I overslept the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Christian Mackrodt




Cities For A New Century

Around the globe, cities are growing at a remarkable pace. Especially in developing countries, rural-to-urban migration is creating new administrative, infrastructural and social challenges. Can megacities address these challenges and provide a model for life in the 21st century?

People In Motion

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Mobility is the central issue for tomorrow’s cities. Without mobility, economic growth and political life become impossible. We need to break with existing networks and move towards communication and transportation systems designed around the individual user.

by George Hazel

The Global Slum

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Along with the emergence of global cities, we witness the emergence of slums. What is often overlooked is the critical economic role played by informal settlements. Slums give rise to new identities and support the formal economy by providing a structure from below.

by Saskia Sassen

Self-Sustained Living


Autarchy, the Only Way to Be

Even a few years ago, the thought of self-sustained living might have invoked images of fringe activism. But advances in biofuels and solar technology have made it easier than ever to move off the grid without losing some of the amenities of modern life. But why would you?

Small is Beautiful

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We can lead self-sustaining lives without sacrificing our standard of living. The only thing we need is the knowledge needed to create autarchic communities, and a mechanism to pass it along. The Open Source Ecology movement aims to provide that toolkit.

by Marcin Jakubowski

A Future Without Oil

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Our current system of trade is based on the availability of cheap fossil fuels. Yet the time nears when prices will rise and oil will become increasingly scarce. If we want to avoid this vulnerability, we must now begin to think about ways to reduce our dependency and promote the idea of self-sustaining towns and communities.

by Rob Hopkins

Amish 2.0

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The Amish people in Pennsylvania have long maintained independence from the rest of society. But even they have begun to embrace modern technology. Solar panels have made life easier while protecting the self-sufficiency that many Amish guard so fiercely.

by Fabian Loehe

Social Fabric and the Internet


A New Duality

We are increasingly linked to global social networks. But what if someone decides to go offline – or if groups are somehow unable to participate in the new networks? The European takes a closer look at emerging patterns of communication and connectivity among the digital natives.

Forsake for Freedom

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We need a happy “Yes We Can’t!”. Freedom is realized in our renunciation. If we want to foster a culture of freedom and happiness, we need to cultivate our asceticism.

by Paulus Terwitte

The Honesty of Online Politics

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Listening, persuading, mobilizing – political campaigning and canvassing are made easier by the social web. Now that the Obamamania is over, political parties are well-advised to continue courting their online supporters.

by Robert Heinrich

Google Almighty

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Social media and Google are quickly becoming invaluable to our lives. By breaking with old structures, the little start-up emerged as the most dominant force of the Internet Age.

by Bjoern Behrendt

Communication Quarantine

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Secretly checking emails, twittering from the restroom, online 24/7. How addicted to the “social media” phenomenon have we become? Markus Albert attempts to find out himself.

by Markus Albers

Tomorrow's Hot Spots


The Forest Among the Trees

Everyone is looking at Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. But these conflicts are neither isolated from a larger context nor unique in their disruptive potential. We shift the focus: to Southeast Asia, to Kashmir, or to Taiwan. What are the unresolved tensions, and what solutions can we expect?

When Two Quarrel, a Third Rejoices

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The Kashmir border region between India and Pakistan remains a volatile hot spot in Asia. Violence and vested interests have long prevented viable solutions. But unless the two countries resolve their issues, the conflict will only increase the influence of Afghan war-lords and Al Qaida.

by Christian Wagner

Moscow, Get Ready for Trouble

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The long shadow of the Soviet Union can be felt even today. Around Russia, former republics and part-republics are experiencing turmoil across national and ethnic borders. If Moscow is not careful to play her cards right, destabilizing forces could soon become energized.

by Alexander Rahr
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