About the MESH Cities Initiative
MESH Cities’ founder Robert Ouellette researches, develops, and distributes the best-practice processes and technology solutions that empower responsive, competitive, and sustainable cities. MESH stands for Mobile, Efficient, Subtle, Human Cities. MESH Cities evangelises the innovations, people, and ideas making positive change happen in cities shaped by information.
In 2019 Robert received the “Clean50” Award for thought leadership in sustainability. The Guardian Newspaper selected MESH Cities as a go-to information source on smart cities.
A Fulleresque optimist, Robert has worked in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe. Early in his career he designed the market-disrupting VC-400 smart terminals, the iMacs of their time. Later while at Boeing, his team sold the first production Dash-8 aircraft. His work on smart cities earned a City of Toronto Urban Design Award and he is the recipient of the “City Father” Award in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Ouellette led the U of T’s Information Technology Design Centre with guidance from Smart City pioneer Dr. Bill Mitchell of MIT. The ITDC was Alias/Wavefront’s first Centre of Excellence. In 2001 he directed a world first social networking site featuring the Black Eyed Peas for Sony, Motorola, and Levi Strauss. His online initiative to improve Toronto’s transit system led to a crowd-sourcing event Harvard Business Review called a breakthrough business idea.
He managed the international ZEROprize Re-Skinning Awards in tandem with the World Urban Forum. A Globe2012 speaker in Vancouver, he has also presented to senior politicians at the Think Green Global Forum in Nanjing. In 2006, he spoke at the United Nation’s Sustainable Cities conference in New York.
His academic achievements include a Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Excellence, an honours degree in Architecture from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business. His John Street VR project is shown in perpetuity at the National Library of France.
Robert is a National Newspaper Award nominated columnist.