Although Lee Schipper is not with us any more, for me his spirit is still there.
Many years ago, I met him at a meeting of the International Energy Agency in Paris and was fascinated by his inspiring talk. As representative of the European Commission, I invited him to further talks in Brussels. Through this professional exchange, we also became friends.
Then I got the notice of his death.
As cancer is also quite an issue in my own family, an idea came to my mind while writing my first book about workshops and trainings that guarantee success:
So what does all this have to do with sustainable cities?
To achieve sustainable cities, technology is important. But it is also about people and their interactions and commitments to putting great ideas into practice. Good workshops can support this. It is often not only about technology but also about the right use and implementation. Good trainings can help significantly.
As a professional facilitator, I accompany smart city developments with stakeholder involvement, and I see the urgent need for better workshops. Maybe you are also annoyed by boring, endless meetings without results? And you’d rather have workshops with high involvement, committed participants and a well-planned agenda? Then, get familiar with the principles of workshop facilitation!
I recognize that people want a change in thinking. As professional trainer, I am convinced that with better training sessions, you can teach people how to use new technologies and change city residents’ behavior. Additionally, we not only have to train the professionals, like craftsmen, but also politicians. To achieve this, understand the principles of didactics based on brain-research and psychology! Lee was a natural on that. He was a great trainer inspiring us with a lot of humor.
To summarize, innovative technologies are extremely important, but it is also about process and a changed behavior and mindset to get to sustainable cities! Lee was aware of that and hopefully his spirit will live on and continue inspiring us all to continue our work toward achieving sustainable and liveable smart cities.
I wish all Lee Schipper scholars success with their studies!
Birgit Baumann is donating 10 percent of her annual book sales to the Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship. Click here to learn more about her book “Blühende Workshops und Trainings mit Erfolgsgarantie” (forthcoming in English). Click here to subscribe to her newsletter and stay updated.