Studio explores ideas for successful cities

communities / Article


Photo credit: Flickr user Norio NAKAYAMA

One hundred civic innovators from across the country are gathering in Miami through Wednesday to tackle some of the thorniest questions on the future of cities.

How might we advance opportunity by economically integrating neighborhoods in the next five years? How might we harness talent as the definition of work becomes increasingly fluid? How might we make robust acts of citizenship normal in our cities?

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These are some of the questions the Civic Innovation in Action Studio will address. No one really has answers. That we know because we’ve talked to the best minds in the country. But there are plenty of clues on where we might start to experiment.  

That’s the purpose of the studio — to consider the research, bring a lot of wisdom and practical experience into the room, suspend judgment about our limitations, and design new approaches to test in Knight communities.

For many of us, the studio will be a reunion of sorts.  We follow each other on social media. Our paths have crossed over the years at multiple conferences. A few of us have even worked together on rare occasions. But a gathering of this particular mix of colleagues in this unusual setting with this daunting task, that’s a first for all of us.

We have two days of hard work ahead. Guided by our facilitators from Stanford d.school and IA Collaborative, by Tuesday afternoon participants will have captured 75 new ideas and by midday Wednesday, we expect to have 15 of those built out and polished. In between, there will be a little fun, including drumming, hand massages, and a lot of conversation.

We’ll be blogging here from the studio. And we’ll be tweeting the proceedings at #knightcities.

In the meantime, you can read the research that we are using to ground the ideation. And if you have ideas to share, please do so as you follow us on Twitter @knightfdn and at #knightcities.

Carol Coletta is vice president of community and national initiatives at Knight Foundation. 

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