In short, what Aibéo does:
I accepted the challenge to be a candidate under the Left Alliance List for the Municipal Elections 2017 of Helsinki, but I remain independent in terms of political affiliation.
My name is Pedro Aibéo, a 37 year-old Portuguese Architect, Researcher and Entrepreneur, and father of two.
After 16 years of living and working as an Architect (M.Sc. TU Darmstadt, Germany) and as a Civil Engineer (M.Sc. FEUP, Porto) in 4 continents, with over 50 buildings designed and built on 15 countries, I chose in 2014, Finland to be my home and start my own architectural practice. I did so for its honest people, open society, welfare state and scale.
These qualities cannot be taken for granted and need constant work. I have been doing my best to actively support civic movements. These go from opposing the greedy and manipulative Guggenheim project, researching at Aalto on open source buildings (Research Assistant and Doctoral Candidate at Aalto University on "Architectural Democracy"), strengthening a diverse urban culture via folk music (chairman and founder of the World Music School ry), giving shelter to politically persecuted artists (vice-chairman of perpetuum mobile ry), renovating heritage buildings into co-housing (main architect of the project svartsa skola), giving drawing classes at Kiasma, and doing public dissemination of knowledge by writing theater plays on urbanism, comic novels on mathematics and newspaper articles on international current affairs.
These efforts have been mostly Helsinki based, but my international experience gave me knowledge to apply these ideas in Finland.
For example, I am regularly invited to teach on Architecture and Politics at Universities in Mexico, China, Australia, Germany and Portugal and I used to write and direct theater plays at the United Nations and the Staatstheater Darmstadt on urban slavery and astronomy.
This work has not been easy (would be boring otherwise) especially when the language is a barrier. I grew up in a family dedicated to use barriers as an opportunity not as a problem: my Father, an Engineer, dedicated his life in creating a groundbreaking method of incorporating mental handicapped into the working life, and my Mother was a Social Worker, aiding throughout her life, people with social adaptability problems.
The recent invitation of the Left Alliance for me to be a candidate took me as a surprise, as I am a true believer of self-government, thus not advocating the outdated model of representative democracy.
But also here I could make an improvement. I can be advocating a better access to what is being decided in the city and offering it to the local citizens to vote on it, every day. In other words, to create the conditions to have all the population of Helsinki to be participating more actively through direct voting in all questions.
You get the facts of the questions on your phone and vote through an app if you wish to. My opinion will count as much as of any other citizen, now, and when as a politician.
The wisdom of the crowd is not always the best if not done properly, but there are ways to make it work, and in any case, such changes will certainly outperform the ongoing disastrous professional politician system, proven to be no longer justified.
My task is solely to inform, not to rule.