What is your most surprising prediction about cities?
I’m not sure I have a surprising prediction, but it has been fascinating to be in NYC during COVID. Many people left the city last Spring, but those of us who have stayed have a renewed appreciation for this city of possibilities (and, hopefully, a renewed dedication to one another). There’s inspiration everywhere and a strong sense of community. I hope cities use this time to recover in more inclusive ways, with public benefit at the forefront.
Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think about cities and technology?
Mariana Mazzucato’s Mission Economy has inspired a great deal of my work, especially with regards to rethinking the role that government can play within the economy and society
What 2-3 books / podcasts would you recommend?
- All We Can Save, Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson
- David Roberts on Vox
- How to solve climate change and make life more awesome an Ezra Klein / Saul Griffith exchange
Where’s the best place for new ideas?
Taking a walk! Since many of us are especially reliant now on digital connection, I easily get overwhelmed with the amount of inbound information. By taking time to get fresh air, move my body, and digest articles I’ve read or conversations I’ve had, it allows me to connect those things in new and different ways. It gives me time to live in the questions.
Who inspires you?
I’m constantly inspired by all of the people who have shown up – with their unique set of skills and diverse backgrounds – to fight The Clean Fight and to ensure that we’re working towards a better future for all, together. I love the grassroots nature of many of the climate solution efforts – open source collectives willing to share research and strategies, folks with platforms amplifying the voices of those on the frontlines of the climate crisis – we all have a part to play.
What are the skills we’ll need in 10 years?
Adaptability, courage, resiliency, and community.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
A few years ago, Maria Popova shared 10 insights – a collection of sentiments I embrace today, and would love to have had in my younger years. Here are the first seven:
Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
Build pockets of stillness into your life.
When people tell you who they are’, Maya Angelou famously advised, ‘believe them.’ Just as important, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
‘Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.’ (Debbie Millman)”
…and I encourage you to explore all ‘10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings’.
What is your call to action?
Working towards an inclusive green economy.
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