Wallenberg Studio Lecture: Gabriella Gomez-Mont, "The Experimentalists: Cities, Political Imagination & Social Creativity"
Five years ago Gabriella Gómez-Mont had a tremendously provocative offer from the newly elected Mayor of Mexico City: to invent a new type of city department from scratch. Shape-shifting and experimental, specialising in the gaps and tensions between things; civics, politics and humanities in continuous conversation.
So what happened when a journalist / visual artist / documentary filmmaker is given free rein to convene a highly multidisciplinary team - artists, filmmakers, designers, writers, activists, historians and architects working hand in hand with political scientists, urban geographers, anthropologists, mathematicians, internationalists, urban planners, civic tech and AI experts - all bound together by their passion for a certain megalopolis? Experiencing the perils and possibilities of urban experiments and collaborative practices in a divided and gargantuan territory; tackling subjects such as governance, mobility, the right to the city and participatory infrastructures, reimagining social and urban realities from within.
Gabriella Gómez-Mont is the founder of Laboratorio para la Ciudad, the experimental arm / creative think tank of the Mexico City government, reporting to the Mayor. The Lab is a place to reflect about all things city and to explore other social scripts and urban futures for the largest megalopolis in the western hemisphere, working across diverse areas, such as urban creativity, mobility, governance, civic tech, public space, etc. In addition, the Lab searches to create links between civil society and government, constantly shifting shape to accommodate multidisciplinary collaborations, insisting on the importance of political and public imagination in the execution of its experiments.
Besides her fascination with all things city, Gabriella is also a journalist, visual artist, a director of documentary films, as well as a creative advisor to several cities, universities and companies. She has been awarded several international recognitions for her work in different fields, such as the first prize in both the Audi Urban Future Award and the Best Art Practice Award given by the Italian government, as well as the TED City 2.0 Prize, among others. In addition to being a Yale World Fellow, she is also a TED speaker, TED Senior Fellow, an MIT Director´s Fellow, an Institute for the Future Fellow, a World Cities Summit Young Leader and part of the international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul on Social Innovation. She was recently named one of the 100 most creative people by Fast Company magazine.