MINDFUL SMART CITIESShima Beigi
SynopsisThe Artificial Intelligence fueled transition toward smart cities and network societies has tremendous impact on the future of humanity. The current narrative of smart cities and data enabled urban systems totally leaves out the components of human experience, feelings, emotions and real human relationships. However, what makes a city smart, is the degree and quality of human connections and social cohesion that individuals feel. Cities are more than just objects, buildings and fixed entities. They are about people and networks that encompass system of life as a whole. In turn, people’s behaviour shapes sustainability, resilience and inclusivity of the future of cities. This Manifesto for the future design of smart cities explores the existing ethos of practice of smart cities around the world. Combining Eastern philosophies of change and a Western analytical scientific lens with the notion of the Internet of People and the Internet of We, in parallel to the utilitarian Internet of Things, Dr. Shima Beigi calls for a paradigm shift in this rapidly growing area of smart cities. Spontaneity, empathy, love, resilience, inclusivity, sustainability, diversity, harmony, synergy, and similar higher level states of being, are those mystical and intangible parts of system of existence, humanity included, that cannot be manufactured, programmed, and engineered for by any kind(s) of artificial intelligence simply by virtue of being artificial. Mindful smart cities applies the analytical lens of Mindfulness Engineering™ and its interactive design toolkit. The main aim of its design protocol is focused on making people, places and interfaces mindfully smart.
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MINDFUL SMART CITIES
Dr. Shima Beigi is smart city consultant, yoga teacher, and the founder of the Mindful Smart City Academy. Originally a resilience scientist, Shima has an impressive international academic track record (Islamic Azad University North Tehran Branch, University of Bristol, University of Oxford, Vrije Universiteit Brussel). In order to address the challenges of digitalization for urban systems, she developed Mindfulness Engineering™?, which connects STEM science and smart cities to neuroscience, Sufism and mindfulness.