Weekend brief #Week30

Another cycle comes to an end. The 30th week of 2017 has brought insight and surprise into my life. Digesting the events this weekend will be fun. Imaginations are getting ready for take off!

I’ve logged some hours with the communities that I’m working with and I’m doing my best not to pick a favourite but alas, this was decided long before I even began, featured picture).

govt avenue table mnt
A central garden with charm

I’ve decided to the deem the rest of the communities as peripheral communities. These peripheral communities are built on the community that I have grown to love and appreciate. The vibrant ecosystem that gives Cape Town its world class beauty.

This week, I’ve noticed this beauty fold into different dimensions. Emerging in the people that have made their homes here. Of course, in the harsh terrain that most of the communities have cultivated for themselves, the rarity of human beauty is a little saddening.

Thankfully, the revolution is well underway. Cultures are mixing and mingling. Mindsets are changing as their owners feel the impact of their choices. Political leaders dig their own graves and push individuals into radical states. Communities tying events together in increasingly autonomous ways.

golden acre clock
Complexity in each community

I’m intrigued by the sheer force that this city (Cape Town) has. The individuals that trigger the mechanisms may or may not be oblivious to their contribution but the physical structures make it plain for any African to see. Especially if they’re from a small town, like me.

So this weekend, as I think about learning styles, I’ll also be thinking about the rate of integration in local communities.

The golden miles in #GoldenArrow

I was making my way to the Cape Flats, passing faces, work bound. Staring into the vivid abyss, wondering if anyone had a phone charger. The crowd was silent.

I needed to charge my phone. Badly. I'd missed the opportunity earlier, that was a blunder. My mood was dropping as I gazed at the sky. I considered using airplane mode to pass the time.

What I would do for some electricity! You never miss the spark until its gone, they say.

Everything just felt off, could I manage without my music? Maybe sing along from my memory?

Then this happened, just when I needed you.

Photo Jul 25, 10 36 53 A seat usbM

Inception Connection

The transit system being a marvel on its own, I was blown away by the added level off connectivity that the Golden Arrow buses were getting. Being able to stay connected to my work and family with free electricity meant the world to me.

2 usb ports

 

 

From then, my day went as smoothly as electricity from an eel. I gazed upon slightly imposing wonders of nature. Sat with leaders of the future and discussed their way forward. Pondered the strategies applied by economists of yesteryear, guffawed. Discussed solutions to the education system with parents, their miniatures in tow. Rummaged through book donations to find an anthropology textbook beckoning from the chaos.

Travelled great distances through flat communities.

Cape Town's development signals its ability to handle the pressure of African politics. A little too well, in fact. The Cape Flats residents my tout a lack of consideration from the city but with this view, adjustments to that argument must be made.

table mountain 25 jul

 

Sure, the reminders of the city's rulers hover over the daily (and nightly) activities but hey, at least the buses are connected. That's something, right #Zille?

kind edward 7

 

#Financially disruptive 

Money rules the world.

Profit driven business decide how consumers spend their money and consumers influence demand with a subtle buying power.

Institutions harness the power of money in ways that the average Joe is too busy to want to notice (forgive the conspiratorial tone), take Zimbabwe as an example.

Is there a chance for the concept of money to be absolved? The human desire for it is set in our hearts of stone but the mutual trust in it might be salvageable.

An event is currently being held, conferencing bitcoin. #BlockchainAfrica 

Cape Town’s #commute

Public transport has its perks. It’s affordability being the main reason I use it, there is a lot I’ve been willing to look past (behaviour wise), just to get to my destination. However, as the city grooms me to be a more active citizen, I can’t help but wonder what I can do to help the city work better.

This city has five pillars that are the foundation of how it functions. One of the city’s pillars is “caring” for the individuals who live in the city. This calls for a more empathetic response to challenges that we see around us. An example would be the front seats in the MyCiti buses, designated for people with disabilities and other conditions that make it difficult to move with ease.

Now, as a daily commuter, I’ve been wondering what I can do to emulate this empathetic sense of citizenship…

I found this article that introduces this topic for me.

In transit etiquette…

Molding #CapeTown

Once upon a time, the African plains must have represented an untouched paradise. A paradise that would need some work but a paradise nonetheless.

A place free from stifling laws and regulations with an abundance of resources.

Today, it isn’t the plains that represent this utopia.

We, the people

As Africans, our predecessors have fought for freedom from different perspectives. Each believing in their own right to their way of life, enough to kill. This passion hasn’t left us.

Fortunately, we’re starting to engage the future. Envisioning the Africa that we would like to see 5, 10, 30 years from now and putting the foundations in place for that. As waves of fresh minds cascade from educational institutions with nowhere to go, organizations shift their focus to encourage and grow these entrepreneurs.

This is an example of one of the organizations that are future-focused and environment enabling. They have workshops, research and other valuable (non-financial) resources for the willing to to create Cape Town.

Silicon Cape

What a #community wants…needs…

It’s clearly a budget, it’s got lots of numbers on it – George W. Bush

Prescribing solutions to community challenges can be tempting. Especially after watching melodious YouTube videos that advertise an organizations ability to organize a community with Colgate smiles as proof of their claims. We all have a Facebook diploma in some field.

Deal direct

The reason I advocate for direct relational experience is that it’s a strong reminder that a community is, essentially, a big human.

Hundreds of individuals who live/work in a specific location. They may never interact but their goals are ultimately linked to each individual fulfilling their chosen role in that community. If we’re going to be pedantic, then let’s go with thousands of individuals.

If, like me, you’re looking for a human-centered approach then keep your eye out for the humans who are most invested in the communities you’re hoping to develop. Everyone has a specific skill and it isn’t up to you to perform all the tasks.

Next, first step

First things first, admit that you’ve seen the need. Your entrepreneurial mentality is a wave that you’ve ridden to get a meeting with the right people. But now you’re on dry land and if you want to make progress then you need to learn to work with other humans.

What are the foundations of your passionate desire to make a change?

Is there a need?

Essentially, a community developer is selling a problem. Selling a solution was the first mistake I made. I realized that I was selling my idea of a solution without fully understanding what the community needs are. I quickly lost a lot of energy when I saw key players shying away from their responsibilities (responsibilities that I had prescribed in my fervor to make tangible change) and forgot to establish a mutual understanding between stakeholders.

Write it down!

Once you’ve grasped that understanding, write it down. Make it real. I’m still working on this myself and reading sections of the book below, I’m learning how to put word to thought.

Community Development and breaking the cycle of poverty

#GetActive slowly

Yesterday, I included the Western Cape’s liquor authority’s motto “Be Conscious” — I did this because being aware of triggered behavioral patterns is the first step towards letting those unwanted behaviors go.

I’ve found that the best way to “be conscious” is to engage in different activities. This can have a jarring effect on embedded cycles.

Yesterday, I took the opportunity to walk up Lion’s Head. I didn’t get all the way BUT, every moment was worth it. Each step had my heart pumping in ways that left me breathless. Each step I had to convince myself to take another one forward and not turn back.

Cheers to the hikers who made all the interactions so much fun! Cheers to the views that gave my heart a song to sing.