On the Road [to Athens]: it’s not ‘good-bye’ it’s ‘see you soon’

Unexpected situations have made us take a step back from our journey towards the Greek capital.

The unexpected nature of the road – that was the set of our journey towards the second City Makers Summit (17th-21st May) in Athens. Unfortunately, following the saying ‘expect the unexpected’, we were faced with an unforeseen situation that required us to postpone the 2017 adventure in the Greek capital.

Following the first City Makers Summit (27th-30th May 2016), it became obvious that we were at the centre of a new movement taking off in Europe, and on the path towards democratic urban innovations. Since the final day of the Summit in Amsterdam, on the 30th of May 2016, we have jointly started to work on the second edition in Athens, where City Makers from many cities, governments, (knowledge) institutions and civil organisations would come together to work on the future of Europe.

We have witnessed an astonishing amount of enthusiasm, dedication and energy during last year’s Summit, which only strengthened our conviction that we need to take this movement one step further, in Athens. Being part of the new wave of City Makers, discovering the ‘urban counterculture’ that actively asks for, and implements change in cities, has fostered our ambition in continuing this path of discovery in the Greek capital. We packed our bags and got ready for the next adventure, yet being part of a new journey also brings about situations which were not though-off.

It is more than difficult to announce that we are withdrawing as initiator and co-organiser of the second City Makers Summit in Athens this year. Still, this is not the ending, but only a delay in the realisation of our aspirations for the future of our cities.

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

We started this journey based on Jack Kerouac’s visions on people, transformation and cities, so we follow his thoughts in looking forward to the next ventures we will explore together. We are still on the path of innovation in city-making here in Amsterdam, and we still rely on you to continue helping us shape the cities of tomorrow.

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