http://vimeo.com/25521307

Bogota Change (IMDB) is an hour long video as part of the series called Cities on Speed. I found it very informative in understanding the recent history, political and socioeconomic challenges this beautiful and bursting-through-the-seams city is facing. It’s also a fantastic case study of a very unconventional (seriously!), 2 time Mayor of Bogota, Antanas Mockus. His parents are Lithuanian – yeah yeah yeah! Makes me proud. 

Anyway, he really put his foot down on a lot of nonsense and DID THINGS instead of TALKING (which is a classical politician trait). Watch the video and make your own opinion but a guy that was able to change (at the very least influence) the culture of 8 million people, a culture of a city that is rapidly expanding and full of inequality – in my book counts for A LOT. Also, he’s a mathematician and philosopher by training, which is an extremely superior set of skills to have as a leader (1) than most people who study political science and other crap, which trains you about the way things ARE DONE (status quo) and doesn’t go far enough in the direction of teaching advanced philosophy and science (like math) to enable a leader to make wise decision, some of which will often fall outside of the convention. It’s idealist but I think it’s the closest we can get to theoptimal leadership that is based on reason and logic, not political chess-game. 

References:

1 – Plato wrote about philosopher kings in Book IV of the Republic and argued that a perfect city/state must be ruled by kings who are genuinely interested and adequately able to philosophize. It’s a very idealistic view and nearly impossible to pull off in any real city (at least at the present), but in my eyes Mockus was somewhat of an approximation of such “philosopher king” AND people loved him. 

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