And cities will overtake nations on the innovation road
As megacities take a lead role amongst the proactive doers in COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, the latest edition (nb 77) of Institut Choiseul’s Géoéconomie publishes my article (in French) on cities reasserting themselves as the ideal spot for technological and societal innovation.
Ever since they appeared about ten thousand years ago, urban centres have served the dual purpose of bringing together talent from various disciplines, and facilitating trade. By fostering both the production of novel ideas, and their access to markets, cities have offered an ideal space for innovation to blossom. Eclipsed for a while by all-powerful Nation-States, cities are back on the innovation stage, as three factors conspire to bring them to the fore:
– demographic, with the steady increase of urbanisation;
– economic, with the rise of the short supply chain and the circular economy, both of which contribute to a partial relocalisation of the economy;
– political, with the comeback of the City-State or at least a World-City that increasingly frees itself from the supervision of the State.
As the smallest geoeconomic entity to have a claim to making a coherent ecosystem, the City reasserts itself as the ideal spot for innovation – including user-driven innovation that often has the most transformational impact on society.
The full article (in French) is published in Institut Choiseul’s Geoeconomie number 77, December 2015.