"Innovation is CREATIVITY that ships" (Steve Jobs). Not a PowerPoint slidedeck.

Archive for July, 2013

Nurturing Activism in Detroit

henry ford quote
Once upon a time Detroit, also known the Motor City, owed as much as $20 billion to banks, bondholders and pension funds as well as burdened with a debt spiral. Faced with a large employment crisis, people were moving out rather than moving in. And every day, the city had to borrow money from creditors to keep the lights on and the lower middle class seemed to be in dire straits, taking a high toll in their collective emotional bank accounts. Until one day the city filed for bankruptcy and was plunged in a doom and gloom. And because of that Detroit had to search for the authentic call and heed to the internal call for transformation. The city’s restructuring experts had to abandon the balance sheet based short-sighted view of the world. And because of that many individuals in the community heeded to the call for adventure using the Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM). Until finally the community co-created the performance of lifetime called “acTiviSM“. And from that day the entrepreneurial spirit reignited in Detroit with a chiming sound of cash registers ringing.

impacts of Detroit filing for bankruptcy

Detroit’s residents on bankruptcy need the resilience of individuals such as LeDuff.

“If you’re a retiree from the municipality, you’re a cop, a fireman, anybody earning a pension now, you’re screwed,” LeDuff says. And even though Detroit’s restoration could take years, LeDuff hasn’t given up all hope. “If you could say it poetically, Detroit is a town built by the little man. Where is his future? That’s the true question. ”

LeDuff says that even though the city may face some tough times, he’ll stick it out in the city he grew up in.

The city of Detroit has feelings and emotions. Detroit is not merely a collection of zipcodes. Detroit is not just dollars and cents. Detroit is not just a campaign stop. We have to use the collective will of the rest of state of the union to re-build Detroit.

We have gotten accustomed to hearing about companies in Main Street or Wall Street that are filing for bankruptcy and sometimes turn a blind eye. The Great Depression was not only a financial meltdown but an emotional one as well.

With a budget deficit of $380 million and long term debt estimated to be between $17 billion and $20 billion, Detroit is a city in emotional anguish. Walking in the shoes of a person living in Detroit, I could feel the anguish of a city crying in pain and grief. The emotional bank account of a city (leave alone a business) is never part of the balance sheet and remains largely invisible.

path forward for Detroit

The Therapeutic Spiral Model (TSM), pioneered by Dr Kate Hudgins, was “conceived experientially, developed clinically and matured theoretically” in order to help individuals and groups heal from trauma and depression and develop spontaneity, resilience, creativity. TSM has been used successfully by individuals and groups worldwide.

Heros Journey TSM

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(Poet: Robert Frost)

Businesses such as Whole Foods have made a commitment by opening a store in Midtown, a neighborhood in Detroit wit a poverty rate of 50%. This has been described as a game changer by Mayor Dave Bing.

whole foods

I am eager to rollup my sleeves and get on board the bus and join the teams who are hard at work to orchestrate the turnaround of Detroit and nurture acTiviSM and co-create the developmental spark for at least one Detroit citizen to:

Author: Last Mile Resource

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