Dr Tim Williams is Head of Cities for global consultancy Arup in the Australasian Region. He also chairs Open Cities, an advocacy group for ‘next-gen’ infrastructure innovation in Australia. Since its inception, he has been a member of the Federal Government’s Smart Cities and Regions national advisory committee and was invited by the Prime Minister to give a keynote speech at the launch of this national initiative.
Until December 2017, Tim was the CEO of The Committee for Sydney which became one of the most influential thought leaders in Australian cities’ policy. One of the main areas of focus for his work has been promoting moves towards Australian cities being more data-driven and responsive, enabled by digital technologies and the Internet of Things. He researched and published three original Issues Papers as CEO of the Committee in a series called #wethecity. The final paper published towards the end of 2017 galvanised the NSW Government to commission Infrastructure NSW to develop a ‘Smart Places’ strategy for the state. Tim was then appointed by INSW to chair the Local Government Working Party on Smart Places established by INSW. Tim is also a member of the NSW Government’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem advisory committee, having played a formative role in the creation of Stone and Chalk, Australia’s first fintech hub based in Sydney.
Tim has been working around digital innovation and strategy for some time, having written a groundbreaking report in 2011 about the potential impact of high speed broadband in Australia for Chinese Telecoms giant Huawei. He was recently commissioned by the company to undertake a review of the implications of 5G for public services redesign. In late 2017, Tim went on a study tour of the US to review what cities there were doing in this space and spent some time with the City of Boston’s leading edge ‘Office of Urban Mechanics’. Tim was also involved in delivering the City of Sydney digital strategy for Arup.
Tim has an international reputation as a thought leader and innovator in the areas of urban regeneration, city transformation, ‘smart cities’ and housing development.