The date is the 30th of March 2020. It seems like an impossible date to me (like imagining the year 2000!).
Back in the year 2010 there was the idea put out there by the Nigerian Institute of Architects that Lagos could be re-invented as an Eco-Sustainable Mega City. As fate would have it I was invited to come and help facilitate this momentous and historic activity... and some started an online game called Urgent Evoke that helped us to radically expand our network (the rest is history!)
Almost by chance I met one of the well educated, intelligent and above all enthusiastic Architects from Lagos (in Singapore - but that is another story). He said right away that it would be amazing if I could come from Australia to help then with this task. I thought this sounded great, but was not sure anything would come of it. I knew that my Brain Stampede approach could help their re-invention of their city, project by project, design by design,one good idea after the other. It happened and I did come all the way to Lagos.
I spoke at the conference, and met a lot of really great people - all of which were passionate about the concept of sustainability and the opportunity we had. After the conference I facilitated a workshop that helped everyone get their ideas down, collaborating and work shopping together their ideas together. This sketched out a blueprint that was then distributed, and later formed the basis of press releases and formal plans or government submissions. There was a lot of promise - but some people took it really seriously and momentum had started.
We started right away with leadership training to help put this plan into action. What came from this training was that future projects, some appearing as early as 2011 and 2012, started to actually include a 'business case for sustainable growth and wealth' within their development concept. This idea really started to catch on. Social entrepreneurship ideas became standard within the investment into built environment projects. Environmental benefits were valued from a number of perspectives - sometime carbon credits, sometimes in terms of food security.
Things really picked up in 2013 when the pilot phase was over, and leveraging the initial projects started in earnest. Technology appropriate to the African context was brought into Africa from around the world in our first full scale demonstration. Appropriate? Sanitation concepts from India, free university concepts from South Africa, interactive gaming technology from USA, multi-criteria decision making research from Australia. It was a very rich time...
And the funding also started from the demonstration projects. The integrated approach to the business case for sustainable development meant that Aid , Research , Innovation, Trade funding along with Commercial investment could all be aggregated together around the property investment and community development projects. We got this financial model together, which lead to full scale investment from around 2014 to 2016.
The remarkable thing was that the original Evokation and the conference in the States has lead an amazing R&D project around Evoke finishing in 2017. The online facilitation and interaction actually made the Urgent Evoke concept remarkable close to what actually happened. Our knowledge was limited then, but the principles of people working together to build the business case, drive sustainability projects, and have a lot of fun really was close to our experience. Looking forward to the next phase of this global phenomena.
2018 to 2020 rode a massive wave of success in Lagos. The city has really started to re-define what sustainability is all about. Development in the city look quite different because the big projects and commercial investment has a new feeling - creating sustainable social and environmental wealth along side the financial ROI from these projects. The local designers and social, environmental and business entrepreneurs come up with better and better ways to be sustainable - and make it attractive to business. Lagos has become a destination, like Curitiba and Cuba and other famous sustainability cities and countries.
Now for the global roll out!