Building a Better Tomorrow #2 — The Tour Begins


My advisors don't look much like these people ...

My advisors don’t look much like these people …

Or these people

… or these people

The Advice Tour is well begun. Four meetings so far. I’ll tell you one thing: I know some smart people. People who have their wits about them and their hearts in the right place.

It feels good to bring together the part of myself that’s eager to work for transformation with the same part in others. The secret impulse that knows “changing the world is the only fit occupation for a grown man [human]” runs quite close to the surface in a lot of people, and I want to talk to them. (Howard Luck Gossage said that about changing the world. If you don’t know about him, now’s the time:

I’m feeling committed to this project in the real world now, as well as my plans. I like the feeling. Makes me feel like a citizen, like I can hold my head up and answer the “What do you do?” question.

There’s been a few inklings of the promise in the decision to commit: “A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.” I’m ready for more.

She blinded me with software

She blinded me with software

The first stop on the Advice Tour was an old friend from my Providence days. I haven’t seen Andy Newcomb once in the last thirty years. His response to my Tour post was, I’m between web development gigs and looking for worthy projects I can work on for free. Yes please. We had lunch, caught up on the very interesting events of our last 30 years and talked software. I haven’t talked software for a long time. I’ll put some design down on paper and we’ll talk again.
There's secret agents, talent agents, change agents ...

There’s secret agents, talent agents, change agents …

Then I sat down for breakfast with dynamic talent agency president and Chappaqua force of nature Lisa Rich. She’s not just a fabulous person with finely tuned politics. She also knows how to get things done. She boiled down my project to this: provide ways for people to donate time, talent or treasure to people already doing the right thing. She says, this is easy. She says, set your goals, establish your parameters, make a production schedule. She says, you should be able to boil everything down to a three by five card. Show me yours in two weeks and I’ll show you mine.
All Politics is Local

All Politics is Local

Nick Gutfreund is another old friend. He believes all change is driven by local action, and he’s had his finger on the pulse of how change is driven in these parts for years. Plus he’s smart and generous. And when he gets the chance he works on his film about local environmental activism. Pro tip to those travelling in the south: the Rosa Parks museum in Montgomery is one of the best museums he’s ever been in.
Wear your buttons

Wear your buttons

Kevin O’Neill is another force of nature well known to activists from NYC to Albany. He wants more and more people to bring their activist & progressive impulses into their real lives: wear your buttons, have conversations with other humans. And he’s willing to imagine a role in Little House on the Planet as a man with his same convictions but more traction, who can do something like foment a boycott among corporate clients against investment banks who support crimes against the biosphere.
HowardLuck Changes The World

HowardLuck Changes The World

That’s week 1. I’ve got 7 more meetings scheduled, and a lot more definites who need scheduling. Since I’m designing this process to be replicated for others, I’m documenting it in a Tips & Tricks Do’s and Don’t’s file as I go along.

The talent and dedication of the people on my list is immense. It makes me happy they want to find time in their schedules to meet with me. It makes me happy such people sense something like the same possibilities in this project that have kept me going these last years.

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