Smart Cities for a Conscious World

The individual and society are reflections of each other. A healthy individual is conscious of emotional, intuitive, and physical impulses from their body, and the same is true for our communities and cities. As human society has grown and become global, connected through the internet, media, and mass communications, corrupted centralized information distribution hubs have left people misinformed, out of touch, and disconnected. With the advent of technological breakthroughs which integrate Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and Internet of People (IoP), a transparent and secure network will replace the obstacles of centralized systems with decentralized, self-organizing networks of empowered, informed, connected individuals. This is the promise of Smart Cities for a Conscious World.

What does it look like when organic and technological systems become integrated?

A synergistic relationship between evolved technology, conscious individuals, and connected human communities will make this possible. Our competitive, individualistic society will give way to a collaborative hive-mind where we recognize our interdependence with each other and with the environment that sustains us. Communication between cells in our nervous system is as important as exchanges of information, ideas, capital, goods, and services within society. Data-driven networks with decentralized technology architecture will allow for the individual to flourish while maintaining the health of the community as a whole.

Why Blockchain? From its early beginnings, the Blockchain has wrestled with ways to ensure trust in a technological system that does not require gate-keepers or central authorities. The first iteration of Bitcore allowed for anyone to write applications for various exchanges, smart contracts and more but without central oversight, there were a lot of faulty code, and security issues. Unify Earth, an emerging technology company focused on values-driven initiatives like the Sustainable Development Goals, tackles this problem with what they call the world’s first end-to-end fully securitized Blockchain 3.0 platform which is set to go live this fall.

A Technology that Mimics Natural Systems: For millennia nature has experimented with different strategies for optimizing the conditions for life to flourish. By studying nature we begin to see patterns that can be applied and replicated in human technology. Nothing in nature works in a hierarchy (pyramid), with a top-down structure. Instead nature works in a dynamic way with exchanges of nutrients, sunlight, water, the food cycle being exchanged directly without gatekeepers in a self-perpetuating circle. The system is open for improvisation biologically, but it is also closed to maintain a container for life to flourish.

Rich soil and friendly climates allow for rich biodiversity. In the same way, a distributed technology network allows for holographic, multidimensional exchanges of data instead of a linear pattern. Inherent in these patterns in nature are mathematics, the same is true for algorithms. There are harmonious relationships and dissonant relationships in math. Harmonious relationships tend to thrive because they are more efficient whereas discordant ones tend to fall off the evolutionary ladder. The same is true for human relationships and for the mathematical equations that underscore our technologies. In this way, we can see that a conscious observance and application of natural principles in our technology will reflect within the communities that utilize that technology.

The Foundation Determines the Integrity of the Building: Just as the motherboard of the computer allows endless computational processes to occur, the Blockchain is a technology that validates trust. It allows for increased value and exchange across large populations while utilizing consensus while also allowing everyone in the network to maintain autonomy. Just as human DNA determines the physical form our bodies take, the Blockchain is a blueprint for human collaboration that will allow us to build an efficient, abundant, creative global society. This literally has the ability to change governance through direct civic engagement and stewardship of the commons in a way that was impossible at any other time previous to this in history.

Integrating Blockchain and the Internet of Things: Our central nervous system is able to communicate with various parts of our body to maintain optimum health, yet each organ also works independently. We need to have cities that are integrated with transparent monitoring of vital elements which allows for collective oversight and individual sovereignty. Living PlanIT is one of many companies that have developed revolutionary sensors that can monitor everything from energy consumption, water quality, air quality and more. These sensors help to optimize efficiency allowing cities to make a quantum leap forward in addressing sustainable development goals.

“The PlanIT UOS enables systems such as energy, water, waste management, transportation, telecommunication, healthcare, security and potentially everything around you to communicate intelligently with each other — and with a world of ever-proliferating sensors and devices.” -Living PlanIT Website

Humanizing the Blockchain: Monitoring systems alone will not fix our problems if the centralized hubs for integrating and distributing vital information, and initiating action are corrupted. This is where integrating Blockchain becomes revolutionary. Blockchain’s distributed, transparent platform allows the information to be available unfiltered, along with monitoring in real-time, while also providing a tokenized economy to reward citizen engagement.

These concepts combined with e-governance will empower individuals to work collectively with elected officials on a local basis, or globally through a network that is trusted and secure. Employing a state-of-the-art Blockchain technology will also allow for the exchange of goods, services, and best-practices so that communities can innovate with sustainable and regenerative solutions.

Intelligent Affinity Groups: We all thrive when we are surrounded by and supported by like-minded individuals. Yet we are all so diverse! Artist colonies, think tanks, and mastermind groups are able to create synergy and solutions that are impossible for an isolated individual. This is the power of harnessing the collective wisdom of like-minded people to address shared problems. These diverse affinity groups will need digital architecture to help them interact in a focused and meaningful way.

These cluster communities and affinity groups are emerging in different geological locations to usher in this revolutionary technology, to dream of new and innovative ways to employ it, and to redefine how cities work. Mayors are recognizing that they have the ability to lead the way by incorporating these new models into existing infrastructure, and citizens are learning the power of ballot initiatives. By removing cumbersome third-party oversight to maintain trust within these networks, Blockchain delivers an upgraded version of democracy along with a more fairly distributed political voice, wealth, and involvement for citizens. Smart Cities are the doorway to a conscious planet where regenerative principles will restore balance to the commons and to the environment we all cherish.

The Tip of the Iceberg: These are just a few of the examples of what is possible. The need to upgrade our cities while simultaneously empowering individual human networks to build better communities is paramount for sustainable and regenerative cities of the future. The technology helps us to scale with population growth and resource management while also allowing more civic engagement. This integration between software and hardware provides an unprecedented platform for human collaboration, ingenuity, and creativity.

This blog is excerpted from a new book I contributed to that explores this endless realm of future possibilities. If you are interested in reading more or are considering Smart City Technology for your municipality, please visit Intelligent Cities of the Future, a new E-Book available to read for free online.