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Robert Muggah      

Specialist in Smart and Green Cities, Geopolitics, Public Safety, and Cybersecurity; Co-Founder of Social Policy Think Tank Igarapé Institute & The SecDev Group

An internationally recognized thought leader and social entrepreneur, Robert Muggah is an unreconstructed academic and practitioner at heart. He is committed to mobilizing hard data and solid evidence to generate lasting social impact. At a time of global uncertainty and turbulence, Muggah is convinced by the power and potential of cities big and small to scale solutions on everything from climate change to public security. For more than two decades he has worked in some of the world’s most challenging settings to promote inclusive urbanization, responsible crime prevention, more effective stability and peace operations, smarter migration policy, and the design and deployment of open and accountable gov-tech and civ-tech.

Muggah co-founded the SecDev Group to drive digital transformation and reduce cyber threats around the world. As a principal, he leads the firm’s work on digitally secure cities. He also co-founded the Igarapé Institute – an award-winning global think and do tank focused on delivering better public security, criminal justice, data privacy and city resilience. He is a senior adviser to McKinsey’s Group and sits on the board of several technology start-ups. Muggah has worked with dozens of national and city governments, technology companies like Google and Uber and international agencies such as the United Nations and World Bank to help them scale success. He is also known internationally for producing evocative data visualizations and predictive platforms to improve safety, track city risks and promote algorithmic transparency.

The recipient of several academic and humanitarian awards, Muggah is (or has been) either faculty or an invited fellow at Singularity University, New York University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Oxford, the University of San Diego, the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland. In 2010, he co-founded the Stability Journal and serves on the editorial boards of several prominent scholarly journals. Between 2000-2010, Muggah was the research director of the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey. Since then, Muggah has edited, authored or contributed to dozens of books and peer-review articles. He regularly inputs into annual United Nations Human Development Reports, World Bank Development Reports, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Reports, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Fragility Reports, and other flagship publications.

Muggah’s research is often cited in the international media, including the Atlantic, BBC, Bloomberg, CBC, CNN, Fast Company, Financial Times, Guardian, Economist, El Pais, Financial Times, Folha do Sao Paulo, Foreign Affairs, o Globo, LA Times, New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Wired. He is a regular speaker at Global Smart City Expo, the Pritzker Forum on Cities, the World Economic Forum´s annual summit (Davos) and agenda summits (Dubai), and TED in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and 2019. He is also an invited associate of the World Economic Forum´s Council on Cities and Urbanization (fellow) and the Global Risk Report (advisor), Chicago Council for Global Affairs (fellow), Canadian Global Affairs Institute (fellow), Global Parliament of Mayors (co-chair), Know Violence in Childhood (co-chair), the Transnational Organized Crime Initiative (fellow), the RESOLVE network (board of directors) and others. He received a DPhil from the University of Oxford, an MPhil from the University of Sussex and a BA from King’s College and Dalhousie University.

Speech Topics

Nuclear & Climate Threats

Robert Muggah consults with governments, the UN, World Bank and firms ranging from Google to McKinsey. He is known for designing award-winning interactive data visualizations that track the global arms trade, homicidal violence, fragile cities, nuclear threats, and climate change.

The Future of the Global Liberal Order

Robert Muggah and Taylor Owen, University of British Columbia (UBC), are leading the Phil Lind Initiative in US Studies series on the future of the liberal order. The series features Ed Luce, Steven Pinker, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Frank Fukuyama, Susan Rice, and Misha Glenny. The initiative strives to help shape a debate on these issues here in North America and later, in Europe and Latin America through a variety of media outlets.


Opinion Piece: "So, the liberal order is in free fall? Not so fast."
Robert Muggah is the co-founder of Igarapé Institute and SecDev Group. Taylor Owen is an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia.
The Phil Lind Initiative Series on "The Unraveling of the Liberal Order"
Digital connectivity and new technologies are accelerating political, economic and social transformation and literally changing the rules of the game, pulling at the seams of global stability. Will the liberal order hold, or is its disassembling inevitable? What kinds of global order(s) does the future hold? The Phil Lind Initiative’s Spring 2018 series will explore these and other questions, with visits from the world’s leading intellectuals on the subject.
Brazil's Killing Fields | Robert Muggah
Brazil is the world's murder capital. More than 1.3 million homicides have occurred there since 1980. And the problem appears to be getting worse. The rate of ...

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