design thinking initiatives for a better urban life
If the future is sharing information, resources, and physical spaces, how can we facilitate the process of sharing in cross cultural interactions? Multiple studies reveal that in urban settings where different cultural groups coexist there are high levels of segregation and a lower use of the public space. Cultural frictions can translate into racism, violence, xenophobia, and become obstacles for development. At a global scale, intolerance for other people’s ways of life has resulted in ethnocide. Wades Davis in his Ted Talk Dreams from Endangered Cultures encourages us to value our ethnosphere as it is humanity’s great legacy. In this lecture Davis quotes Margaret Mead’s greatest fear, “as we drifted towards this blandly amorphous generic world view not only would we see the entire range of the human imagination reduced to a more narrow modality of thought, but that we would wake from a dream one day having forgotten there were even other possibilities.”
Tolerance and respect for other people’s way of living can start being address at an urban scale. Cross cultural interactions are battlegrounds where notions of tolerance and respect get tested. During the semester I plan to develop strategies to encourage and facilitate these interactions.