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Jordi Joly, professor for the MCS: “Smart Cities are the real engines of the future”

Jordi Joly, professor for the MCS: “Smart Cities are the real engines of the future”
Jordi Joly, professor for the MCS: “Smart Cities are the real engines of the future”

Cities are consolidated as the main agents in the service of future society. In cities you can also find a multitude of elements linked to new technologies, digitization, innovation and development.

Jordi Joly, a professor for the MCS, is also a model in the Smart Cities world. He has multiple degrees: an Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) from ESADE Business School, a graduate in political science (UNED), a Diploma in Management of Public Administration (FGAP), an Esade in Public Finance Management (PFM) from the J.F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and advanced accounting operations from EMI, Barcelona.
 
In regards to his professional career, Joly is the External Expert of the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht. He is the founder of CityEcoFin, Economic and Governance Group (cefG) for the harmonization of public finances in Europe and its relationship to management, with the support of Eurostat, the European Commission and the cities of Hamburg, London, Milan, Vienna and Dublin. From 2011 to 2015 he was manager of economy and finance in the City of Barcelona, General Director of Barcelona Activa, Vice President of Mercabarna and CEO of the Barcelona-Pyrenees candidacy for the Winter Olympics, 2026.
 
Previously he was director of consulting for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the consultancy Palladium, Inc., based in Boston, and he worked developing relations model dashboards for Kaplan and Norton with company policy, strategy, budgets and finance.
 
One of his achievements is to have been the creator of the management model "Politics and Management Deal", a model that was recognized as the best practice in leadership and change management in a European public organization, 1st Place, European Public Sector Awards (EPSA, 2009) for its application in the city of Sant Cugat del Valles (Spain).
 

How long have you been collaborating with the MCS?

 
For the last two school years, since 2015.
 

Summarize the content of the lectures or workshops that you have given for the MCS.

 
The main concept is that cities are the real engines of the future. Innovation and social impact will be able to assimilate and apply all the potential that exists in the technological and digital world, but only if we understand that the professionalization of its management, institutional quality and bureaucratic processes are absolutely essential. Otherwise, if we do not know or do not want to face this reality, the Smart City concept can run the huge risk of getting stuck as simple communicative etiquette and a political marketing tool.
 
All actors must work at driving the modernization of cities. They should push for this type of management model. All of it is based on transparency and values.
 
The government has a great responsibility for the design and implementation of this model. They are actors of great importance that can drive management models, concepts and tools that foster a culture based on values, innovation, motivation.
 
Today, the success and prosperity of territories and their environment depends largely on the quality of their governance. The role of the public sector within this scenario should not be underestimated. A government is the key factor in any stage of growth and/or recovery. This involves the development of solid holistic and sustainable strategies.
 
The "Politics and Management Deal" (PMD) model is an approach that covers the whole organization in a structured way. It is comprehensive and includes different tools and powerful theories, from the government and its administration to finance and management. All this is oriented towards social trust and services, quality, growth and sustainability as a fundamental guarantee.
 
The sessions aim to provide participants with an overview of the PMD methodology, combined with practical and political support and administrative practises compared in different cultures.
 
 At the end of the session participants will have learned the basic overall concept, seen formal processes and tools for approaching "Politics and Management Deal" (PMD) and used its methodology to define and design a transparent, professional, accountable system.
 

Could you summarize, in just one sentence, the main idea that you want to communicate to your students?

 
The success and prosperity of the territories and their environment depends largely on the quality of its governance.
 

Why is it so important to study the MCS?

 
Cities are consolidated as the main agents in the service of future society. In cities you can also find a multitude of elements linked to new technologies, digitization, innovation and development.
 
A Masters degree at the MCS that integrates all these elements uses the city as an authentic field to study. Having the ability to understand the city from the point of view as presented by the MCS is synonymous to having a very significant competitive advantage for facing multiple future projects that, without question, will have the city as the main actor in this process.
 
Furthermore, the MCS brings the public and political sphere of the city to society, promoting a new social and political culture for future generations, based on the quality of life and people.
 

What kind of job opportunities can an expert in Smart Cities find?

 
If I relate it to the public interest of such studies, students will have endless opportunities in policy, public and government institutions.
 
From my point of view, the MCS is an added value of great potential for any person engaged in the field of design, architecture and engineering in its multiple disciplines. Every subject has a direct or indirect relationship with the environment and public arena that make up the cities. The main companies related to these sectors are aware of this, and future potential perspectives are imminent, so studying City Sciences nowadays is an advantage for any professional curriculum. Besides, for those who work in the public sector, it is undoubtedly an important differentiator.
 

Tell us in more detail about the projects related to the field of Smart Cities that you are working now.

 
I will address two ongoing projects. One of them is the "Economic and Financial Governance Initiative through Management Capacity Building", within the scope of institutional quality, management and public finances in Europe.
 
The second one is the "Social Impact Challenge" related to the innovation to purchase challenges in cities. We must focus increasingly on the amount of resources from public administration. And I am not talking about subsidies but rather technological and innovative applications in their own investments, services and developments.

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