TED awarded its annual prize this year to an idea rather than a person, and that idea is “City 2.0.” Now, they’ve announced the winner’s “wish.” Here it is, in all its lofty-worded glory:
I am the crucible of the future.
I am where humanity will either flourish or fade.
I am being built and rebuilt every day.
I am inevitable. But I am not yet determined.
I wish to be inclusive, innovative, healthy, soulful, thriving. But my potential can only be reached through you.
You can forge a new urban outlook. Begin by connecting. Imagine a platform that brings you together, locally and globally. Combine the reach of the cloud with the power of the crowd. Connect leaders, experts, companies, organizations and citizens. Share your tools, data, designs, successes, and ideas. Turn them into action.
Together you can:
- Bridge the gap between poor and rich communities.
- Spectacularly reduce your carbon footprint.
- Make nature part of daily life.
- Empower entrepreneurship.
- Re-imagine education.
- Nurture health.
I am the City 2.0. Dream me. Build me. Make me real.
Whew! What a lot of indistinct goals. But it does provide some roadmap for areas that city innovation can help improve society. I’m very glad education made the bullet list: It’s an area where there is so much discussion about state v. federal control, but it’s cities that make real on-the-ground breakthroughs. TED has put together a new website—www.thecity2.org—where people can share ideas and tag their location, to encourage collaboration. Pretty neat. I tried to register for the site, but got this message: “Due to a high volume of submissions, we are experiencing technical difficulties.” So, that’s good news: Lots of people want to help our cities create future. I encourage you to check out the project.