February 21, 2011
Walter Hood: Start With Community & Build the GREEN Around Them
Walter Hood talks and walks a green path and lives and breathes his passion. His view of what green landscape should look like in urban areas? Listen to what he said about Oakland's Lake Merritt in a Fast Company article.
"Everything seems like it's dropped out of nowhere. It's like, okay, we'll put in the grasses and the rocks and let's do the stupid green roof over a garbage-compactor thing. That's the playbook of landscape architecture. But this is the centerpiece of our community. It should add up and become something larger." The "something larger" is real nature opposed to a fabricated image of nature.
He talked to the TEDxBerkeley crowd recently about the green prints he has been working on in Pittsburg. He showed us his 'green' plans, which he called "You Live in the Woods," and within the woods is a village. He says he watches where the people go and then builds around them.
Hood has been working on a number of cities around America, not just Pittsburgh. Among others, Wood has had an impact on Buffalo and Jackson, Wyoming, where he transformed street corners and highway underpasses into public spaces.
He encouraged us to think differently about public spaces and to stop being afraid of 'green' spaces as they are 'naturally'. "We don't have to control it all the time - sometimes we can just it go." He reminded us how rare it is to see 'woods' anymore, "you know," he says, "that vacant lot where a kid can go into it and see the rainforest, get dirty, play with ants, see Africa, get away from mom and dad."
He's right. When I was a kid, I had my own woods.....I even called it "the woods," and it was there where I took dogs for a walk, built forts, climbed trees, went hunting for frogs and just sat and looked at the bush. It was a place I could seek refuge when things didn't make sense, which for a ten year old is often. And, for a 15 year old, it's even more often.
He showed us amazing photos of 'green forest' they created in Pittsburg, an area that looked more like a mini-rainforest in the middle of an urban sprawl. He says with passion, "we don't need to make a community garden and a park. We need to stop controlling everything."
With his projects, he focuses on the GREEN first and lets everything grow from that one central point. He encouraged the crowd to "think about culture and landscape together. On other words, we can bring the 'hill' back to communities.
Hood ended his talk with this advice: bring back the hill, learn about the hill and listen to stories from people in the hill. Learn more about Walter's work here.
February 12, 2011
Sutton's Classic San Francisco Heart
Jeremy Sutton is a Bay Area friend of mine who has an amazing ability to beautifully capture things, people and the world digitally.
An artist at heart, he spends most of his time dancing up a storm when he's not 'creating.'
I wanted to share a heart that he painted called Classic San Francisco, commissioned by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, which is currently in display in Union Square, at the corner of Powell and Geary Streets, in downtown San Francisco through October 2011.
C'mon, Go to TEDxBerkeley if in the Bay Area or Can Be: Feb 19
TEDx VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL: Give your sweetheart the gift of a creative mind. Take them to TEDxBerkeley next Saturday, February 19, 2011 at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA. Experience the romance of new ideas and deep connection. If you don't have a Valentines Day sweetheart, then bring a friend. Buy 2 tickets and get 25% off.
Photo credit: Heather Garland
February 02, 2011
TEDx Berkeley Coming to the Zellerbach Stage on February 19
On February 19, 2011, TEDxBerkeley will gather world-leading thinkers, makers, and doers at UC Berkeley to discuss the theme: “Engaging the World“. The audience will be a diverse yet curated mix of 1,400 students, professors, and thought leaders from Berkeley and beyond, gathering for a stimulating day of presentations, discussions, entertainment and art that will spark new ideas and opportunities for all.
If you're interested in attending, fill out the form and join us. The speaker line-up can be found here, with additional speakers and performers being added in the next few days. Below is just a glimpse - more updates coming next week.
- Jason Atwood - Cal PhD, Computer Lab in Uganda project.
- David Rose - Founder of Vitality.
- Chip Conley - CEO of Joie de Vivre.
- Marti Spiegelman on consciousness.
- Erin Ganju - CEO of Room to Read.
- David Silverman - Producer of The Simpsons.
- Bryan Alvarez - Cal PhD and the Human Atlas Project.
- Lopa Brunjes - co-founder of Biochar.
- Gopi Kallayil - Heads of Product Marketing for Search Advertising at Google.
- Shore Slocum - Author and Speaker on spirituality and the real world.
- Bob Fuller - Author on rankism.
- Walter Hood - Berkeley architecture professor.
January 14, 2011
Fixing Broken Government
The next LongNow talk entitled Fixing Broken Government with Philip K. Howard is being held at Cowell Theater in Fort Mason Center, San Francisco on January 18, 2011.
Philip K. Howard is a conservative who inspires standing ovations from liberal audiences (short example here.) He says that governance in America---from the capitol to the classroom---has achieved near-total dysfunctionality by accumulating so many layers of piecemeal legalisms that the requirements of navigating them has replaced any hope of getting actual justice or effectiveness. Most attempts to fix the problems have made them worse. Howard thinks they can be fixed in a way that restores core functionality.
Howard is the author of Life Without Lawyers (2009) and Death of Common Sense (1994) and is the founder and chair of Common Good, a reform advocacy nonprofit.
Upcoming talks include:
Feb 9 (Wed.) - Mary Catherine Bateson, "Live Longer, Think Longer"
March 22 (Tue.) - Matt Ridley, "Deep Optimism"
April 13 (Wed.) - Ian Morris, "Why the West Rules - For Now"
May 4 (Wed.) - Tim Flannery, "Here on Earth"
June 7 (Tue.) - Carl Zimmer, "Viral Time"
This is one of a monthly series of Seminars About Long-term Thinking (SALT) organized by The Long Now Foundation. Free audios and my summaries of all previous talks are available for download here (or stay up to date with the Podcast here).
November 22, 2010
TWTRCON San Francisco: Biz Strategies in Real-Time
I've been meaning to attend TWTRCON since its first one now over a year ago, so was thrilled to discover I'd be in San Francisco when their second one hit the west coast last week.
TWTRCON is entirely focused on the business use of the real-time web with social media tools like Twitter a core part of the conversation.
They highlight case studies from leading brands, workshops led by social media practitioners and mini tutorials about real-time tools. They also collect and publish social media business case studies, statistics and videos on their site.
What I loved most about their event is how well it combined great networking and high quality speakers and sessions with "fun." They had beach balls on the tables and introduced a game at the start of the day as a way to meet others and tweet out a little love about the person you just met.
As a non-morning person, I was shocked that I managed to make it there for Laura Fitton's (aka @pistachio) early morning keynote which kicked off the day.
Her message focused around relevance - in other words, don't just go for numbers, go for engagement. And after you kick that into gear and are part of the conversation, remember to use the right analytics tools: links, click throughs, conversations AND context. All are important.
Kara Swisher interviewed Adam Bain on revenue models, digging for more data on how Twitter will make money. It's clearer that revenue is coming - what's the ole saying? Build an audience first and the money will follow and it's not as if they can't tout numbers - real numbers.
Adam says they plan to focus on the product plan in the next year and product growth will be key over revenue, at least in the next twelve months.
On future revenue models, he reminds the audience that with traditional display advertising, .5% engagement is considered a win and with Twitter, they're seeing single and double digit percentages in engagement.
Tons of major brands are already using Twitter and setting up campaigns to increase engagement and get customers on board - it's an organic movement that is only growing, not shrinking. Small businesses are seeing a tremendous benefit as well.
Then, Google's Avinash Kaushik talked analytics. Full of energy and passion, he zipped from left to right across the stage emphasizing all of his key points - with humor.....a lot of humor.
He talked about the whole notion of HITS and tracking hits alone, which he says stands for: (HITS = How Idiots Track Success). He referred to it as a glorious datapuke.
He reminded the audience not to get caught up in straight hits or simple analytics around positive, negative and neutral. Sentiment analysis is key - focusing on people's emotions and how they're feeling and thinking when they retweet or make a comment. It's important to understand the behavior behind tweets purchases and data links, he says.
"In social media, your reward is YOUR reward," she says. In other words, focus on what you care about and talk about that on Twitter and elsewhere on the web.
It can be as simple as helping ten kids out and having an impact on two of their lives in a way that can not only be life changing for them but for you in the journey you take along the way.
They had an interesting small business panel which included Nic Adler from The Roxy Theatre, Andrew Israel from AspenSpin, Akash Kapoor from Curry Up Now, and musician Zoe Keating.
Below, HootSuite's Ryan Holmes, Maksim Ovsyannikov from Zendesk, Sprinklr's Ragy Thomas, and Gigya's David Yovanno talked about real-time strategies and tools now and what's next.
Ford's Scott Monty showed up in a bow-tie and raised the bar for the local geeks who dressed in t-shirts, jeans and sneakers. He shared a few case studies and talked about some of the lessons he has learned through implementing social media campaigns over the last few years.
At the end of the day, people still care about the same things they have always cared about, he says. "People don't change, they want you to think and feel and be just like them." Globally, trust is down year after year and less than 40% of people trust ads. "Who people trust are third party experts and people like themselves," he says.
Transparency and authenticity are key when you're dealing with human emotions and rather than use robotic language that won't have an impact on people's emotions, "we're training people to talk like humans again." He also emphasized the importance of relevance.
Below are a few random shots.....I'd love to see them turn this into a two day event in the future. Kudos to Tonia Ries and her team for an incredibly well-executed event.
Above: Tonia Ries, Fusicology's Zsa-Zsa Rensch and James Bowyer
Thomson Reuters' Alastair Goldfisher, Marie Domingo, Harry McCracken, Renee Blodgett
Above - Marylene Delbourg-Delphis and Rachel Polish (taken by Harry McCracken)
And, unlike a lot of conferences, the sponsors actually made sense and were very relevant for the 'conversation.' You didn't feel pitched and the companies that showed up all had a solution for putting together real-time strategies and solutions in small businesses and corporations.
The "relevant" companies included folks like CoTweet, HootSuite, Objective Marketer, ThreadMarketing, tap 11, Foursquare, Sprinklr, ZenDesk, TweetReach, Fliptop and others.
November 22, 2010 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Blogging, On Branding, On Social CRM, On Technology, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
October 26, 2010
US China Internet Summit
On November 15, 2010, San Francisco will host a US - China Internet Summit, opening up opportunities for companies looking at distribution of US Content and Technology to the China Broadband Market.
The thought leadership summit brings together Chinese and US business leaders, Internet companies, content publishers, and government officials, media to discuss business trends, challenges, and opportunities for distribution of US content in China.
They are seeking content owners or technology solution providers for games, content, video, entertainment, Internet portals, e-commerce, retail services, web services and applications, consumer brands, media, and mobile applications looking for distribution partners in China.
Tens of thousands of first-time users join each day and the Chinese favor of the internet grows stronger and more innovative each day. As a result, business and investment opportunities abound, and companies such as Tencent (creator of QQ), Sina and Alibaba are leading the charge and earning strong profitability in the process.
However, this promising market opportunity is also characterized by diverse dynamics and demographics, requiring a significant understanding of both the Chinese consumer and the Chinese internet space.
Topics will cover the major trends influencing the development of internet in China and the US, focusing on the resulting business and investment opportunities between the two nations.
October 25, 2010
Clara Shih: The Next Decade is the Relationship Web, Are You Ready for It?
The below video captures Clara Shih's talk on the Facebook Era at BizTechDay in San Francisco this past weekend. She says, "understand your target market and do your social graph homework." Key takeaways:
- She dives into connections online and what they mean, how to understand how Facebook and Twitter are changing people's behavior, expectations, and relationships - and what that means for your business.
Her insights unveil how real companies are succeeding at sourcing leads and engaging customers on Facebook.
She also addresses how you can do more with less, and how to better leverage the power of your networks to improve your productivity on and offline.
October 25, 2010 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Branding, On Technology, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
October 23, 2010
James Prigoff on Murals and International Aerosol Art
San Francisco recently had a 'art walk' in early October which went hand-in-hand with the opening of the annual Open Studios, a series of art showings in various parts of the city showcasing artists' work in the San Francisco and greater San Francisco area. Below are a few shots of the work of James Prigoff, who is apparently now in his seventies.
Important photographs from his collection appear in the book Spraycan Art published by Thames and Hudson in 1987, which he co-authored with photographer Henry Chalfant.
The book joined the ranks of the films Wild Style and Style Wars and the bookSubway Art in triggering the birth of additional aerosol art movements throughout the world.
He co-authored the books Painting the Towns- Murals of California and Walls of Heritage - Walls of Pride- History of African American Murals with Robin Dunitz. He was pleased to include works by BLADE, NOC, KASE 2, QUIK, A-ONE, VULCAN, SPON, E-ZONE and DIZNEY in this now critically acclaimed book. He has also written the forewords for the books Graffiti LA by Steve Grody AndGraffiti New York by Eric Felisbret (DEAL CIA). Prigoff is still actively documenting public art today.
October 22, 2010
Gourmex: Taste the Flavors of Mexico
The Friends of Mexico and the Mexican Consulate have announced the launch of Gourmex, a gala event hosted at the Bently Reserve, San Francisco, on October 25th, 2010 from 6:00pm – 8:30pm.
Gourmex will showcase the some of the best culinary talent in San Francisco, the Bay Area and Mexico while highlighting upscale and boutique food and beverage product exported from Mexico to the United States. There will be a number of diverse offerings prepared by some of the most well-regarded local Mexican Restaurants in the San Francisco/greater Bay area.
Gourmex will also highlight upscale and boutique culinary product exported from Mexico, including samples of some of the highest quality chiles, spices and chocolate. For beverages, Don Julio will be offering tastes as will some of the wineries.