Bruce Mau is a designer extrodinaire and sees design everywhere as a result. This is a critical skill we need as design is what will help us to drive change on a massive scale. He's using it to change the arts, education, our prison system, drive entrepreneurship, sustainability, and more.
While I found his talk a little disjointed (he can use more practice designing keynote addresses perhaps?), the ideas and philosophy he put out there were clear as day. Bruce uses love and other positive emotions to drive change on a massive scale. Of course, this is analogous to Fundraising Rule #3 in my book: Giving is emotional. (Right behind Rule #1: You have to ask and Rule #2: People give to people.)
Bruce observes that in, for instance, the sustainability movement, we've voted with our feet on negativity. Except for a small few, we don't want to give up every advancement in our lives and start growing tomatoes in our backyard. I would love the tomatoes, but I like my Diet Sierra Mist as much as Bruce likes his Coke. And I'd be lost without my smartphone and my laptop.
So our solutions must be positive. They must embrace the advancements we've made and build upon them. He observes that we've created our modes of mobility, our marketplaces, our information systems, and we can continue to create in a positive manner. So it is with the arts as well. We have the power to create our own artistic and cultural market.
That's pretty darn empowering if you ask me.
He spoke also of the immense power of networking and working together. That individually, we can't break through the noise barrier, but that we can build upon similar initiatives out there in our communities, work collaboratively, to draw attention and see exponential growth once we hit that level.
Yeah, those that know me well know how I was salivating over that one.
It reminds me strongly of some of the things that Ian David Moss speaks about when he talks about curation within the arts industry. That we need help filtering out the noise and raising the level of attention for those arts groups that truly deserve it. Whether that process is intrinsic to the organization or organizations as Bruce would have it or crowdsourced as Ian prefers, I think the possibilities are tantalizing.