Cities, Climate Change, Technology

I recently spoke at this year’s Change the World Conference in London. There were some extraordinary presentations, which galloped from neural implants, robotic brains, and epigenetics, to human-centred geolocation and emerging strategies for renewable energy storage.

My presentation focused on the disruptive effects on the evolution of cities and tried to address three basic questions:

  • How are cities changing in this extraordinary age?
  • Will cities find new ways to make themselves relevant?
  • Can we apply new strategies not only to cities but also to ourselves?

Urban agglomeration, climate change, and machine-learning technology are the three major emerging disrupters. More than any others, these three are concentrating and redistributing innovation and capital in ways that create the most important challenges and opportunities for the way we live.

Are cities getting too big a share of economic spoils, with traditional labour in the hinterlands lagging behind? Do the changes make us feel helpless? (Are we needed?) Do we lash out politically (and geographically) when we try to deny our helplessness?

How we work and how we live may be fundamentally changing, but cities remain the most amazing and positive creation of our species. We are entering an extraordinary age of hyper-connected cities. By connecting ever more directly with each other, cities allow us to best embrace change by giving us the networks to make ourselves more useful and relevant to others.

View my presentation here.

Originally published Dec 2, 2016

Author: Chris Choa