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John Tolva

John Tolva is a co-founder of CityFi, an urban change management consultancy enabling smart, sustainable cities through innovative public-private partnerships, triple bottom line policymaking, and human-centric technology.

John leads the non-profit Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, a collaboration between Colorado municipalities, private sector companies, and academia to develop, pilot, and test solutions to urban challenges. John teaches a graduate course about the intersection of urban technology and policy at the School of Public Affairs for the University of Colorado.

Formerly John was the president of PositivEnergy Practice, a systems engineering firm based on data-driven planning for new building design, retrofits, and urban design. From 2011 to 2013 John was Chief Technology Officer for the City of Chicago, leveraging technology to streamline public services through more efficient data-sharing, digital communications, and next- generation infrastructure. He led the development of the City of Chicago Technology Plan, an initiative that sets forth a series of public- private strategies to accelerate economic growth, build educated and digitally-engaged communities and workforce, improve government services, and reduce costs through technology.

In 2012, the White House recognized John as a Champion of Change as part of a group of creative individuals engaged in building stronger communities through innovative approaches to problem-solving. Prior to joining the City of Chicago, he was Director of Citizenship and Technology at IBM Corp, where he worked on the firm’s Smarter Cities initiative, advising cities how to incorporate data analytics into planning and operations. John led the City Forward project, the first global aggregator and visualizer of urban data sets.