2014: The Battle of Ideas

Challenging year ahead. Here are the main program areas to which we intend to give attention over the complex systems networkcourse of the year ahead. All of these are complex system challenges and require patient attention and mental flexibility if we are to find the best way to proceed in each case. And in each case it is not enough to be right in terms of the basic principles — it is every bit as important to be able to communicate them and to convince the public, government and other key actors that these ideas and approaches are worth getting behind. Nobody ever said that the move to sustainable transport and sustainable cities was going to be simple.

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Brainstorm: Carsharing, and New Thinking about Transport in Cities

World  Carshare  Cities Program 2013 : Brainstorming notes of 11 April 2013

invisible car - 2

1. There are many many different ways to share cars in 2013 (far more in fact than most of even the experts talk about when they make presentations on carsharing).

2. This mix of ways of delivering these services is evolving at a speed that makes it a real challenge to keep up with the pace of developments. Even for the experts. Continue reading

Getting outside that box (which may require being just a bit unreasonable)

Once we are cozily set up in our box — a box of course that we can neither see nor really appreciate (What box?) — we become accustomed to thinking of things comfortably wedged within our invisible container  as “that’s the way things are”.  And from there it is a very small step to become  a pragmatically “reasonable person”.  To which I can only quote Bernard Shaw when he said so long ago (with social justice and the emancipation of women firmly in the middle of his sites): The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.  Let’s see if Preston Schiller can help us to get outside the box of the automobile. Continue reading

Ridesharing Institute – Contribution to today’s TRB discussions

Dear Paul, Susan, and other TRB friends having a look at this proposal this afternoon in DC. This is an excellent first-cut proposal and food for thought on a very important policy topic -- and I want to get firmly behind the basic concept right now.

I wish I could be with you for these important discussions because like at least half of you in this audience I am firmly convinced in the potential for ridesharing in its many diverse forms as a vital and critical means in the process of moving from unsustainable to sustainable transportation. [I am sure that much of what you find here is well known to most of you. But here I am at my desk in Paris and I want to share my best thoughts with you on this. So off we go.] Continue reading