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“Softly, softly to catch a monkey” – We are connecting

In brief: Likemind group asks global question. Complied answers from around the world shows that we (global humans) are feeling more similar about our cities than we realize. NYT article challenges that all of us ‘young online folks’ (people without gray hair) are not participating enough in today’s politics to make a difference. But maybe we are bonding, developing on a different level in a different way…and that our potential for change is brewing.

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The quote from above is from some play I was loosely involved with in college. Supposedly it is an old Eastern European saying that in order to catch something it is best to move quietly. I’m not sure if it is an Eastern European saying…but I’ve always liked it.

For the last 6-8 months I’ve been co-hosting a group called Likemind with the wonderful Sarah Saline from Fallon. This group gets together every 3rd Friday to have a little coffee chat. In the beginning there was no agenda to the chats. Just show up, have a cup of coffee and talk about whatever. Because most of us were of the Likemind from the ad world the conversations usually centered around trends, social media, ad talk. But in the last meeting the global Likemind tried an experiment. All the Likemind groups around the world would ask the same question to their respective groups and then we would compile all the answers together. Kind of a giant focus group.

The question from last was:

“If you were to rebuild your city from scratch, how would you build it differently and what would you keep the same?”

Here is a slide show from the global complied answers. To read Minneapolis summary of the questions, jump here.

Hopefully embed slideshare to come shortly (hint, hint).

What I take away from it is that…we, a global sample, are feeling very similar to how we should construct our cities. Less cars, more people interaction. Let neighborhoods develop. Forced commerce creates artificial cityscape which in the long run kills a city. We need to grow green.

After reading it I really felt like we were of, well, likemind. Then I stumbled across this NYT article over at the Dailykos about how we are ‘Generation Q – Generation Quiet‘. A quote from the article:

“It’s for all these reasons that I’ve been calling them “Generation Q” — the Quiet Americans, in the best sense of that term, quietly pursuing their idealism, at home and abroad.

But Generation Q may be too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country’s own good. “

Now the Dailykos does a good job picking a part this article and its narrow view of what is going on. And I’m not going to asking that likemind becomes a political force for change. But we did tackle an interesting global problem problem. And we did have a decent global sample… I mean brands have validated billion dollar ad campaigns on less attend, less focused, and a lot less active participation in the focus group than what the likemind focus group accomplished. And I think we have some solid answers.

So now what?

Will we do anything with the with the thoughts and ideas gathered? Were we meant to? I don’t know.

While I do agree with the idea that maybe we could use a little more profile to help nudge some of our thoughts along. It was because we came together without motive but to participate, without judgment, or without an agenda to gain that we have some solid ideas on how to help cities – from the human point of view. I find it interesting how we have quietly come together through the intergalactic social networks (offline/online networks to all show up for likemind). And that others are doing the same. That maybe through the humility of openly expressing ourselves across the networks that we are finding solutions before beating our chests. That sharing across the internet forces you to listen as much as talk.

And maybe one of these days some of us will rise up to orchestrate the quietness that is swelling. That the foundation that is being built is one of human interaction for humans, not a dollar amount.

I don’t know, maybe I just drank my preachy freedom coffee this morning instead of normal. Still, gives me hope.