Dr. Swati’s why and our how on pollution and climate issues

The popular Dr. Swati TV show on health in India and partner of STIR, has released her first English message on world environment day. It is a powerful animated 7 minute call for action on pollution, explaining why:

STIR introduced the how already 6 years ago by inviting all stakeholders into a new level of accountability where we all take responsibility together for health. It is referred to as Sustainocracy, a level 4 awareness driven cocreation:

Such level 4 interaction is showing to be a mayor driving force for values driven innovation, new waves of labour development and a healing mechanism for the human species, our societies, our relationship with the environment and our economies.


workshop air quality citizen initiatives

International workshop for neighborhood air quality measurements and social/societal innovation, including sensors and AiREAS networked citizen’s initiatives.

workshop AiREAS UK - Untitled Page

Manifesto Citizen’s Engagement Smart City development EU

Right from the beginning AiREAS was involved to get citizen’s structurally involved in the development of their own cities for their own quality of life. Through powerful and critical interaction the manifesto is now ready for endorsement. We are happy with the endresult. Hopefully you are too:



We already did.

Collective intelligence newsbrief of VINCI energies

With this news item VINCI energies describes perfectly our synergy in health based multidisciplinary cocreation.


The amount of innovation it triggers is announcing a new Kondratiev economic wave based on psychosocial evolution and applied technology for development of human core values.

In October 2016 we will set up a networking symposium in Eindhoven together with our partners to discuss both this mature form of regional governance as well as the innovative spinoffs that become visible through the cocreation.

If interested please tell us by mail and we keep you in the loop towards the event: jpclose@aireas.com

Smart City Expo Barcelona and Core Values

14.000 visitors, over 400 expositions and more than 440 speakers from all over the world gathered in Barcelona for this years Smart City Expo edition. The STIR foundation (City of Tomorrow) was invited to speak about Sustainocracy and the innovative co-creation platform AiREAS. It remains challenging to talk about core natural and human values in an environment which is primarily technology driven. With my opening slide I wanted to inspire the audience with “my world”.

"My world"

“My world”

My world is the diversity of life of which we are all part. As human beings we share the same molecules as other living species, gathered together in specific living formats. All life forms together form a eco-system based on core values. Such eco-system is always healthy as the unhealthy dies to make room for yet another healthy life cycle. This represents an adaptive evolutionary pattern based on interaction and continuous quest for harmony. How do Smart human made Cities fit into this?

What makes a city Smart?

What makes a city Smart?

When we compare the first picture with the second we find a natural ecosystem in the first, based on health and sustainable progress, and than a human made system based on pollution and the total separation of the core values of life. We economized both fragmented destruction and repair. From a natural perspective this can never be Smart. I used the global positioning of my home town Eindhoven in the Netherlands as reference.

How Smart is Smart?

How Smart is Smart?

From a perspective of city marketing and amount of patents per inhabitant Eindhoven was declared the “smartest city of the world” in 2011. But how smart is a city that is located in one of the most polluted areas of Europe from air quality point of view? How smart is a city that contributes to its own vulnerability by adding to the global warming and rising sea levels? It is not smart, it is rather stupid.

This “stupidity” has many excuses and so does the definition of “smart” within the context of our perception of reality. Our technological development has defined progress for thousands of years with peaking evolution in our current era of global industrialized distribution, tremendous population growth and expansion of our cities. Who has ever learned about core values when the human world turns around technology, economy of growth and politics?  No one can be declared “stupid” if one is unaware of its own ignorance. Eindhoven became in my view really smart when it accepted to work together in our first Sustainocratic venture called AiREAS (air quality, health and city dynamics) in 2011.

Gradually the city’s executive adopted the core value of “health” as leading principle accepting the “health deal” for regional development in 2015. The local province followed rapidly in this process. This has a major impact on the way the city and region deals with its new born perception of reality and the challenges that belong to such awareness.

Smart versus not Smart based on core values

Smart versus not Smart based on core values

Our natural reality is much bigger than our human one. We see the effects of climate change and global warming on the world. The leadership is not in the hands of human economical or political hierarchies that are often blinded from core values out of narrow, fragmented self interest. The real leadership is in the hands of core values that we need to adapt to in an ever changing evolutionary process if we want to live and evolve in a sustainable way. When we pollute our environment we pollute ourselves with only one natural consequence, our own self-elimination. That can never be considered “smart”. So smart regional development has to incorporate the natural core values as leading parameters. This introduces a new level of city development, the sustainocratic eco-city level, also referred to as level 4.

A new way of addressing our core values together

A new way of addressing our core values together (Jean-Paul Close shows how during the Expo)

The eco-city level of Sustainocracy

The eco-city level of Sustainocracy

This is not a level anymore of political or economic leadership but one in which the entire local community (government, science, citizens and innovative entrepreneurship) takes responsibility together, guided by one or more core values. In AiREAS we adopted air quality and regional health as leading parameters. That format of working together is not easy because it introduces changes for everyone traditionally involved in the functioning of a city. Just imagine the city executive stepping aside to transform from final responsible to co-creative partner? The open space for innovation that appears needs to be populated with projects that involve citizens and entrepreneurs that were used to leave the local responsibilities to the government through taxes and regulation. How do you reward “involvement” if our reward system is concentrated on industrialized processes, logistics for consumption and care systems to repair damages, rather than city productivity based on core values? How does the city’s economy transform if regional self-sufficiency is organized. Is “involvement” the next “city tax”, a new circular economy of cohesion and innovative livelihood?

The experience we have in Eindhoven is that such core value driven productivity is very rewarding because of the unique innovations that are generated. These produce a new transformative economy of growth from within, the transformation economy. Winning a European innovation price already shows the potential of taking such measures. It is even exciting to realize that working on our own core values generates a global economic effect. In other words, the healthier we get the healthier our economy will become. All this re-enforces the local executive, the local citizens, our scientific knowledge and innovative forces. We also have early evidence that it will eventually harmonize and re-enforce also our local economic stability.

Smart can be globalized

The new “Smart” globalizes itself

Every region of the world is different and hence likely to produce its own unique innovations when working on the core values for itself. Each region will therefor bring unique innovations to the world from which we can all benefit. The only thing one needs to do is to establish the Sustainocratic commitment on level 4 regional development and chose the regional priorities within the scope of core values. One can start with AiREAS to initiate the local learning curve and grow level 4 as experience evolves with trust and positive results.

The STIR Foundation is there to help, not just to help initiate the complex local level 4 sustainocratic processes but also to share the local innovations rapidly across the network through our STIR HUBs for triple “i” (inspiration, innovation, implementation) expansion.

The world has a choice now to evolve from techno-city Smart to eco-city sustainable Smart. It will transform also the usage of technology on the underlying levels and gradually transform the city’s appearance and citizen’s interaction. It will also transform local costs and bureaucracy into investment with dynamics and multiple returns.

“You were the only speaker in the whole Expo that talked about core human values” someone reflected. This is probably the case this year. Surely the Smart City Expo of next year will gradually show many more sustainocratic initiatives as the need to do so will break through into the awareness of local city executives around the world. To further help we will offer a free, open access book already in December 2015, that describes our first 5 years of sustainocratic co-creation in Eindhoven with AiREAS. Just leave your name and email address behind below if you want to be notified when it is available.

The 5 core values defined in Sustainocracy are:

  1. Health (physical, environmental and mentality wise)
  2. Safety (not just physically but especially also from the point of view of mutual respect, equal opportunity and social cohesion)
  3. Regional self-sufficiency (through empathy, co-creation and sharing of values)
  4. Awareness (a new educational format based on core values)
  5. Food and drinking water (highlighted as prime tangible)

STIR Foundation already developed the following formal clusters to develop and capture innovations for local wellness and global expansion:

  • AiREAS – air quality, local health and regional dynamics
  • FRE2SH – food, recreation, energy, education, self-sufficiency and health
  • SAFE – safety, respect for each other and our natural resources
  • STIR Academy – learning cooperation, triple “i”, sharing best practice, etc


Scientific AiREAS research during Marathon Eindhoven

Along four lines the City of Tomorrow and AiREAS do research before, during and after the Marathon of Eindhoven on October 11th, 2015. These lines of research have to do with the AiREAS objective to develop the core human values of health and air quality with the city with the involvement of all those who can contribute (government, civilians, scientists and business innovations).

The development uses the UNITED (Jean-Paul Close, Success guide for entrepreneur, 2008, in Dutch) way of Sustainocratic cocreation, UNITED meaning:

From a participant perspective: Understanding, Need and Involvement
From a leadership perspective: Targeted, Entrepreneurial and Devoted

The issue hence has to provide insight and knowledge but also a positive stimulous to the 130.000 participants and over 220.000 local citizens.

1st line of investigation: Hart and artery of sporters
We will install non invasive heart and artery measurement equipment and with a specialized team we do tests on sporters and their family members on the day before, during and after the marathon. This cross reference may give us an interesting view of the way our body handles this sport activity compared with those who support (a combination of “sport” and “up” 😉

Artery wall tension measurement

Artery wall tension measurement

2nd line of investigation: Stress and air quality exposure
With the use of special watches that measure the heart beat and GPS at the same time we can compare the exposure to air pollution and the level of physical stress at that moment.

3rd line of investigation: State of air pollution during the Marathon
Here we use two lines of research. The first is the fixed intelligent measurement system (ILM) in place in the city, producing fine maze and real time insight. The other is the ISPEX add-on device for mobile i-Phones. This does not provide real time insight but connects to a European project that closes on October 15th. Partners in Italy and Spain do measurements too so we get a European picture of the status of air quality in the different demographical and cultural regions.

The marathon and air pollution in real time

The marathon and air pollution in real time

4th line of investigation: Persuasive communication with the population
This is the first time (of course with the exception of the Olympic Games in Beijing) that such broad attention is given to air quality, the wellness of sporters and a local marathon. A call was passed through the local media for the public to leave the car at home during the Marathon day while avoiding barbecuing or burning woodstoves the night  before. All this to show collective solidarity with the sporters during this event. Many media picked up the challenge and passed the message, each with their own attached public modification. This will be subject for research but also through the reactions we measure through the blog, local interaction and the videos we will create  and publish.

In the end all this will feed our experience to cocreate healthy environments and learn how to involve the population through a paradigm shift inclusing a change of culture.

More information? Just follow this blog.


Eindhoven Marathon, health and air quality

The City of Eindhoven has the unique situation that it equiped with high tech monitoring equipment that measures in real time the exposure of city residents and visitors to air pollution. The objective of the city and AiREAS is to co-create health and a healthy environment. This is not easy because, despite the positive intentions, the pervers situation is still that the largest public investments go to polluting roadworks and traffic optimization. It shows that the biggest innovation in the city is its governance. Instead of just resonating to city development from a political and economical point of view there is a strong tendency to transform the city’s cement, glass and tarmac into a healthy and co-creative eco-system that leads to health and self sustaining productivity and public involvement. The latter is a trend in which the high tech city of integral innovation, Eindhoven, takes the “sustainocratic” lead.

Visualizing air quality and traffic

Visualizing air quality and traffic

Key is the co-creative positioning of AiREAS in the space provided by governance that sees itself in the healthy city development not as a controlling bureaucracy but as a partner in a multidisciplinary context. During nearly 2 years of air quality measuring experiences AiREAS has gained a huge amount of insight in pollution mechanisms in the city. Events that draw huge crowds and often many vehicles tend to be part of such polluting peaks. Cases have been documented and are subject to multidisciplinary discussions on health driven applied innovation.

AiREAS positioning in a retreating governance

AiREAS positioning in a retreating governance to allow co-creation

The marathon is not necessary related in our mind to producing pollution. On the other hand it is a specular event that has many thousands of local participants training every day in a variety of local air quality circumstances, to eventually peak their performance on this second Sunday of October. They are there exposed to all kinds of air pollution. Today a multidisciplinary AiREAS team gathered, together with organizing company Golazo Sports SX, to see how we can embed this particular event within the overall “healthy city” development that we stand for as a group, including the local governance as partner?

When addressing the issue from a “healthy city, healthy environment” perspective one can fly in from all kinds of angles. The event can be seen as a stand alone event with a tremendous public exposure but also some city irritation because of blocked roads, limited public transport facilities and huge crowds along roads for something that captures the interest of a limited few. It can also be addressed as something people live towards with different motivations, some as participant others as innovators or hospitality business owners. Yet another view is to see the event as a potential health trigger full of instruments to use within the context civilian participation and platform to invent or test innovations. The team addresses every angle as long as it contributes to measurable health and environmental improvement, not just during the event but also using the event in the overall city context.

The multidisciplinary team consist of scientists, civilians, governance and business innovators.

The multidisciplinary team consist of scientists, civilians, governance and business innovators.

The discussion rapidly evolved around the overall issue of physical exercise as a key to overall health. The human body is not made to sit all day inside a building. The negative effects of lack of exercise and excessive indoor activity is visible in all aspects of our population and health problems. It is not just air pollution, which may be something that is enhanced due to reduced defense system, but the overall societal system and lifestyle. Our city’s are not designed for health nor is our money driven culture. The marathon hence is exactly the opposite. It represents huge physical exercise, determination to complete 42+ km and more hours in the open air than most people enjoy during their normal life’s rhythms.

What can we do then to enhance this in such a short term as presented today. October 11th is just 6 weeks away and as from next week the operational organization will be working around the clock to get things organized. What can we contribute that makes a difference already at this stage and without any budget (yet)?

This is what we came up with:

  1. We know the air quality before, during and after the event itself in real time thanks to our ILM system. This we can use.
  2. We can also compare this with the data stored about the situation during last year’s marathon. Then we have a case with which we can work for forthcoming events, including new marathons.
  3. We can determine hotspots of pollution along the route and see if we can introduce innovations or remedies that can solve the issues temporarily. They benefit from the exposure.
  4. We can position the Eindhoven marathon in context with others such as Beijing (China).
  5. Along the route we can enhance the health feeling by also introducing healthy food and connecting local productivity.
  6. Parallel events can be organized along the route, such as heart rate variability or blood pressure measurements with a select group of participants (runners and public) using our POP medical team.
  7. GPS trackers can follow some runners to create a health story.
  8. We can interview people and follow them with a camera crew.

This is more or less how far we got. Time and resources are limited but the will power is there to make and initial statement. After this particular marathon we can use our experiences to see if we can built everything  further. Ideas already where suggested, such as the integration of awareness building exercises with school pupils, addressing enterprises that have unhealthy industries (s.a. welding companies in the region), developing recreation in the region creating events on water, or between the cities.

The sky is the limit as long as it measurably contributes to health and air quality improvement.The innovations we develop represent a new economic wave that helps solve the climate issues and perverse investment attitude in current cities by showing how politics and economics can be harmonically related to health, and not the other way around when lack of health is ironically seen as a cost that is exposed to the public through insurance and taxes.