First Meeting of the Digital Board of Sofia
The first meeting of the Digital Board of Sofia took place on October 1. We are glad that it was attended by representatives of business associations, the academia, and experts from the technology sector in Sofia.
Some of them have been supporting our team throughout the process of creating the Digital Transformation Strategy of Sofia. Others have joined now that the Sofia Municipal Council has unanimously adopted the Strategy and its implementation has already begun.
The Board is open to participants. The mission of its experts is to share their expertise with our team and with the Deputy Mayor for Digitalization, Innovation, and Economic Development Gencho Kerezov, as well as to share best practices and specific solutions that should be adopted by the Sofia Municipality to develop Sofia as a digital, smart, and dynamic city.
What is the Digital Board of Sofia
The Board includes leaders from local technology companies and business associations, academic and industry experts.
The Board advises the Deputy Mayor on smart city initiatives; the selection, evaluation, prioritization, and funding of technology solutions and smart city projects that should be implemented.
Chairman: Mr. Gencho Kerezov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia for Digitalization, Innovation and Economic Development, Sofia Municipality
Membership: open. The Board has no designated members. The Deputy Mayor invites the participants to each meeting according to the discussion topics.
Deputy Mayor Kerezov, Nadia Sultanova, Director of Digitalization, Innovation, and Investment of Innovative Sofia, and Mark-Alex Evtimov from Innovative Sofia, presented the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Digital Transformation Strategy of Sofia during the meeting. The document, which is yet to be presented to the Sofia Municipal Council, includes indicative activities, an implementation plan, and a framework for evaluating the implementation of the Strategy.
The Mayor of Sofia Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova also joined the discussion.
The Board’s establishment is one of the first tasks I set for the Deputy Mayor for Digitalization Gencho Kerezov. Besides setting up an action plan for the Sofia Digitalization Strategy, this is important for the development of priority actions, Fandakova said.
According to Deputy Mayor Gencho Kerezov, the digital transformation of Sofia requires coordination at three primary levels:
– Organizational – within the municipality and between its structures.
– Technological – where the digital Board’s primary role is to advise on the implementation of good global and local practices.
– Public – to arrive at a consensus with citizens regarding the direction in which we have taken.
We have developed the concept of the Digital Board by studying the experience of world leader cities and capitals. The main contribution has come from the team of Innovative Sofia. Similar business advisory boards operate in London: Smart London Board; Atlanta, USA: Atlanta Chief Information Officer (CIO) Advisory Board; Seattle, USA: Innovation Advisory Council (IAC), San Jose, USA: San José Smart City Advisory Board, Kerezov said during the meeting.
The Digital Board of Sofia will meet quarterly, and the Deputy Mayor may invite members of the Board to additional meetings if necessary.
The potential additional attendees of the meetings are representatives of various municipal and state structures, depending on the discussed topics. Minutes of the meetings will be published on Innovative Sofia’s website, together with all additional presented materials.
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