Speaker From



Rio de Janeiro

State | County | Province

Rio de Janeiro

Speaker Bio

An internationally recognized thought leader and social entrepreneur, Dr. 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, Robert 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.



Robert 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.


Robert 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.


Robert Muggah is at the leading edge of debates on the future of cities, disruptive technologies, digital and real threats, and the future of liberal democracy. He has over two decades working on the front-lines of many of the world’s conflict zones and criminal hot spots. He uses exciting data and visual tools to speak with corporate, public sector, non-profit and academic audiences around the world about global challenges and solutions.


The founder of several think tanks and a senior adviser to the United Nations, World Bank, global city networks, and leading tech and consulting companies, Robert brings practical experience to the table.


He is internationally recognized for bringing Big Data alive to entertain and educate audiences from Davos to TED. Robert infuses his talks with evidence, energy and erudition to reveal what is going on behind the headlines.

Keynote Topic #1

We need to take action now to protect the Amazon Basin

If we have any hope of saving the planet’s ecosystems and biodiversity, we need to keep the Amazon Basin from reaching a catastrophic tipping point. New technologies like remote sensing and sensors are helping us understand the scope and scale of deforestation and degradation taking place in the world’s largest rainforest. Innovative tools from drones to blockchain are helping point the way to solutions. Dr. Robert Muggah offers five priorities to disrupt the crime and corruption that threatens not just Latin America, but the world.

He urges governments, businesses, and civil societies to radically re-imagine the Amazon, especially by empowering the people who work and live there and building a sustainable bio-economy. PhD Oxford University (International Development, Economics and Political Studies). Master University of Sussex (International Development and Development Economics). BA Dalhousie University (International Affairs). Senior Consultant of the World Bank. Faculty Singularity University. Co-founder of Instituto Igarapé, one of the top-ranked social policy think tanks in the world and a leading NGO in Latin America.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Keynote Topic #2

The biggest risks facing cities – and some solutions

With fantastic new maps that show interactive, visual representations of urban fragility, Robert Muggah articulates an ancient but resurging idea: cities shouldn’t just be the center of economics — they should also be the foundation of our political lives.

Looking around the world, from Syria to Singapore to Seoul and beyond, Muggah submits six principles for how we can build more resilient cities. “Cities are where the future happens first. They’re open, creative, dynamic, democratic, cosmopolitan, sexy,” Muggah says. “They’re the perfect antidote to reactionary nationalism.”

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