On the edge of transformative innovation and renewed creativity.

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A city is a continuously adapting complex network. This kind of network has been shown to be very resilient to network fault. It connects people in surprising ways, allowing for dissemination of information and influence through countless links. It’s a decentralized, living organism where each person is -more or less- free to change role, activity, occupation and domestic state. For the most part, it adapts to changing times well, through the millions of decisions taken by its citizens every day. There is no central management (regardless of what its governmental organization may think), no ‘strategic planning session’. No ‘chain of…

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Please let it be so.

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Our dilemma is that we live in a finite world, but behave as if it were inexhaustible. For a long time we have ignored the impacts of technological and social- economic progress, concealed the consequences of constant growth, followed the instruction multiply and subdue the Earth,  put ‘having’ before ‘being’,  and kept thinking as if there were still as few people on earth as there were 200 years ago. In the meanwhile we are facing the Herculean task,  to satisfy the basic needs of soon 10 billion people worldwide and  at the same time to respect the ecological boundaries of our planet. The…

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Working Together

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A serious obstacle to evolutionary theory is the interdependent relationships between living things, called symbiosis, in which completely different forms of life depend on each other to exist. Darwin’s theory of biological change was based on competition, or survival of the fittest, among the individuals making up a species. He admitted: ‘If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection’.

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Onrustig

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ONZE ONRUST OVER ‘DE STAD’ . ‘Wij’ zijn een netwerk van wetenschappers, bedrijven, dwarsdenker ….. etc. Steden en metropolitane gebieden worden steeds belangrijker voor het functioneren van de samenleving in een steeds complexere wereld. Deze stedelijke omgevingen zijn nu veelzijdiger, dynamischer, meer verbonden en minder voorspelbaar dan in het verleden. En de complexiteit neemt alleen maar toe.

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The near future…. are we in control?

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The increasing robotization and intelligence of objects is leading to a seamless presence in our everyday life. The Internet of (every)thing is on us and it is growing in our homes, in our cities, at the office….. The sheer number and variety of intelligent/robotized objects will seamlessly morph into a fabric of connected objects out of which an overall behavior will arise. We are part of this evolving ambient and we are interacting with both intelligent/ robotized objects and with the cyberspace. We are a component of this ambient, we live in symbiosis with it and soon enough intelligent systems…

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The future …. coming soon

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The future is approaching much faster than we realize. The most spectacular manifestation of an accelerating trend is when its progression becomes exponential or more. An exponential progression is clearly unsustainable in the real world reaching very quickly a collapse point of the underlying process. In case of accelerating technological development, the collapse point is generally identified with the so called Singularity, caused by the rise of self-improving Artificial Intelligence.

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It is bad enough as it is, but are we not just treating the symptoms …

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The massive transformation enacted by humanity is also why our geological era, which is akin to the operating system on which the living world depends, recently had its name updated to the anthropocene – the age of humanity. So what is the path forward? The necessary solutions for ensuring that our children enjoy healthy and abundant natural habitats are not simple. But one thing is certain. For humanity to head in the right direction, we must take a closer look at what is around us. We cannot count on the blind leading the blind.

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Intelligent Life

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With networks, we can organize and integrate information at different levels. On a biological level, our bodies are made up of many networks that are integrated at and communicating on multiple scales. From our genome to the molecules and cells that makeup the organs in our bodies all the way out to ourselves in our world: we are fundamentally a network of networks. Living organisms are, in essence, complex systems which process information using a combination of hardware and software. Over time, people figured this out and started to use natural systems as inspiration for efficient solutions. If we listen to…

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Understanding our cities: a fusion of complex system science and AI.

By | Algemeen | 7 Comments

The fascinating thing about cities is that different aspects of them allow us to think about them in many different ways. At the level of urban infrastructure, cities certainly have features of machines, with vast constructed networks involved in transporting people, water, electricity, and waste. At the level of the economy, cities resemble complex ecosystems, with companies and individuals filling specific niches and all living and working in a symbiotic dance. And at the level of growth and change, cities also feel like living, breathing, constantly growing and changing organisms.

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We have a once-in-our-lifetime opportunity

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The Holocene epoch of the last 10,000 years or so is defined by highly unusual stability in the Earth system. In particular, the climate system shows little variability compared to the preceding late Pleistocene. The Holocene is now giving way to the Anthropocene, in which human influences introduce instability in the Earth system of a degree unprecedented in human history – but common in geological time. The consequences for all political institutions, not just those parts of government normally classified as environmental, are profound.

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