Porto Alegre Urban Thinkers Campus: Sustainable Innovation, Citizen Empowerment, Entrepreneurial Engagement, and Strategic Collaboration.

Porto Alegre Urban Thinkers Campus: Sustainable Innovation, Citizen Empowerment, Entrepreneurial Engagement, and Strategic Collaboration.

During November 10-12, Global Urban Development (GUD) and its partners -- Porto Alegre Sustainable Innovation Zone (ZISPOA), ZISPOA Project at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Orbita Coworking, Vila Flores Cultural Association, and Arcadis -- will organize an Urban Thinkers Campus in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  The theme is: Sustainable Innovation Zones (ZIS) as Catalysts for Achieving the New Urban Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals, and Paris Climate Agreement through Citizen Empowerment, Entrepreneurial Engagement, and Strategic Collaboration.  The success of ZISPOA over the past two years (see "The Porto Alegre Sustainable Innovation Zone (ZISPOA): Two Years of Accomplishment and Progress" in WUC #On the Move Newsletter, October 2017) is based on a combination of citizen empowerment, entrepreneurial engagement, and strategic collaboration, and the UTC will highlight the vital importance of these three approaches.

In particular, the UTC will have two major roundtables on the role of collaborative houses and co-working spaces in ZISPOA and Porto Alegre promoting both sustainable innovation and the creative economy, including the world premier of a new documentary film about the collaborative houses movement in Porto Alegre, Coletivas Criativas.  In addition, we will show recent documentary films about Porto Alegre's internationally recognized sustainability leaders: Forever Gaia, about Jose Lutzenberger, Brazil's first national Environment Minister; and Substantivo Feminino, about Giselda Castro and Magda Renner, co-founders of the first Friends of the Earth organization in Latin America.  These three films are intended to inspire the UTC participants to build on past accomplishments in generating an effective movement for the NUA, SDGs, and 2030 climate goals, in the context of achieving the Leapfrog Economic Strategy for the capital city of Porto Alegre and the state of Rio Grande do Sul to become the most sustainable and innovative places in Latin America by 2030.

ZISPOA currently has five major goals: to become the most solar-powered, bike-friendly, energy-efficient, digitally connected, and renewable technology-friendly (circular economy) place in Latin America by 2030.  Our UTC is immediately following Zero Waste Week in Porto Alegre, highlighting the circular economy approach.  At the UTC we will focus on how to become more solar-powered and bike-friendly, two of ZISPOA's highest priorities for 2018.  There will be roundtables on solar power and bike-friendly strategies and actions, accelerating the recent momentum from our well-attended ZISPOA Bike-Friendly Festival held on October 1, and our launching on October 4 of the Solar Post, a ZISPOA-supported solar energy kiosk for charging mobile phones and other electronic devices, located in the courtyard of the UFRGS Administration School.

The first two days of the UTC will be held in the Centenario Building of the UFRGS Engineering School, where the ZISPOA project office is located.  On the second night there will be a special Green Drinks networking event and UTC celebration at Orbita Coworking, a ZISPOA-supported startup hub, collaborative house, and coworking space. 

The Coletivas Criativas film and related events on the final day of the UTC will be at the Vila Flores Cultural Association, a popular and rapidly growing collaborative house in ZISPOA.  In June 2016 Vila Flores was the venue for the ZISPOA World Environment Day Festival, where we displayed a "solar tree" as an innovative symbol of Sustainable Innovation, bringing technology and nature closer together.


Article by Global Urban Development 
Photo Credits: Global Urban Development