13 May 2011

All posts from 13 May 2011

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The Power of the Action-Idea: Detroit Uprising

The short film above is the culmination of a project that my colleague Scott Macklin and I had pursued last summer, as an exercise in storytelling for my Storyteller Uprising book (just revised and expanded this week), as well as for our storytelling class earlier this year.

Our working premise? A conference for journalists seeking new business models, looks to Detroit’s incredible community activism (particularly urban farming) for inspiration. We would somehow mash up what was developing inside the conference with what was happening on the outside: slow food, meet slow news.

We were pleased with the footage we gathered. Unfortunately, after shooting the film, we sat on the material (babies were born, school started, life went on). We commissioned a rough sequence from one of our best students, who assembled it after screening all of our material. We showed it in class in February. It was roundly criticized for its murky focus and overly complicated premise.

Fundamentally, we had not heeded the same lesson that we had been teaching the students: we had never established a meaningful Action-Idea.

What do I mean by that?

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The Power of the Action-Idea: Detroit Uprising
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Seattle Arts & Lectures:’Let’s Do the Numbers’: Metrics and Maturation of Digital Media in Emerging Markets

“Let’s Do the Numbers’: Metrics and Maturation of Digital Media in Emerging Markets. One of the central storylines of Anita Verna Crofts’ culminating Seattle Arts and Lecture talk addresses the “demographic dividend” that many emerging market countries possess: namely, the significantly young populations who can drive economic growth as they enter the workforce.

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However, a young population alone does not guarantee success. Certain stars must align in governance, education, and employment opportunities. Countries that are home to large youth populations and have limited infrastructure or jobs opportunities find themselves in challenging situations where they have millions of under employed and unemployed youth. Some of these youth are educated and some not—and if there are no jobs to focus their talents then unrest can occur, and often does. Again, it comes back to the human capacity on the ground.

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Seattle Arts & Lectures:’Let’s Do the Numbers’: Metrics and Maturation of Digital Media in Emerging Markets