Why mayors have more chance of saving the world than global leaders do

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Karim Kanji:

As a resident living in Toronto (Ford Nation) these talks are all very relevant and important. Hope our civic leaders, including the Mayor, watch these.

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Benjamin Barber speaks on the power of mayors at TEDGlobal 2013. Photo: James Duncan Davidson
Benjamin Barber speaks on the power of mayors at TEDGlobal 2013. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

The challenges we face in the 21st century are global in nature. Yet it often seems like we are woefully ill-equipped to address issues such as poverty, violence, security or public health with our large-scale political institutions.

[ted_talkteaser id=1825]In this bold talk, Benjamin Barber suggests that we should transition away from nation states towards a system of cities, where mayors rule. Why? Because, he argues, mayors are pragmatic problem solvers who are deeply involved in the issues of the cities they serve. They are “homies,” that is, people who grew up in the city. They get things done: they are responsible for fixing potholes and educating children. In contrast, Barber notes, presidents rule abstractly and distantly, governing imagined nation states from above.

Barber argues that cities are hotspots of potential for solving the…

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2 thoughts on “Why mayors have more chance of saving the world than global leaders do

    racineinruins said:
    September 25, 2013 at 9:35 am

    You must not read the Papers much. Looks like you missed the corruption and cities in death spirals from Detroit MI to Racine WI. then we have all the Cities in Bankruptcy.

      Karim Kanji responded:
      September 26, 2013 at 10:34 am

      I don’t read the papers much. But that has nothing to do with knowing what’s going on. I know there are cities that are flirting with bankruptcy or have corrupt mayors. But that does not mean that the opportunity for mayors to do something great is any less. Expect more from our leaders rather than less. Thanks for dropping by and reading.

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