Smithsonian: "Innovators to Watch in 2012"


Innovators to Watch in 2012

The latest estimates are that by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Already, 21 mega-cities have populations of 10 to 20 million.  I’ll go out on a limb and say we’re going to need some pretty innovative thinking about urban life over the next decade if  we’re going to keep cities liveable.  One person who’s been giving this a lot of thought is Alex Steffen. He’s the author of  Worldchanging: A User’s Guide For the 21st Centurywhich was updated last yearHe’s also been  called a futurist and he is, but in a practical way.  Steffen’s very big, for instance, on the growth of a culture within  cities where people share instead of own, whether it’s cars,  sports equipment or power drills.  He also knows that it’s going to take a lot more than putting plants and trees on rooftops to make cities sustainable and keep them from, as he puts it, “stealing the future.”