Joe Ravetz is the Leader of the Future-Proof Cities theme for the Manchester Urban Institute, and Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience. He is author of 2 agenda setting texts: the new ‘Deeper City: collective intelligence and the pathways from smart to wise’, and the previous ‘City-region 2020: Integrated planning for a sustainable environment’.
As director of the global project Peri-cene (peri-urbanization and climate-environment), this takes to practical application the ideas from 2 decades of studies: sustainable cities and regions, foresight and transition management, climate / environment policy, social technology and economic development. From this Joe Ravetz developed the Synergistics mapping methods for collective intelligence, and design of transformative pathways.
He has advised policy (UNIDO, UN-Habitat, European Commission, many UK government & regional public agencies): and also works with business and the third sector, as a Principal of the non-profit strategy / foresight firm SAMI Consulting. As a former architect-planner he is a keen advocate of creative visual thinking, and foresight / futures methods for strategic planning and transformation. Joe Ravetz provides review and evaluation services for many academic bodies, together with keynotes and interactive workshops in many countries around the world. He is currently on the editorial boards of Urban Planning & Design & the Foresight journal, and visiting professor at the University of Baja California, Mexico, and the University of Brawijaya, Indonesia.
Joe Ravetz has now set up the Collaboratorium for collective intelligence, a global online community, working at the frontiers of human systems development to map and design pathways ‘from smart to wise’.
In all this the over-arching theme is about inter-connection: the reality of cities, not as boxes labelled ‘economics’ or ‘environment’, but rather as whole systems which evolve and interact. To respond to this we need new kinds of whole-system thinking. The CURE programs have to date included spatial development, resource modelling, environmental policy & management, energy / climate change studies, land / landscape studies, policy evaluation and participation. But the strategic agenda is more about the inter-connections between them: this can be explored via complexity science, transition and innovation studies, futures and foresight methods. These and similar methods have informed a 2-decade intellectual journey, which began with exploration of the ‘inter-connectedness of things’, and ended with the landmark publication City-Region 2020. Experience from practice then shifted the focus towards the ‘inter-connectedness of thinking’: the process of multiple value-generation between multiple stakeholders, and the potential for ‘creative synergy and urban intelligence’ in response to global challenges. All this is set out in the new book ‘Deeper City: collective intelligence and the pathways from smart to wise' (Routledge).