I've been a citizen marketer, and curator of Fast Company magazine readers' network for seven years. The conversations we have developed in the Greater Philadelphia area cut across professional associations, disciplines, type of work, and age groups. The magazine celebrated our fair city on its pages, at live events, and during roadshows on numerous occasions. They are back this coming month with Senior Editor Charles Fishman engaging Fast50 honoree Sun Edison CEO Jigar Shah.
Last Tuesday, I was invited to attend the unveiling of the Center for The Creative Economy at the University of the Arts. Richard Florida, the guest speaker, had an interesting take on 'place' that I will expand upon on Sunday. It deserves its own post. Since I heard those words uttered I have been thinking about this city and its many attractions.
There are more things happening here than meet the eye. And many local grassroots groups are beginning to connect the dots for me and for the world. This summer, Philadelphia inaugurates its first unconference for bloggers. The tireless spirit and action behind blogPhiladelphia is Annie Heckenberger, Social Media Director at the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Association. Annie comes to us from New York City with the connections, passion, and skill to make this first effort a winner.
Alex Hillman is co-creator and evangelist for this effort. Alex is the brain thrust behind Independents Hall, a portal designed to serve free agents in Philadelphia. In his words, the idea for Independence Hall is to be the foundation for the collaboration of independent creatives in the city of Philadelphia, and nearby areas. Alex is a web developer and entrepreneur who believes in the concept of coworking and the potential behind the centralization of resources for independent talent.
I met Alex last night at a Junto get together along with hosts Geoff diMasi of creative firm P'UNK avenue,Tony Guido of Grow-Design, sustainable to restorative industrial design, and David Speers, marketing and social media specialist who blogs at Phillypreneurs.com. Randy Schmidt shared his ideas to help people and companies cross-pollinate online at BubbleBee.org (coming soon).
It feels like the city is sitting on the verge of a major tipping point. People are talking and connecting, and that is where I love to be.