NSL Blog

Upgrading cities through social capital

April 12, 2013

Paul Ricoeur argued that our ability to be reliable and accountable to ourselves and to others requires us to feel needed, understood and included. This implicit bonding of I and We is so fundamental to our existence that it simply cannot be ignored. It must be embraced, and embedded into a way of doing things that enables us all to exist as fully formed individuals, coherent as a collective entity.

Humanity is a meaning making collaborative species. Here is a short video that explains that within the context of the city of Seattle. Principle 4 of No No Straight Lines is participatory cultures and tools – it is a powerful design capability. Let’s explore new participatory, open structures for learning, journalism, arts and culture, community and civic endeavours, voluntarism and more.  Let’s challenge government to re-imagine its services to make them more citizen-friendly and accountable. Let’s seek to make the public sector information controlled by museums, universities, archives and other public institutions more accessible to all. The defining challenge of the 21st century, says Jeffrey Sachs in Commonwealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, ‘will be to face the reality that humanity shares a common fate on a crowded planet’.

Campbell: Cities are built on social capital from FreedomLab on Vimeo.

If you want to journey further

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