[div class=attrib]From BigThink:[end-div]
The future of global innovation is the Brazilian favela, the Mumbai slum and the Nairobi shanty-town. At a time when countries across the world, from Latin America to Africa to Asia, are producing new mega-slums on an epic scale, when emerging mega-cities in China are pushing the limits of urban infrastructure by adding millions of new inhabitants each year, it is becoming increasingly likely that the lowly favela, slum or ghetto may hold the key to the future of human development.
Back in 2009, futurist and science fiction writer Bruce Sterling first introduced Favela Chic as a way of thinking about our modern world. What is favela chic? It’s what happens “when you’ve lost everything materially… but are wired to the gills and are big on Facebook.” Favela chic doesn’t have to be exclusively an emerging market notion, either. As Sterling has noted, it can be a hastily thrown-together high-rise in downtown Miami, covered over with weeds, without any indoor plumbing, filled with squatters.
Flash forward to the end of 2010, when the World Future Society named favela innovation one of the Top 10 trends to watch in 2011: “Dwellers of slums, favelas, and ghettos have learned to use and reuse resources and commodities more efficiently than their wealthier counterparts. The neighborhoods are high-density and walkable, mixing commercial and residential areas rather than segregating these functions. In many of these informal cities, participants play a role in communal commercial endeavors such as growing food or raising livestock.”
What’s fascinating is that the online digital communities we are busy creating in “developed” nations more closely resemble favelas than they do carefully planned urban cities. They are messy, emergent and always in beta. With few exceptions, there are no civil rights and no effective ways to organize. When asked how to define favela chic at this year’s SXSW event in Austin, Sterling referred to Facebook as the poster child of a digital favela. It’s thrown-up, in permanent beta, and easily disposed of quickly. Apps and social games are the corrugated steel of our digital shanty-towns.
[div class=attrib]More from theSource here.[end-div]