Month: December 2015

Arab Spring 5 years later

Five years ago the Arab Spring uprisings began in Tunisia when street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi was harassed to death by city officials. Tunisia has intrigued me in the past few months: it is arguably the best example of a democratic success to grow out of the Arab Spring, but its economy is faltering (its tourism industry devastated by high-profile terrorism) and DAESH/ISIS seems to have a deadly foothold in the failed-state vacuum of neighboring Libya. The national government has responded to security threats with the predictable restrictions on civil liberty and human rights.

As one tweet puts it, “Tunisia:  The birthplace of the Arab Spring. But could derail its fight for democracy?”

What can the people of Tunisia do? How can they defend their cities without sacrificing their newly-won freedoms, without allowing their elected rulers to reimpose police-state conditions through democratic means? Are there opensource distributed solutions so individual tunisiens can participate in securing their own communities? What can citizens do to protect their families and their city – especially when police and military seem unlikely to defeat Daesh without a totally new approach?

World Bank on Competitive Cities

A top-shelf establishment looking at what makes specific cities globally competitive and faster-growing than their host nation:  Competitive Cities by the World Bank from 2014.

Here’s the interesting summary of their recent report Competitive cities for jobs and growth : what, who, and how (Dec. 2015).