I was speaking with a group from the Alliance for Innovation today on a webinar and was challenging them to think about ways of adding fun to the mix of our various projects. I mentioned the idea of a neighborhood clean up which is a good, solid community project but not necessarily thought of as ‘fun’ in the traditional sense. So based on the current season, I opined that maybe we could mash up a Trick or Treat event with a neighborhood clean up and make the later a more fun and engaging event. Seems like a natural fit. If any communities out there have done something like this, I’d love to hear about it!
I am very excited to meet Dr. Ray Oldenburg this coming week. Oldenburg is the author of The Great Good Place, which began the conversation about the importance of “third spaces” like coffee shops, cafes, parks and public gathering spaces. My friends at St. Petersburg Preservation are bringing him into town for a lecture and were gracious enough to arrange for us to meet.
Place makers today take for granted the idea of the importance of the third space – that which is not home or work. Yet when Dr. Oldenburg first published his book in 1989, this was a revolutionary as Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone or Richard Florida’s Rise of the Creative Class. Third spaces today are seen as key drivers in successful places because of the social interaction they engender, the equality of status they convey upon citizens and the general good feelings (love if you will!) they create. Yet less than a generation ago, these things were thought frivolous and ‘nice to have’ but not necessary. How far we have come and we have pioneers like Dr. Oldenburg to thank for the great places we now enjoy.
On 11/11/11 it was my honor to be a speaker at the inaugural TEDx Iowa City event. For a first time event, they knocked it out of the park with a great venue, cool stage and a wonderful array of speakers; local, national and international!
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.
It was my honor to be part of TEDx Tampa Bay for the second year in a row. As part of the team that produces the event, I have been able to work with people who are passionate about the community and the spirit of ideas and engagement represented by TED. This year I was also privileged to be one of the speakers at the event.
I have spoken around the world but I will say that TEDx was one the most pressure packed presentations I have ever given. The tight format is part of it but mostly it is the pressure of knowing you are part of the global TED community. The global audience for these talks is an amazing array of people who are also doing extraordinary things. This is a group that you want to impress and I hope the ideas contained in it are worthy to be part of that global conversation!
TEDx Tampa Bay, the locally produced TED event for the region returns in April to the new Salvador Dali Museum in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. This year’s broad theme – “Synthesize, Mobilize, Humanize” will feature presentations from around the region and the country. Peter has been selected to present at this year’s event and will talk about lovable cities. For more info – www.tedxtampabay.com.