Friday, July 01, 2011

Smart City - Innovative Newcastle NSW

Smarter City - Innovative Newcastle was the theme for the latest Lunaticks Society event held at The Delaney in Darby Street Cooks Hill on Wednesday.

The event was billed to showcase Newcastle City Council's recently released strategic plan to become a Smart, Innovation City to help Newcastle develop a healthy, diverse, creative and resilient economy.

All things considered, sadly, there was little that we saw which addressed this.

It became clear that we need to focus on the city we want to be and face the new environment with hope and ideas, not be harking back to the past and what we've already tried.

Craig Wilson's (@MediaHunter) plan for creatng an innovative city 

And we need to do it without expectation of this being driven by council.

But, how do you create a culture of new ideas? How do you attract smart people? How do you turn an Old World City into one the World’s Smartest Cities?

Our Town - Then

Goodbye Steelworks

This old way of being is now gone with these steelworks that in previous years had described the narrative of Newcastle.

This way of life that has gone already.

One day perhaps the coal will go too and even without that happening new industries can blossom in our Town. Smart industries.

New technology.

Bright ideas.

A new economic driver that doesn't rely on digging up what's there and shipping it out without adding value. That idea was old and tired back when this 1979 advertisement first aired. In 2011 it is ridiculous as a proposition for future prosperity.

We need a new economic driver that will see new generations working in great jobs with a future, not crying for a past that is well past it's use-by date.

What would our movie of NEWcastle look like if we made it now?


Siobhan said...

I think part of the problem is a lack of confidence Novocastrians have in believing they can be the driver for change and innovation in this town. There's always been big business there to placate and guide the region; steel, coal, Tinkler. What's needed is leadership that's driven by the brave, bold and daring. Slowly but surely the city's disposition will emulate and Newcastle will come into its own.

Bwendo said...

This is the age old Newcastle debate - how to promote Newcastle as a "something" when all she really is is herself.
Simple, undecorated, understated.
But keep trying...

Lindy said...

I'm okay with the old girl being what she is. But I see that as with many old girls, flexible and able to adapt to the changing times.

Lindy said...

@Siobhan I agree and I'm not sure where that leadership is likely to come from. Perhaps looking for leadership is another form of infantilism waiting for Daddy or some other individual to step up instead of each of us adding our bit to a more collective approach going forward. Unfortuately we have seen how good sectors of the town have been exceptionally good at not sharing and being dogmatic in their approach. That hasn't done much good for us and really has to make way for a more useful way of communicating that leads to some helpful action.