At Combeenation we created a powerful and highly flexible software framework to customize product worlds. We believe in a future, where you can express yourself as an individual personality (including individual desires and preferences) by creating, designing and using different products in a personal way.
But what about customizing not only products, but also our living space? I’m convinced that the vast majority of citizens want to be active participants of cities. Not only by paying taxes and using the present facilities, but also by having an influence in the way cities develop, influencing the process of urban planning.
The first step for getting an involved fellow citizen is getting the access to information about planned and ongoing projects and plans concerning the city someone lives in.
If we take a closer look at Vienna, we’ll see that this process has already been started, but is still in its infancy. Some instutitions, mostly part of the city government, try to give an overview about ideas to create a smarter city, a greener city, a future city. For example the website wirdenkenwienerzukunft.at, enabled by Wiener Stadtwerke, publishes news, projects and upcoming events in Vienna. The content ranges from the customized city quarter Seestadt Aspern to open data and e-mobility.
Without doubt a good idea to promote organizations and projects and informing citizens about future projects. But in my opinion, something is missing: the possibility to customize the content and the possibility to have a say in future projects.
Let me be more specific. At the Combeenation Blog we published an article about Flipboard. This applications enables customers to create an individual mobile newspaper – in other words: to customize an own newspaper. The customer adjudicates on the articles he wants to be shown. So why not creating a configurator for content driven websites like wirdenkenwienerzukunft, where people can decide, in which topics they are interested the most?
The second point is the missing possibility to have a say in future projects. As a specialist in creating tools for better customizing our world, I know that the value of something rises with the option to individualize it. For me it’s obvious that developing configurators for citizens, which allow them to be part of the project “urban planning” would include many benefits – for both government and population. I’m thinking of creating configurators, where school pupils can design the perfect sports field, where inhabitants help to shape the form and flowers in parks, where city dwellers help to optimize public transportation offerings. Academia is postulating in the research field Open Innovation that the power within individuals will have a strong impact on all layers of life. I am looking forward to this new, customizable world. And with the highly flexible configuration framework of Combeenation some of these visions will come to live soon.
Author: Klaus Pilsl, CEO, Combeenation
Date: 11 Aprl 2015