Magnitude  2010:  
  Open  Innovation  Festival  2010             Op  

Rebuilding  the  Future,  by  restoring  the  Past  
Gaby  Sadowski,  Eindhoven,  the  Netherlands  

 

Open  Innovation  Festival  Worldwide  2010  /  Magnitude  2010  
The world is changing dramatically Increasingly we have new tools at our disposal that allow us to improve our work, our governmental organizations and our lives. In 2009, the five-day Open Innovation Festival organized by the city of Amsterdam showed that we have the expertise as well as the technique to improve our neighborhoods and your cities. However, it is essential to acknowledge the possibilities we have at hand. We have to open up ourselves in order to open up our society. Furthermore, we have to invest in our personal skills. If we start using all available expertise, ideas and creative talent, within and outside our organizations, we can accomplish the fundamental changes our society needs. Sometimes, people need help. The Open Innovation Festival (OIF) shows that numerous people are ready and willing to help if necessary. OIF shows that it is possible to create an unimaginable amount of value and positive energy without thinking in terms of finance. Combining the available creativity, enthusiasm and knowledge can lead to results once considered impossible. In 2010, the Open Innovation Festival will be launched worldwide (November 29 - December 3, 2010). We ask citizens, organizational institution and companies to join forces and make innovation happen in this week. The sky is the limit, or maybe even beyond. In different countries all over the world festivals will be hosted. The program of the festival will be put together by different cities themselves. These city festivals will put emphasis on the strengths and identity of the city, based on different kind of workshops; sessions, exhibitions, showcases, discussions, networking events etc can be expected. The cities will be connected through live-stream connections. One of the main themes of the festival will be co-creation/crowd-sourcing: How can citizens, companies and government join forces in order to meet the challenges in for instance Safety, Mobility, Well-being, Environment, and Einclusion in our cities? How can innovation help to transform challenges into solutions?

Aim of this memo The goal of this memo is to ask for concrete contribution for the festival that will take place from the 29th November until the 3rd December. We focus and highlight one of the central projects with international allure, in which we seek all kinds of contributions. The project is called: Rebuilding the Future, by restoring the Past.

The context: Restoring the future, by rebuilding the past: L’Aquila

L’Aquila  -­‐  highlights  of  a  city   L’Aquila   (ca.   73.000   inhabitants)   is   a   city   of   central   Italy,   capital   of   the   Region   Abruzzo.  It  is  situated  on  a  721  meters  hillside  within  a  narrow  valley  between  the   Gran   Sasso   d’Italia   (2914   meters)   (the   peak   of   Appenine   chain)   and   the   Velino-­‐ Sirente  chain  (2487  meters)  and  their  homonym  national  parks.   The   history   of   L’Aquila   is   made   up   of   times   of   both   prosperity   and   decadence   due   to   the   alternation   of   conflicts   and   foreign   dominations,   and   times   of   flourishing   commercial   relationships   also   with   different   cities   and   countries   (e.g.   Florence   and   Venice   as   well   as   France,   Holland   and   Germany),   which   made   L’Aquila   the   second   city   of   the   Reign   of   Naples   after   Naples   itself.   The   foundation   of   a   University   in   1458   and   the   establishment   of   typography   by   the   Gutenberg’s   apprentice,   Adam   from   Rottweil,  in  1482  contributed  to  a  cultural  growth  throughout  all  the  Middle  Age  and   up  till  one  of  the  major  earthquake  the  city  suffered  (1703).   In   fact,   the   history   of   the   city   has   been   profoundly   affected   by   recursive   strong   earthquakes   (e.g.   1315,   1349,   1461,   1646,   1672,   1703),   which   brought   death   and   destruction   as   slowed   down   its   expansion   and   level   of   richness   imposing   to   the   citizens  enormous  efforts.  The  re-­‐building  of  the  city  has  always  been  promoted  by   the  Church  or  the  States  it  belonged  to  for  its  strategic  position,  cultural  heritage  and   relevance   in   commercial   dealings.   The   reconstruction   of   destroyed   or   heavily   damaged   buildings,   churches   and   monuments   has   often   been   done   following   the   different  current  architectonic  techniques  allowing  the  stratification  of  styles.     The  earthquake  of  April  6th,  2009   During   the   night   of   April   6th   2009   at   3.32   a.m.   local   time,   an   earthquake   of   6.3   magnitude   struck   central   Italy   with   epicenter   in   L’Aquila.   The   existence   of   many   faults   in   its   underneath   geological   structure,   the   fact   that   the   city   lays   on   a   Pleistocene  lake-­‐bed  that  amplifies  seismic  activity  and  the  age  of  the  city  (as  well  as   the   existence   of   modern   buildings   not   “quake-­‐proof”)   made   the   event   of   greater   impact   on   people   and   infrastructures   as   well   as   its   cultural   heritage.   Several   buildings   collapsed,   308   people   died,   65.000   people   became   homeless   and   all   the   social   and   cultural   activities   suddenly   stopped.   The   city   center   (estimated   as   the   larger  historical  city  center)  was  declared  red  zone  and  the  access  to  it  interdicted.   The   same   happened   to   the   medieval   villages   in   the   surroundings   bringing   up   to   130.000  the  number  of  people  to  be  assisted  for  daily  necessities.   After   one   and   a   half   years,   the   city   center   of   L’Aquila   is   still   closed   though   Fire   Brigades  are  constantly  and  proudly  working  to  put  buildings  in  safety  with  the  most   modern   techniques.   Until   people   will   not   be   able   to   access   and   live   the   city   itself,   to   enjoy  its  cultural  treasures  and  meeting  points,  cinemas,  theaters,  narrow  medieval   streets  and  open  squares  and  till  they  will  not  be  able  to  live  their  daily  life,  they  will   remain  deprived  of  their  identity  and  background.  

The General Idea:

While during the OIF festival every country is finding solutions for its own challenges, it would be a great idea to combine forces all over the world in order to come up with a solution for the enormous social and economical challenge L’Aquila is facing for over more than one year now. Rebuilding takes time, money and effort. The loss of a city (not forgetting about the loss of people during the earthquake) brings along feelings of sadness and the lack of hope. Just imagine: is it possible for the world to put L’Aquila back on the map? Not by sending money, but by making a real contribution. Combing our virtual and physical forces? In a first and quick step we want to rebuild L’Aquila in a virtual manner, using innovative techniques, however the main goal and the main challenges is to rebuild L’Aquila’s publicly owned spaces.

The Virtual idea:

While all the citizens of L’Aquila are now living outside their city (waiting for L’Aquila to be safe again), they still feel strongly connected to their city. I use the image of Alberto her. He was born in L’Aquila, he was raised there. He now lives in Eindhoven and works as a post-doc researcher at the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e). He carries around his notebook and Iphone full with pictures of his hometown. How beautiful it used to be and how it looks now: like a ghost town.

In order to give L’Aquila back to its citizens a first step would be: rebuilding L’Aquila in a virtual manner. Using Augmented Reality Using Layer-app Using live-stream/webcam images Virtually rebuilding some of the identifying buildings of L’Aquila.

Why? A virtual place can be a place where people of L’Aquila can meet each other. Community building will take place. People can share their feelings about the earthquake; people can share stories and pictures. It will give them back a sense of presence.

A challenge for the Innovation festival would be: develop tools or mechanisms to re-vivid this city in a virtual manner. Develop tools and mechanisms to form communities in order to stimulate cooperation in L’Aquila. The Physical Idea Of course, rebuilding the city in a virtual manner is a “fast-solution”. It does not give back their houses for the inhabitants. People can meet virtually around the marketplace, but it does not allow people to sit in L’Aquila and enjoy the food and the wine together. So, another challenge within this project is to come up with innovative ideas about the physical rebuilding of this city. A way to organize this is, would be through a worldwide co-creation event: combing skills, expertise and power from thinkers (students) from all over the world, with different backgrounds. Keeping in mind the identity of the city (which you can learn from the virtual community), keeping in mind the historical background of the city and keeping in mind all the new insights about: Earthquake proof construction methods Sustainability insights Energy reducing technologies Broadband opportunities Light Smart living Healthy aging Etc.

The framework of rebuilding Of course, we have to stay realistic about the rebuilding of L’Aquila as a whole. It will be too expensive and too big for just this project. Neither is it our project scope to develop criteria which building to restore and which not. The restoration of private buildings should be financed by the Italian central government itself. In this project we want to aim for the rebuilding of a publicly-owned area, which is close to the Collemaggio Church. In that area, different laboratories and offices of the local health authority can be found as well as the Academy of Arts and Images. Such an environment would easily entail the necessity of planning a full restoration of buildings with quakeproof techniques, the creation of a high speed communication system (fibre) and the creation of a real experimentation platform for e-health and e-government services. Besides, this area is fully publicly owned and requires no special supervision by the Committee of Arts since there a no historicllay-vincolated buildings to be found.

A focus on this are could increase chances of success in terms of municipality commitment and streamline the collaboration between L’Aquila and other municipalities like Eindhoven. A form of “adoption” of a system of buildings in a homogeneous area could be one of the possible forms to involve private companies in the rebuilding

Enough Ideas: how to implement them? Living Lab L’Aquila

For that, of course, we need sponsors. Companies that are willing to lay down some showcases in L’Aquila. What if we look at L’Aquila as a living lab? A living lab is a new way of innovation in which different partners in the chain (from developer till the end-user) work together in order to innovate and getting things done. In most cases the development will be developed and tested in it’s original surrounding, in this case in L’Aquila itself. From a EU context Living Labs are highly appreciated and stimulated as a crucial layer of/for our new economy. (Strengthening innovation and investment in ict) For companies this living lab will be a great surrounding to pitch their new ideas and solutions. Experts from all over the world can show their latest insights on construction and other themes.

What I left out: I left something out, because I’m aware this is the biggest challenge: (but it wouldn’t be fair to hide it) Internet access in and around L’Aquila is lacking or difficult. Reaching out to L’Aquila using social networks will be extremely difficult! From the inhabitants of L’Aquila we wish to receive as much input as possible about the rebuilding of the city. Our hope is to form communities within the city of L’Aquila that are closely connected with the people, companies and institutes involved in this voluntary project to restore L’Aquila. In order to become organized in such a community, we will arrange online sessions and meetings with the city of L’Aquila. This process of cooperation and developing trust should enfold and grow during the project.

Join us!? As you have seen this L’Aquila project contains many sub-projects. Please think about what you can contribute to in order to rebuild this city: virtually or physically. (In terms of ideas, hands of money) Visit us at: www.magnitude2010.ning.com

So far a few partners already signed up to join:

Municipality of Eindhoven Cebra.eu (virtuocity) Politiek Online De Roode Kikker TU/e

For questions: Gaby Sadowski, tel. 06-13927926 E-mail: g.sadowski@eindhoven.nl -

 

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