How do we create a truly happy city? A city in which all citizens have equal opportunities of development? A city where the voice of the children is heard? Last week we discussed these questions during the second edition of our Ciudades Felices (Happy Cities) Festival in Rosario, Argentina. More than 500 people attended a day full of keynote speeches, roundtables, exhibitions & innovative spaces of interaction. With the presence of different (inter)national speakers - among whom the famous urbanist Gil Peñalosa and the coach of the national Argentine football team Edgardo Bauza - we discussed topics like youth development, urban planning and mobility.
I co-founded El Desafío Foundation more than 11 years ago and to see the ever growing group of youngsters, of which many volunteers was truly moving. We organize the festival to inspire and get inspired, to share our knowledge and make a bigger impact by creating new connections. Currently based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands I had the opportunity to get a bit of an 'outside view' attending the festival and working with the team for the last 2,5 weeks. Democracy in the making, fueling the hope for a better future; it's so inspiring to be part of this challenge.
At the festival actors from various backgrounds - entrepreneurs, NGO's, the Municipality, schools, and many more - got together as equals with a common goal. Our youngsters did not only co-create, they also curated the wrap up at the end of the festival. They shared their main concerns and ideas with the Secretary-General of the Municipality and the university chancellor. Their advice: more attention for LGBT rights, sports as a platform for development and sustainable transport and inclusive public spaces. But not just words, also the conclusion that if we want to create a happy city, citizens can't be spectators, we all need to act, and now!
Thank you so much for your support. Only with your help we can give these youngsters the opportunity to create the city they envision. Very soon we can share the after movie and more outcomes of the festival. Don't hesitate to contact me for more information.