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Throwing cities into the mix August 28, 2008

Posted by Kevupnorth in strategy.
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This blog’s strap line is “community through technology and media”. I believe quite strongly that community can be achieved through collaboration and that learning and, specifically learning technology, is central to that collaboration.

It’s because of this that I was very excited to see “Remixing Cities” by Charles Leadbeater (found through Ewan McIntosh). In it he puts the case for City 2.0 in a very concise and effective way, with some really good analogies and visuals. Importantly, he also puts learning at the heart of this strategy.

I won’t go into too much detail, as it’s a easy and straight to the point read, but the key quote for me has to be: “Do not treat innovation like a vitamin supplement – the goal is to change the diet.” This is something that many learning and local government strategists should bare in mind – we’re looking at a fundamental shift in model of delivery, not technology as an addition to the existing model.

The other point of note is a phrase right at the start. Charles points out that city leaders need to “stimulate collective innovation” which they can “neither instruct nor control”. This is the bit most likely to stick in the throat of many local government strategists. However, this is the trend that is now developing. With a clear focus, strategists can prepare to be what Remixing calls “The soap in the washing machine”. The small, but vital ingredient in the whole mix of common services, places and people that we call community.

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