SmartNations Foundation (SNF)

for a sustainable world 

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A sustainable, resilient, livable and thriving world.


As a global organization, SNF embraces the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and supports communities through the adoption of digital transformation technologies.

The SmartNations Foundation (SNF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of 21st Century digital technologies and systems around the world for a better world, by enabling full participation in the global Digital Transformation Economy and Society 4.0.

Led by a global team of seasoned professionals, SNF works with emerging and developed economies and societies, providing cities, regions and countries with invaluable know-how to ensure they are ready for the fast-evolving global “4.0” era.

Our work is of paramount importance because emerging economies, cities, regions and countries often need significant planning, knowledge-sharing expertise, and financial resources to help ensure that they are fully able to participate in and benefit from the Digital Transformation of the global economy.

To this end, SNF provides unparalleled support in the areas of sustainable digital infrastructure and SmartCities applications at scales necessary to enable the Digital Transformation of societies and economies.

The SNF team supports, collaborates with and builds upon successful, sustainable, holistic, open-source, integrated, interoperable, and transportable SmartCities programs, projects, and achievements.

SNF works in close strategic and developmental partnership with the United Nations and its United SmartCities program, through the Organization for International Economic Relations (OiER) and other interrelated UN agencies and NGO efforts, with a particular focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SNF stakeholders can tap into, learn, and develop professional skills and networks for collaboration and co-creation using high-value research and case studies-based content. The intention is to help accelerate the adoption of technologies that will enable full participation in the global Digital Transformation Economy and Society 4.0.

SNF currently works in close collaboration with key organisations in Europe, such as the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Casa Africa (the Spanish government’s diplomacy corps for Africa), the United Smart Cities program of the United Nations, and various other SmartCities organizations globally.

Additionally, through one of its primary founding team members, SNF has a developmental relationship with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science & Technology (NM-AIST), based in Arusha, Tanzania, and its Centre of Excellence in ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA), as well as the Centre for Research, Agricultural advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability in Food and Nutrition (CREATES).

SNF assists existing SmartCities and related programs and bridges the gap between existing programs furthering regional and national, and often multi-national, Digital Infrastructure expansion, providing technological expertise and Impact Investing as well as grant and loan-based funding assistance.

How SNF  Operates in the World – Three Engagement Areas

Information Providing, Research, Media, Conferences

SNF is a media and project management tools’ hub for the global sustainable SmartCities and SmartNations community. The SNF platform, available at, delivers timely, relevant SmartCities information from around the world. SNF produces and hosts global leadership conferences, roundtables, professional communities-of-practice membership networks, subject-matter-expert papers and video presentations and project documentaries.

Professional Training and Development, Continuing Education Certification, Communities-of-Practices Member Networks

The work of SNF will be implemented and carried out by national and regional SmartNations Network chapters and by Communities of Practice that reflect the various technical professional disciplines that embody SNF’s mission. Training and Development, and accompanying certifications will be those uniquely required of management and professional staff of SmartNations projects.

Financing Assistance

SNF can provide SmartNations-worthy project development financing assistance on both a non-profit grant basis (for qualifying government agencies and NGO projects) and on an Impact Investing basis for those projects that are profit-making developmental ventures.

SNF and United Nations’ “Global (Digital) Public Goods”

The United Nations has as part of its Agenda 2030 initiative defined access to Digital Public Goods as a human right. Those with limited access to it, will fall behind.

A good example of establishing leadership in supporting this agenda comes from Norway, where the Norwegian-managed open-source District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2), helps health ministries, health clinics, and other health institutions do their jobs better. The free platform is now used in over 100 countries and has a global footprint of 2.3 billion people.

Opinion: As the web turns 30, digital goods must reach the most vulnerable (DevEx March 11th, 2019)

The SNF presents such initiatives, and works with national leaders from Norway and other nations to set examples as to how the future of Global Public Goods can be organized, including projects where governmental and private efforts are made to help create a better future.

SNF collaborates with and builds upon SmartCities professional development to include regional- and national-scale programs, including coverage of the following areas of interest:

Digital Infrastructure

necessary for enabling, accelerating and supporting Digital Transformation-capable SmartNations. The infrastructure must be available everywhere — 24×7 always-on, reliable, redundant, resilient, secure, sustainable, and affordable

  • SmartEnergy — from clean generation to SmartGrid/Microgrid Distribution 
  • Telecommunications — fiber and mobile/wireless networks, internet 
  • Data Centers — from highly efficient, modern IoT Edge micro data centers to hyperscale cloud facilities

Compute, Network, Cloud Architectures

high-speed, low-power edge compute, network and cloud servers, as well as modern agile software development and devops methodologies

Applications Software Tools and Platforms

for developing and managing Digital Transformation Projects for SmartNations projects

Areas to be examined and covered by sustainable SmartNations

  • Utilities — Power, Water and Waste Management 
  • De-Carbonization, Air and Outdoor Environmental Quality — improvement and regulatory protection
  • Transportation — intermodal,  including traffic control systems
  • Public Safety, Security — police, fire, emergency medical
  • Citizenship — engagement, interaction, self-service


Web and cloud-based subscription tools and project management platforms designed to enable the expert management of SmartCities initiatives inclusive of, but not limited to, the following Digital Transformation technologies:

  • Internet of Things and the Industrial IoT
  • Artificial Intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) 
  • Big data analytics/predictives
  • Cloud performance management
  • Mobile/wireless devices
  • Sensors, monitors, video capture
  • Augmented, virtual and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR)
  • FinTech, mobile payments
  • Mobility Autonomous transportation, intermodal, private and public
  • 3D Print/additive manufacture
  • Blockchain in support of secure SmartCities networks
  • Open-Source development methodologies that are highly integratable, interoperable and transportable

Within the context of Societes 4.0, SNF also covers topics such as:

  • Circular Economy
  • Blue Economy
  • Smart Agriculture
  • Smart Public Arts, Culture, Entertainment, Visitor Services 

Sources of Funding

SNF will generate non-profit funding through:

  • Network MembershipsIndividual, government agencies and NGOs. Regional, National, International
  • Corporate Events and Media Sponsorship
  • Corporate and Government Grants to SNF
  • Impact Investing in individual SNF Project Development opportunities 

the working team

André Eidskrem

Bruce Taylor

Dan Scarbrough

Micheline Erika Birkhead

Nancy Dyste Christiano

Karen Floyd

Roger Strukhoff

Fabienne Durand