If ever there was a deadline for collaboration - this is it
Posted by Janice Scheckter on 06 April 2016 5:05 PM CAT
I recently completed reading my friend Justice Malala’s book; We have now begun our descent. The book was actually gifted to my mother for her 90th birthday, and I would highly recommend that every concerned citizen who is determined that our future be brighter than our present, reads the book. I went through a range of emotions, mainly anger and some sadness, but without a doubt, Justice’s book makes the strongest case for collaboration.
This is not intended as a book review. I am far more motivated to ‘milk’ every noted aspect of national decay to drive South Africans to engage in our country. In the book I was reminded how under Jacob Zuma, we have not created jobs, we have not delivered services, we have bloated our inefficient public sector, but maybe most importantly we have denied our people a good education. To continue on a path of despair and complaining disbelief, is as constructive as p&%@ing against the wind.
Those who follow my ramblings are aware of our drive to build strong collaborative cities. We firmly believe that the solution lies in citizens collaborating within their locale. How do we as cities drive entrepreneurships, promote existing SMMEs, and engage in our kids’ schools to ensure excellence and more?
In an article, Clever Cities Collaboration, CEO of the Compact of Mayors of Denmark, Jesper Nygård explains how cities, big or small, can learn from each other – if they are brave enough to collaborate. “In a partnership with the Danish Nature Agency and the Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities, we’ve mobilised the necessary funding and brought four municipalities, utility companies, engineers, architects and urban planners together in climate adaptation projects that are better and cheaper than what they could have achieved on their own. The projects do not just make the four cities more resilient – they also serve recreational purposes that make the cities more joyful to live in.”
Aaah joyful cities to live in! Could we ever claim that? If we look at some of the historic difficult cities such as Newark, the more recent financial woes of Detroit and what those cities are achieving today, we have to believe that as citizens, collaborating with our neighbours, with business, with civil society and with local government where positive spaces rather than barriers are created, we have a great shot at ‘joyful’.
Janice Scheckter is MD and co-founder of Indigo New Media, and a collaboration activist.