The official report for the Pepper/Olive Neighborhood Disaster Popup is out!

I was going to summarize it for you. But decided that you could get an impression of what happened from this writeup and this post, and reflections might be more interesting than regurgitating dry facts.

So here are 7 reasons that I am pleased, delighted and grateful:

  1. I am pleased that we made it happen! The Creative Crisis Leadership collaboration is making the move from Skype conversations to tangible outcomes.
  2. I am very pleased that we made a bunch of mistakes, had some differences of opinion, and discovered a few fundamental variations in working styles. We are learning to work together.
  3. I am delighted that everyone had a good time, and that neighbors mixed, mingled, and got to know each other.  (OK, give people a great summer day, free food, something to talk about, and nature will take its course. Still, it’s a relief to see the party succeed.)
  4. I am thoroughly delighted that participants got the conventional preparedness insights we were hoping they would. Even more that they picked up on some of our spontaneous leadership lessons. (I want to believe that this was because our embryonic theoretical framework came through, and not because it’s all deeply obvious. Time will tell.)
  5. I am totally delighted that participants got into the spirit of the participatory learning experience. They clearly explored their own realities and capabilities, and walked away with deep insights.
  6. I am grateful to the City of Palo Alto for having the courage and wisdom to establish the Know Your Neighbors grant program. It made the event possible, and helped us focus on neighborhood relationships.
  7. I am deeply grateful to the people who made it work:
    • The residents, who showed enthusiasm and interest, whether or not they could make it,
    • The Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services, who offered handouts and expertise,
    • The participants, who gave freely of their time, attention and selfies,
    • Yugen, who spontaneously brought out a canopy, traffic cones, and wickedly fun go-karts,
    • Michael and his students, who provided live music,
    • Rohini and Anil, who took some great pictures,
    • Annette and Leanne, who knocked on doors and introduced “media” color,
    • Esther, Al, and Hamilton, who provided radios and ground coordination,
    • Archer and Bo, who managed text and photos in 18 messaging conversations at once,
    • Ford, who produced lunch, snacks, and dinner for 40 people, then quietly cleaned up and vanished, and Jason, who slaved over a hot grill,
    • Scott, Raminder, Eshan, Simona and Adeline, who designed and distributed flyers, and managed the street closure,
    • Anupa, who brought festive ribbons, talked to half the neighborhood, and magicked the zero-waste party-pack up (and away), and
    • Aaron and Zeno, who made the learning experience a reality.

In short, I am pleased, delighted and grateful that the event affirmed an early piece of feedback:

“You’re onto something here!”

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