In my last post, I talked a little bit about the great experiences I had while in Portland, Oregon at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit. Today I’m here to write Part II and talk about what I learned most of all from WDS.
Remember when Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz said, “There’s no place like home?”
I agree. Here’s why…
At WDS, there were a lot of people there, 500 to be exact. And at any given time, the atmosphere was one where you could walk up to any one of those 500 and strike up a conversation about their life, what they like to do with their time, what kind of stuff keeps them hopping and interested. (Funny, but I think only one person asked the sentence, “What do you do?” – How completely refreshing!!! We are all so much more than what we do for a living…)
When asked, I didn’t talk much about being an interior redesigner. I was kind of shocked by this actually. After all, any chance I get to talk about Hazel Tree, I’m all over it. I mean, I looooove Hazel Tree. I love what I do, I love what Jon does, I love to share things about our current artists and talk about all the neat things for sale by them at any given time. I love to talk about what we’re designing and crafting locally for our awesome clients, and all about the historic building we’re in and the stories that have happened there over the years. I love it all.
But at WDS, I didn’t talk much about any of that. Instead, I mostly just talked about Akron.
Akron as a wonderful city with lots of natural beauty and resources and countless things to do. Akron as the place I choose to raise my kid, do my work, start my own fires, dream big dreams. I love Akron and I love to help grow my community…whatever form that takes on any given day. I talked all about this town…about the programs and festivals and community work I am involved with. I talked about my love of the people, the new economy based on art and local sharing that I see emerging. I also talked about my excitement for the organization E4S.org (which is now holding monthly meetings in Akron!), and how E4S can help all sorts of businesses and individuals with their sustainability efforts.
But most often, I talked a lot about the possibilities I see with adaptive reuse first, and deconstruction of our own buildings second. I talked about how I feel we tear down far too many buildings, and also how a deconstruction program can be (needs to be!) established. A program where we carefully take apart our own expired buildings and warehouse the usable materials in order to recycle our own existing, reusable materials back into the new buildings we erect (and furnishings we create) in the future.
I just wish we could all figure out better, more accessible, (and yes, profitable!) ways to recycle our city back into our city.
(I am actively trying to crack into these options to see what is possible. If you’re interested in joining in on a conversation about these ideas, and waste reduction in general, join me and E4S at Musica tomorrow night!)
So anyways, with all of this possibility…Akron to me feels special. Super-charged. Emerging, again.
I don’t know if I can describe it to you, but this is something that I have felt growing stronger for a while now. And each day, with each new conversation with a local individual who also sees glimpses of what I see, the feeling grows stronger. (While in Portland, as I was having so many conversations with people from all over the globe about these ideas, I determined that upon my return to Akron I would have one conversation a day about this. Some days, I have two or three.)
It all makes me want to play a bigger role in whatever I’m doing, to have win-win-win meaning to my work, to help build programs to help my child, and your child, not only here and now but also in the future.
So basically, in Portland, I talked so much about Akron and the people and the opportunities I see that I suddenly went, “DUUUUHHHH!!!”
Why have I not been using this blog to talk about the things that I’m gushing about in this blog post? The things that make me love Akron so incredibly much? All these things happen in some form every day! Why not use this to talk about the things that I am involved with and get super-excited about here in Akron? Things that help spread the word about the goings-on here and in NEO that support the feeling I was just talking about.
Again with the locally-owned… :)
I like it! It feels doable now. It feels natural finally, and that is something that I’ve been struggling with for some time now with the content of the blog.
As you saw in the last post and as you see here again in the photo below, apparently what I am longing for most is deeper meaning in my life. For me, at this place in time, that meaning is coming through my work and efforts in Akron.
So, I’m ready to start. Again. I’m prepared to set aside the time and energy needed to take care in using this blog to help spread some good words about Akron and what’s happening here.
This time? I mean business.