No-Pocalypse and New Beginnings

So the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012. That was pretty crazy. Guess it was my Hale Bopp or something, and now I’m free of the cult!

I’m excited about the new year and all the possibilities, and have the awesome fortune of taking a 3.5 week intensive seminar about the Base Reuse Plan for Fort Ord. The decommissioned army base is shared by 7+ Jurisdictions, including the Cities of Monterey, Marina, Seaside, Del Rey Oaks, the County of Monterey, CSUMB (overseen by UCSC?), the CU system. The army still monitors the ESCA munitions cleanup on the BLM land, while municipally held land is shared responsibility between FORA and the jurisdictions. A complex and charged issue, happening on the Peninsula, and touching environmental and economic current affairs. Overall, an amazing way to launch my IEP/MBA degree mashup party!

On the first day our brains were filled with amazing ideas – it’s important to try, and fail, a lot, a little bit, right at the beginning (rather than epically towards the end), we live in a post-normative world (more on that later), and development and policy creation need to be based in real numbers, not just outputs.

There were a number of ways the pre-readings related to policy creation and execution, but using different words than the usual Five Steps of the Policy Cycle (Agenda Setting, Formulation, Adoption, Implementation, Evaluation). However Design Thinking for Social Innovation, by IDEO, frames the question as  Inspiration * Ideation * Implementation. By offering more emotive and subjective terms, yet pushing for an extreme level of critical innovation, this approach asks for creative participation from all stakeholders throughout the process.

Human Centered Design is an organization that seems to embody this approach. HCD Connect offers group exercises to help buld consensus and identify the best ideas at every stage of the policy creation and implementation process. HCD also has a complete toolkit on how to successfully plan and implement projects.


Jumping to another topic raised… Climate change, the economy, food and water security, wars, natural resource depletion – it’s all quite scary, and Welcome to Post-Normal Times doesn’t pick any bones about it. Sardar says the only things we can be sure of are the 3 C’s – Complexity * Chaos * Contradictions

We also got to hear a talk about the development lands in an old WWII War Horse stable!, walk down 8th and Gigling to see the beginning of BLM lands, biked around the Ord for a minute, met the US Army ESCA office, and came back to tell a story about Tim DeChristopher.

So far 2 great mentors, a multinational cross-cultural-communication-consultant, who was Hungarian born in Czech attending a Slovak school and under the USSR, 5 languages and 50 countries by the time he was 25 (cruise ships!). He had us do good and bad team traits identifications, then did a tallest structure you can build in x minutes exercise using spaghetti, string, tape, and a granola bar instead of a marshmallow.

The persuasive voice coach from Middlebury had us tell short stories, a 2 minute pitch on moving Fortune 500 companies to your home town, and a 7 minute story (I did  Tim DeChristopher). Overall, extremely rewarding and action-packed! This marks me trying to turn over a new leaf and write regularly on my blog, if you believe you can achieve!

Happy 2013 and No-Pocalypse,

Goodnight Mom!

One thought on “No-Pocalypse and New Beginnings

  1. Love the design thinking, and all the other concepts and ways to analyze problem/solutions that you’re being exposed to. If you believe you CAN achieve!

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