Humanity faces multiple interwoven crises. In some cases, we know solutions but lack the political will to implement them. In others, poor assumptions lead to poor outcomes. Here we argue that specialism has backed us into a corner, and we need a new respect for interdisciplinary ‘Renaissance’ thinkers to provide holistic advice to policymakers. At the same time, we need to define the limitations of models, planning and other forms of human intervention. Public bureaucracies need to be both proactive and reactive to address the rapidly evolving challenges facing local, national and global society.
Dr Ali Hossaini works at the cutting edge of art, technology and science. His multidisciplinary work is acclaimed by the New York Times, which calls him “a biochemist turned philosopher turned television producer turned visual poet.” He consults to museums, districts and cities worldwide on culture and technology, and he is involved in IEEE committees developing standards for safe development of AI and brain-computer interface. He is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering at King’s College London, a trustee of the Young Vic theatre and co-director of National Gallery X.
Charles Landry works with cities around the world to help them make the most of their potential and facilitates complex urban change projects. His aim is to connect the triad culture, creativity and city making. He is co-founder of the Creative Bureaucracy Festival. He twice chaired the European Capital of Innovation Award as well as the EU Research & Innovation Commission project ‘The human-centred city: Opportunities for citizens through research and innovation’. He has published extensively – most recently ‘The Civic City in a Nomadic World’, ‘The Creative Bureaucracy’ (with Margie Caust), ‘An Advanced Introduction to the Creative City’, ‘Psychology & the City’ (with Chris Murray) and ‘The Digitized City’. You can download these books as PDF files via Charles’ website: https://charleslandry.com