Living in the Era of Winner Take All Urbanism

The underlying crisis of our era stares us in the face. It is so simple that it is hard to see.

We live in an era that values knowledge acquisition above all else. And not all of us are capable of thriving in that activity.

For this simple reason, we see a growing divide between haves and have nots. Richard Florida calls it an urban crisis. I think it is more than that. It is a global crisis.

If this is true, the great question confronting us is how to build that capacity so that knowledge acquisition is more evenly distributed.  We know a few things about this already.

  • Knowledge acquisition has been a top down affair. In the future, it needs to become more bottom up
  • building this capacity is not about nurturing individual genius as much as it is about facilitating knowledge exchanges
  • the value of knowledge should be measured more broadly than whether it directly translates into a good or service

There is plenty more to learn. And if we can master these ideas, we can promote a global renaissance.


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