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Inicio > Historias > Flashmobs with a Purpose

Flashmobs with a Purpose

Natalie D'Arbeloff, of Bloggers' Parliament fame, has instigated me to build on a silly idea.

What I first suggested was that FlashMobs are an exercise in "collective NON-thinking".

So, I fancied, maybe there could be a normal flashmob, organised with the intention of doing something silly - the kind of multitudinary activity that makes noise and can be photographed well.

But then, immediately afterwards or making one unique body with the "normal" FlashMob activity, there might be another kind of activity with an equally fun purpose: thinking cooperatively.

This might range from brainstorming about "solutions for public transport within this particular town" to "creating long term cothinking teams" to ... you name it.

I also suggested, well, that "thinking" might be dramatised in some fun way. Maybe people should just walk around with a finger in their foreheads. Maybe they could go really formal and draw mindmaps, or use de Bono's lateral thinking, or go for some Open Space Technology gathering, or ... again, you name it.

Enter Natalie, in the warm, comfortable sorroundings of one of Minciu Sodas yahoogroup lists (yes, those of IdeaFeeds fame ...

"Maybe the flashmobs could actually get something done? Like cleaning up a rubbish dump? Or bringing gifts to the needy? Or building a garden? And so on."

Well, yes. Trouble is - we people might become addicted to doing good deeds for the sake of it. :-)

We have to try it, I guess!

For assistance and further comments, please use the comments area down here - thanks!

2003-10-07 | 9 Comentarios

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De: jlori Fecha: 2003-10-07 18:40

I share with you the view that even when flashmobs started as a funny trend, it well could become the strategy to gather people for "serious" (social, cultural, political) reasons in public places. Even to think!

De: lgs Fecha: 2003-10-07 20:40

They have to be fun as well.

I predict there will be a serious phylosophical exploration of flashmobs in a not distant future.

In fact, I predict there has been such an exploration, already done, but that I don't know of.

De: Natalie Fecha: 2003-10-12 06:03

Imagination and playfulness are the most amazing and effective tools we humans have but they are only rarely used in the 'serious' side of human affairs. People tend to think that they belong only the sphere of art, of theatre, of literature.
But why not apply imaginative and playful ideas to serious problems? To politics, to conflicts, to religious and racial intolerance, to human suffering?

If people can readily and spontaneously gather for flashmobs for fun, surely the same fun principle can be applied to serious issues? Think about it! Make a proposal!

De: lgs Fecha: 2003-10-14 00:56


Let me think about it in this side track.

Say people want to think of some fun ways to improve democracy in the US of A.

Is that to big and vague a task?

Or, sorry, we don't want to think up the ideas ourselves!

Hmm ... I should definitely get more sleep. Every day.

... I read Natalie's comment. "Intolerance" strings a cord. Not because I've felt it myself, but because I can easily imagine a sort of Carnival FlashMob.

But is "fun" meant to be absurd? Could we gather people wearing some distinctive cardboard face, someone from the world of politics, and make them say different things?

Perhaps ... Ok, I'll dream about it.

De: lgs Fecha: 2003-10-14 00:58

Sorry, it's "it strikes a chord". (This just shows my instrument is, quite untypically, the spanish guitar.)

De: Natalie Fecha: 2003-10-15 10:10

Lucas, it's when you're just improvsing that the best ideas occur:

"Could we gather people wearing some distinctive cardboard face, someone from the world of politics, and make them say different things? "

This has the seeds of another really good idea. Why not develop it?
Suppose, for example, that someone with very right-wing Bush-like views was asked to put on a mask of a person with the exact opposite, very liberal lefty views. And then he was asked to speak, with conviction, as though these were really his own views.
What would happen? It would be very interesting (aan fun) to try such an experiment.

De: Natalie Fecha: 2003-10-15 10:14

"Say people want to think of some fun ways to improve democracy in the US of A.

Is that to big and vague a task?

Or, sorry, we don't want to think up the ideas ourselves! "

Why not think of ideas yourself? That's very important!

And why not think of fun ways to improve U.S. democracy? It's certainly in need of it.
Anno, of course it's not too big or vague a task!


De: lgs Fecha: 2003-10-16 16:45

Fun Ways to Improve U.S. Democracy

(an 'on the fly' draft)

Many U.S. citizens tend to think of themselves as proactive and innovative. They value initiative and getting things done.

Their democracy exerts an influence on many other people, and may be seen by many as an example of what a Real Democracy (TM) should be.

When one is right, one is right, right?

So what does a foreigner like myself, stepping on American shoes, starting a thread that, quite frankly, suggests U.S. democracy can and should be improved?

Well, err, you know ... I feel it's time I speak about this, given that what the U.S. President does is followed by the President of the country my family was born in.

I also feel that, if U.S. democracy changes in small but visible ways, then others may feel they can change too.

But it's mostly a matter of many people being bored of U.S.'s democracy. Why indeed do so few people vote? Why do all campaign ads look the same? Why do we see so few new ideas, new action, and fun?

It looks like we might as well apply some pressure on ourselves and think of some fun ways to have more people voting, have better candidates, have more and better ideas, and more ways to make all that happen.

Some would call this "freedom to innovate".

It may also be a matter, not of national security, but of world-wide security. Because, you know, time has this tendency to move on ...

But we can stick to trying to make it fun.

De: lgs Fecha: 2003-10-20 22:00

This is just to show that I can now see "latest comments" (left column).

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