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Fourth ITU Forum on “Shaping the CitiVerse: People centred cities & virtual worlds”

Time and date: 9:00 – 16:00, 4 March 2024

Venue: Hotel Grand Fiesta Americana, Queretaro, Mexico


Manuel Barreiro

CEO & Founder, Aston Group; Vice-Chair of ITU Focus Group on metaverse

​Manuel Barreiro Castañeda is the founder and chairman of the Aston Group, a private equity firm with $1 billion in investments to date. The firm develops real estate projects and makes private equity investments with a focus on North America and Europe. Mr. Barreiro Castañeda is a strategic leader with over 20 years of high-level experience in international real estate, successfully advising public and private sector stakeholders on the intersection of technology, sustainability, mobility, and smart cities. Committed to sustainability, he works to ensure that his firm’s development projects benefit the local community by improving quality of life, reducing inequality gaps, and positively impacting the environment according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Actively involved in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), he serves as Vice Chairman of the ITU’s “Working Group 8 on the Metaverse – Sustainability, Accessibility & Inclusion,” addressing sustainability, accessibility, and inclusion. Complementing his industry experience, he completed the Oxford Real Estate Programme and the Oxford Programme on Valuation of Private Assets at the University of Oxford. He also holds an Executive Master of Science (MSc) in Cities from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he further developed his knowledge in sustainable urban development, mobility, and water management to enhance the quality of life in large cities and small urban areas. This degree also sparked his interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which will be at the center of his projects in the near future.
Mr. Barreiro Castañeda also holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and a Bachelor’s in International Business from Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He completed academic exchange programs at higher learning institutions in Japan and Argentina, where he realized the importance of using technology for the benefit of vulnerable groups. This realization became his life’s mission — to create better cities for the future, starting in his native Mexico

Jon Black

CEO and Founder of Blackbot

​With more than 20 years of experience in digital transformation, innovation, creativity and strategic design. 15 years of experience teaching courses, classes, conferences and masterclasses at Universities in Mexico, Latin America and Europe.
For two decades he has collaborated with global companies on strategic design, business design, digital marketing and innovation solutions. These companies are ABInBev, McKinsey, BlackRock, RedBull, CocaCola, Hersheys, Samsung, Natura, etc.

Cristina Bueti

U4SSC Focal Point and Counsellor, ITU

​Cristina Bueti is the ITU Focal Point on Smart Sustainable Cities. She is also the Counsellor of ITU-T Study Group 20 “Internet of things (IoT) and smart cities and communities (SC&C)” and the Counsellor of the Focus Group on metaverse at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She also serves as TSB/ITU focal point for Latin America. Cristina Bueti graduated from the Faculty of Political Science, Law and International Cooperation and Development of the University of Florence, where she completed postgraduate studies in International Cooperation and Telecommunications Law in Europe. She ​also holds a specialization in Environmental Law with a special focus on Telecommunications. In 2003, Ms. Bueti built on her academic credentials by completing a specialized course in peace keeping and international cooperation with special focus on telecommunications at the Faculty of Laws, University of Malta, before joining the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva in January 2004. As part of the International Women’s Day 2016, she was named as one of the twenty Geneva-based inspirational women working to protect the environment. She has authored over 40 reports on telecommunication issues. A native Italian speaker, Cristina is also fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Wendy Teresa Goico Campagna

Vice-chairman, United for Smart Sustainable Cities Initiative (U4SSC)

A devoted career diplomat with a background in both architecture and diplomacy, boasts over 25 years of dedicated service to the Dominican Republic State. She currently holds the position of Counsellor (Economic and Cooperation Affairs) at the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations in Geneva. Proficient in four languages, Wendy serves as a focal point to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and oversees the coordination of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) within the ITU. Recently assuming the position of Vice-Chair of the UN U4SSC Initiative, her appointment highlights her influential role and leadership within the UN landscape. She served as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Pension Plan management Board (2022-2023) further emphasizes her multifaceted contributions.
Wendy played a pivotal role in enhancing trade, investment, and tourism relations during her tenure as a Counsellor at the Dominican Embassy in Canada (2014-2021) and to the Embassy of the Dominican Republic to the Kingdom of Belgium (2007-2014). From 1996 to 2007, Wendy Teresa served as an Architect at the Ministry of Public Works and Communication of the Dominican Republic, marking the beginning of her career in the public sector.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a Master’s Degree in International Trade, continuously expanding her knowledge through ongoing education. Her expertise in diplomacy, international relations, and trade promotion has significantly bolstered the Dominican Republic’s global presence.

Per Fröjdh

Vice President International Standards, Ericsson

Dr Per Fröjdh leads Ericsson’s overall engagement in the International Telecommunication Union, where he is currently Vice-Chair of ITU-T Study Group 16 on Multimedia and Vice-Chair of ITU-T Focus Group on Metaverse. With more than thirty years of experience in research and innovation he has contributed to several world-leading standards, such as AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265 for video compression, and he has been recognized with two Emmy Awards for his contributions to the ISO (MP4) file format and the DASH streaming format in MPEG. He is currently the Multimedia Chair at the Swedish Institute for Standards and Steering Board Member of DVB. He also serves as Vice President and Board Director of the Media Coding Industry Forum. Dr Fröjdh holds a PhD degree in Theoretical Physics from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

Radia Funna

Futurist & Creator, xHuman Theory | Vice Chair, ITU FG-MV WG1, General and WG6, Security, Data & PII Protection

​Radia Funna is an internationally recognized theorist whose xHuman theory explores the impact of frontier technology on people, institutions, and societal structures. She is the founder and principal at Build n Blaze, a 12-year-old consulting firm advising on strategy, policy, and transformation in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Radia holds leadership positions blending emerging technology and policy, most recently in metaverse related standardization at ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector’s Focus Group on metaverse, where she is Vice Chair of both the General Working Group and the Working Group on Security, Data & Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Protection; and Chair of the Task Groups on Implications for people in the metaverse; and Building confidence and security in the metaverse including PII protection. She is a member of Stimson Center’s Alfred Lee Loomis Innovation Council (a forum for technology leaders and policymakers in the United States to share expertise, build innovative solutions to 21st century problems, and consider the future of U.S. technology policy); and the Trust and Safety Teaching Consortium (launched by Stanford University’s Internet Observatory to share open access teaching material on online trust and safety). Radia is an informal advisor to the UN and an advocate of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mauricio Kuri González

Governor of Queretaro, Mexico

​He was born in Orizaba, Veracruz, in 1969. But in 1978, when he was just 9 years old, he came to live in Queretaro, making it his home. He is the son of the Kuri González couple and the youngest of five brothers. From a very young age he had to leave school to help in the family business, where he learned the value of work. In Queretaro he undertook various businesses that did not prosper. However, in 1996 he started a grocery store, which would change his life. In July 1998, the first store “El Asturiano” opened. This became a chain of convenience stores, which managed to consolidate itself as one of the most solid in the entire state. Years later, he sold them. He recognizes the value of education in personal and social development. Therefore, in the middle of 1990s, he studied and graduated in Derecho por la Universidad Del Valle de México. In addition, he has completed diplomas in finance, personal, business and leadership development.
Likewise, he served as presidente de la Cámara Nacional de comercio en Querétaro, from 2006 to 2008 and was part of the Consejos Consultivos de la Comisión Estatal de Aguas; del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social and INFONAVIT. He was also president of the “COPARMEX” in Queretaro, from 2012 to 2014. In 2015, endorsed by the “Partido Acción Nacional”, he contended as a citizen for the Presidencia Municipal de Corregidora, achieving victory with the greatest advantage registered atthe national level. Under the motto “Citizen Corregidora”, he led a work team that transformed this municipality; which was also the first in the entire country in which his cabinet presented the “three out of three” declaration. In security, a historical investment of more than two hundred and fifty million pesos was recorded. He also supported education by awarding thousands of scholarships and managed to attract private investment for more than eight billion pesos.
From September 2008 to February 2021, he was Senator of the Republic and until January of the same year he was coordinator of the parliamentary group of the “Partido Acción Nacional”. There he consolidated, together with his colleagues in the caucus, a responsible and strong opposition. In April 2021 he was chosen as a candidate of “PAN” and “Querétaro Independiente” for the governorship of the state. On June 6, he won the election, with the highest number of votes recorded in the entity.
For this reason, since October first he has represented the people of Queretaro as governor for the period 2021-2027, aware of the enormous responsibility that serving citizens means.

Luis Bernardo Nava Guerrero

Mayor, Municipality of Queretaro, Mexico

​Luis Nava Guerrero was born on January 18th 1975 in Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro.
He has a Bachelor Degree in Economics and a Master Degree in High Management. He is a member of the National Action Party (PAN). He has been local legislator (2012-2015) Chief of Staff of the Governor’s Office at Queretaro and became the first Mayor in being reelected in the city of Queretaro. According to different polling houses, he is one of the three best evaluated mayors in the Country, with a 77% of approval within the population.
He is President of the Mexican World Heritage Cities Association and Vice President of the Mayors Nacional Association, where municipalities are strengthened through sharing best practices and experiences.
On April 2022, he participated in the special meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations at New York, representing the world’s local governments, and on July 2023, he participated at the United Nations Assembly of the Habitat that was celebrated at Nairobi, Kenya.
Queretaro is the fourth city in Latin America to count with the three most relevant designations given by the UNESCO: World Heritage City, since 1996, and during Luis Nava mandate the designation as Creative City of Design (2019) and Learning City (2022).
As a Creative and Learning City, and also as a member of the Michelin Cities Network, Luis Nava has promoted in Queretaro innovative solutions in the city, for the best quality of life of its inhabitants, giving a special place to the use of technology in areas such as mobility, security and public services. Because of this, he has pushed forward the concept of smart cities in Mexico, and he has been invited to international forums on this matter.

Amet Novillo

Chief Executive Officer of EQUINIX Mexico and President of the Mexican Data Centers Association – MEXDC

Telecommunications Engineer from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara and holding a Master’s degree in Business Management for Experienced Executives, specializing in business administration and management from IPADE. Amet Novillo has accumulated over 25 years of experience in Infrastructure, IT, Telecommunications, Business Administration, Company Operations, Sales, Marketing, Design, Construction, Digital Operations, and Datacenter Services.
Demonstrating significant skills in business planning, leadership, communication, teamwork, interpersonal abilities, self-direction, negotiation, conflict resolution, innovation, project development, and coaching. He possesses extensive experience in multinational companies, such as Alestra, where he held various strategic positions, ultimately becoming Director of Operations, refining the operation of national-level data networks, transmission, voice, and fiber optics.
Later, at Axtel, he served as Director of Operations, contributing to operational improvements within data centers. Currently, he has successfully driven the DataCenters business in Mexico in collaboration with Equinix, serving as the President of the Mexican DataCenters Association. Amet Novillo consistently demonstrates remarkable skills as a leader and organizational integrator.

Marco Antonio Del Prete Tercero

Secretary of Sustainable Development, Querétaro State Government

​ Marco Antonio Del Prete Tercero, was born in Mexico City on December 30, 1970.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Information Systems Engineering, as well as an MBA with an E-commerce specialization, from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (Tecnológico de Monterrey, ITESM) In Querétaro.
Private sector: General Manager within the hotel sector (1994-2003)
Public service: Tourism Development Director in the Secretary of Tourism, Querétaro State Government (2005-2005).
He was in charge of Secretary of Tourism’s general activities during 2005.
Commerce Director, Intercontinental Airport of Querétaro (2006-2008).
In the local government of the Municipality of Querétaro, he became the Secretary of Sustainable Development (2009-2012).
Staff Director in Senator Francisco Dominguez’ Office in Querétaro, (2012-2015).
He is Secretary of Sustainable Development of the Querétaro State Government since October 1°, 2015.
Since October 1°, 2022, he is President of the Mexican Association of Secretaries of Economic Development (AMSDE).

Shin-Gak Kang

Chair of ITU Focus Group on metaverse

​Shin-Gak KANG is the Assistant Vice President of ETRI, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in Republic of Korea. He received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electronics engineering from Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea in 1984, 1987, and 1998, respectively. He joined ETRI in 1984 and is currently Head of the Standards and Opensource Research Division. He is also Adjunct Professor of ETRI School of University of Science and Technology in Korea. He has actively participated in many international standardization activities of many SDOs including ITU-T SG 7, SG 8, SG 17, SG 11, SG 13, SG 16, SG 20, GSC, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 6, IETF and IEEE, as Rapporteur, Convenor, Editor, and major contributor since his first joining to ITU-T SG 8 meeting in 1988. He served as ITU-T SG11 Vice-Chairman and its WP Chairman from 2013 to 2021. Since 2004, he has been working as Convenor for ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 6/WG 7 on Future Network. He is also currently serving as Vice-Chairman of ITU-T SG16, Co-chairman of WP1/16, and Co-Chairman of the CG-Metaverse in SG16. He has been appointed as the Chairman of ITU-T Focus Group on metaverse in December 2022 by TSAG.​

Seizo Onoe

Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU

Seizo Onoe took office as Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on 1 January 2023. Known in the industry as “the father of LTE” (Long-Term Evolution mobile broadband), he now aims for global outreach to bridge standardization gaps, deliver the benefits of technology widely and speedily, and ensure meaningful and affordable broadband access for everyone. Before his election as TSB Director by ITU Member States, he completed an over 30-year career with Japanese mobile operator NTT DOCOMO. In 2021, he became Executive Vice President and Chief Standardization Strategy Officer for NTT Corporation and a Fellow of NTT DOCOMO. From 2017, he served as NTT DOCOMO’s Chief Technology Architect and President of its subsidiary DOCOMO Technology. From 2012 to 2017, he served as NTT DOCOMO’s Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, a Member of the Board of Directors, and Managing Director of R&D Innovation Division. Earlier, he served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of NTT DOCOMO’s R&D Strategy Department and Managing Director of the company’s Radio Network Development Department. Mr Onoe holds a Master’s degree in electronics from the Kyoto University Graduate School of Engineering.

Pilar Orero

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Co-chairman of FG-MV Working Group 8 on Sustainability, Accessibility & Inclusion

Professor Pilar Orero, PhD (UMIST, UK), works at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in the TransMedia Catalonia Lab. She has written and edited many books, nearly 100 academic papers, and almost the same number of book chapters – all on media accessibility. She’s a leader and participant in numerous EU-funded research projects on media accessibility.
Professor Orero works in standardization and participates in the UN ITU IRG-AVA – Intersector Rapporteur Group Audiovisual Media Accessibility, ISO, SAGA, and ANEC. She has been working on immersive accessibility for the past four years, first in an ImAc project, whose results are further developed in TRACTION, MEDIAVERSE, and MILE. Orero has just started to work on green accessibility in GREENSCENT.
Until December 2022, she led the EU network LEADME on Media Accessibility. Additionally, she co-chairs a study group on accessibility and inclusion in the ITU Metaverse Focus Group.

Maria Catalina Ovando Chico

General Director of Telecommunications and Broadcasting Policy, Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT), Mexico

Named General Director of Telecommunications and Broadcasting Policy in the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT) in January 2023. Catalina works for the international representation in telecommunication and broadcasting matters, and she was Head of Mexican Delegation at WRC 23.
Catalina Ovando Chico holds a PhD Degree in Telecommunications from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain.
Prior to her current position, Catalina headed the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Unit in SICT and was responsible for managing the total of the Secretariat ICT assets.
From 2015 to 2021, Catalina was a professor at graduate school on Strategic Planning and Technology Management at UPAEP University.
Currently holds an active membership in the “National Investigators System”, the “IEEE” and the “Network of Women in ICT” from the National Association of Universities (ANUIES).
She centers her research activities on digital inclusion, technology adoption, generation of public policy for telecommunications and the impact of digital platforms on productivity sectors.

Claudia Del Pozo

Founder and CEO, Eon Institute

Claudia is the Founder and CEO of Eon Institute, a Mexican think-tank led by women that drives a future-proof society given the technological changes. It is an independent spin-off of C Minds, where she started working in 2016. She continues as a Senior Consultant at C Minds and is part of the Expert Council of the National Senate AI Alliance. She is currently making recommendations for Mexico’s next Digital Agenda with 40+ experts, PIT Policy Lab and the British Embassy, as well as designing and coordinating the first digitization program with 50% of the classes taught by women for Congress, via ISDI.
From C Minds, in collaboration with Meta, she led a region-wide Metaverse project to understand its potential and challenges, as well as current use cases, for Latin America and the Caribbean, with over 45+ regional experts. The findings were gathered in a public policy report for DPAs and other Ministries in the region. She also directed a project to explore how AR could improve education in Mexico in collaboration with the British Embassy.
In 2022 she was recognized as a key component of the Mexican AI ecosystem by the Women in AI Awards and is a TEDx speaker. She is an international business graduate from Warwick Business School in the UK.

Ziqin Sang

Technical Director, China Information Communication Technologies Group (CICT) & Co-Chair, ITU-T FG-MV WG9, Collaboration

​​Mr. Ziqin SANG joined Wuhan Research Institute of Posts and Telecommunications (WRI) in 1998 after obtaining his Ph.D. in pattern recognition and intelligent system from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. He heads a division of innovative research on smart city in the State Key Laboratory of Optical Communication Technologies and Networks since 2010. He has been active in standardization bodies such as ITU-T SG17, SG13, SG5 and SG20, CCSA TC8 and TC10. He served as a member of expert board of a Chinese 863 program of smart city, and a member of advisory board of EU-China Collaboration on IoT and 5G Research (program EXCITING). He was a vice chairman of ITU-T focus group on smart sustainable cities (FG-SSC) and a vice chairman of focus group on smart water management (FG-SWM). He is now a vice chairman of ITU-T SG20 and a vice chairman of CCSA TC10. He led and contributed to ITU-T Recommendations Y.4900, Y.4901, Y.4902, Y.4903, Y.4200 and Y.4201. ​

Savvas Verdis

Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Savvas is a Senior Lecturer in Practice at LSE Cities and the School of Public Policy. Voted in Apolitical’s 100 Most Influential Academics in Government, he is the co-Director of Executive Education Programmes at LSE Cities, which include the Executive Masters in Cities, custom programmes and short courses aimed at leaders in both national and local government. Savvas’ work focuses on bridging the policy-politics divide by helping urban leaders organise wider support for sustainable development programmes in the face of opposition. His most recent consultations include an infrastructure feasibility study on behalf of the Dutch Government; a review of child friendly urban policies for the Bernard Van Leer Foundation and the design of a city index for the International Federation for Housing and Planning.
From 2009 to 2012, he was founder and CEO of Rankdesk, a rating and valuation composite index for home buyers based on over 40 social and environmental parameters. From 2013 to 2016 he was Director of Infrastructure Economics at Siemens.
He completed his PhD at Cambridge University in 2007 and trained as a development economist at UCL’s Development Planning Unit.