[E100 Barcelona Alert #3] - Knowledge Cities Observatory (KC) -
4 Dialogue Themes

Dear E100:
En route to Barcelona...
Some of you may have taken the time to review the preliminary program. Those who have not, PLEASE click HERE for the latest version!

What may not yet be clear is the innovative initiative to establish a Knowledge Cities Observatory (KCO). It was referenced in a previous E100 Alert (click here). In fact, if you haven't been keeping track of these E100 Alerts, they are available on our website - www.entovation.com/mailing/index.htm! The ENTOVATION Group/Alliance (EG/A) has decided to fully investigate this phenomenon by founding a Knowledge Cities Observatory (KCO) in consort with the plans of the 4th International E100 Roundtable in Barcelona November 13-17th.

There is more information forthcoming; but I would highly recommend that you view the Four (4) Dialogue Themes (below) that have been outlined for the agenda. We have a real opportunity now to help shape some of the thinking of the numerous initiatives currently underway around the world. Is your own city involved in such an initiative to take advantage of the Knowledge Economy from a knowledge or an innovation perspective...or both? Already others have begun to recruit their mayors and key officials of their planning commissions to be in attendance. What about you?

Here is an opportunity to co-evolve - or 'entovate' - a program that could provide sustainable advantage for your town, region or nation. To initiate the conversation, 4 dialogue themes have been outlined and each theme has some dialogue facilitators to coach the process in Barcelona and thereafter:

  • Theme I: The Capital Cities Framework
  • Theme II: The City Innovation SuperHighway
  • Theme III: Community Building Indicators
  • Theme IV: Innovation Engines

Theme I: The Capital Cities Framework - F. Javier Carrillo

Is there a way to architect knowledge development strategies based upon cross-disciplinary research findings?

CAPITAL CITIES© is a framework for the analysis, design, implementation and assessment of Knowledge-based Development Policies for human communities. It draws on Urban Studies and Urban Planning on the one hand, and Knowledge Management on the other, to build a distinctive analytical platform: evolutionary value systems.
This platform allows for a deconstruction of the modern concept of city on the light of Anthropology, Economics and Evolutionary Psychology and reconstructs it as a system of knowledge capitals or value system underlying each urban configuration and character. The evolutionary set of dimensions, generic system of capitals and resulting set of indicators of Capital Cities allow the understanding of each city as a working value collective, as well as the operationalization of policies and development plans into scorecard, accountability and benchmarking instruments.

The received view of the Industrial mega-city, which still pervades most urban projections, is no longer sustainable. Cities continuing along that path are only postponing their environmental, social and economic collapse. The main strength of the Capital Cities method is not merely to improve cities based on what they have been or what they currently are, but helping each human collective to fundamentally revalue its potential through the radical paradigms of urban minimalism, urban essentialism and urban virtuality, for all of which there are already examples of successful practices.

Theme II: The City Innovation SuperHighway - Debra M. Amidon and Bryan Davis

How can we learn from the worldwide initiatives to ensure our investments are positioned for sustained leadership?
In societal, regional, national and enterprise initiatives, the objective is universal - discover useful information (i.e., knowledge) and disseminate (i.e., creation and diffusion) via the network (i.e., facilities and services). This highway is an active mechanism to ensure the movement of knowledge from the point of origin to the point of use. It is a highway connecting nodes - within the Knowledge Zone® - that is dependent on the intellectual and social - albeit virtual - connections among people as it is the sophistication of a technology infrastructure. As the knowledge-based economy expands, stakeholders are finding this to be an appealing transformational pathway to a prosperous, diversified, and abundant future. Knowledge cities, for example, when developed intelligently and in harmony with the natural environment, have the potential to provide for the well being of stakeholders, bringing prosperity, safety, and a high quality of life for citizens.

This explosion of cross-boundary Internet activities creates a modern city management landscape that defies traditional geographical limits. It creates a highway of networked knowledge operating in the best interest of our common good, but not at the expense of individual development. Imagine what might be possible if the 'architects' envisioned their portals as vehicles for innovation - stimulating the development of new knowledge and moving it real-time to the point of opportunity or need?

Enabled by the most sophisticated technology and carefully developed by professionals from various industries and regions of the world, this highway of the 'best' knowledge of the world is being made accessible to all. These initiatives - viewed collectively - are living examples of our expanding global interdependence. At last, a common language and shared vision is emerging.

Theme III: Community Building Indicators - Angel Arbonies

What are the modern performance measures that value the intangible/intellectual development strategies?
To understand economic growth and to design city development policies we need to take the analysis to the level of companies, organizations and people, where life occurs, where individuals and firms live, learn, decide, behave in a certain way, sometimes innovative, creating spirals of virtuosity, or on the contrary failing to do so.

The key to the understanding of changes in ideas is to be found in the changing social background, mainly in the fate of the social groups or classes, which are the 'carriers' of these styles of thought. To achieve innovation beyond the regeneration of industrialized areas, technological parks or architectural design, the main challenge of a city council is to build a community of communities as the essence of its governance. This is in the very nature of the "polis" because individuals make meaning of information and convert it into action from ideas nurtured in communities. New think tanks and emerging communities in a city are groups of people that receive institutional recognition to search for new knowledge.

For changing some trajectories and to increase innovation, cities need to have new points of observation and need to change some routines based on their history, to create positive new conditions that will emerge from local and indigenous culture. New indicators for progress can be the playground for reflection and action. Recognizing that counting is not an innocent activity we propose a new set of indicators to monitor the interactions as the base of knowledge flows those measuring the building of communities that arise from these interactions including factors like the conjunction of different disciplines, the community institutionalization of these new communities and their contribution to the progress of the city.

Theme IV: Innovation Engines - Edna Pasher and Ron Dvir

How can innovation strategies take advantage of the opportunities afforded an Knowledge Economy?

In recent years there has been an intensive research about the conditions that enable and catalyze knowledge development and innovation in the business world. At the same time, practitioners are experimenting with related concepts, methods and tools aimed at creating "Innovation Enabling Climates" in their organizations. Thee are composed of several dimensions, such as the physical space, the time space, the virtual space, the cultural space, the financial space and the human space.

A new focus area in the research of knowledge development is the role of the city as a hub for intensive flows and exchanges of knowledge between its habitants and additional actors. We suggest weaving the learning from the business and urban worlds by applying the dimensions of innovation ecology models to knowledge cities. More specifically, we look at multiple traditional urban constructs, and show how they might (and sometimes have been for many years) significant drivers for creativity and renewal. Innovation is the process of turning knowledge and ideas into value.

An "Urban Innovation Engine" is a system that can trigger, generate, foster and catalyze innovation in the city. Typically, it is a complex system that includes people, relationships, values, processes, tools and technological, physical and financial infrastructure and one possible unifying principle behind the dimensions of innovation ecology as well as innovation engines. Some examples of Urban institutions that can be turned into Innovation Engines: the Art (or Science) Museum, the Library, the Stock Exchange, the Café, the Brownfield, the Grand Fair, the Outlook Tower, the Industrial District, the Town Hall, the Piazza, the University and the Kindergarten.

And so, plan to be with us in Barcelona for this unique and seminal series of events. Our collaborative learning will set the stage for a new generation of initiatives in developing, transitional and industrialized regions of the world.

And it is only the beginning...


P.S. Quote provided by E100 John Maloney, Founder, KM Cluster

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
--Margaret Mead


Debra M. Amidon
Founder and CEO
ENTOVATION International Ltd.
2 Reading Avenue, Suite 300
Wilmington, MA 01887 USA
T: 978/988-7995
F: 978/863-0124
E-mail: debra@entovation.com
URL: http://www.entovation.com

"Innovating our future...together."

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