SW18 – Measuring Social Welfare


There is nothing more dangerous than trying to make the world a better place. Banksy

Measuring the Social welfare has always been a hard task for planners especially when the people are to be involved in the decision making. This research has started from the macro-scale of reading about societies, governance approaches, and the link between both. After a deep research about the city of Barcelona and its districts, a disruptive program has been activated to retrofit Sant Adrià de Besòs.
SW18 is the next planning generation.FORMULA

Redefining Reality
In order to determine the social welfare of a society, and justify the credibility of our formula, it is vital that we test our discovery on an existing society. The strategy was that we determine the social welfare of a society, compare the results to the data defining the image of this society, and later try to determine how our formula can be a source of change and improvement for the society. In our case, we mapped Barcelona City in terms of resources and existing facilities, applied the formula to measure the social welfare and the results were shocking. In the following chapter, we are mapping a set of facilities in Barcelona; showing how the city markets its districts according to the facilities and resources they have. Later, another set of maps defined by the Formula’s indices: Education, health, unemployment, ecological footprint indices.


















Case Study: Sant Adrià de Besòs

The Inputs
Following the Bottom-up approach, we researched about the variable inputs that define the structure of the society and its problems. The idea was to create a grasshopper definition that receives live data, filters them through the formula in order to raise the social welfare index. The inputs are divided into three categories:
i. The Input of the People
ii. The existing program that was initiated to retrofit the
iii. The program we propose based on disruptive


i. The Input of the People





ATUAL ii. The Existing Program

There are 77 centers in La Mina Area initiated by the Generalitate Barcelona to retrofit the area.the project has started since the year 2001 and development projects are still in progress.
The themes of these centers range between 8 categories: Adminstrative, Cultural, Sports, Training, Leisure, Health, Social,and Job Orientations. The active centers are: The Library, The police station, The culture Center, the sports center, and the schools. 250 million Euros have been spent on retrofitting La Mina area, between the years 2001 and 2010, yet the social welfare is still very low and people still have the same complains as they had 10 years ago.


Case Study: Sant Adrià de Besòs
Disruptive Innovation

Zero has no power if it was not backed u with a power factor. Disruptive innovation is the power of our program. Now is the time to make the change, to be disruptive, to break the taboo. It is not about how much money we spend, it is about how people are involved in the decision making.


The Business Plan
By definition, a disruptive innovation is an innovation that unsettles an existing market and value network displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market. In today’s economies disruptive innovation is more than ever seen as a chance to outperform existing competition. What organizations have to acknowledge is that disruptive (non-linear) changes will happen – both if they are on- board or not. Embracing disruption enables organizations to control potential risks and to grow even in highly competitive environments. This phenomenon is no longer the exception; it’s becoming the rule as category incumbents are swept aside by new entrants.

As a result, organizations should ask themselves: Should a new idea change the way you do things – or should it change the things you do? Having said that, one can only ask, what if this can be applied on societies to enhance their social welfare?
What if we translate existing functional/ innovative ideas in economy and technology into strategies to invigorate a society? In contrast to disruptive innovation, a sustaining innovation does not create new markets or value networks but rather only make existing ones evolve with better value, allowing the firms within to compete against each other’s sustaining improvements. In such a case, the similarities between markets and societies are very obvious. How many proposals can one operate in a society in order to admit the need for something different? Today’s social ‘landscapes’ are more dynamic, fast-paced and resilient than ever before. Most planners however, aren’t prepared for the challenges of leading through prolonged periods of uncertainty about the results of the disruptive innovation. Further, most programs are set-up in an aim to incentivize outlook and visibility, hence rewarding predictability and control, for example, opposite criteria of what is required to lead during disruptive times. Planning for increasing the social welfare and the implementation of proven programs/ models is not anymore an excuse for ‘stagnancy’ of societies today’s planners are increasingly becoming tomorrow’s followers.


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