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A knowledge Archipelago: Tenerife KCWS 2018 Summary

On November 2018, World Capital Insititute’s Knowledge Cities World Summit was held in La Laguna (Tenerife), with Humboldt Cosmos Multiversity was an active partner. 2018’s edition had Canaries as winner of the Most Admired Knowledge City (MAKCi) on emergent knowledge region category.


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More content and media clicking hereSlides, pictures and video summary of KCWS2018




First, we discussed “Disrupting Economics”: the toolkit and information resource that we have been developing over the past months which gathers from many disparate sources, a range of disparate economic thinking and writing that challenge the current economic operating paradigms and beliefs.


We examined wealth creation and distribution in the Next Economy where intangibles have primacy over material goods.


We challenged ourselves to think about the need to value activities beyond their sole monetary value.


We sought to depict a more Human Economy and an Economy for the Common Good to address the poverty and inequality evidenced by so many communities and across society.


We, in many senses, wanted to rid ourselves of “homo-economicus” and replace with “homo-socialis” whereas Adam Smith noted that individuals did pursue their self-interest but as morally motivated people in society.



On society we sought to re-introduce an ethics-based approach where vested interests were replaced by a regard for all stakeholders and especially for all citizens.


We recognised the knowledge inequity that can play a socially destructive role by respecting equally the knowledge that comes from lived experience and working with citizens and their communities to co-design not only their futures but importantly to co- design their present.


We found hopeful new approaches to this knowledge engagement through Art and Design as valuable tools for non-judgemental intermediation – enabling the growth of resilience through place-based approaches drawing on local knowledge and ecosystems for innovation that offered “equality” to innovation by citizens, patients and individual problem solvers!



On environment we were challenged to contemplate the human catastrophe through lack of action to ameliorate homo-sapiens’ footprints and damage to our planet – so great that we are impacting geological memory in the Anthropocene.


We questioned why we were in denial?
We heard hopeful and practical actions at individual and city-levels that are taking place: Actions that we can all espouse:

“de-industrialising our minds, attitudes and behaviours”; “de-materialising our consumption patterns”;
“creating awareness and literacy as the beginnings of change”.


So, to where did this bring us?

First as a group of individuals who believe in “knowledge” as a powerful tool for development:

To – share this knowledge gained:

  • with Cities and their leaders;
  • with institutions – especially our universities as community anchors;
  • with communities of practice;
  • with emerging knowledge economies and societies such as here in beautiful




  • even – perhaps with our national politicians…but always hand-in hand and taking note and consideration of citizens and their wisdom and engagement.In the year ahead to KCWS 2019 when we now know we will meet in Florianopolis, Brazil – we must seize the opportunity through action between now and then.


Press summary


Major local newspaper El Día highlighted the summit on the Canaries’ victory on the MAKCi Emergent City, over other candidates as Newcastle (UK). The regional president, Fernando Clavijo thanked the award, and pointed the knowledge, research and development path as the future of the islands’ economy, so the Universidad de La Laguna’s (ULL) rector, Antonio Martinón did, pointing the need to make the Canaries’ economic sectors more dynamic, with knowledge as the core of the social, politic, cultural and economic progress. The committee awarded Canary Islands for “boosting its social capital in order to transform its traditional wealths in new and innovative solutions to face new future development challenges”.  Canary Islands follows Barcelona as one of the Spanish regions which have won this award.


Other activities held during KCWS 2018


Between the KCWS acts, one of our common partners, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) organized its first European Workshop on Technology and Knowledge Generated by Astrophysics, introducing most of the practical applications of the research held in the Center, especially through its spin-off, IAC-Tec. Rafael Rebolo, IAC Director, this is another way to diversify the islands’s economy, offering support to any person willing to bring this ideas to practice. A summit which, without any doubt, showed the potential of the knowledge generated by their teams and researchers.


Check out all the KCWS news here!