Dimitar Hristov

Managing Director, Cluster Sofia Knowledge City, Bulgaria

Knowledge-based economy is a new state of the global economy, which in recent decades has been transformed by new technologies. It is characterized by disruptive changes caused by incorporation of knowledge to economic activity. According to my understanding the knowledge is not only a resource that can and should be managed but is also the most important factor for the development of societies. In this sense, I fully support initiatives that are catalysts for involving knowledge management in the development and progress.

Unfortunately, as a management consultant by profession, I have realized in my practice that knowledge management is not yet a well-recognized need for those who make the most important decisions for the development – politicians, heads of international organizations, business managers and cities governors. In this sense very often in my work I feel myself as a knowledge agent or even agent of change. This, on the one hand, is a great professional opportunity for manifesting my personal contribution to the globally recognized processes of transforming the societies including the business models, but on the other hand it is a serious responsibility and challenge that require engagement, lot of time and dedication.

The Agenda Knowledge for Development can contribute to perceiving the holistic understanding of knowledge by more and more people, organizations and regions that will help us to achieve sustainable development as regions, countries, cities and organisations. I consider, as it is stated in the Agenda, that the SDGs of the United Nations are directly associated with knowledge – defined as a human activity creating its own future, rather than a physical asset.

The Agenda treats the topic of the knowledge cities which is very important. A knowledge city is the term used to describe a knowledge-based development strategy that has as target to continuously support the knowledge management processes that take place in an urban area. One approach to enhance the role of knowledge management for sustainable development is creating knowledge clusters in knowledge cities. This is to be achieved through the continuous interactions of knowledge agents (universities, research institutes, institutions, companies, citizens, etc.) among them so as knowledge continuously flows.

A knowledge city is a city that searches for the creation of value in all its areas and develops high standards of life, cultural support and economic development, among other aspects including higher level of income, education, training and research, at the same time it is a regional knowledge economy driven city with high value added exports created through research, technology and brainpower and purposefully designed to encourage the nurturing of knowledge. Accordingly, a knowledge city is the culmination and synthesis and integration of the creative city and the science city where knowledge, arts and sciences become unified in a uniquely human 21st century urban ecology.