Events

Marrying Your City

In the book I write about how city themed tattoos are the equivalent of “marrying” your city.  A tattoo, like a marriage, is a near permanent commitment and whenever I see people with their city etched into their body, I know that person has a special relationship with their place.  And perhaps none more so than Katie O’Keefe of Cleveland.

I wrote about her return to her hometown of Cleveland from New Jersey.  “I wanted to come back and make a difference in my city… in the end, Cleveland is my true love” she said.  In writing the book, I had several people tell me I had to meet Katie and try as we might, we could only connect via email and Facebook.  That changed this week as I finally got to meet her in person at aSaving Cities event in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland.

Katie’s love and enthusiasm for her city shines through even more powerfully in person.  We talked about how she will often sing to the city as she rides her bike to work and how she likes to blow kisses to Cleveland.  Being around such passion and commitment is inspiring and she has a catalytic effect on whoever she encounters.

And the story has an even happier twist.  She introduced me to her boyfriend Sam, whom she met after he approached her and showed his sleeve tattoo of Cleveland that is almost the twin of her ink!  If it happened in a romantic comedy, you would say “c’mon!” that is too hokey.  But they met because of their mutual love affair with their city.

For me the lesson is that more of us should be willing to publically declare our love for our cities.  Perhaps we are not ready to get the tattoo, but we can all find some way to express that love and commitment through our words and actions.   When we do, we are likely to find many sympathetic and similar voices.  And then we know that we are not alone and might find not only comfort and support, but potential allies in future actions to improve our communities.

Poynter Institute – The Future of Journalism

I am honored to have been asked to speak at the renowned Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, FL, on the future of journalism on Friday, October 28, 2011.  Poynter is hosting TEDx Poynter Institute to specifically discuss this critical issue from multiple perspectives.  My talk will emphasize the role of social media and emergence of “unofficial” actors in the arena which mirrors the rise of these same citizen actors in community development areas.  

For the Love of Akron

n August 23, 2011 we conducted the “For the Love of Akron” workshop at the University of Akron. The event was sponsored by the Akron office of the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation and drew over 200 participants. The event also featured Knight Soul of the Community lead consultant Katherine Loflin, the team from The Civic Commons who provided the video booth and graphic recording by Michelle Royal of HDYI .

Lots of great ideas were generated & shared.  Lots of blimp references as well as mentions of Swenson’s hamburgers and Luigi’s pizza.  Check out the photo set here.

We even had an earthquake!

For the Love of Akron

On August 23, 2011 we conducted the “For the Love of Akron” workshop at the University of Akron. The event was sponsored by the Akron office of the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation and drew over 200 participants. The event also featured Knight Soul of the Community lead consultant Katherine Loflin, the team from The Civic Commons who provided the video booth and graphic recording by Michelle Royal of HDYI .

Lots of great ideas were generated & shared.  Lots of blimp references as well as mentions of Swenson’s hamburgers and Luigi’s pizza.  Check out the photo set here.

We even had an earthquake!

For the Love of St Louis

Join me on Thursday, August 11th for a full day of activities in St. Louis.  Beginning at noon at the MOTO Museum, we have a lunchtime presentation followed by an interactive workshop on making St. Louis a more lovable and engaging city.  And that evening at the offices of the Regional Arts Council we will be doing an interactive Q&A from 6pm to 7:30pm.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=256790117671177

Workshop with City of St. Petersburg Leadership

On Wednesday, June 15th, it was my honor to present to the leaders of the City of St. Petersburg at their monthly learning session. The meeting brings together over 100 of the city’s department and divisional leaders for opportunities to learn and connect with each other. I was there at the invitation of St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, who has become a fan of the book and big supporter of the ideas.

The group was very eager to hear about ways they can engage with their citizens without having to spend resources they no longer have. We workshopped several ideas including the very popular “what is your city t-shirt” exercise that got everyone very engaged. Thanks again to Mayor Foster and City Administrator Tish Elston for the invitation.

  With St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster

With St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster

Interview from Detroit – April 7, 2011

While in Detroit to speak at the Rust Belt to Artist Belt conference, the Detroit Regional News Hub interviewed me.  The News Hub is a not for profit, grass roots news agency that is helping to bring the unheard stories about Detroit to the forefront.  I sat down with Jeremiah Staes and we discussed Detroit, talent and how 719 people could change the city!

“The Next City”

I have been invited to participate in the Journalists Forum on Land and the Built Environment: The Next City taking place on April 15-16th, 2011 in Cambridge, MA.  The forum is sponsored by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy  and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  The forum brings together about 30 writers and journalists from around the country to hear from leading urban experts and discuss current issues around cities.

Speakers include Edward Glaeser, Harvard University professor of economics and author of Triumph of the City and New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff.  I am honored to be invited and am looking forward to connecting with these amazing urban thinkers.

The Social Animal and Cities

New York Times columnist David Brooks notes in his new book, The Social Animal, that human beings can take in about 12 million pieces of information a minute yet we can only be conscious of about 40.  Thus he notes that so much of what we are reacting to is happening on a sub-conscious and emotional level.

Think about how we experience cities every day if  only .0000033% of the experience is happening on a conscious level.  Even if the conscious stuff is the more privileged in our experience, there is a dimension, a non-rational, emotional dimension, that is hugely important as well.  Perhaps it is the timing of Brooks’ book and mine, but I am seeing more evidence that there is an emerging consciousness about the importance of emotional connections in everything from cities to politics to health and wellness.  And that, I believe, is a very good thing.

Check out Brooks at TED:

Rust Belt to Artist Belt III

Peter Kageyama, author of For the Love of Cities,  will be a keynote at Rust Belt to Artist Belt III in Detroit, Michigan on April 6th, 2011. The conference, now in its third year, centers on cultivating talent and innovation to transform post-industrial cities. It explores the ways these cities are being shaped and reinvented by the diverse skill sets of artists, esigners and other creative entrepreneurs.