Digital Autarky

At SPIN we started a new research path, exploring the phenomenon we name Digital Autarky. We are introducing the concept in a flesh-talk on September 28th, at the event Unboxing E-Realities organised by the Goethe Institute.

Brief

Recent years have seen the rise of conflicts over people’s right to their own data, privacy, and transparency in the digital realm. These emerging conflicts bring forth issues of policy and governance for giant companies and non-democratic states just as much as positive possibilities for individuals, innovators, and public agencies.

We wish to explore cities as they evolve and shift from their traditional role in local democracy and urban economy to new opportunities offered by a networked, digital, and data-driven world. Claiming that new forms of local autonomy are on the rise, we focus on cities that are increasingly collecting data on their urban environment and actors. Through strategic leveraging of these data, cities may reclaim control from regional and national governing bodies and also from private technology companies and platform actors.

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Centers at the fringe of the center

An invited talk at the yearly conference of the Finnish Association of City Centers (Elävaät kaupunkikeskustat ry).

Digital connectivity challenges the supremacy of physical space in explaining how we use and experience the urban landscape. Entirely new patterns of local, urban, and regional phenomena are emerging within the urban fabric. Successful and attractive urban spaces are no longer those planned according to well-established guidelines, but those derived from processes of activity clustering.

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Helsinki Symposium

The City of Helsinki and Mayor Jan Vapaavuori organised an interesting discussion event of the spring Helsinki Symposium on the role and significance of the cities as the solvers of the biggest challenges of our time. How do the cities fight climate change and segregation? How do cities become sustainable, creative and responsible 1.5-degree cities?

During the afternoon speakers include the author and the New Yorker lifestyle columnist David Owen, Domestic Urban Tops Emma Terämä and Damiano Cerrone, New York Commissioner for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena and Casper von Koskull, CEO of Nordea.