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From the Idea Incubator: Our Very Best “Hello”

The following idea was shared by NCDD member Eric Smiley as a submission for NCDD’s Idea Incubator – a great way for ideas to grow into action. We encourage you to learn more about how the Idea Incubator works, or to submit your own idea by clicking here.

I’m interested in how can we begin a large collective participation model in hopes of generating some positive results for all of us. I know many approaches have been in use on various scales and demonstrated great potential. I believe that if we want to use the web/internet to engage in community relationships, we need to have a solid starting point – even a simple “Hello.”

If an online event for everyone with access to say “Hello” to each other were staged would that be a start? Would it be revolutionary? Would the data about who participated where be of any interest? Who would want to participate? 1? 10? 100? Happy people? Friendly people? Angry people? The rest of us?

The idea I have is to create an NCDD event in which everyone with online access has an opportunity offer their best greeting and salutation to one another as a way to begin a collective online resource to advance online dialogue and deliberation in the global community. Although it would be a NCDD event anyone and everyone would be welcome to particiapate. Part of the plan is to have those who are connected to personally offer their best greeting to those who may not be connected.

Creating an event of this kind would be unique opportunity to answer some of my questions and take a step towards providing a structure for collective engagement. One goal in the design is to make the engagement as simple possible to enable the greatest number of people to participate. We could do something as simple as learning the variety of ways people say “hello.” But part of it is also that I like to speculate about global consciousness, what shape it is in now, and how it will evolve. This is a kind of experiment with what would happen if we try and imagine we are saying “hello” to all the people we cared for in the past, all the people we care for today and the future. I expect our collective consciousness would grow, but I also wonder how much we will partially divide into different realms and how connected we will still remain.

I will be reaching out to NCDD members to participate in the event, and also to assemble online resources to conduct the event. I am hoping the participants location will be recorded in order to get an understanding of just how connected we are, and to communicate to everyone who is not an NCDD member what we are trying to do. The resulting data would be made available to all.

This will be the first chance all the connected people in the world to connect at once.  This is an opportunity for people to see that they do make a difference.

What does the NCDD think? Could we all give it a try and support in such an exercise?

If you are interested in learning more or collaborating with Eric on this idea, you can reach him at ewsmiley1964@gmail.com

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This post was submitted by a member of the NCDD community. NCDD members are leaders and future leaders in the fields of public engagement, conflict resolution, and community problem solving. You, too, can post to the NCDD blog by completing the Add-to-Blog form at www.ncdd.org/submit.

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We always encourage a lively exchange of ideas, whether online or off. Questions? Please feel free to contact us directly.

  1. Fred Gohlke says:

    Hi, Eric

    It’s nice to meet you.

    Now, having made your acquaintance, where do we go from here?

    Can we put up some Rally Poles so NCDD members can find kindred spirits easily?

    I’m looking for one that says:


    Fred Gohlke

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