- Doug Coupland
- Carole Taylor
Chancellor, Simon Fraser University
- Bob Rennie
Owner and Founder, Rennie Marketing Systems
- Chris Gailus
Summit MC and Anchor, Global BC News Hour
- Courtney Pratt
Chairman, Toronto Region Research Alliance
- Gordon Innes
CEO, London & Partners
- Stephan Dolezalek
Managing Director, VantagePoint Capital Partners
- Gregor Robertson
Mayor of Vancouver
- Milo Medin
VP Access Services, Google
- Herbert Constantine Bautista
Mayor of Quezon City
- Gerry Mooney
General Manager, Global Smarter Cities, IBM
- Naheed Nenshi
Mayor of Calgary
- Cam Kernahan
Group Vice President, WiFi, Shaw Communications
- Sly James
Mayor of Kansas City
- Jonathan Weinzapfel
Mayor of Evansville, Indiana
- Lise Thorsen
City of Copenhagen
- Dr. Stephen Toope
- Dr. Jaana Remes
McKinsey Global Institute
- Dr. Wal van Lierop
President and CEO, Chrysalix
- Phillip Abrary
President and CEO, Ostara
- Nicholas Parker
Chairman, Cleantech Group
- Barb Stegemann
Author and CEO, The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc.
- Andrew Bibby
Chief Executive, Grosvenor Americas
- Scott Atkinson
Senior Director Infrastructure Systems, Shaw Communications
- David Helliwell
CEO and Co-Founder, Pulse Energy
- Lee Malleau
CEO, Vancouver Economic Commission
- Gordon Feller
Director, Urban Innovations, Cisco
- Ingrid Goetzl
City of Vienna
- Wiliam F. Wescott
VP Innovation - Americas, Veolia Environnement
- Jonathan Rhone
Chair, BC Cleantech CEO Alliance
- Pascal Terrien
Director, Sustainable Cities R&D Program, EDF
- Sandra Phillips
Manager of Business Development, Canada, Car2Go
- Dianne Watts
Mayor of Surrey
- Gary Murphy
Chief Project Officer, Smart Metering, BC Hydro
- Andrew Petter
President, Simon Fraser University
- Hsing Cheng
Centre for Livable Cities, Singapore Government
- Kris Lichter
Director of Marketing, Smarter Cities, IBM
Mayor Sly James of Kansas City is leading the urban renewal of one of America's great cities. His city's recent partnership with Google to lay next generation fiber throughout the city will facilitate the entirely new business models of the future.
Sly James was elected mayor of Kansas City on March 22, 2011, and sworn in on May 1, 2011.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Sly grew up watching his parents work hard to take care of their family. Despite the challenges they faced, Sly’s father, a chef, janitor, and small business owner; and his stepmother, who helped manage their business, still made sure that Sly and his brothers had the opportunity to go to a good school and follow their dreams.
Sly attended Bishop Hogan High School in Kansas City, graduating in 1969. While there, Sly was the president of his junior class. He also developed a great passion for music and was the lead singer in the Amelia Earhart Memorial Flying Band. Little known fact: Sly’s band once opened for Jefferson Airplane in Kansas City!
While music remains a passion of Sly’s to this day, in 1971 he left the band and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Sly served as a military police officer for four years in California, the Philippines, and Japan, and received an honorable discharge in 1975. When his service ended, Sly returned home to Kansas City and graduated cum laude from Rockhurst College before earning his law degree, also cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1983.
During his 26-year legal career, Sly developed a proven record of success as a leader, an effective coalition builder, and a fierce advocate. He joined Blackwell, Sanders, Matheny, Weary & Lombardi in 1983, and became the first African-American partner in the firm’s history in 1990. In February, 2002, Sly started his own successful small business, The Sly James Firm, where he works with victims to seek justice and positive outcomes to disputes.
In 1992, the Missouri Supreme Court appointed Sly to the Missouri Board of Law Examiners. Between 1992 and 2002, he was a member, secretary, and later the president of the board. He was president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA) in 2003, director of the Kansas City Bar Foundation, and vice president of the Public Interest Litigation Clinic. Sly was formerly the vice-president of the board of directors of Legal Aid of Western Missouri and treasurer of the Jackson County Bar Association. In 2003, while president of the KCMBA, Sly established the Diversity Initiative with 26 managing partners of the largest law firms in the city. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Association.
Sly is an extremely proud resident of the city he loves and has been active in political, community, and civic activities. He was appointed to the board of directors of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, and to the board of the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA) by former Mayor Kay Barnes. He was also appointed to the boards of the Enhanced Enterprise Zones of Kansas City and the Jackson County Ethics Commission. He served as one of two co-chairs of the Save Our Stadiums committee, a successful tax initiative to refurbish the Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City in 2006.
He has been married to Licia Clifton-James since 1981 and is the proud father of four children.