Knowledge Economy and Cognitive Cities

February 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

metropolis-1 gran

(c) Jordi Sábat

In the magazine Barcelona Metropolis, P. Monràs writes about the knowledge economy and cognitive cities. Monràs writes:

La economía del conocimiento no es otra economía, sino la que añade máximo valor a todo lo que hay, mediante el aprovechamiento de la materia prima más extendida, la del propio cerebro con todas sus propiedades. (Barcelona, ¿ciudad del conocimiento?)
-The knowledge economy is not other than that one which adds the maximum value to everything that is there, through the use of the most widely available raw material, the brain it self with all its properties- (translation)

Written by Pere Monràs. Vice president of the Fundació Cercle per al Coneixement. President of Hèlix, SL

A cognitive city will foster individual talents, nurture a ground for creativity and facilitate connectivity and sharing. But as Monràs describes, we need to stop thinking from the ‘Object’ position to start thinking from the ‘Subject’ position. On TED’s talk “Squatter Cities” Stewart Brand shows how there (in the squatter cities) its citizens have an active role in shaping their environment. They are the ‘subject’. As there is nobody to solve their problems, they can afford to simply be an object.  There it citizens have to take the action. They are still regarded as humans with resources, and not simply human resources.

One of the biggest challenges we are facing is the change in paradigm. We still trying to solve problems of the 21st century with 20 century models. Many are still thinking in how to adapt business, education and politics to the current demand, without realizing that the demand has change completely. What was a solution before, it is not longer applicable.  Pere Monràs describes it like this -The best company building carriages broke down because they were the best building carriages and not transporting people- (translation from article).  This happened at the beginning of the industrial revolution, but still today the best companies making cars might also broke down, the same that the best music producers are struggling. Their focus is not ‘Be the best transporting people’ or ‘Be the best creating and facilitating music’. It is not about to change a part, it is about to change the whole, it is about a change of mind. A new state of mind which realizes the challenges we face, the opportunities that have emerge and the  tools we have.

Decimos que tenemos un reto delante, poco hablado y menos comprendido, a enorme distancia todavía de los comportamientos necesarios. Requiere un reconocimiento del nuevo paradigma en el sentir, en el pensar y en el hacer. (Barcelona, ¿ciudad del conocimiento?)
-We say that we face a challenge. Over which little has been spoken, and even less understood, still far away from the necessary mind sets. It requires acknowledgement of the new paradigm in the way we feel, think and do- (Translation).

To Feel through our I; to Think without dividing sciences between different knowledges; to Do collaborating with others so that we all win. Acting together without waiting for a ‘savior’ but aspiring towards a transformation of each individual being, and of the community as a whole.


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