Cities, not nation states, will determine our future survival. Here's why:

Nation states are looking increasingly outdated and even dangerous. Some of them are outright belligerent, and threatening catastrophic war. While some nation states are exhibiting neo-imperial tendencies, most are waning in power and influence. The 369 year experiment in nation-building is coming unstuck with most nation states failing to deal with the major global challenges of our era, including climate change, forced migration, terrorism, pandemics and more.

Cities, not nation states, will determine our future survival. Why? To start, half of humanity currently lives in one, in sharp contrast to most of human existence when less than 1% of the global population congregated in settlements. And urbanization is set to continue: two thirds of the world's population will be urban dwellers by 2030. Today cities power over two-thirds of global GDP: they are marvels of innovation and engines for prosperity. Cities are open, plural and cosmopolitan while nation states are closed, nativist and parochial.

The good news is that many cities are stepping up at precisely the moment when nation states are falling behind. There are already over 200 inter-city networksaround the world that are agitating for a new urban agenda.