Special Guest: Dr. Arsalan Abtahi, MD - Executive Chair, Symphony

Spatial Web AI Podcast Episode 3

Listen on YouTube

Listen on Spotify

Spatial Web AI Podcast Episode 3

In this episode, we discuss Dr. Abtahi’s background as a medical doctor and how it relates to his work on creating inclusive, sustainable, smart cities through his organization Symphony. He talks about the challenges of building such cities, including competition and silos that hinder interoperability. Dr. Abtahi also describes the four pillars of inclusive, sustainable smart cities: environmental sustainability, social inclusion and community resilience, intelligent and participatory governance, and inclusive economic development.


Dr. Abtahi explains the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are made up of 17 different indicators. He discusses how technology, such as AI and the spatial web, can be used to achieve these goals by automating processes and improving quality of life. Abtahi compares a city’s lack of functional architecture to a human’s subconscious mind that automates survival. He notes that technology can fill this gap by automating things like food production and energy production so that people can focus on intellectual pursuits instead of worrying about basic needs.


We discuss the lack of infrastructure that can maximize interoperability between siloed systems and create a holistic understanding of what’s happening. He explains how the spatial web is filling this gap by creating an extracellular matrix that connects everything together, similar to human cells.


Dr. Abtahi emphasizes the importance of measuring data from sensors in cities to create a comprehensive digital twin ecosystem for better management through programmable equilibrium, reflecting how big data and AI tools enable data driven decision making for policy making instead of relying solely on people who are wiser or smarter. He also emphasizes the importance of prioritizing Africa and Latin America in addressing infrastructure issues and closing the digital divide through multidisciplinary collaborations. Finally, he highlights the need for a collective mission towards more inclusive, sustainable ecosystems and changing our perspective on identity as individuals within a larger system, recognizing our commonalities and breaking down silos between individuals rather than focusing on differences.


Special thanks to Dr. Arsalan Abtahi, for being on our show!


If you’d like to know more about Symphony and how you can get involved, you can reach Dr. Abtahi on LinkedIn



Be sure to check out our other Episodes and watch all the videos in the Knowledge Bank Playlist to learn more about how smart technologies work together with the Spatial Web and Active Inference AI.

Explore the future of AI with Active Inference and gain insights into this revolutionary approach! Subscribe to our channels on YouTubeSpotifyAppleAmazon, and more, and subscribe to our newsletter on LinkedIn, for more ground breaking content.

All content for Spatial Web AI is independently created by me, Denise Holt.

Empower me to continue producing the content you love, as we expand our shared knowledge together. Become part of this movement, and join my Substack Community for early and behind the scenes access to the most cutting edge AI news and information. 

Episode Transcript:

(00:00) foreign thank you for joining us for another episode of spatial web AI podcast uh today I have the great pleasure of introducing Dr Arsalan Abtahi, founder and executive chair of symphony Arsalan thank you for coming on our show today welcome thank you it’s great to be here thank you for having me yeah um okay so now you present an interesting combination of skills uh you’re a medical doctor and I also technologist uh social workers so smart City Experts uh sustainable development uh you seem uniquely

(00:56) equipped to tackle some of our greatest human challenges uh that we face as we navigate the near future so um please tell us a little bit about yourself uh some of your background and kind of what drives you in the work that you’re doing absolutely look first of all it’s not about me I always talk about a collective intelligence so unless all of us come together there is no way we can tackle any problems so I’m just a note in this system and I try to do everything I can to look you know as always we say

(01:28) um leave the world better than we found it right so uh look you said yeah my background by training on my medical doctor and it actually does a lot of the things that I do actually do relate to one another because I feel like you know when we talk about a human being this is a very comprehensive complex system that actually resembles a city if you think about it so we have you know over 30 trillion cells which are like many factories all working together to Keep Us Alive you know Energy Systems we have water systems we have our kidney we have like

(02:06) you know our liver we have all these highways we call blood vessels that you know take energy and Nutri nutrients all over the body we have our nervous system which is kind of the uh takes over the governance so as you can see again this is like a full-fetch comprehensive City that we’re talking about right yeah so uh uh in medical school as I was learning more on more about how like a physiology Works how our anatomy works I could see kind of the microcosm of the universe right so when we zoom in we see this complex

(02:46) system but when we zoom out we also see the same thing so the holonic structures that you always talk about so um that’s why when I graduated from medical school I always had this perspective of kind of zooming at and you know really looking at our collective intelligence and you know like and again on a cellular level when we zoom in to our body under we look at ourselves under a microscope we see these islands of cells are you know connected together via an extracellular Matrix and all you know kind of collaborating together there is a very

(03:25) high level of interoperability between different parts of our body and how our homeostasis is maintained so um I was always thinking that you know when we as human beings come together we’re kind of like those cells right so create this bigger body and not just us you know everything that’s around us in our environment is part of that Collective body and the problem is you know as human beings we have kind of isolated ourselves from nature so we live within an artificial system that doesn’t have

(04:01) that level of automation doesn’t have that level of interoperability and that’s why we are kind of struggling in a lot of ways but I believe that technology can bridge that Gap right so it can again bring us together in a harmonious way so that you know like we talked about biomimicry a lot so and we can kind of do the same thing that our body does in our cities so that’s kind of the the analogy you know uh behind uh inclusive sustainable smart CDs so again the organization Symphony uh is on a mission to enable this

(04:47) Multicultural programmable ecosystems we referred to as inclusive sustainable smart cities and we’re also working with the standard bodies such as IEEE to hopefully create an overarching standard for all the different components that need to come together to you know have a new global standard for future Urban Design and especially Smart City development and the main reason why we call it Symphonies because we believe that all those fragmented systems that need to come together like different instruments that need to come together

(05:20) to create a symphony are already there all what we need to do is to kind of orchestrate them and again create a symphony of uh you know different voices different Technologies and it’s not just about technology we have technology we have science policy urban planning architecture uh everything pretty much come together yeah so you know it’s fascinating to me because um when you talk about the different opponents that need to come together for interoperability you know it’s quite a challenge um you know what do you see as maybe the

(05:59) greatest challenges that are surrounding um you know the building of smart cities and you know what does it mean to build an inclusive uh sustainable Smart City well so uh first of all I think the challenge is a lot of the challenges are not technical challenges or you know structural challenges or architectural challenges I think most of the challenges we have as human beings like in our own perspective of how we think of life and um us you know just being very competitive I think competition is a big big part of that challenge because

(06:41) when you have this mindset of a competitive mindset what happens is whatever you create is being created in Asylum and then when we start creating this different silos what happens is you know there is no interoperability between these silos so it becomes very difficult to have a you know as like a synergistic system like uh you know enter like with maximized interoperability like in a city to understand exactly what is happening there and how to manage that system like Dan says you know if you can’t uh measure it you can’t manage it so you

(07:25) have that lack again the silos I think uh are uh the main Challenge and then breaking those silos and bringing them together again because you know we create Solutions and then those Solutions turn into businesses and those businesses have certain business models and those business models are usually not incentivizing the developers to share knowledge they’re all in silos because I’m going to want to hold on to what I’m creating here right so again the challenge is us not it’s not outside of us it’s our perspective and I think

(08:02) that is something that that’s getting resolved you know finally in the 21st century and with all these challenges that we have ahead of us climate change socioeconomic geopolitical all these different challenges we’re finally waking up and understanding that unless we change that mindset and unless we come to collaborate with one another all this you know we’re going to be wiped off of that planet so it’s so true oh my gosh um okay so you know uh you’ve talked before about the four major pillars of

(08:37) these uh sustainable smart cities um maybe you could describe that for our audience absolutely so again inclusive sustainable smart cities so first of all before that the reason why we chose that you know kind of the phrase inclusive system those smart cities is because we believe that if you think about cities in today’s world right right now I’m talking about you know San Francisco or LA or Dubai or abhi John in Africa or any City uh when you zoom out what you see is not an ecosystem that we are thriving in these

(09:20) are Big marketplaces so the way we design a city is like you know designing a gigantic Marketplace which is very exclusive which is very unsustainable and super fragment so they are exclusive unsustainable or extractive fragmented marketplaces what’s the flip side of that an exclusive unsustainable you know dumb marketed places and inclusive sustainable Smart City so just in kind of the mirror of that so uh the four major pillars of inclusive sustainable smart cities are environmental sustainability social inclusion and Community

(10:09) resilience intelligent and participatory governance and inclusive economic developments these are the four major pillars and then each have a set of indicators they each have three different indicators that total of 12 different indicators that um basically makes it much easier for cities to track their progress and you know really measure uh their outcome and their output and the the main blueprint is the unsustainable development goals and for those who don’t know like this is like if we can’t see this well with

(10:51) 17 different colors that’s what it represents so very quickly for those who don’t know about the unsdgs you have all the way from no poverty and zero hunger to good health and well-being quality education gender equality water and sanitation clean and affordable energy descent work and economic growth industry Innovation and infrastructure we have reduced inequalities sustainable cities and communities as responsible consumption and production climate action Life Below water life on land peace Justice and strong institutions

(11:30) and finally Partnerships or goals so these are the 17 you understand isn’t the goal for that to reach those by 2030 these Community yes the alternative name for them is the 2030 agenda and that’s why this decade is called the decade of action so that collectively we come to together and try to achieve these goals and you know usually when the goals are not achieved they just change their name and change the deadline so the UN sdgs are kind of the you know the child of millennial goals which were supposed to be achieved

(12:11) by 2015 they did and now we have the sdgs by 2030 but the very unique thing about this decade of action and What Makes Us kind of hopeful to achieve this goes to a certain extent is the power of Technology we have today I mean just think of AI just AI on its own you know can really like I call AI kind of like when either when I think of AI I think of it as a time machine that can really accelerate our progress to Infinity so whatever like because with the amount of data that AI can now process and learn from and you know automate things

(12:50) whatever that would take us you know a year to do not can be done in an hour yeah so it’s just a matter of figuring out how to connect those dots together and I think that’s where really the power of you know tools such as the spatial web comes to the picture that can help us now you know again have a really comprehensive sense of what is happening right so you know the digital twin technology and everything that can help us again measure measure things and connect dots and then use tools such as AI to

(13:33) automate the process and really uh accelerate you know like that’s really the term like so like uh every time I talk about what we are doing I’m saying that yes we are out of Silicon Valley and we use a lot of Technologies but the center of our attention is not technology we don’t develop technology for the sake of technology technology is just like a comprehensive toolkit that can help us accelerate our progress to have to improve quality of life to you know really uh protect the environment so those are

(14:09) really the center of our attention the rest of it is just what do we have in the 21st century what tool do we have in our toolkit that we didn’t have before and how to leverage that okay interesting so you mentioned the spatial web um tell me I know versus AI is one of your uh strategic Partners in uh achieving the uh the goals that you have set for these uh inclusive sustainable smart cities so how exactly are you working with versus um what is their technology bringing to the table for you absolutely so you know

(14:46) in the beginning I mentioned I had this comparison of a human being and a city right yeah uh so now let’s talk a little bit about that and then connect dots in that sense so um so you know when you just think of yourself for a moment you have as a human being you have a functional architecture you have a structural architecture the structure of art Distributing your body and your Anatomy the functional architecture in your mind and the functional architecture which is your mind uh now further divides into a

(15:21) conscious mind and a subconscious mind the subconscious mind is the major one because that’s like more than 90 of who you are what you do how you you know maintain your survival you know is the work of your subconscious mind so as you and I are having this conversation our subconscious mind is still digesting the breakfast we ate a few hours ago your hair is growing as we are having this conversation your cells are dividing as we are having this conversation your heart is beating 70 times or more or less than a minute as

(16:00) we are having this conversation you’re you know uh without thinking about it your breath is maintained so you’re breathing and a lot of things are happening in that city right so that you have no idea what else is happening like every single cell is producing certain proteins or hormones and you know everything that’s happening in your brain so again trillions of little factories are in operation as we are having this conversation with that you and I even realizing or knowing yeah that is what I’m saying like more than

(16:34) 90 percent of this whole system is controlled by a system that is completely subconscious and out of our you know control basically wow yeah everything is just a little bit of it which is the conscious mind which is now you are not having this intellectual conversation and thinking and you know maybe you know creating art or you know like all those extra stuff that we do without conscious mind so uh so we have this incredible system in our body that automates our survival basically right right you and I ever even think

(17:16) about it or you know you even know that it exists from the moment we are born to the moment we die now when we talk about a city which is basically uh a place where you know you think of a city and you know again when we look at the urbanization rate of how like you know by 2050 almost 7 out of 10 billion people will be living in cities and then beyond that there’s a point that all of us will be living in cities so cities are kind of the epicenter for human habitation or Human Habitat right so if that’s the place where we live

(18:00) and if we are making the comparison between a human being and a city what’s lacking is again that functional architecture so if you have this structural architecture our high values are roads our hospitals our buildings everything if you have siled functional architectures around like this system operates on its own this hospital here operates on its own that Highway operates on its own and you know with Smart City you know technology if you’re trying to kind of connect these different systems together

(18:35) and make them automated but again what’s lacking is the kind of the subconscious mind for this city which is going to automate survival for us you know so if our subconscious mind is internally automating our survival but externally we still worry about ourselves where do I get the food where do I get my energy where do I get this where do I get when that comes to the picture when that becomes a challenge what happens is now um our technology can fill that Gap so uh when you think about it you know again this is the very first time in human

(19:23) history that you can have this conversations because you finally have all those fragmented pieces you have the AI we have iot we have blockchain we have robotics we have 3D printers we have you know the whole industry 4.0 everything right so at this point what we need in order to create that subconscious mind to automate survival which is again we talked about the sustainable development goals no poverty zero hunger good health involving education for everyone water and sanitation these are the things that we shouldn’t be worried about

(20:00) our technology needs to figure it out you know when our kind of the supply chain is connected when we connect supply and demand and then we have ai to like look at this this is how many people we have and that’s how much food they need every day no not you know uh agriculture technology let’s look at you know smart contracts let’s look at this let’s look at drones let’s look at look all this technologies that can come together to figure out a way to automate the process of food production for as many people as we want

(20:37) and then deliver that to their you know door so at that point you don’t need to worry about food anymore you know because that system is automated the subconscious is taking care of that or same story goes with our energy production same story goes with water so it goes through everything that we need for education for healthcare everything we need in order to survive must be automated so that we can start focusing on you know intellectual stuff art humanitarian work all these things that actually matter right yeah

(21:18) no I was just going to say I love this because you know that I see that all of this technology is literally ushering in this time period of abundance but you’re right we need to we need to have these things uh underlying foundational things that are that are facilitating the disbursement of all of that abundance so that it’s not something that we’re we’re thinking about or worrying about it’s just taking care of the people it’s taking care of you know our of humanity in our lives and the planet and you know

(21:52) exactly and you know now people are talking about asking so what what’s going to happen if AEI is going to do all of that what’s going to happen to our jobs I’m like why do you need that job for you right you can go get food right so if the food that process is automated just like you know the good example of it is in certain places the internet itself is part of the future you know so you you have unlimited access to Internet because you live in that city right so it’s part of like an option that you

(22:23) have access to now the rest of these things could be the same thing right yeah so like the main challenge the reason why we haven’t been able to do that is because uh there is no standardized protocol that can make all these different siled systems work synergistically there is no actual uh infrastructure that can help us maximize interoperability between these different siled systems to have a holistic understanding of what’s happening and then managing it right so when I met with Dan and when I learned about this

(23:03) special well I was like there you go you know that’s exactly what’s been missing so again yeah the human being I remember it was the first of a second conversation we’d have we had with Dan we told them you know what you have done is again the analogy of having 30 Trill more than 30 trillion cells communicating we always talk about the cells we never talk about the extracellular Matrix and connective tissue that connects them all together you you are creating the extracellular Matrix for everything else so that’s

(23:35) what the spatial web is to me so when again he started explaining how you know the you know one of the systems that does have this level of interoperability that we’re talking about is the World Wide Web because we have those protocols that you know kind of help like you know with the HTTP protocol you have all the documents kind of connected together so that you can all access them right so the way you explain how we have in the internet we have this four there are four different layers that need to upgrade so that we

(24:11) can have a next generation of the concept we have the protocol layer we have the data layer we have the logic layer we have the interface layer and how you know the latest version of it is like using https for mobile as a protocol and then you know Cloud for our data and apps for our logic and you know kind of finally touch screen for the interface layer and how all these four layers are not upgrading so we don’t have uh touch screen anymore we’re going to have we’re going to have arvr you know mixed reality technology

(24:51) we’re not going to have apps as the logic player we’re going to have ai we just talk to AI We’re not gonna have Cloud as a database now we have distributed ledgers and blockchain and finally that the last piece that had to come to you know really evolve our web from a web of documents to a web of spaces was the hyperspace transaction protocol which now instead of connecting documents together to have a web of documents basically connects everything to everything to have a web of you know connects this digital tune of spaces

(25:28) together to have a web of spaces or the spatial web so that was like I think the most incredible gift that uh we could receive in order to you know really start thinking about now if is the infrastructure if we have an infrastructure that cannot support interoperability between everything and you know combining that with you know other you know hsml and uh next generation of AI uh that is what that is kind of the foundation that gives us the possibility to now start you know building spaces that are more intelligent more inclusive more

(26:14) sustainable and are all connected yeah so um so it’s interesting because you know uh you know we’ve talked before about this uh kind of multi-dimensional digital twin architecture and you know how it’s not just going to be tracking all of the movements within a city but also the social data the environmental data the economic data and you know what that does for um kind of uh you know sinking the human states with the environmental states with the external States so maybe you could talk a little bit about that and how how you

(26:55) envision all of this working together I know you have other strategic partners that are coming together um as this just giant Global effort uh to make this happen so I love it I’m fascinated by it thank you so again going back to the human being example you think because it’s a very tangible when you talk about yourself you’re like it makes a lot of sense now why don’t we just apply that you know certain like again biomimicry applied out to other systems so and like there was a point that we had no tool to

(27:30) measure what’s happening you know we couldn’t even measure our own temperature you know like if you think about it 200 years ago 300 years ago we had no idea we had just started feeling to the forehead so we couldn’t drop correlations right in today’s world we have all these devices you know fitbits and Apple watch and all these devices that are capturing certain bios signals from our skin from our heart from you know the temperature everything that’s happening within us yeah I call physiologic data that’s part

(28:08) of you know our biometric identity basically right so you have these tools to finally measure our blood pressure our heart rate our temperature our you know many things that can be measured and on the other hand we have systems that are now tracking our eye movements and tracking our you know emotions and tracking our facial recognition devices that can track our you know um other aspects uh that basically um show are mostly are focused on our psychology not just physiology right so the more sensors we invent

(28:52) to measure what’s happening inside and outside of us the better understanding with the better holistic understanding of ourselves we have right right and that is the only way if we can’t finally get to a point where we can have a very comprehensive digital twin of a human being meaning your heart rate goes up then the digital in the heart rate goes up you know so everything every little change that’s happening within your environment has the digital replica that that is kind of you know manifesting that or

(29:25) mimicking that that’s you know that that gives you a lot of power because now you can program yourself for a certain mental state or for a certain physical state so you become kind of a programmable being right so if you feel depressed you don’t need to take a pill to chemically you know uh hack your brain to feel good even though it’s depressed right what you can do is you have like drawn correlations already so you feel a little sad you know what it like what music or what temperature or what friend or what food can actually

(30:04) change your mental state change your emotional state change your physical state so you get to kind of program yourself for you know what you want to be or what you want to experience it makes it a lot easier for you to be in control of who you are or what your goals are same thing for our cities so if now we have this you know billions of iot devices coming online and you know all the sensors and satellite data uh city data and you know all this data that’s been captured when we put this data together with the

(30:46) right framework uh what happens is we get to create again a very comprehensive digital training of that whole ecosystem and now some data are related to the functional structure again Highway data parking data you know hospitals this and that pollution temperature all the all the things that uh basically uh are part of the city yeah some data are related to the environment you know environmental data some data are related to social data so that again I’m going so one of the main reasons that I really love this you know

(31:25) sdg framework is because we have social Dimensions we have environmental Dimensions we have economic Dimensions so it’s not just you know today’s world people are just talking about climate change and carbon footprint and that’s the only thing you hear another another thing they call it it’s funny they call it uh carbon tunnel syndrome the only thing is carbon footprint and how to navigate that but there are a lot of other factors so um when you have a system to measure the level of poverty the level of hunger you

(32:06) know literacy and Education Health Care all the way to climate action all the way to you know quality jobs or decent jobs or energy everything right so if you have a system that I can give you those measurements of where you are you know where you are where is your poverty rate where is your hunger rate where is your you know what’s the state of the environment then is when you can have a comprehensive understanding of your society and the ecosystem that you have created and when you have that measurement it

(32:45) makes it much easier for you to nag and manage it right especially with the help of AI and we talk about the programmability aspect of it which is very fundamental in our work that’s part of the this global standard that we are in a process of creating is introducing programmable cities because when you have that digital replica and you have the AI kind of taking care of you know the data processing and learning and all of that then instead of changing your city or trying to change the state of your Society you just

(33:23) program it right so you program the city so it lowers the carbon footprint and then you know the system knows like that’s the that’s the factory that is pretty like you know right where the issues are yeah exactly and then it manages so just you slow down you speed up you do this you and it’s all happening autonomously and you know we don’t need to think about it or if there’s a day where there’s a wildfire and you see like you know the air quality is not good you start taking care of other aspects to balance that

(34:02) out these are just few examples of what we can do to basically start thinking about programming our cities and having programmable ecosystems right now um this kind of leads into the improvements that it can make for policy making and you know we’ve talked about that before so you know it that’s really fascinating to me so how do you use this data that you receive from this infrastructure to improve the way that you know government works and policies are made for the benefit of people versus you know other entities yeah I mean that

(34:40) that’s that’s one of the major indicators that uh we have we call it a data-driven decision making basically so again these are the things that we these are the tools that we have for the very first time in our history so right exciting so maybe all of us should be very excited and a lot of people are uh have like this pessimistic perspectives about the future but they don’t see what we have today that we’ve never had before right so originally policy making was the job of people who were you know wiser or

(35:19) smarter or had more experience or you know uh those are like if you are smarter if you’re wiser you know how to make policies that are good for everyone and we still kind of have that we have you know governments a few people making decisions and thinking that that’s the right policy for everyone um which works and doesn’t work depending on where you are in the world uh and who’s behind you know what are their agendas behind this policy makings right we finally have again this big data and Ai and uh

(35:58) basically tools that can help us really uh have a better sense of pattern recognition and have a better way of drawing correlations right so if I do X and Y happens then you know and Y is not something I want then I need to change the x or to a kid or you know right kind of improve it a little bit so that’s why we call data-driven decision making so now not us a lot of it’s not the term that is useful but it’s being referred to as data driven decision making so that it’s kind of I think it’s

(36:42) like one of the conversations it actually had at the United Nations General Assembly science session last year and we’re going to have the same conversation this year again in September which is how do we bridge the gap between uh basically uh policy making and decision making and you know when we talk about data-driven decision making we’re really talking about science because that’s what science is when you have data when you look at data and based on that data you start you know making decisions or drawing

(37:18) correlations is when you are basically having the scientific approach so if we can make our policy making or data or data decision or decision making process more scientific meaning instead of only relying on people’s opinions we rely on actual data yeah you know that’s that’s a big change you know that’s like one of the most fundamental uh tools that we can use to really start rethinking about policies and uh yeah a lot of the decisions so so let me ask you then because you just uh just recently got

(38:00) back from a trip to Africa and you know you were taking a lot of these ideas and what you know symphony is doing over there what was the purpose of that trip can you tell us a little bit about kind of what the goal is there sure so you know as like uh so at Symphony what we have done is we have uh to give you just a little bit of History so we have created a blueprint and again I’m talking about this 12 different indicators that come together and uh basically make it easier for serious countries regions to attract

(38:40) their progress towards achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals and um so that’s like creating a blueprint is part of it then we have created a global task force which is you know like we we have basically identified some of the most incredible Minds on the planet so people like Dan makes people who are basically either technologists or scientists or policy experts or city officials or Architects or investors or even artists all coming together to have a very multi-disciplinary task force

(39:18) with a multi-dimensional perspective to not only Design This blueprint but also Implement them and maintain that so like you know one of the guys we worked with is a x his name engineer so he’s been part of all the way from you know conceptualizing to implementing to maintaining these theme parks Disney theme parks around the world so he knows exactly how to build the city from the ground up or interesting so we have or we have people who are behind you know next generation of computers or next generation of web or

(39:55) you know all this really strong and amazing toolkits tools that are coming together for two different like two parallel purposes one is to transforming existing cities so an existing City we like create a digital twin bring all these different tools and you know kind of transform that that existing City into an inclusive sustainable smart city which is part of that you know standardization process and certification and all of that another is to building uh new cities from the ground up with a fresh perspective which is very much needed

(40:34) because again like we said by 2050 the number of people who live in urban areas is going to almost double up and if you think about it we have like almost 4 billion people living in urban areas today and we already don’t have enough infrastructure to support them so you know for housing for education for health care for food we are already in trouble and I imagine that number number doubling up by 2050 having almost 7 billion people living in cities and having almost 1.

(41:11) 2 billion climate refugees so people who are displaced because of climate change imagine all those who live in shorelines and now they have that they need to have a new place so in the next few decades it’s going to be very challenging in terms of infrastructure to support the needs of all these people so we need the transformation of existing cities because cities have major carbon Footprints and a lot of different problems yeah on the other hand we need new CDs to you know basically uh house all these new people who are rushing towards the urban

(41:50) areas and most of this transition is actually happening in Africa and age so uh uh Africa is a continent that has contributed to the list to climate change but it’s going to pay the most price right so uh well because again there if you measure their carbon footprint and compare that to the US or China you’ll see they haven’t contributed a lot but again because of infrastructure and uh lack of self-sufficiency or a lot of the things that need to be in place they’re going to be really uh and again all the it’s a

(42:34) huge continent huge population and [Music] um so it’s going to be very challenging for them to face this uh upcoming not just climate but you know these these crises are going to overlap so it’s going to be climate when you have huge uh number of people displaced not having you know a place to live the little boy little that turns into a geopolitical issue and then the geopolitical issue turns into socio-economic issue and the socio-economic issues and so it’s like you know just that really a complex

(43:15) situation that’s very difficult to navigate not just in Africa but everywhere in the world right so uh that’s why we think like prioritizing Africa and Latin America and places where there is a lack of infrastructure is very important not just because they need it but also because it’s easier for us why is it easier easier for us because when you go to places where there is lack of infrastructure you can kind of bypass the physical infrastructure and jump into digital infrastructure so you know so like to

(43:51) give you an example of if you like like let’s talk about education for a sec so in terms of Education in today’s world when you think of it infrastructure for Education you know you need to think of building a school and you know bringing teachers and you know all those physical things elements and transportation and roads all those physical elements need to come together to have an infrastructure for education system yeah but very parallel to this we have these Technologies you know we have arvr we have the metaverse we have you know

(44:29) all these things that are making this like completely transforming the way Education Works if you are in a country or if you are in a region where there’s a very strong physical infrastructure for education and a lot of people are making money out of it or like you know depend on it it’s very difficult for you to make a transition from physical to digital because you first have to you know fight the existing infrastructure to overcome the politics which is very difficult and that’s a lot of startups fail they have they have

(45:02) great products they are disrupting many Industries but that’s exactly you know the reason why they don’t succeed because you know a lot of the times it’s very difficult to uh change the existing right but when you go to places that there’s already a lack of infrastructure so they’re already looking for a solution it’s very easy for them to be convinced like instead of you know wasting all of that money or resources to not build physical we just directly bypass the physical and directly jump to digital yeah right so

(45:41) instead of building schools we build a platform with codes and instead of making all of that money building roads to make it easy for people to go to the schools we buy VR headsets right so it makes it a lot easier that’s just one example that can be applied for energy like you know transitioning to clean and of affordable energy telemedicine pretty much everything so it’s a win-win situation where these countries need Solutions and kind of like I always say one of the main missions we have at symphony is Bridging

(46:23) the digital divide closing the digital device which is a big problem because if you think about it some countries are becoming really really really Advanced especially with this wave of AI like really really Advanced and some countries who don’t have these Technologies are like you know really in a few years if they don’t catch up they’re gonna looks like stone age compared to these countries so let’s divide this Gap is becoming more and more you know wider and wider and The Wider it becomes the the the

(46:59) it becomes more difficult to want to bridge it right but this is the right time if we think that if we can create those you know multilateral collaboration and Partnerships with those governments we can help them close the digital divide and you know also start thinking about building their own infrastructures and uh so that was kind of the answer to why Africa has like a long answer to yourself no I love that though um yeah and that’s and it’s so important because I think that’s something that a

(47:32) lot of people really do they’re aware of you know this digital divide but uh you know the solutions or any kind of a solution anything that’s viable always seems like Way Out Of Reach way out of touch because it’s already such a massive divide um and there’s so so many political issues and and different things that that seem insurmountable so I love hearing everything that you’re talking about because you actually are you coming up with ways to make this uh to fold everybody into the same um

(48:09) the same path moving forward you know for Humanity and and that’s that gives me a lot of hope that’s really awesome I love that um so is there anything else that uh you feel would be important for uh you know the viewers to understand about Symphony uh what you’re doing um is there anything we haven’t discussed yet um I think we pretty much discussed all the important topics even though like it’s you know for each of these pillars or indicators I could talk for hours because again you know there’s not a

(48:46) single topic or uh industry that we’re not touching it’s like again all the way from food supply chain to education to energy to health care to climate to everything so there’s a lot that we can talk about but I think the most important message I personally have uh for anyone is again technology this blueprints this agendas these are all secondary the most important thing is our individual perspectives so if we are seeking a new reality because you know we’re all talking about this different you know different people different

(49:25) groups have different agendas for the future but if most most of us human beings want to live in more inclusive more sustainable more advanced ecosystems and have a better quality of life and that’s not something that is you know given it is not something that just comes in a silver platter it’s something that each and every single one of us need to work towards it’s like it’s a collective Mission it’s not something that one person or one group or one technology or one government can do it’s

(49:57) a collected mission that requires every single one of us regardless of our education regardless of our background regardless of where we live it’s a mentality it’s a perspective that needs to change and again this perspective really comes from the main part of this new perspective is to think of ourselves as a collective system because uh you know like one thing that I personally really love thinking about all the time is our identity and you know that with the way we Define ourselves so when you say I what is it that you’re referring

(50:35) to and usually we have I think we have a very distorted sense of identity since when we are born we are just programmed with this you know idea that you are born now you need to have a name a family name and nationality a religion a language you know these are your family those are your friends those are the strangers this is just a very distorted way of thinking about yourself and others uh so an alternative way is to think of yourself as an extension of everyone else so those are not your parents you’re not their kids you’re

(51:13) just an extension of those humans and they are an extension of someone else so there was a point that there was only two of us then we recreated ourselves over and over again now we have seven billion of us like we have 30 trillion cells coming together to create this one unit when we come together we create a greater unit and that is our collective intelligence so the main silos that need to be broken down are not between Ai and blockchain and AR and VR or between ourselves oh yeah you know so when we look from that perspective anyone I know

(51:50) who has really come like thought about this perspective it’s not doing something about it I’m one of them you know when I understand the kind of really the Oneness not just from the physiology from a psychological or um from a philosophical perspective but from a really scientific perspective that when we talk about our genome like 90 of more occupied dnas are identical you know when we talk about our subconscious mind and how more than 90 of what we are is the subconscious our subconscious are almost identical so

(52:31) instead of focusing on the differences and which are only in our stories you know you are you and I am you have your name I have my name instead of focusing on the differences in our stories let’s focus on what is common between us and we can spend a lifetime discovering the commonalities that you think every single human being so that’s the that’s the difficult thing to change technology development and making these systems interoperable is not a big challenge you just need a few years of research and

(53:07) development and you know you get it you get there but even if you have that but you’re still operating from this state of mind that this is me and I’m in competition with everyone else and I’m here to just you know uh take care of myself that technology is not going to help you right that’s it’s a doomed mindset you’ll never get there alone this is the challenge the challenge is not an ex the fix is not something external you know I always say like in the beginning we said we have this sustainable developmental

(53:43) agenda of a year 2030 we have like seven years to get there every time I talk about it I’m saying we don’t need seven years we don’t need 10 years we don’t need a hundred years it could happen in five minutes if all of us would come together and decide that from now on if you come to me and you are hungry and I have extra food I give the goddamn food to you because I’m feeding myself I’m not feeling a stranger then in five minutes we would have zero hunger you know uh yeah I love that you’re a teacher and I

(54:19) come to you and I say I don’t have money but I need to learn this and you have extra time to teach me that in five minutes we have quality education for everyone if you’re a doctor and I come to you and I tell you my kid is dying but I don’t have money to pay for his treatment and you have extra time and you treat my kid guess what if you have good health and well-being in five minutes yeah another way around if you don’t start changing this perspective on this attitude even a million years is

(54:50) not enough even a billion years is not enough so it’s all about us yeah that’s so powerful and that’s such a powerful message and you know really it comes down to a message of love you know um love for each other and and you know wow so our Salon thank you so much for being here with us today and sharing uh what you’re doing is so important um how can people learn more how can they get involved is there a way for them to get involved with what symphony is doing um how can they make an impact in their

(55:28) local communities to really uh push forth you know your efforts is is there a way um maybe absolutely so uh our website is not public yet because of several reasons one of them is that we’re looking for a very special occasion to launch it and that’s around the corner but again we are in conversations with different governments with different groups around the world and our community is already a big Community we have more than 50 Global thought leaders and our extended networks we have I think up to a thousand people that are

(56:03) you know just you know just just VERSES like up to 100 people we have Planet positive 2030 which is an initiative by IEEE standard Association they have up to a few hundred Global experts we have connected which is one of the largest uh sustainable development goal uh networks we have so many different so like these people these 50 people each are like a community Builder so imagine when all of our communities come together it’s like an army of people ready to do this right so it’s it’s becoming easier and easier

(56:38) to find us because again you know you’ll know someone who knows someone who’s part of this network right yeah so uh as the network is growing I’m sure it becomes more and more accessible for people to learn more about it and then I’m personally accessible especially on LinkedIn and also Twitter so um and again just uh the people that we work with are all very famous people so it’s it’s easy to find and then through them find us and see what wonderful and I’ll put your links in the show notes

(57:11) for the show so that people can out and you know again thank you so much for being here with us today it’s been such a pleasure talking with you about all of this of course it’s it’s been a great pleasure and honor for me as well and again I just want to one more since the theme of your show is the special web I really want to thank that entire team Dan maves Gabrielle Renee and their entire team doctor called first time for doing such an amazing work again uh without that infrastructure it’s easy to dream but

(57:46) without such infrastructures and such Technologies it becomes really challenging to actually execute so a big thanks to all of them for their amazing revolutionary work and very much looking forward to getting the most out of it awesome oh yes so um on that note I think we’ll close out and thank you everybody for tuning in and we’ll see you next time [Music]

Denise Holt

Futurist | Advisor | Founder | Keynote Speaker
XR Smart Technologies & The Spatial Web

More Articles by Denise
  • All Post
  • Blog Articles
Load More

End of Content.