S02E02: Re-Imagining Governance

In episode 2, we focus on re-inventing governance for urban ecosystems of the 21st century through the cities of Rotterdam and Mumbai.Bas Boorsma speaks about our undergoing a transition - from the hollowing out of the middle class to a complex digital transformation that is creating new employment opportunities, and eliminating old ones. The transition is also about actively engaging, preparing and motivating citizens from diverse backgrounds. We discuss what types of structures and policies enable regeneration and inclusivity. Streamlining and collaboration within government are needed, but so is partnership with broader society. Power should be devolved as close as possible to city residents, as long as it comes with the capacity and funding for it to be effective. Even where power is fractured across different levels of government, as is the case of Mumbai, democratic legitimacy should come through a bottom-up citizen participatory approach commingled with more traditional top-down instruments. Design-led technology can contribute to this.The Covid-19 pandemic has made the government - and the middle classes - realise “the city works on the shoulders of migrants”, to quote Dr Anita Patil-Deshmukh. Shocks such as this may impact policy. More generally, though, we must be more nimble. While self-governance has a role, start-ups and scale-ups on the ground hold important insights. Regulators can support innovators while protecting what is best and fairest for society at large.  “Agile is one of those magic ingredients for preparing our cities for our next phase of transition and success,” says Bas.Resources:https://decidim.org/ - free open-source participatory democracy platform for cities and organizationshttp://pukar.org.in/Speakers:Bas Boorsma, Chief Digital Officer,  City of RotterdamDr Anita Patil-Deshmukh, Executive Director, PUKAR: Youth & Urban Knowledge, Urbanism, Research Programme, Barefoot Researchers

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The world needs to shift to a new paradigm, but what is stopping us and how can we do this? In 2015, 193 world leaders signed up to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to achieve a more prosperous, peaceful, and sustainable world by the year 2030. We have the technology, we have the people and if we have the money but can we make this target? Romi Sumaria and Aarti Shah explore some of the biggest challenges that we face to meet these goals, share the real stories of what is being done on the ground and speak to inspiring individuals and organisations that are leading the way in delivering impact.