At a TV station I once worked at, I was chatting with a guy about one of the TV news directors. He worked as a switcher I think, and I was asking what this particular news director was like in the control room.
He said “she doesn’t have any sharp corners”.
What a great expression (and also a pretty unusual personality trait for a live news director)!
I think I’m drawn most to ideas (like community-building, and social innovation) that have round corners.
Prosper.com may be an interesting business model, and may be financially successful. But finding out about the site gave me a flash of “this can be such a cool planet”, because sure, people are looking at improving their investments, but ultimately they are looking at helping people who need help. And I love that there is a whole global community of people willing to do that.
I came across a similar example at the non-technology, local level – an idea that hits me with that flash of wonder that people would do something so non-hard-surface, so squishy.
I’m known to be an information junkie, always picking things up and reading them from this obsessive need to know what’s going on. So at a local community centre, I picked up a flyer that said Resolving Conflicts in the Community. What amazed me is that it’s an organization where trained mediators volunteer their services to mediate community disputes. Volunteer.
You know how you read or hear in the news, now and then, about these blind-rage incidents that happen between neighbours or drivers or something, about something pretty small in relation to how violently out of control it gets? So, this group helps people get to more rational solutions. They mediate things like disputes between neighbours over noise, or trees, or privacy, or property maintenance; between local merchants and residents; about youth conflicts in the community; about sharing of public facilities… anything, they say, to do with a breakdown in normal, friendly community relations.
They are rounding out the sharp corners.
What a great, squishy planet.
photo by Michelle Kwajafa