Nicholas You serves as the chairman of several entities including the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign Steering Committee, the Assurance Group for Urban Infrastructure of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Urban Strategy Council of GDF Suez. He is also a board member of the African Medical and Research Foundation and a special advisor to the City of Guangzhou. He regularly advises governments, cities and leading technology companies on sustainability policies and practices.
Prior to his current positions, he served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. He is the author/editor of numerous publications on sustainable development. In 2004 he was commissioned by the Universal Forum on Cultures (Barcelona) to design a flagship exhibit on water. He is the founder of the “Messengers of Truth Project” that uses urban art forms and music to empower disenfranchised urban youth to improve their livelihoods.
I am seeing a lot of entrepreneurial energy out there that could
potentially make our cities (our urban world) a more sustainable and
liveable place. I see it in industry, and in the public and community
sectors. But we still haven’t learned to talk to each other across these
A new idea – or a new app – today can go viral and become successful when
it meets a real demand. The low level of investment required to bring
ideas and apps to the market is a tremendous opportunity for bringing
solutions to scale and social networking gives us a chance to learn across
sectors and silos. Is a new business model? You bet!