IE Thought of the Week

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"I’d like to finish by telling a story from Curitiba, Brazil. Curitiba is an amazing place. It has grown from 6,000 people to two and a half million people in the last 20 years. With a growth rate not unheard of here in China, it has multiplied its green space by a factor of 50. It has found ways to provide all of its people, especially its poor, with safe, nutritious organic food from the city’s farms. It has built a public transportation system that is second to none in the world. In fact, they make their busses at their own factories. And when they built a library for the city, instead of building a central building, the Mayor decided to put little libraries all over the city, so that all the children could get to the library by walking for no more than twelve minutes. If a child was too poor to buy books, she could collect garbage on her way to the library, recycle it and get paid in all the books she ever needed for school. Every child was given access to the World Wide Web where they can communicate for free and research subjects of interest internationally. Some of the citizens complained that children from outside the city were coming to use the libraries. They said the parents of these children weren’t part of the city and did not pay taxes. When the mayor heard this, he said, "When we begin to love the children, we must love all of the children. And if the city does not love these children too, then these children will grow up hating the city. And if these children hate the city, they will destroy the city."

And what I would like to say tonight to all of us, as designers signaling our intentions, is that it is indeed time for us to imagine what it would be like to love all the children-all of them. Chinese children, American children, children of pandas, children of cranes. Because, if the world cannot love all of its children, then those children may grow to resent the world. And if they don’t love the world, they may begin to hate the world. And if they hate the world, they will destroy it."
~ "A New Design For Human Enterprise"–  William McDonough’s address to China- US Center Meeting

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