Friday, May 28, 2021

Inspired by Edison; Inspired by Others.

In my Twitter feed today I came across a post by Emlyn Cameron, containing a podcast essay that he wrote following the death in 2020, of his father, Charles Cameron.  

I met Charles in the Social Edge forum in the mid 2000s and through conversations that he hosted there we developed a strong relationship that continued until his death.  I did a search on my blog to see what I had posted that pointed to these conversations

Since the Social Edge forum has not been active for the past decade I had to use the Internet archive to find links to some of the articles I had put in my blog prior to 2010.  This led me to do some searching for articles including "Social Edge" and I found a couple using this graphic and the idea of Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb, then an industry to distribute light to every home.

Here's a 2008 article where I showed how this conversation on Social Edge about design thinking included this paragraph:

"Thomas Edison created the electric lightbulb and then wrapped an entire industry around it. Edison’s genius lay in his ability to conceive of a fully developed marketplace, not simply a discrete device. He was able to envision how people would want to use what he made, and he engineered toward that insight."  

In an earlier article from 2006, I wrote this “After Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he had to invent an industry to put light bulbs in every home. Imagine what it might have been like trying to think of every thing needed to make that happen, and not having much of a blueprint to follow. 

I wonder how many are thinking like Edison, of all of the actions needed to end poverty and racism in America, or the world. For volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring to be part of the lives of more youth living in high poverty neighborhoods, and to stay engaged until each youth is starting a job/career, we need to be just as creative, and persistent as leaders like Edison and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. 

We need to build an industry that can provide the ideas, dollars, advertising, tech support and leadership needed by CBOs in every neighborhood in every big city. We need to make these resources continuously available for many years at thousands of tutor, mentor and learning programs in Chicago, in Detroit, New York and Los Angeles, and in every major cities around the world."

Since starting this blog in 2005 I've written hundreds of articles using maps to emphasize  the need for well-organized, mentor-rich youth programs in every high poverty neighborhood.  And I've used concept maps to visualize the team of talented people who need to be helping each program grow, as well as the many different types of mentoring, tutoring and learning each program needs to over, over many years. 

As we head into another weekend and a new month I repeat these messages.  I invite you to read some of my articles then share them with people in your network.  Become the leader of groups who "think like Edison" and envision the "fully developed marketplace" of learning and enrichment opportunities needed in every high poverty area of the country.

Start conversations like this one hosted by Charles Cameron on Social Edge, in 2010. Its title was "Theory of Change: A Collaborative Tool?"  Share the conversation on Twitter, LinkedIN and Facebook so I and others can find it and join in.  That's what drew me to Charles back in 2005.

Thanks for reading and thank you for sharing.  If you are able to help me pay the bills please visit this page and use the PayPal button to send a small contribution. 

If you'd like my help understanding the ideas I'm sharing let's schedule a ZOOM call.  

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