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“Let’s BMC”, as in… Brussels Model(ing) City

Brigitte Doucet, Editor and journalist at Regional-IT
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Brigitte Doucet

Brussels has all the ingredients to create new ideas and initiatives, not to mention all the potential which our region can’t or isn’t allowed to explore.

Belgium is indeed a small country and our even smaller region has to make do with what it has, which can be scarce. However, this should drive creativity even more. Because of the size of the region, Brussels will never fight with the same weapons – or, better said, statistics - as larger European and international metropoles with more resources and a bigger population. However, if you can’t be big, you should be smart. People sometimes claim that small is beautiful, but I say that small can be powerful.

Nowhere in the world is there more potential to unite tradition – which we can refer to as the “zinneke” mentality in Brussels – and out-of-the-box-2.0 thinking.

We have been saying for years, even decades, that Brussels has all the tools to live up to its potential: a plethora of (local and international) companies and public institutions (that are very diverse, too), high-quality education (especially our higher education), affordable talent, a culturally, economically and social melting pot, government agencies prepared to offer basic support… No one can take that away from us, although admittedly, there is progress to be made and we should find and allocate more resources in order to uncover talent and skills.

We dispose of all ingredients to incite a discussion about innovation, entrepreneurship and the knowledgeable application of economic and social technologies and models opposing a myriad of ideas, (personal or collegial) initiatives and cosmopolitan visions.

This mentality has already generated several initiatives and working spaces. However, there is something the region could improve on: its capacity to see things 4, 10 or even a 100 times bigger. To connect all the dots and structure them in a coherent scheme. To create a space-slash-lab where being adventurous, testing and facing challenges is normal. Not through five-year plans, but by working in sprints with well-defined deadlines and themes allowing people to experiment together and concretise their ideas or shut them down should that be the advisable. Of course, these long and medium term test and preview phases are possible only if they are backed up by a long-term, more structured research, development and innovation vision.

What if Brussels allowed itself to dream of a future wherein it can say “invented/imagined/tested here”? What if we turn Brussels into a BMC space? No, not a Business Model Canvas; I am referring to Brussels Model(ling) City, a new way of thinking.

Brigitte Doucet
Editor and journalist at Regional-IT
The media hub for the digital and IT sector in francophone Belgium