Gopal
President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities

Ms. Karuna Gopal, is an Internationally acclaimed Thought Leader, Columnist, Keynote Speaker and Advisor on SMART CITIES. She is the Founder President of Foundation for Futuristic Cities, a Think Tank that has influenced Urban Transformation in India for over a decade.

Ms Gopal contributed to the design of the 100 SMART CITIES MISSION of Government of India and has been an invited speaker at the launch of the mission by the Prime Minister. At the event, her innovation “CITIZENS for CITY” a disruptive tool to engage citizens in governance, has been recognized as a national best practice and her publication “SCULPT your CITY – 2009” has been reprinted and distributed to all invitees at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. It is a matter of pride that FFC‟s central theme „Co-Creation„ has found a prominent place in the Smart Cities Guidelines developed by the Union Urban Ministry.

Ms Gopal was a member of the Speaker delegation representing the Union Ministry of Urban Development at COP21 – Conference on Climate Change, Paris.

In the past she served as an Institutional development expert for DFID (Department for International Development, UK) subject matter expert for WORLD BANK, USAID projects and more recently as Senior Advisor at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supporting Ministry of Urban Development„s Swachh Bharat Mission. Currently she is a member of the Expert Group evaluating Swachh Bharat Mission on behalf Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Ms Gopal serves as a International Juror (ICF, New York) selecting the smartest city / community of the world. In the past, she served on the Chief Minister's Advisory Council of Andhra Pradesh (erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh) and was instrumental in forging a Sister State Partnership between Washington State, USA and Andhra Pradesh, India.. She was city representative, India for Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat (CTBUH, Illinois, USA) and currently is a Council Member of GLG (GersonLehrman Group) New York, USA.

In 2011, she was invited to participate in IVLP (International Visitor Leadership Program) a flagship program of US Government for Foreign Leaders. As a part of the program on Sustainability, Ms Gopal contributed to roundtables with key officials of US Federal Departments and leaders from Sweden, UK, Finland, China, Singapore etc...

She is an invited author for International Publications like FuturARC and has been Interviewed widely both by National and International Media. Her articles have been incorporated into Parliamentary Documentation of Lok Sabha for their policy relevance. She chairs and addresses conferences around the world and is a special invitee to meetings of FII (Foreign Institutional Investors) exploring investments into India.

She is also a sought after mentor for Tech fests, Business fests and Hackathons at institutes of higher learning like IITs and IIMs .She lectures senior IAS officers at India‟s Premier Academy at (LBSNAA), Mussoorie on topics related to Smart Governance. Currently she is Expert Mentor for Technology Entrepreneurship Programme (TEP) at ISB.

Currently under the theme SURGE (Smart Urbanization Reinventing Growth with Equity), FFC generated a report on „Smart Cities and Inclusion‟. The report will soon be presented to Government of India and is primarily meant to be a guidance document for incorporating „Inclusion„ aspects into smart development. Subsumed under SURGE are frameworks around Smart Procurement, Smart Partnerships..MsGopal‟scurrent focus is on developing a Smart Cities Maturity Model and disruptive technologies for accelerating Urban Transformation.

Ms. Gopal has been inducted into BJP, (Bharatiya Janata Party) by Shri Venkaiah Naidu Union Minister of Urban Development. She hails from a family of freedom fighters and IAS officers.