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Robotlove opens today as a 10 week event that questions our relationship with robots in general and opens up the dialogue on our dependence on technology. Are we being run by robots or are they there to helps us live a better life?
This is a fundamental discussion that also concerns us at City of Tomorrow while we consider our integral human resilience or lack thereof as we use systems to serve and destroy us. In essence our transformative initiatives hook on well with this. For instance the issue of food and our dependence of the economic system to access our primary needs. FRE2SH is our city farm initiative that unites about 30 different companies, production, food innovation, research, food processing, restaurants, etc into one food resilience circular eco-system. It is not a surprise that RobotLove decided to work with us for the catering of 400 volunteers as crew and 90.000 expected visitors.
We prepared salades, wraps, mexican tortillas, sweets and even city brewed special beers for the event. We also registered volunteers through our COS3I social inclusion activities. Sustainocracy is not just a theory, it is put into practice as well. We are one big new world family!
In Eindhoven, between september 15th 2018 and december 2nd, we expect up to 50.000 visitors to the exposition and open debat about robots in our human lives.
STIR Foundation (City of Tomorrow) has partnered with the Robot Love organisation with a variety of objectives:
- Contribute to the discussion from the Sustainocratic perspective of core natural and human values as well as the human complexity model,
- Use the impact of such a big event in the regional development plans of the local population,
- Assist with the food supply and catering through our FRE2SH city food production and partnership organization,
- Develop together the social inclusion and innovation potential of the event for people in process of re-integration, migration, expats and other COS3I target groups,
- Offer open podium to our School of Talents and international partners for participative learning activities and the organization of events of our own within the context of this platform
Eindhoven grew from a small rural town of 6000 citizens in 1850 into the world known vibrant multicultural community of over 220.000 today. Many people lived here for some time to study or work in one of the multinationals or local enterprises and have still memories or even family ties. Others consider moving to or visit Eindhoven, not just because of job opportunities but also because of the local focus on a healthy environment and intercultural interaction.
This global Eindhoven-minded community has now access to a unique series of stories that describe its culture and development over time, as described by the top historical story tellers resident in town while using original photographs.
On Sunday 17th the series is released and presented in the Expat Hub for our local international community. If you are living abroad and interested in the magazine and series (2 editions per year over 3 years) you can contact our partner Eindhoven News (email@example.com). The price is 5,95€ plus postal charges if we need to send it to you. This first edition describes all kinds of aspects of the development of Eindhoven over de the last 150 years such as Philips, DAF, the digging of channel, the anexation of villages, the care system, etc.
The second edition, due in October 2017, will deal with people, choices and the reaction to challenges that have been decisive for the city as it stands today.
The city of Eindhoven considers itself member of the global community. Nevertheless it is difficult for foreigners to integrate into the local Dutch society. To help them we develop various initiatives focused on showing them how much we value their presence and our interest to develop our future together. One of the initiatives is a magazine about the evolution of this town from small industrial provincial township into a community of global relevance.
The magazine will be released in September 2017 together with other retainers of foreign talents.
The evolution of society through Sustainocracy displayed at city hall Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week 2016
It may seem a paradox to show an emerging, new governance and societal interaction model in the midst of the 160 year old party political democratic system of the city hall of Eindhoven. But that is what evolution is all about. The symbolism of progress, even if the new replaces the old, simply because it is better suited to address the challenges of our era, is worth contemplating with joy and sense of opportunity and faith. Just look at the pictures below. On the wall we see the portraits of all mayors of the city of Eindhoven since 1850. They look over the exposition as a reflective token of the evolution of time, from the military uniforms of a non-disputable hierarchy, up to the new era, on a new wall, of the emerging participation society…..
Our demonstration was simple. A table at the center of the exposition remained empty, symbolizing the challenge of dealing with reality without prejudism, hierarchies, stacks of money or power positions. We place the core human and natural values on this table as defined in our new democracy referred to as Sustainocracy. Together with the four pillars of any society (government, citizens, scientific knowledge and innovative entrepreneurship) we look at our reality from a core values perspective and define our priorities for changes together. Visitors could experience such values driven interaction by simulating it using their own local priorities and issues of great concern.
Around the table, in the hall we then show some of the spin-offs of such innovative drive, each changing our society and its functioning while inspiring the world through its cocreative progession and measureable results. This was the layout of the central table and the surrounding spin offs.
During the 9 days of exposure we received over 1000 visitors from our own citizen’s collective and from many other local and international communities. These visitors from across the world joined our sustainocratic table and got inspired to take the ideas home with them. We organized a civilian participation debat in the council’s room. This also evolved with international presence (Spain, Turkey and Afganistan). Six points of attention were joinedly defined and drawn up as a manifest to our community level 4 leadership (awareness driven eco-system) to enhance our progress even further:
- Acknowlegde and value social entrepreneurship,
- Find ways to make the huge impact social entrepreneurship indexed and measureable,
- Engage citizens to the core values at city neighborhood level
- Dare to be ambitious when dealing with the core values. The silent majority needs to be considered in the progressive plans, not just the strongly heared conservative voices,
- Involve the younger generations through participative learning processes,
- Exchange inspiration, experiences and best practice among the other communities in the world which too are engaged in this evolutionary challenge…..
Many visitors reacted both suprised and committed: “It exists, you are showing it here in Eindhoven, so now we want this too!”
Dutch Design Week 2017 goes global. Contact me by reacting to this blog if you want to engage with Sustainocratic progress and join this week in october 2017 with innovative initiatives, seminar or congress participation, etc.
City of Tomorrow initiative AiREAS was analysed among the Smart City projects in Eindhoven and classified “peer 4” city development. Peer 4 is unique in the world and a major evolutionary accomplishment of both the city and AiREAS. But what are these layers of city development mentioned by the external analysts? And what does it mean for all involved?
City evolutionary steps:
Peer 1: basic infrastructures of the city
Peer 2: functional integration of infrastructures
Peer 3: intelligent interaction between the infrastructures (Smart City)
Peer 4: purpose driven multidisciplinary civilian cooperation with city executives (Eco-city)
There seems to be an important line drawn between peer 3 and 4. While peers 1, 2 and 3 are managed by the city executive through the establishment of a territorial hierarchy, peer 4 has totally different characteristics. Peer 4 involves core human values and value driven interaction with the city’s citizens in which there is no hierarchy anymore. Peer 1, 2 and 3 cities can be seen as destructive black holes that absorbe resources from their surroundings without any return. That is because the citizens and city both interact from a consumption point of view. Peer 4 suddenly transforms the black hole in a warm star that enlightens the surroundings with productivity and core values for life enhancement and wellness. City and citizens work together on those local core human values.
Eindhoven became a peer 4 pioneer with AiREAS (heathy city, healthy people, healthy air) as recognized spark into a new reality.
From an anthropology point of view I compare the city break through from peer 3 to 4 as a “second positive desintegration” at community level, proyecting on the “city’s awareness” the analogy of Kazimierz Dabrowski and the psyche of people. Also, if you like, the level 4 awareness based structuring applies, according MIT’s Sensing views (see below).
From black hole to star
Any city starts off as an unaware “foolish” conglomerate of people who, for what ever reason of submission, decide to group together under territorial command. Infrastructures are needed to host those people and create society of some sort. Time evolves and so does the city. The original submissive reasons for any person to come to the city transforms over time too. At one time the motivation was maybe the expected labor in town, now it may be housing, entertainment, care systems, shops and social securities. Many people don’t even decide to come to the city anymore, they are born there and for all they know it is the only reality that exists.
For many generations city governance, with submissive citizenship, was the norm. The city provides a promise of abundance at the expense of one’s human identity. The human being is simply “the consumer”. Nowadays cities cannot keep the promise of abundance. Huge global issues affect the local stability and sustainable progress. Abundance cannot be garanteed anymore even though it is democratically demanded by the citizens. The economic attractiveness and functioning of the city is questioned due to the shortages created by the conglomerate of cities themselves. The lack of productivity of the population makes any city into a massively destructive consumer of resources. Since 70% of the global population lives now in cities, and numbers grow every day, the destructive force of the cities can be seen as black holes that just take without giving anything back. It is not just the resources that are consumed that is devastating, the pollution generated by all cities together and the way countryside productivity has been adjusted to economic norms, produces a lethal natural unbalance.
Human awareness develops when people do things and subsequently enjoy the benefits or suffer the consequences of such actions. The interpretation of suffering develops our understanding of what we are (the “to be” part) through backward analysis.
We tend to mature in our understanding of life as we build up (painfull) experiences. At one point an awareness breakthrough is encountered. This is when our matured being starts to consciously determine what we do. We have learned so much about life’s mechanisms and essentials that we can anticipate and learn to create rather than destroy. This inner breakthrough is the one referred to by Dabrowski and a unique benefit of the human psyche. Unfortunately we have not yet based our executive leadership on these breakthroughs but gradually we will.
Peer 4 can be seen as a similar breakthrough but at city level. This is unprecedented in human history. It can be seen as a logical and evolutionary consequence of the times we live in and necessary for the survival of the human species. It is an inspiring act of group leadership that steps down from a hierarchical position to adopt a partnership role in a teritorial eco-system.
Eindhoven become powerfully aware of it vulnerability already in the 80’s when its major providers of employment (Philips and DAF) either went broke or moved their industrial processes to China. The pain of unemployment and corresponding social costs brought a severe crisis. It made the city reflect about its vulnerability out of dependence. This became the basis to convert into Smart City’s peer 3 with initiatives like Brainport. The city had become aware that it should remain productive even though this was translated primarily in product innovations for the global market. Triple helix is a typical peer 3 structure in which the three pillars for economic growth (government, education and business innovation) work together to optimize resources and results. Yet the triple helix is still focused on the world economic market of trade (to do). Brainport developed into a highly subsidized technology driven creative institute.
Eindhoven became the hotspot for creative product development but remained vulnerable in the economic context of demand and supply. Natural resources are increasingly being dealt with in a competitive manner as consumption peaks. Human consumption has its limits and inflation produces an enormous economic bubble that does not provide securities for all anymore. Poverty rises, migration starts and unbalance and insecurity becomes the standard. The city realizes at all levels (not just executive) that it needs to become much more self sufficient rather than competitive or consumptive. The main resources of the city are not its way to deal with economic growth but its talent to produce its own wellness. This understanding is a major breakthrough. Balancing value driven creativity with economic drivers becomes the deeper understanding of the essentials of life. A totally new way of dealing with one’s surroundings appears as well as the way citizens are seen in the city’s context, and how citizens see their city. Both develop empathy towards eachother and the objectives the community faces. Everything (governance, business development, education, behavior) starts to resonate with the higher purpose of quality of life in harmony with the natural surroundings.
While previously the city’s citizen were mere consuming parasites now they become primary resources for wellness driven creativity and productivity. Everything one can produce together one does not have to buy. The city’s economy balances out because it gradually becomes self supportive and self aware rather than vulnerably dependent of outside resources that it cannot control. The city develops awareness of its own core needs and takes responsibility by facilitating rather than controlling citizen’s interaction and productivity. It is not the city’s executive that leads anymore, it is the common persuit for core values that does. Both the citizens and the executive interact and adjust to produce the best results together. The entire city dynamics transforms.
Obviously the underlying peer 1, 2 and 3 infrastructural resources are still needed but they also need adjustment to the ecosystem that develops in the city. The city becomes self aware, passionate and energetic, less dependent on resources from outside. An energetic turn around can be felt. People in Holland state often “it all happens in Eindhoven” as they sense the warm and positive vibes. Its own resources sustain the city now, applying awareness, knowledge and tools for sustainable progress through quality of life rather than just trade.
Peer 4 transforms the city also economically. Since local values are created by the citizens themselves a local value sharing system needs to be developed. Citizens are no taxable parasites anymore but cocreators of wellness. People from outside the community can interact with the abundance created inside the city through financial means but those local citizens who put energy into the cocreation should be able to share the benefits without having to pay for it. Taxation transforms from money (VAT) over consumption to a sharing system of creative input and output for the city’s self sustaining progress. Housing is key to keep the value driven citizens in the city as the city recognizes that without them it becomes vulnerable again. The citizens become more important than the real estate which becomes functional to productivity rather that consumption. Also issues like pension-schemes become obsolete because peer 4 value driven interaction and contributions are not age but awareness dependent. A new dynamic interaction develops in which the elderly contribute and share as much as the youngest. Regards are measured in tangible reciprocity, not money. The city becomes less dependent on economy and more on social interaction and harmony. The city executive transforms and becomes more like the spinal cord and stemholder of the community than its brain. The community itself becomes the brain as the city starts to behave like a living body, with all its senses and core value awareness. Peer 4 transforms the black hole into a shining star.
In AiREAS we have been able to create and sense the warmth of our own creative powers and it is great for the city and all involved to be recognized as such. Any city can cross the line to peer 4 and we are ready to share our experiences of the new era that presents itself as more and more “black holes” transform in stars. All our progress is being documented and published through open access briefs. We use the global publishing channels of Springer and New Horizon Research. If you follow this blog you will be kept updated too. Also the global AiREAS Blog will provide you the specifics on progress around healthy city from air quality perspective.
A new leadership perspective and perception appears. For a short time both coexist in tension but after some time the persuit for harmony will prevail growth.