Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What's the Big Idea?
I subscribe to the podcast of the American Public Media produced program called Word for Word (http://wordforword.publicradio.org/). They produce the show every Friday, and I anxiously anticipate the new episode's release every Friday. The last few Friday's they have been podcasting the highlights from the Aspen Ideas Festival (http://www.aifestival.org/). Last Friday's show was from the opening ceremony of the festival where they gave 10 speakers five minutes to share their big ideas. Some of the brightest minds of our time talked about what they were thinking, people like Rev. Calvin Butts (http://www.abyssinian.org/index.php?l=101), opera virtuoso Jessye Norman (http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=showIndividual&entitY_id=3781&source_type=A), and Senator Arlen Specter. While they were all thought-provoking, I found what Fred Kent, founder of the Project for Public Spaces (http://www.pps.org/info/aboutpps/staff/fkent), particularly, interesting. He made reference to a Recipe for an American Renaissance (actually something he saw on a t-shirt):
*eating diners
*ride on train
*put a porch on your house
*shop on Main St.
*live in a walkable community

I wholeheartedly concur. I have included Fired Kent's speech below, you can hear the rest at Word for Word's website (http://wordforword.publicradio.org/).

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