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Creative Populism

Creative Populism

Was there any point in the political discussion when you were excited about the stories of our future that your political party was telling you? Did the parties near simultaneous implosions prove they were hollow at their cores?

Seems to me all of the campaigning communications and policy strategies of our political parties are missing the most important thing.

I don’t come at this from a political policy perspective but from a creative and entrepreneurial one. (To help you calibrate my views: I was a socialist as a boy; I took part in the counterculture and anti-war movement in college and as a young adult, though the part I took was mostly the parties; I spent nearly 3 decades of my adult life as an entrepreneur and a classic old school Edmund Burke/George Will conservative since they provided the most graceful defenses of free enterprise being of service to us all; I began drifting to more center left positions about 10 years ago.)

I begin this exercise of applying a creatively entrepreneurial perspective on political party policies and platforms with questions.

…Is there anything more important for our futures—considering what we know and more importantly what we don’t know about the future—than for each of us and all of us to be the most creative and entrepreneurial versions of ourselves that we can be, so that we can be building the best futures we can imagine?

…Wouldn’t it be a political victory when a creative populism emerges as a vibrant bottoms-up and self-organizing dynamic geared for creating advantage for you and me, the least advantaged and the most privileged, the dark skinned and the light skinned, the old and the young, the urban and the rural, any gender you live, all the right and all the left, all the up and all the down. Especially when that creative populism by its very nature would move us closer and closer to achieving sustainable abundance for ourselves and our families, our country…the world?

…Why wouldn’t you vote for politicians committed to finding ways to develop and align policy strategies and programs to appreciate our natural born creative genius? Who respect it by helping it grow, in value and usefulness.

…Doesn’t it seem that reforming education would be a top priority? And that political leaders would bring a fierce rejection of teaching for standardized testing and an enthusiastic embrace and generous support for teachers who guide students towards the production of their educations, the best way to learn?

makerspace-workshop

…Can you imagine political leaders crafting initiatives that build community colleges into centers for creative and entrepreneurial makers and builders? There would be teaching and training there, and incubators and maker spaces, and producers and innovators would find each other there, and form all sorts of important support networks.

…How would a nation of creatively entrepreneurial geniuses be best served in other policy areas?

…Wouldn’t taxes be structured to favor production and to benefit those economic investments in creating long term sustainable growth and be less favorable to those taking short term advantage of economic opportunity?

…Wouldn’t leaders show an understanding that Mitch Kapor is right when he points out that talent is spread across all zip codes but opportunity and access to resources are not? And so they would find ways to honor individual freedoms while investing in communities’ well being; with the goal of nurturing a more creative and entrepreneurial citizenry, they’d understand that personal initiative is best served by a vital commonwealth. (Just ask any entrepreneur whose start up resides in an incubator—the common pool of resources from the incubator and the sharing of knowledge and networks between the resident entrepreneurs have great leveraging power for the individual company.)

The more vibrant the community, the more likely an individual flourishes in it.

The creative populism I suggest here would inform a government Lincoln celebrated at our nation’s second founding, a government “of the people, for the people, and by the people.” Such a government must not perish from the earth.

I’m much more engaged in helping people and organizations become creative and entrepreneurial and not at all engaged, beyond what I offer here, in politics. I am not sure where this exercise will take me, but I am mucho interested in hearing your thoughts, and if you think this will spark useful discussion with those figuring out how we can become the most creative and entrepreneurial and generative and adaptive people the world has ever known, please share it with your friends.

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