Urban Thinkers–Saskia Sassen and Richard Sennett at the Future of Places conference

by Jörgen Eriksson on July 1, 2015

The on-going Future of Places III conference is a platform for discussion of the future of our cities and providing recommendations for The New Urban Agenda that will be decided at the Habitat III conference in Quito in 2016. This means the on-going event is a meeting for some of the greatest minds on urbanism today.

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Yesterday Saskía Sassen, a Dutch-American sociologist of Columbia University and noted for her analyses of globalization and international human migration, of which she has written numerous best-selling books. As I started in consulting on innovation environments in 2001, she was one of our early inspirations. In the speech below, she talks about who owns our cities today. Mrs Sassen is a great speaker so enjoy!

Saskia Sassen on Who Owns the City?


Following Saskia Sassen was Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and University Professor of the Humanities at New York University. Sennett has studied social ties in cities, and the effects of urban living on individuals in the modern world, and he made a brilliant speech about the new of a new charter for cities, where he argued the case that it is upon time to leave the rational Athens Charter formulated by Le Corbusier in 1933, for new ideas of more “porous” cities. I strongly recommend you to listen to this speech.

Richard Sennett on The Open City


After Saskia Sassen and Richard Sennett’s talks, they answered questions from the world-known thinkers in the audience and some really interesting dialogue took place about the age of the knowledge workers and how this affects our cities, and also the need for counterbalance to closed communities.

Saskia Sassen and Richard Sennett debate

About Jörgen Eriksson :

Jörgen Eriksson is the founder of Bearing and is the Chairman of the firm since it was created. He has successfully expanded Bearing into covering projects on four continents. He is also Adjunct Professor of Innovation Management at the International University of Monaco and at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona and he is an active member of the Founders Alliance organisation.

Working with consulting engagements across Bearings practices, he has over the past fifteen years participated in and supervised a large number of client projects, from innovation system development and place development and branding, to merger and acquisition assignments and leading edge research and business development activities for key clients.

His new book, Branding for Hooligans, will be published in 2015. It is about how innovation and branding are key survival factors in our modern times of hyper competitive markets.

Prior to Bearing, he was Director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa for Trema Treasury Management, a technology and consulting services provider, supplying financial software solutions for the global financial industry, Clients included The European Central Bank, Citibank, SEB, South African reserve Bank, Deutsche Bank, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), as well as many other large financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

Early in his career Eriksson was educated at the Stockholm School of Economics, where he studied economics, financial economics and philosophy. He then worked in Scandinavian investment banks and also for the Swedish Institute of National Defense Research.

You can contact Jörgen on e-mail jorgen.eriksson@bearing-consulting.com, connect on LinkedIn on http://fr.linkedin.com/pub/jörgen-eriksson/0/38/8a0/ and follow him on twitter on joreri508.

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