Welcome to my annual SXSWi blog series! Last year, I joined the mayors of Albuquerque and Sacramento to share our reflections on how to build more innovative cities. I’m inspired by the work of leaders across this country like Ashleigh Gardere in New Orleans. I often find myself on panels doing my best to distill their labors of love into notable quotables and pithy statements. In fact, I recently authored a book, Just Change: How to Collaborate for Lasting Impactto highlight how leaders across the country are making a difference in their communities.
You may not be at SXSW or any of the other events I attend as part of my speaker circuit. Just Change is my attempt to bring those stories and lessons to you. I hope that learning from leaders like Ashleigh will inspire you to action. My SXSW session this year, Don’t Talk About It, Be About It, focused on two chapters of my book. Instead of lecturing, I gave a brief chapter overview and then invited participants to work together for 20 minutes to solve a social change challenge.
Our first social change challenge was about how to solve the data dilemma. SXSWi is filled with tech-preneurs. There are apps, robots, 3D printers, and artificial intelligence. So when I shared that one of the biggest challenges to achieving social change was the lack of real time data, the participants thought it was absurd! Together we brainstormed a quick list of ways to remove those barriers and came up with solutions to pursue.
As part of Just Change I’m going to keep all of you posted on how we do! By next SXSWi, let’s see if we can demonstrate that working together can really help remove these barriers!
Tune in to tomorrow’s blog post for the second Don’t TALK About It, BE About It social change challenge!