Katja Schechtner is an urban scientist who develops new technologies and shapes innovative policies to keep cities on the move.
In her research she currently focuses on a reassessment of the position of nature within urban governance processes, by exploring the concept of nature as a rights holder rather than a "managed resource” with MIT LCAU and dieAngewandte and at the same time, she tackles questions of urban policymaking with a particular emphasis on understanding the human perception of - and interaction with - the built environment with MIT senseable city lab.
Previously, she negotiated international technology and innovation policy at OECD in France, led transport technology programs at the Asian Development Bank in the Philippines, advised the Inter-American Development Bank in Costa Rica and Argentina, as well as the EU Commission on Smart City strategy, and headed an applied research lab for mobility at the Austrian Institute of Technology - all the while holding visiting professorships, research fellowships and lecturer positions globally, e.g. at MIT Media Lab, Paris-Saclay, dieAngewandte, TU Vienna, or HDM Stuttgart.
Katja has published widely, both in scientific journals and the popular press, in the US, Asia, and Europe. This includes two books: “Accountability Technologies – Tools for Asking Hard Questions” and “Inscribing a Square – Urban Data as Public Space” together with Dietmar Offenhuber. Her work has been exhibited globally, including at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Seoul Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism, MAK, and ars electronica. Her current exhibition and latest book: "Frauen Bauen Stadt - The City Through a Female Lens" together with Wojciech Czaja has been featured in international media, from Al Jazeera to El Pais, Fuji TV to Le Monde, and is currently travelling internationally with the next stop being Shenzhen, China in fall 2022.
She also serves on the advisory board of several tech start-ups and has been appointed to the supervisory boards of Austrian National Bank's new fintech subsidiary OeNPAY, as well as of AIT, Austria's largest RTO, where she started her research career in 2001.
With homes in Vienna, Manila, Paris, and Boston, Katja is a global urban nomad bringing together people and bridging cultures - in science, arts, and finance.