Innovation & Glide

“Innovators, because of their singular nature, see things differently… they are unpredictable. We don’t know what to do with them, and they are inherently unpredictable to judge.”

Hilary Austen’s talk from the 2011 TEDx SoMa conference is viewable below:

The 2012 TEDx SoMa conference is this weekend and looks to be awesome. Just around the corner from CIIS no doubt. Its sold out. But the talks from last year are available on youtube. I found Hilary’s talk relevant to my own story as a thinker, scholar working to be relevant and innovative at Glide.

I have given a significant amount of my mental and emotional time to Glide. I dream about Glide. I write about Glide. I think about how to “enlarge its territory” to expand its influential spirit over San Francisco. There are many movements at Glide in the present. My interest is in bringing the power of vision to Glide. This is my vision:

An integral vision… that offers a plausible, exciting, and cooperative way to reconstruct the 5 by 7 square blocks of the Tenderloin District into an eco-city in the center of San Francisco. This research project would draw from the best of emergent post-capitalist scholarship and innovation, where the intersections of individual empowerment, social democracy, and ecological design meet. The biotechnopowers – the systems, material, financing, tech and eco-models are already flourishing. Powered by organic-activism, I believe that by encouraging the integration of these intersections with a clear, inspired vision a critical mass of political will should be powerful enough to overcome any obstacles. Central to this research would be the empowerment and recovery of a Tenderloin community whose lives are largely disenfranchised and suffer from multidimensional poverty. My research and experience suggests that the latent revolutionary power that lives within the bodies of structurally disempowered communities will serve as the life-force for this vision. Here the institutional body of Glide Methodist Memorial Church will be a key supporter grounding this vision within the community and validating it within the city.  This integral vision will present an intentional “SF Mode” Eco-City that will also serve as a mobile model that might empower other urban populations within US cities and abroad.


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