As a city, Prague continues to surprise, impress, and exceed expectations. Having been able to explore more of the city, the architectural variety continues to be a source of wonder. The mix of old and new is refreshing and provides fabulous contrast between Prague’s historical roots and its modern aspirations to be a Smart City.
One of the most entertaining places I was fortunate enough to visit was the Prague Zoo. Touted as one of the better zoos in the EU, and for good reason, the diversity of animal life, the use of space and design of the exhibits, and the apparent health of the animals were all impressive. I also learned about the Prague Zoo’s conservation efforts via a breeding program for a breed of rare, endangered Asian wild horses known as Przewalski. Every year the zoo raises and releases a number of these animals in an effort to reintroduce them to their native habitats in Mongolia.
Other noteworthy sights around the city include Prague Castle, which features an amazing gothic cathedral rivaling Notre Dame in terms of intricacy and attention to detail, and the Prague Centre for Contemporary Art, known as DOX, which hosts several informative and artistic exhibits. The DOX will also act as the venue for GARI’s flagship annual conference, the Next 100 Symposium, which allowed us the opportunity to explore the inner workings and behind-the-scenes sections of the building that are normally off limits. While intimidating in its size and complex layout, the DOX is a magnificent marriage of art and space. Particularly impressive is the large wooden frame of a zepplin that sits atop the main building, featuring a space for socializing inside.
With the Next 100 Symposium rapidly approaching, we are increasingly busy with coordination, outreach, planning, and more. With over 50 featured guest speakers from diverse backgrounds in policy, research, industry, technology and more, the conference promises a truly interdisciplinary, blended approach to discussing global issues. Speakers including American Economist, Jeffrey Sachs; Member of EU Parliament, Martina Dlabajová; Director of CERN, Frederick Bordry; and the Former Deputy Secretary-General of NATO, Jiří Šedivý, will discuss the future of AI, technology, energy, climate change, and more.
At GARI, we have continued to make great strides on our central project: constructing a digital ontology of globalization. The project is both unique and extremely ambitious, with the goal of constructing a comprehensive digital simulation of the world and to visualize and map international flows of goods, people, and information. Just recently we reached an impressive milestone for the project and have now included over a billion data into the system. I am exceedingly excited to see how the project will continue to develop and grow. When complete, the projective capacity of the simulation will help our public and private partners plan decades ahead to better form policies, business strategies, and to identify and target emerging threats globally.