Image: Benson Kua
Tomorrow, October 13, we finally get to see the stuff the 2012 TED Prize winner is made of. That’s because this year’s winner is an idea, not a person. The City 2.0 is both a platform and an organizing concept for a network of urban thinkers and citizens the world over to consider how to shape their cities to serve the people who live in them. Nearly 70 communities on six continents will host events focusing on all manner of topics, both cultural and practical, that relate to the spatial, environmental, and general health conditions of urban life. The gatherings are all part of the TEDx umbrella—independently organized events modeled on the TED Talk format—but some will also include “action sessions,” which will be open to locals to pitch ideas on how to improve their communities.
The program’s global reach and the synchronicity with which it’s being planned is integral to the vision of the City 2.0. “As we think about the sustainability of our planet, these events offer an opportunity to spark dialogue around the important issues pertaining to the cities where we live, work, and play,” TEDx and TED Prize director Lara Stein said in an announcement. For a more tingly, instrumental version of this idea, check out TED’s clever appeal for cities in this City 2.0 YouTube video.
In the coming weeks, look out for the results of tomorrow’s gatherings on TheCity2.org website, which is a platform available to city dwellers around the world for documenting their initiatives and their stories. You can find out if there’s a TEDxCity2.0 event being held in your city (be sure to look for the October 13 date), or just stay home in your PJs with a zillion browser tabs open and stream a bunch of talks around the world. Here’s a sampling of the cities with Livestream pages set up. (Warning: to view all of these, it helps to speak Norwegian, Chinese, and Texan!)