The initiative features world-renowned thought leaders, including British-American fashion designer and philanthropist Tan France, 2020 TIME Kid of the Year Gitanjali Rao, and UK robotics scientist Dr. Peter Scott–Morgan
By championing empathy in society, the project strives to encourage stronger, more inclusive communities made possible through smarter technology, and restore kindness in places where citizens feel increasingly disconnected.
Lenovo’s Kind City is the biggest crowdsourced public ‘census’ to imagine and co-author a blueprint for a city of the future built on kindness. Its mission? To bring a more empathetic future to life through insight from global research, a public invitation to participate, and an interactive podcast featuring city dwellers and some of the world’s brightest minds.
“We believe the Kind City project will be the blueprint for mapping a kinder and better future,” said John Gordon, President of Industry Solutions at Lenovo. “Technology can and will make the future kinder, more inclusive, and more equitable. In cities, this means providing smarter technology for all—across socio-economic or cultural backgrounds—including both devices and solutions.”
Kind Council Formation and Interactive Podcast
Bringing together leading thinkers and global experts in their fields, Lenovo’s Kind City is steered by a panel of world-renowned visionaries who make up the project’s “Kind Council.” This includes British-American fashion designer and philanthropist Tan France, 2020 TIME Kid of the Year and inventor Gitanjali Rao, Brazilian rapper Emicida, UK robotics scientist Dr. Peter Scott-Morgan, German futurologist Oona Strathern, and Japanese author and entrepreneur Ibun Hirahara.
The group collaborated on a choose-your-own-path podcast to discuss the fundamentals in achieving a Kind City, such as inclusion, trust, sustainability, dreams, and opportunity.
As the backbone of the entire initiative, the innovative podcast also explores powerful conversations and incredible stories with voices less commonly heard in futurism. Listeners can navigate from multigenerational living in the USA, to climate change in China, to tech hubs in Brazilian favelas, to dream research in the UK, and a kindness currency in Japan.
The insightful and interactive podcast encourages listeners to become part of the discussion while giving them the opportunity to navigate an audio journey personalised to their interests. More than 20 stories, discussions, and interviews were captured from across the globe, from the United States and Germany to Japan and Brazil.
The podcast features Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and charity partners from around the world, showcasing their efforts to support city residents. Lenovo will work directly with these organizations over the coming months and identify the most impactful ways to collaborate, from workshops on technology solutions with Lenovo experts to device donations and financial support.
Major New Research Uncovers the ‘Kindness Gap’
The Kind City project comes on the heels of fresh research conducted by Lenovo that dives deep into the lives of city dwellers and their perspectives on the quality of life in their current cities.
Surveying more than 5,000 city dwellers across five countries (Brazil, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, United States), the study exposes the growing need for society to rethink how we live together in city centers post-pandemic.
Research revealed traditional organizations and government are falling short on prioritizing kindness, leaving it to local neighborhoods and communities to shoulder more than their share of the responsibility.
Ultimately a major ‘Kindness Gap’ exists globally in cities with 97% of all polled believing it is important their communities have kindness/empathy, but only 37% feeling their current city is a kind place to live or work.
While the study finds respondents have a somewhat positive impression of the quality of life where they live, they also draw a clear connection between greater kindness in their cities and many tangible benefits, for example, improved mental and physical health; feelings of inclusivity and pride; greater enjoyment and flexibility, that could unlock even happier lifestyles. A significant opportunity for improvement in the face of these challenges exists, including:
- Most respondents (55%) believe the quality of life in their city is either not getting better or staying the same. In cities across the globe, majorities say that there is room for improvement in their general living and working conditions.
- City residents have reservations about how much the officials that represent them consider kindness when making decisions for the city. Less than one in five (17%) believe their policymakers strongly consider kindness and empathy when it comes to their city.
- Most residents think technology will be a pivotal solution (83%) for promoting and employing kindness in their cities, most notably in Brazil (88%).
What the kindness gap presents is a real opening to the private sector to enable and empower greater kindness and empathy. More than ever, there’s an urgency to work toward a more equitable future—and we can use the power of technology to make this come to fruition.
Get Involved: Become a Kind City Citizen
The initiative is calling upon people from all walks of life, across every major city to voice their vision of what a kinder city should be.
Lenovo invites the general public to share their personal vision of an empathetic and inclusive community by becoming Kind City citizens, which they can do by simply completing the following statement: “The Kind City of the future will…” on Lenovo’s microsite housing the project, KindCity.com.
All responses received through November 15 will be curated using AI and transformed into 10 founding principles. These will be shared across the world through a range of exciting installations and experiential initiatives. Lenovo will also reveal details of collaborations with the global NGOs featured in the podcast, with actions shaped by Kind City submissions and research.
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$60 billion revenue Fortune Global 500 company serving customers in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that power (through devices and infrastructure) and empower (through solutions and software) millions of customers every day and together create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society for everyone, everywhere. To find out more visit https://www.lenovo.com and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.