We will Build It – Future of Cities Forum in Ottawa

CityInclusive team attended Future of Cities Forum that was held on Feb 23-24, 2018 in Ottawa, organized by Impact Hub Ottawa and Artengine.

The CityInclusive team members were recently among 60+ young leaders from Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal taking part in the Future of Cities Forum gathering which took place on Feb 23-24 in the nation’s capital. The event was also an opportunity to launch the (beta) version of our digital platform and activate our social media accounts (T: @city_inclusive and F: /cityinclusive).

The event’s co-organizers, Impact Hub Ottawa and Artengine, brought together some of the most passionate young voices with a stake in the future of Canadian communities. The level of excitement and concern about tech-enabled solutions to city issues were palpable and shared by all. We took part in breakout discussion with critics of Toronto’s Alphabet’s Sidewalk project, community activists calling for a values-based discussion about the future, and legal scholars sounding the alarm about the use of data by companies and government, among others. We listened to keynote speakers who are science fiction writers asking the questions about humanity in “future cities,” and advisers to tech companies making forays into the Smart City sector.

A stand-out highlight from the event was taking part in an interactive exercise envisioning the future of cities in Canada. We relied on an innovative Canadian-made board game, Impact, which challenged us to think creatively about innovation and its impact on society. Some of the best ideas, as voted by the group, can be seen below.

The excitement of youth involvement in discussion about the future of our communities comes on the heels of widespread youth mobilization on the issue of gun-violence in the United States. It is a testament that we, as millennials, can and will make a difference to take down what is old and oppressive, advance what is good, and change what is not working in our schools, workplaces and in our cities.

We accept the challenge posed by an author and high-school teacher in a recent NYTimes op-ed calling on our generation to “... rid the world of all our outmoded opinions, vestigial prejudices and rotten institutions.” Let’s start this revolution in our cities!

Photo Credit: Chris Snow