In his most recent book ‘If Mayors Ruled the World’ Dr. Benjamin Barber argues that cities are the most promising place to find answers to the major challenges of the 21st century. The nation state, once democracy’s best hope, is now dysfunctional and obsolete. Dr. Barber will explain his ideas on the importance of cities and the role of mayors in addressing challenges such as climate change, economic inequality and refugees. Tonight’s dialogue will be about the role mayors have in spurring the emergence of new governance structures rooted in the social and innovative practices of City Makers, and the role they have in interlocally connecting cities to create more impact by sharing knowledge and experience, and formulating a joint strategy.
Following the publication of his book, Dr. Barber initiated the The Global Parliament of Mayors project, ‘an unprecedented new experiment in democratic global governance platform by, for, and of cities. Mayors from cities large and small, North and South, developed and emerging, will convene in September 2016 to identify and pursue in common the public goods of citizens around the world. For the first time, building on extant urban networks, the GPM will deploy collective urban political power manifesting the right of cities to govern themselves, as well as the responsibility to enact viable, cross-border solutions to global challenges.’ In tonight’s event Dr. Barber will present the ideas behind the Global Parliament of Mayors and will explain where the project will take those ideas in practical terms.
An important force in today’s cities are the active citizens, social entrepreneurs and social innovators working bottom-up and experimental to improve their own neighbourhoods and cities. Professor Christian Iaione (LabGov) and Amalia Zepou (vice mayor for civil society and municipality decentralization, Athens) will join Dr. Barber for a dialogue about the role mayors have in spurring the emergence of new governance structures rooted in the social and innovative practices of City Makers, and the role they have in interlocally connecting cities to create more impact by sharing knowledge and experience, and formulating a joint strategy.
Register for the event here.