For the next two days, you will see me broadcast from Grand Rapids where I have the opportunity to partake in VELOCITY, a two day workshop made possible through CEO for Cities.
VELOCITY is a movement which strives to cultivate vital, productive and creative cities – and ultimately, to redefine the good life in America.
For two days, an impressive group of “Urban Change Agents” (Experts) and Storytellers are getting together to come up with a vision for the Good City Life. (I am honored to be one of the Urban Change Agents.)
Goal of the two day Salon are to create and tell the predictive human story of ‘how people will want to live’, illustrate the context for that lifestyle in next generation cities and provide with human-centered guidelines for making that a reality.
Since the 1940’s Americans have pursued a vision of the good life that is spacious, expansive and utterly unsustainable. We know we can’t simply tell people that their ideal American Lifestyle isn’t good for them or society and expect them to change.
We must create a new, more compelling, more desirable vision of the good life. And cities are the place to do it. Cities offer positives like walk-ability, energy efficiencey, proximity to jobs and economic opportunity, creative inspiration and life long learning. Well designed cities help eople to value and aspire to city-living not because they have to, but because they truly want to. And that is good for all of us. Vital city cores anchor their surrounding metro-areas and the nation.
The VELOCITY salon is not just an isolated event. The outcomes of the salon work will extend to the broader community through crowd-sourcing and be broadcast across media platforms including Twitter, blogs and other traditional channels, engaging citizens in creating a new reality and desire for city-living. The salon work will also be published in the VELOCITY book, distributed globally to urban leaders, as well as presented at the CEOs for Cities National Urban Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. on September 29-30 for mayors and other urban leaders to discuss how to urgently execute these ideas locally.
Here are a few of the 40 experts that I am truly excited about meeting tomorrow: Hunter Tura of 2×4, Marisa Belger (GreenDAY Blogger), Dana Cho (Designer and Architect IDEO), Zach Frechette (Editor-in-Chief GOOD Magazine), Mark Hamm (VP Innovation at FedEx), Polly Labarre (Author, Mavericks at Work, Fast Company Contributor) … and the list goes on.
Stay tuned for ‘Good Life Visions’ in the coming days. (I’ll probably be broadcasting a lot over on twitter.)