Ars Electronica 2015

Future Innovators Summit

Within the framework of a cooperation between NetIdee and Ars Electronica 2015, I got invited to the Future Innovators Summit. In this program, several people with diverse backgrounds meet to discuss future problems and search for possible solutions.

This is done in intense workshops. This year, the task was to develop a PostCityKit: ideas, strategies, tools and prototypes to improve our cities.

Our group was a good mix and due to this quite interesting: Diego, an artist from Mexico; Kimi, a graphic designer from Japan; Maja an artist from Slovenia; Nadine from Germany; Pamela, a design and business anthropologist from the Philippines and me.

During two days we discussed about the cohabitation in future cities, which challenges and dangers we will face and what resilience we will need. I enjoyed it very much to see a confusing chaos of different ideas and ways of thinking that developed into quite a concrete solution: the PostCityBar.

postcity bar sketch by Diego
postcity bar sketch by Diego

Our answer to the types of resilience that we will need in the future is:

Human community as a resilience against economic, social and natural collapse.

What types of resilience do we need?
What types of resilience do we need?

Resilience describes the ability of a system to cope with change and to hold the system in a stable equilibrium. These changes can be of various types, for example a large-scale destruction due to an earthquake, changes of a political system or strong migration. We were searching for a solution, that works for all spatial and temporal scales and that doesn’t depend on any state of technological development. We found, that the most important point to cope with changes is the existence or the re-establishment of human communication.

The least common denominator that we found is the bar acting as a nucleus for human communication. For me, the bar stands for a place where people meet, start talking and share ideas.

The first re-establishment should always be based on a de-centralized human communication. Personal needs can be discussed and approaches to solving a problem can be found. This way, the reaction to changes is kept a grassroots development. Following, depending on the available technology, the communication to other PostCityBars can be established. This can be done either by physical connections like messengers or by telemetry (e.g. wireless mesh networks).

My notes about going from local systems to global interconnection.
My notes about going from local systems to global interconnection.

We opened our first PostCityBar at our final presentation. More impressions from the workshops can be found here: Future Innovators Summit (2015) on flickr.

The first postcity bar at our final presentation.
The first postcity bar at our final presentation.