• Mark Alexander

Joining the dots. How our world works.

We have been playing around with Transformation Maps, the new platform developed by the World Economic Forum and want to share some thoughts on this great tool. 

If you like us, select "Cities and Urbanization" from the tiled page of areas that the

Transformation Maps cover, a visualisation of the sub-topics that influence and interact with that topic appears. Alongside that graphic sits a summary of the critical issues, WEF publications, and in an area reserved for the WEF members a list of topic experts, events and initiatives.

Urban Infrastructure and Services Urban Society Urban Governance Urban Innovation Urban Economy Urban Environmen

The "Cities and Urbanization" topic is the pin in the centre of a Katherine wheel of sparks in concentric circles whose proximity to the pin is based on their degree of influence on the core topic. UK is on there. 3D printing is, too. Plus urban society, social media, global governance, gender parity, cybersecurity, space, China— more than 100 other areas form nodes in an interactive spider's web of interconnections.

For "Cities and Urbanization" these first-order interconnected topics include urban society, infrastructure and services, environment, economy, innovation and government. Click any of the nodes, and you see how your original selection connects to nodes along an outer ring of other WEF-curated topics. We chose Real estate.

Selecting the Real estate node from that outer ring generates an entirely different Katherine wheel, with the new topic at its centre. Through this process of clicking, inspecting, and reshuffling, you surface the shared resources/challenges/agendas that exist between urbanisation and its related areas. In this case the tool maps Healthcare delivery, Wellness and environmental sustainability, Finance and capital markets, Infrastructure, Logistics and transportation, Demographic shifts and ageing, Urbanization and migration, Regulation and governance, Housing, wealth and affordability and Smart and innovative cities as related. It's much more comfortable on the eye (and brain) in a graphical format than it sounds when I write it down. It's fluid, fun in a geeky sort of way and engaging.

The tool's utility becomes clear when you explore this less visually orientated features. It is pulling in masses of feeds which are curated by the humans at Nesta, (an innovation foundation) and their algos along with leading experts at universities, think tanks, international organizations and other not-for-profit research institutions. The choice of institution and individual co-curator depends on a number of factors, including their reputation and accomplishments, advice of the Forum’s own subject matter experts and availability.

It helped us understand as the WEF pus it “the complex forces shaping the world in the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” and think about solutions in Redstone's work.

We love this. Redstone's Head of Strategy said "It is like Minority Report style visualisations are coming out of Stephen Hawking's brain narrated by Stephen Fry." Well...Quite.

The WEF wants people to play around with it. So give it a go.

2 views0 comments