Creative Concepts: Ecological Experiential Documentation

As I continue to travel the world—and spend more time exploring my own big backyard right here in North Carolina—I’ve come to realize that I can apply my academic training, professional experience, intelligence, and creative abilities in a combined effort over the next few decades to produce what I think and believe will be experiential documents worth consuming as materials for lifelong learning and understanding.  I am conceptualizing an ongoing series of experiential documentation, taking appropriate form over time as ebooks, print books, magazines, interactive apps, websites, and perhaps even videos.

This concept first came to me when I was looking at a map of the United States and thinking about the difference between national parks and national monuments.  Based on my personal experience onsite at various national monuments, coupled with my research and perusal of the maps of these monuments and the surrounding areas, I realized that I would love to commit to exploring and documenting a sense of place in each of these areas—demonstrating their importance as sacred spaces for maintaining the natural order of our relationship with the environment and all other species with which we share it.

So, to put a stake in the ground, I created a map of all the US National Monuments.  (Yes, there is at least one that does not appear in the image.)

Map of United States National Monuments
Map of United States National Monuments

Inspired by my recent trip to Helsinki, which included a stay at the hostel on Suomenlinna, I decided to add UNESCO World Heritage sites to the map.  I figured it would be interesting to see how many UNESCO sites in North America are within reasonable proximity to US National Monuments, thus allowing me to combine several locations into exploratory experiential documentation journeys of 1-3 months in duration.

Continue reading Creative Concepts: Ecological Experiential Documentation

Introducing #Elkin2050 – The Urban Core District

Introducing Elkin and #Elkin2050

What is #Elkin2050?  It’s the name (and hashtag) I’ve chosen to identify a dynamic “urban core district” development plan (and planning process) for my hometown Elkin as we move closer to the year 2050.  Why 2050?  That’s when population scientists have projected we’ll hit nearly 10 billion people in the global population.1

Where is Elkin? Elkin is in North Carolina in the United States of America, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains – just below the escarpment. Continue reading Introducing #Elkin2050 – The Urban Core District

Learning Systems Design

As a way to get back into the swing of things with my blog, I thought I’d write a quick post on what I’ve been thinking about most lately as I’ve taken my new position as CTO of McKinsey Social Initiative: learning systems design.

Of course, I’ve been thinking about learning systems design for many years, but our goals for where we’d like to be with the Generation Initiative by 2020 have given me a new pragmatic perspective on the topic.  I want to keep this post (and most future posts) brief, so let me quickly explain my own framework for learning systems design. Continue reading Learning Systems Design