Saturday, May 30, 2015

Innovating with Global Cities

For the past few days I've spent time viewing live stream, and archived, videos from the GlobalCities2015 Summit that took place in Chicago. I've posted one that focuses on the knowledge economy below. You can view it and others here. You can also connect with myself and others on Twitter using #globalcities2015.

Several of the panels talked about inequity, and poverty. I've not viewed them all yet, but of the ones I did view, I did not see anyone point to maps showing poverty zones in each of the big cities of the world. One conversation prompted me to look for a list showing the biggest population centers in the world, which you can find here. New York City is 8th on this list, with population of over 20 million. The Chicago region is 37th with population of 9.1 million.

This map shows big cities in the US. It's from the site. I posted the map here, in a story showing that the riots in Baltimore could be happening in many US cities.

To see a map showing the largest urban areas in the world, view this interactive map on the site, showing major urban areas throughout the world.

I've created graphics like this to illustrate the planning that needs to be done in Chicago, and every city in the world to reach youth and families in all high poverty areas with a wide range of age-appropriate programs, including jobs, that help kids born in high poverty today be in jobs raising families out of poverty 25 to 30 years from now. I've described a planning process that I think needs to be taking place in every one of these major cities, in this essay.

Here's another article I wrote, emphasizing that the huge size of big cities makes their problems more difficult to solve, while also making more resources available. I think this is true in cities all over the world, so I keep sharing my ideas with hopes of becoming part of big city idea sharing and planing networks.

The discussion of a knowledge economy means that the ideas from one city can be shared with every other city, stimulating constant improvement, rather than constant re-invention. Since there is so much information available from each city, I feel there's an important role for people who collect, organize and share information on specific topics of interest to many within a city, and to many in different cities. Below is a map of the library I've been building since the early 1990s.

One of the panels at GlobalCities2015 was titled "Inclusive Cities: Poverty, Youth, and Immigration". Since every major city in the world has areas of concentrated poverty, I think it would be valuable if there were people creating maps that not only show where poverty is concentrated, and other indicators of the negative impact of poverty, but also show locations of programs and services working to end poverty. I've been mapping locations of non-school, volunteer based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago since 1994, see program locator, with the goal of helping existing programs attract the talent, dollars, ideas, etc. that each needs to constantly improve, and to help leaders see where new programs are needed.

Just to see how important maps are to leaders in the Global Cities movement I did a Google search for Chicago forum on global cities 2015 then looked at the images associated with that search. Lots of high profile people. Few maps. If you search "tutor mentor" then look at the images, you'll see how maps and visualizations are a priority of mine. Fine tune both searches, by adding the word "map" to the search. Now you see more maps on the Global Cities search, and on the Tutor/Mentor search.

In a knowledge economy, anyone in the world can find and look at the ideas and visualizations I've posted, and use them in their own planning. In a networked knowledge economy, the link to my site would be on a web site in ever major city of the world, and in my web library I'd have links to hubs, like the Global Cities council, and others which enable people who visit my site to find others with far more information than I provide. In the future, a Google search for any global city map library should show a wide range of maps used for action planning and poverty/inequality reductions. This section of my library includes links to poverty and crime mapping sites. I consider my blogs part of my library, so posting links here is one way of sharing knowledge with others.

The timing of this year's Global Cities Summit coincides with the publication of Robert Putnam's book, titled Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. I wrote about the book in several blog articles this spring.

Others have been writing about inequity, too. Here's an article on the blog, titled "Inequality and social mobility: Be afraid". Here's another article, written by John Gomperts, President of the America's Promise Alliance. In talking about graduation rates, he fears this is leading us to "two societies". In the article he writes "The most important thing we could do to help the poor is to convince the rich that this problem is their problem."

This should be something groups of high profile people are talking about in every global city.

In a networked knowledge economy, we'd be talking about topics like this in MOOCs, social media, and face based events, and we'd be talking about ways to make this important to the wealthy in America, so a few of them would begin to devote their huge wealth to strategic, long-term solutions with action centers in every global city.

I'll end with this last graphic. When Thomas Edison was trying to invent a working light bulb, it's said he failed over 1000 times before finding something that worked. If he did not have a source of funding to pay his own bills, and pay for talented scientists and engineers to work in his lab, or reach out and borrow ideas from others, would he have made this discovery?

We not only need to convince a few wealthy patrons to devote their wealth to solving the problems that are common to cities across the world; we need to innovate ways to keep them involved, or recruit others to take their places in the future, so the work we do can be continuous and the knowledge we share can ultimately lead to better solutions.


Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Here's another article showing the growth of urban areas throughout the world.

Daniel Hester said...

I just passed this into a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that. global network

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Here's a 2016 article showing the rise of mega cities around the world.