KM Today


Designing Sustainable Cities & Regions: Where are the Libraries?

MOTM2013_photo

                                       Meeting of the Minds 2013 convenes in Toronto September 9 – 11.  Haven’t heard about this conference? I encourage you, if you are involved in a public or academic library, to look at it.  Actually, I encourage you to go.   I follow Rick Huijbregts (VP Industry & Business Transformation; General Manager, Smart & Connected Communities for Cisco Canada).  You might want to follow Rick’s LindedIn or Tweets as well. It is through Rick that I learn about the technologies and thinking that’s influencing community decision-makers.

For instance, there is a session at #MOTM2013 on “3-D Printing and Fabrication Labs – Revitalization Strategies for Sustainable Cities” given by the VP of Philips Lighting.  I’ve seen the shock on the faces of librarian’s faces when I tell them that libraries are not alone in the community space vying to be innovation centre with 3D printers.  Here’s some of the session abstract: “Fabrication Labs (FabLabs) will soon pop up all over cities and be fuelled by imaginative design. Together this will represent substantial economical value for cities seeking sustainable ways to revitalize. Certain cities may not be able to compete on labor costs but they can create tremendous value when design is more closely linked with the process of 3-D printing. Many examples of the makers economy already exist but one particularly exciting example in the lighting industry captures the spirit of this trend. Rogier will share a detailed model of how a 3D-printing based delivery model for luminaires would not only liberate consumers and enable their own creativity, but also boost a local and clean makers economy in cities through jobs, income, and a new urban future.”

Maybe I’m wrong; I hope I am.  I have searched the speakers and delegates and so far I don’t see any representatives from libraries.  As Rick’s blog says this morning,  “Add your voice to this already powerful chorus discussing the future of our cities”  - and regions and communities, including universities and colleges.  These speakers and delegates are talking about community revitalization, community innovation, using technologies, changing lives — all the things libraries are a part of and need to be a part of in the future.

I can’t attend, but I will be glued to #motm2013 – and hopefully following some of your tweets.  This is where libraries need to be.  This is who library decision-makers need to be talking with.  Just sayin’.

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