Common Threads

One thing I’m picking up on as I make my way through the scheduled panels is the recurring throughts throughout. No matter what the topic seems to be, themes keep popping up. For instance, I’ve heard “eat your own dog food” not once, but TWICE.

I’m obviously talking about the more relevant themes as well, like the key not being the product, but the process. In my first panel of the day A Media-based Economy for Detroit’s Future, that was a pretty prominent point. There’s a shift happening in some places (and gradually making it’s way to more) toward a creativity based education system. We need to teach our children how to come up with solutions to problems creatively so they can adapt in an environment of constant change. (Check out a really cool project regarding this over here). In Detroit, they’re teaching people how to use the creative process and using that collaborative environment to organize communities.

An aspect of that which I found really interesting was how fast community gardens are growing (pun!) in inner-city Detroit, but it wasn’t because of the trend, it was out of necessity. Some retailers aren’t opening in the city limits, and the grocery stores that ARE there carry a limited (or nonexistent) amount of produce. So, the people who can’t travel to the suburbs for fresh food are left without fresh, healthy (and affordable) produce. They’ve risen to the challenge and started utilizing the abandoned lots that have become so prominent to grow their own food. It’s innovation out of necessity, and now Detroit has more than 1000 gardens run by the surrounding community.

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