My Not-To-Do List

January 24, 2013 — Leave a comment

In my second semester of the Open Master’s, I have decided to focus my energy on the theme of self-directed, social learning. But focus has casualties. Keeping me focused is difficult, so today I am publishing my Not-To-Do List.  

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 1.53.37 PM

Here are some of awesome ideas I spent a lot of time cultivating last Fall, but simply won’t pursue- at least not in depth- for now:

  • Mapping, studying and supporting “community incubators” / “civic accelerators” like the New Leaf Initiative, co*lab Halifax, and others to understand how they are powerful engines for improving the wellbeing of communities.  
    • Understanding what makes their models work and how others can replicate replicate those models.
    • Work with groups like New Leaf to create a “community incubator in a box”
    • Research what conditions and processes are most effective to bring out the innovative, risk-taking spirit in a person and a local community.
  • Studying “small scale, low-cost social innovation” – mapping, studying and supporting innovation that costs very little or nothing at all, but which can improve the wellbeing of a community a great deal.
    • Develop a toolkit of ways ways cash-strapped communities and governments can improves lives in their community for very little money, backed by scientific research.
    • Develop an evaluation tool for communities to evaluate possible strategies and programs to understand their possible impact on (Max-Neef’s) Human Needs and on (Gallup’s) Wellbeing indexes, and make strategic investments that improve wellbeing, not just “grow jobs and the tax base.”
  • Writing a short book “Social Cartographers” with fellow participant, Laura Sheinkopf, making the case for the important role played by connectors in society.
  • Research the relationship between affordable housing and entrepreneurship.  As the MacArthur Housing Initiative says, “affordable housing may be an essential ‘platform’ that promotes a wide array of positive human outcomes in education, employment, and physical and mental health, among other areas.”  I wondered, and felt personally, that it may also be linked with the ability of a neighborhood to cultivate an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Whew… now that they’re out there, I can officially put these wonderful projects on the back burner and return to them after I have completed some of my other goals for 2013.

Hopefully I’ll master some transferable skills in my other pursuits that will make it easier to return to these projects at a later date and hit them out of the park.

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