Join Us at the Startup Event Draft This Thursday!
As the community within Omaha continues to develop and change year over year, I’m excited to see what happens at this week’s Startup Event Draft this Thursday evening.
The goal of the event, led by Dusty Reynolds of the Greater Omaha Chamber along with David Arnold of the Straight Shot Accelator, Shane Reiser of Startup Genome is to get more participants involved and engaged in the entrepreneurial community by starting and leading their own events.
Any community can’t sustain itself on being run by one or two individuals or organizations for a long period of time.
Any community is a stronger community and will go much farther if more, and new, people are invited to play a role in the creation of that community.
Each month in 2014 will have a specific theme which will tie together everything we do from designs, events and everything in between. Helen kicked off the year in January with Clarity. Now, we’re starting February with a focus on Connection.
Building real connection is something important (and very different) for each of us. Whether with friends, family, lovers or strangers - the impact of these connections can be profound. Perhaps this is why in the US alone, we are okay with collectively spending over 230 thousand years worth of time on social media in a single month. The past decade has brought a plethora of new technologies that have introduced instant ways of connecting to our fingertips. They have also enabled a continuous and immediate feedback loop of sugar rush acknowledgements. And this is where we need to become more aware.
Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. These tools each represent ways to supplement and manage more human connections than ever. These social tools are likely to get better and better at mimicking the real thing, but what happens when they become full replacements for real human relationships? The Hollywood production Her opens a huge conversation of where this could lead in the not-so-distant future.
To be fair, technology has facilitated remarkable things in this realm, too. It’s allowed me to see my nieces in Kenya grow up over the past years and to reunite with friends from high school. But most importantly, it has helped me to fully appreciate the difference between depth and breadth of connections. It feels great to get likes or RT’s but like a sugar rush, once they pass I’m not left with much except a craving for more of the same. This example perfectly describes the cycle in which we seem to get stuck.
Karen Van Bergen sums it up particularly well in her Huffington Post article, “Where Should We Meet?”:
"More than we care to admit, we now pay for the ease and frequency of our communication with the depth of our relationships… The irony, of course, is that our vanishing connection to each other is actually driven by our deep need to connect.”
Living in NYC combined with all these social tools makes it very easy to just hop from introduction to introduction at the expense of building depth of connection. At Holstee, one way we keep the need for depth in balance is by to host bi-monthly dinners, where we invite both longstanding and new friends to sit around a dinner table, talk together and open the door for real, genuine human connection.
In summation, breadth of connection seems to happen more naturally but depth of connection is something we need to consciously and constantly build. What are some ways you do this in your life?
Other inspirations for this post came from:
A City Uncovered
I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of place lately, especially in the light of another tragedy by gun violence in our city. Not too long ago it was the rampage of one deeply destructive man that had our community on edge and wrecked havoc across the city.
More recently it was the tragic death of a 5-year old girl, Payton Benson, while she was eating breakfast with her family.
It troubles me, and countless others, to hear people who live in the city refer to these crimes as “their problem to solve”, and live each day with the mentality of “as long as I’m safe in my neighborhood, and where I work, I can’t get too concerned about everything else happening.”
That’s where we fall short as a city and a community. This isn’t a “North Omaha thing”. This isn’t a black, or white, issue.
These are our issues, and this is our city.
Until we start to change our thinking and take small steps to connect, learn, reach out and engage in our city, and not just take from its resources, we’ll continue to deal with the same issues…day after day, week after week, month after month and so on.
I’m ready to be a part of the change, and know change isn’t about any one person, organization or leader, but is effective and much stronger in numbers.
Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal. Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.
3rd Edition of Omaha’s First Monday of the Month Breakfast Club of Champions
Alright then, it’s about that time for the 3rd installment of the First Monday of the Month Breakfast Club of Champions, or FMOTMBCOC for short, Omaha Style, this coming Monday August 5th starting around 7AM and running until 9AM at the 11-Worth Cafe.
You can take a gander at who else is coming for the hashbrowns and RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/532518546815687/
It’s been amazing to see this event grow month or month, but I’m not surprised as it’s a testament to the energy and solid community we have that continues to develop over time.
The rules are pretty straightforward, come bringing great ideas and ready for conversation. Second, and most importantly, be sure to introduce yourself and visit with those that you don’t already know at least 75% or more.
So grab your appetite, a friend or two and we’ll see you this coming Monday morning!
Time to Reroute the Trucks in North Downtown Omaha
As the development continues to progress in the North Downtown area, one issue that has seemed to come to the top of the priority list is the rerouting of the semi-trucks that are traveling at high rates of speed along Nicholas Street between 11th and 16th street. It’s honestly putting people at risk that dare to try and cross the road on foot, bicycle or even by car every day of the week.
This week the tenants got notice that the City of Omaha and Public Works is planning resurfacing the road starting July 25th - with no discussion no due process or opportunity to visit with Public Works, City Councilman Ben Gray or Mayor Stothert about what the truck route is doing to the neighborhood.
We’re asking you to call and email the elected officials noted below as soon as possible. Time isn’t on our side this time, however if we act quick, and act in numbers we have the opportunity to put a stop order in place for the proposed resurfacing set for this week.
Just below you’ll find additional talking points when you make your call. Please review so that you feel comfortable and informed about the entire process and reasons we are against the but the biggest thing is for you to take 5 minutes out of your day and make a few phone calls and emails in order to make our voices heard. When you post a call to action via Twitter / Facebook you can use the hashtag #RereouteTheTrucks
Elected officials to contact:
City Councilman Ben Gray (email)
City Councilman Pete Festersen (email)
Tony Panowicz with the Public Works and Construction Division
Nebraska State Senator Heath Mello
Additional talking points for communications with the elected officials regarding the proposed repavement:
HELP US STOP THE REPAVEMENT OF NICHOLAS STREET AND STOP IT BEING USED AS A TRUCK ROUTE!
We at the Mastercraft Building want to stop the development of Nicholas Street until the City takes our concerns of the street being used as a truck route. Trucks are damaging buildings, hindering development, and putting lives at risk.
Above and beyond the several public safety and controversial issues surrounding the “Truck Route” on Nicholas, there are several points tenants and business owners would like to address regarding repaving of the road. It is our goal to get a stop order in place until due process has been given.
There are several business developers and investors that are purchasing land and developing in and around the area. Repaving the street to create a more conducive truck route may very well hinder the growth potential of the area and keep investors from building here.
The City is not seeing the big picture and is not willing to address valid concerns from those that live and work in the area every day. The repaving of the road will only encourage the truck route issue that the city is ignoring. It will hinder development and elevate the concerns for public safety.
The City claims to want to attract and retain entrepreneurs, developers, and creatives in the area. In fact, it is because of centers like the Mastercraft and surrounding businesses that Omaha has been nationally recognized as a prime spot for startups and entrepreneurial development.
Yet if this area, speciﬁcally Nicholas St., continues to be a truck route, it will damage the potential for attracting new business, and the current business that is in place will not stay.
Instead of ﬁghting the City, we simply want to be part of the process. We want our voices heard and taken into serious consideration. We feel we took a chance to help make this part of town a locally and nationally recognized part of Omaha, and we want to continue to do so without our issues being ignored by the City.
The City should recognize that the businesses and owners here care about the development and want to make it even better. We want to be part of the discussion regarding the planning process.
It is our intention to get a stop order in place for the repavement of Nicholas St. from 11th - 16th. We feel that in doing so it would allow time for us to present to the City a well thought out statement addressing the issues concerning the truck route that is in place currently.
PLEASE CONTACT THE CITY AND TELL THEM YOU DO NOT WANT THEM TO REPAVE THE ROAD AND THAT YOU REQUEST THEY MOVE THE TRUCK ROUTE AWAY FROM NICHOLAS STREET.
Reminded of this truth from Nelson Mandela
"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”