Building a platform to facilitate socio-ecological transitions and community-based climate action in private yards

Summary


Harare, Zimbabwe

The future of humanity is urban. Africa is the fastest urbanizing continent in the world with an expected 1.2 billion urban residents by 2050. The continent’s urbanisation comes with extraordinary transformative potential, but the structural hurdles are equally huge. Historically, there is compelling evidence to suggest that urbanisation and economic growth are mutually reinforcing. Yet in Africa, urbanisation is happening in a context of slow structural transformation, pervasive urban poverty and inequalities that compromise a hopeful urban future.

Building on last year’s Istanbul Innovation Days, the 2019 Harare Innovation Days on #NextGenCities will focus on the strategic risks and opportunities…


Key insights about scaffolding mental wealth and humane development in the 21st century

Drivers of mental health and wellbeing and the investment classes required to build mental wealth

This is the second in a series of DM notes that we will write about the insights from our work on the ground, which follows internal learning sessions called the DM Downloads that are organized every two weeks or so. The aim is to make our practice more legible, for us as well as for you.

DM Note #2 is a preview of our international portfolio around mental wealth in Sweden, Dubai, England and South Korea as well as some of the learnings that are coming out of it, externally and internally.


7 learnings from our regulatory innovation work on the ground

Introducing the DM Notes

This is the first in a series of DM notes that we will write about the insights from our work on the ground, which follows internal learning sessions called the DM Downloads that are organized every two weeks or so. The aim is to make our practice more legible, for us as well as for you.

DM Note #1 is a preview of our international portfolio of experiments around governance and regulatory innovation as well as some of the learnings that are coming out of it.


Youth Employment and the Future of Work in Bhutan and Beyond

By Eunji Kang and Eunsoo Lee (Dark Matter Labs), Tshering Wangmo, Tshoki Zangmo and Bishnu Chettri (UNDP Bhutan)

Originally published by UNDP Bhutan, this blog documents the collaboration between UNDP Bhutan and Dark Matter Labs in a 3-month project investigating the systemic challenge of youth employment and the future of work in Bhutan. The intelligence report published by UNDP Bhutan can be found here.

*This blog includes a link to a glossary which defines the terms used.

Introduction

Bhutan in transition

Bhutan, a country of roughly 760,000 people and one of the very…


Example sketch of street transition in Malmö — as part of the Climate KIC Deep Demo project

This article proposes key principles which we believe could be the foundation for replicating democratic models of retrofitting. It is part of the ‘A Right to Retrofit’ series, and you can read all other related blogs by following the links at the bottom of the page.

The way we retrofit needs to be redesigned to meet the urgent need for climate transition in the built environment. To overcome the systemic constraints on the potential impact of retrofit, a fundamental shift in the system is required. [For more on this, see The System Challenges to Retrofit]

We believe this systemic shift…


Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

This article explores the system challenges that underpin the current retrofit ‘ecosystem’. It is part of the ‘A Right to Retrofit’ series, and you can read all other related blogs by following the links at the bottom of the page.

Over the past nine months Dark Matter Labs has been working with EIT Climate-KIC and partners in cities across Europe to understand the retrofit ‘ecosystem’, and how it can be reformed to meet the urgent need for climate transition in the built environment.

In each of the local contexts, alongside our partners Polmi and Poliedra in Milan, REGEA in Zagreb…


Photo credit - Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The implicit promise of any government policy with the ambition of a ‘green recovery’, ‘building back better’, or fulfilling net zero targets, is that every citizen has the right to a sustainable, socially-just future.

Yet as we emerge from the current stage of the pandemic there remains a nagging sense of uncertainty over how we get from a pre-pandemic world, beset with complex problems and contested ideas, and move towards a future that is radically more just and sustainable. …


How redesigning the dark matter of city systems can unlock sustainable, democratic urban environments

Madrid is one of 10 European cities DML are working with on EIT-Climate KIC’s Healthy Clean Cities Deep Demonstration [Photo by Alex Vasey on Unsplash]

Looking back and forward on our work in cities

After a year like no other, and faced by what may well be permanent disruptions to their natural rhythms and rituals, cities around the world are grappling with how to navigate their uncertain, post-covid, climate-defined futures. Such transitions have, of course, been long overdue. The entrenched inequality and unsustainable metabolism that have come to define our cities is what drives many to look for ways to transition them towards the sustainable and democratic urban environments we need them to be. On current trends, temperature changes of 3 degrees celsius are more likely than 1.5 or even 2 degrees, exacerbating a…


Rebuilding our foundational infrastructure

We need to step into a phase of rebuilding. Rebuilding not towards what we had but towards an increasingly antifragile and empathetic society. This transition will require governments, institutions, companies, and associations to rethink and reconstruct the contextual settings [FIGURE 1] in which people operate - society’s platform for the future. It is increasingly clear how the micro molecular violences of late 20th century society e.g. air pollution, noise pollution, light pollution, household stresses, nutrient decline, etc. foundationally impact our mental health and wellbeing and thereby limit the collective capacity of our society.

Remaking our institutional…

Dark Matter

Designing 21st Century Dark Matter for a Decentralised, Distributed & Democratic tomorrow; part of @infostructure00

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