Why Talk More? Series: Innovation

18 04 2010

I have been talking to QUT Creative Industries/ Urban Informatics about the digital interfacing of my bus stop conversations, and how their work could also help prompt conversations.

As part of RiverCity Blueprint, Roni (QUT) sets up to let people SMS and Twiiter in their thoughts about the future development of Brisbane’s inner city.  Roni and I talked about online social networking, and I’ve had similar conversations with my friends Morgan and Josh.

Example at EDGE opening (also used for River City). People text in response to a question. The screen visualises the conversations

Roni mentioned that in another project for an apartment building to set up an online network.  He said in that building context he found people might not want to be friendly to neighbours. He questioned my project in the same way.  I certainly understand, and do it myself, of wanting and even enjoying the ability to tune out on public transport. (there’s a captive market for ipods for a reason).

That day, me and Roni talked about our experiences in “community building”.  We  spoke of how often we naturally migrant to those the same as us.  Those with shared interest, shared culture etc are easier to be with, as you are not having to explain yourself.

But it is diversity which makes our lives richer.
Meeting and having conversations with new people, can make us smarter.
Different perspectives is where we learn,  gain more understanding and tap into new helpful resources.  I certainly picked that up working in the Multicultural Team of BCC, as well as in the interdisciplinary design at Institute without Boundaries.

Most of the world (projects, any actions, etc) often runs on “it’s who you know”.  Networks of people, teams, and communities are important to getting things done.   Roni mentioned that he read it is the edges of social circles which are often the most helpful to us.  I think this is because it is the edges that opens up more connections

In most things it is the EDGES of circles were exciting, unexpected things happen.  Example, for me the most provoking inspirations about cities doesn’t usually come to me from the safe circle of other urban planners.  Me as an urban planner talking to Roni as someone from IT and networking background, was a far more complex, innovating, thought-provoking talk about community building because of our different backgrounds.

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