We were honored to be invited to give one of the public talks during September Catalyst Week at the Downtown Project, Tony Hsieh's experiment in transforming the East Fremont section of Las Vegas into a community that can "make you smarter." The fantastic Citizen University founders co-curated an incredible group that included innovators, architects, futurists, and the voice of the Millennials. While Curious Catalyst founder, Kaz Brecher, spoke about the personal story behind how and why she came to start the company, she also touched more specifically on how we, as ordinary citizens, have the potential to find our own avenues to impact by shifting our understanding of neighborhood-level empathy and complexity. The videos from all of the talks are now available here.
Each year, Meeting of the Minds publishes a glossy magazine — The Annual — which contains the best CityMinded.org blog posts from the previous 12 months. The magazine is printed and distributed at their main event each year, which happened in Detroit this past October. We were lucky enough to both attend and have our Curious Catalyst article on the "Untold Arguments for Urban Agile Approaches" included, which can be found here.
The conference brought together thinkers and doers, policy makers and philanthropists, in a setting that could not be more relevant to the rapidly changing needs of our cities and citizens. Attendees took half-day working session tours around different urban themes, and we were inspired by the small-scale neighborhood interventions we saw taking root. From The Alley Project, which is finding ways to bring artists and neighbors together around patches of blight, to Ponyride, a small-scale manufacturing co-working space, even the bleakest cityscapes seem to be sprouting seeds of hope.