We are living in an age of information and technology unlike any other in history, and the pace of change and creation of new knowledge is so great that it can be hard to comprehend. I believe that hand-in-hand with these advances we need to develop and distribute tools so that everyone has the ability to benefit from the knowledge. Software and technologies such as Wikipedia, Google Maps, Kickstarter, 3D printing, augmented reality and social media have all shown the benefits of connecting people and sharing information, and we will only see more of this in coming years.
I believe that Auckland needs to embrace this technology and do so for the benefit of its citizens, with an eye to what may be coming over the horizon. Rather than taking a reactionary stance when it comes to new developments, we can foster ones that will build our local economy and build cohesion amongst our communities, and prepare procedures and future-proof our infrastructure for others that may pose risks to us if left to develop unchecked. The Council itself must embrace new technology and new ways of thinking about old problems, which should help to reduce operating costs relative to the overall level of service it can deliver. Useful too would be finding a way to realistically make legislation, council policies, and democratic processes more straightforward and easy for the public to engage with and learn what is going on in their city.
For all that I would have us embrace to the future, however, I urge us not to forget our history and the wisdom of past generations. Too many of our respected elders, whether they are our war veterans, artisans of disappearing crafts, or figures of the community, live disconnected from their families and their communities. Not only should we seek to use these new technologies to help them and reconnect with them, but we can record their wisdom so that it can be passed down for future generations to come.