The MIT Club of RTP is hosting an IOT focused Fireside Chat/Panel on Building Smart communities – lessons from the trenches

MIT Club of Research Triangle Park
Date: April 18, 2024 3 PM – 5 PM

Event Details:

The evolution of Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IOT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fundamentally changing the ways residents interact with the Town and City governments. While the modern technology has immense potential to improve quality of life of residents, and improve service delivery for the Government officials, not all communities and cities – especially smaller towns – have the ability and resources to take full advantage of the emerging tech. However, some towns and communities have led the way by being innovator and early adopters of the IOT technologies. In this interactive panel discussion, leaders, and practitioners of SmartCity and Sustainability programs share their first-hand experience and discuss how to go about gaining the support from stakeholders and identifying sources of funding and choosing the right technologies and partners to make a lasting impact.
 In this panel, we will explore the challenges and opportunities of building engaged communities in smart cities. We will discuss the following questions:
  • What are the benefits of community engagement for smart cities?  
  • What are the barriers and gaps that prevent citizens from actively taking part in smart city projects? 
  • What are the best practices and strategies for enhancing community engagement in smart cities?  
  • How can smart city technologies facilitate and support community engagement?  
  • What are the ethical and social implications of community engagement in smart cities?  
The panel features city leadership, urban planning experts, and technologists, who will share their insights and experiences from different smart city contexts. The panel will also invite questions and comments from the audience, aiming to stimulate a lively and interactive discussion
Food and light hors d’oeuvres presented by Varidx.


  • Rick Ralph, CIO Town of Morrisville
  • TJ Cawley, Mayor, Town of Morrisville
  • William Whitehead, Smart City program manager, Town of Morrisville
  • Chris Butts, CIO Town of Chapel Hill.