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Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Aspen Institute Announce New Speakers and Programming at Bloomberg CityLab 2022 in Amsterdam

New speakers include UN Special Envoy for Water, Henk Ovink and Chief Heat Officers from Athens, Freetown, and Los Angeles. Participants include Mayors of Kyiv, Bogotá, Athens, and Washington, D.C.

Global gathering of mayors, urban innovators, business leaders, and artists will address solutions to pressing urban challenges, including pandemic recovery, migration, global conflict, and extreme heat.

NEW YORK AND AMSTERDAM – Today, Bloomberg CityLab, the preeminent global cities summit organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the Aspen Institute, announced new speakers, performances, and participants for its event in Amsterdam October 9-11. The conference will focus on the leadership role of cities on the global stage, bringing together mayors from around the world alongside prominent city innovators, business leaders, urban planners, and artists, to uncover, celebrate, and spread some of the boldest thinking and most actionable urban solutions addressing climate change, public health, refugees, and more.

New speakers include:

  • Chief Heat Officers from Athens, Greece; Freetown, Sierra Leone; and Los Angeles, California
  • Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for Water, United Nations
  • Piotr Cywinski, Director, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
  • Tonantzin Carmona, David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Brookings Metro
  • Vladimir Yavachev, Director, The Mastaba


Bloomberg CityLab 2022 will also feature performances and art installations by:

  • Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Orchestra
  • Daniel Wurtzel, Installation artist 
  • Fleur du Bonheur, DJ
  • ISH Dance Collective, Dance group 
  • Mart Muller Jazz Trio, Musical group
  • OK Williams, DJ
  • Wende Snijders, Singer


Newly confirmed mayors attending include Mayor Vitali Klitschko of Kyiv, Ukraine; Mayor Sharon Dijksma of Utrecth, Netherlands; Mayor Remigijus Šimašius of Vilnius, Lithuania; Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., United States; Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, Alabama, United States; and Mayor Claudia Lopez of Bogotá, Colombia.

Previously announced speakers include Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term mayor of New York City, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies; Salla Eckhardt, Director of Digital Building Lifecycle and Innovation, Microsoft; Justin Elszasz, Chief Digital Officer, City of Baltimore; Kadir Van Lohuizen, photojournalist best known for his work covering conflicts in Africa, the diamond industry, and migration in the Americas; Melissa Martin, Chef, Mosquito Supper Club in New Orleans; and Amir Nazir Zuabi, Artistic Director of Good Chance Theater. Additional speakers will be announced and posted on the event website in the weeks to come.

“CityLab this year visits one of the most creative cities in the world to elevate what’s new, learn from what’s working, and bring together a global community of public innovators,” said James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Cities are beacons in these challenging times and we look forward to bringing together many of the most inspiring city leaders, artists, thinkers, and doers once again.”

Previously announced attending mayors (or officials of equivalent position) hail from Athens, Greece; Bratislava, Slovakia; Bristol, United Kingdom; Chefchaouen, Morocco; Coimbra, Portugal; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Dublin, Ireland; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Gdańsk, Poland; Helsingborg, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Riga, Latvia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Skopje, North Macedonia; Tallinn, Estonia; Tirana, Albania; and from the United States Cincinnati, Ohio; and San Francisco, California.

Programming will include one-on-one interviews, interactive breakout sessions, artistic performances, excursions to unique destinations across Amsterdam, and discussions that will address critical issues facing cities today. Topics will include governing with uncertainty brought on by the pandemic; why cities are racing to become crypto-hubs; digital safety and equity; how we help our communities process painful histories; the urgent need to rethink city infrastructure and buildings in order to adapt to climate change and flooding; how cities can respond to global issues like migration and war; and the importance of green space for mental health.

“Many of the most exciting innovations come from the world’s cities, which have a long history of putting bold ideas into practice,” said Kitty Boone, Vice President of Public Programs at the Aspen Institute. “Bloomberg CityLab is a unique event that forges relationships between leaders and visionaries as they share how they tackle and manage the thorniest challenges facing urban environments. This convening provides an important opportunity to connect on a global level. I am delighted that it is now returning to Europe, and especially in-person.” 

CityLab was founded on the principle that the most important innovation is happening at the local level, and that global impact can be achieved when cities share solutions. For nearly a decade, CityLab summits have crisscrossed the globe, gathering the most influential mayors and voices from hundreds of cities. Summits have made global headlines and generated tangible takeaways for attendees. Past CityLab conferences have been hosted in New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Paris, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.

Limited media credentials are available for CityLab 2022 and must be arranged in advance. For more information on credentialing, please contact Jon Purves:


About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.66 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About the Aspen Institute:
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Jon Purves, Aspen Institute 

Courtney Greenwald, Bloomberg Philanthropies