Why do cities die rather than change?

You’ve heard it before, “There aren’t any young people here.” “This place has no women.” “This town is so dead.” Perception is reality.

Why do 90% of us choose death over changing for a prolific future – socially and economically? In continuing the series that began yesterday, Change or Die, the answer is perhaps that the brains of city and business leaders have become physiologically incapable of change, unless…

Contrary to popular belief. neuroscience researchers like Dr. Michael Merzenich at UCSF, conclude that the brain’s plasticity, or ability to change, is lifelong. However, with highly trained specialists, their one-perspective mindsets actually show up on MRI scans – “They’ve distorted their brains”, as Merzenich says. Specialists are valuable for corporations and governments to execute key tasks, but it also makes it physiologically difficult, if not impossible to change.

Is there hope then? Brain fitness often begins declining at around age 30 for men, a bit later for women. Business leaders need “a business strategy for continuous mental rejuvenation and new learning,” Merzenich says. He suggests Posit Science’s fifth-day strategy, where everyone spends one day a week working in a different discipline and perspective, or zooming as we refer to it.

If not, you actually have a 50-50 chance of going senile, or an even greater likelihood of losing the job-creating population in your city. Change or lose the best and the brightest. Change or lose your mind.

Is your city dying or growing? Please comment below…

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