Episode 134: Paul Kalbfleisch

Paul Kalbfleisch is a writer, visual artist, creative business leader, and co-author of the book, The Joy Experiments: Starting A New Conversation On City Building.

Episode 134: Paul Kalbfleisch

Paul: My name is Paul Kalbfleisch, and I'm the coauthor of a new book called The Joy Experiments.

Paul: And I'm here today with Sara and Marshall to talk about that book and to talk about what it means for our cities and all of us who live in in cities.

Paul: The book, The Joy Experiments, can be purchased@joyexperiments.com.

Sara: Paul Kalbfleisch, thank you so much for joining us today.

Paul: Thanks for having me.

Paul: I really appreciate it.

Sara: We're excited to have you on Bonn Park and to talk about your new project, The Joy Experiments.

Sara: Marshall and I have been pouring over this book.

Sara: It's beautiful to touch.

Sara: The artwork is incredibly pleasing.

Sara: There's photographs by you, gorgeous photographs by you.

Sara: The artwork is by Sarah Farquhar.

Sara: It's co written with Scott Higgins with Hip Developments.

Sara: I find this book to be an interesting and easy read, and it provokes thought back to what we already know.

Sara: But we keep forgetting to remember we forget to remember these concepts.

Sara: So with that, why don't I let you explain what The Joy Experiments is?

Paul: Yeah.

Paul: I was thinking that your audience must be wondering what the heck this book is all about with that sort of very good, but also some mysterious intro.

Paul: The Joy Experiments is a book about what cities should be doing for the people who live in them and what people should be doing for their cities.

Paul: The premise of The Joy Experiments is that cities have always been sort of the source of the human spirit.

Paul: Things like such as the humanities, creativity, invention, collaboration, tolerance, and inclusion.

Paul: All those sort of those great things come out of cities.

Paul: Great movements come out of cities.

Paul: And we need all those things more than ever if we're going to sort of work through the problems we have in society and on this planet.

Paul: And so cities are becoming very important.

Paul: And to build cities in a way that really inspires and nurtures the human spirit is probably a key goal and a new goal for what cities should be.

Paul: And so the book delves into that.

Paul: And the book, as you mentioned, is written by both Scott Higgins of Hip Development and myself.

Paul: And I do project and consulting work for Hip Developments.

Paul: The book was written initially to explain why Hip Developments does many of the things they do, which is usually above and beyond what they would normally have to do, is they're building real estate development projects in the community.

Paul: And that stems from Scott's belief that cities are really important.

Paul: And my own belief that cities are important.

Paul: And when you change cities, you can change the world.

Paul: So it started off by us as a story of why hip development is doing that.

Paul: But then it quickly evolved into the story of cities and what's important with cities.

Paul: And much of what I've just sort of described using Hip projects, which we call joy experiments as a bit of a backdrop and Waterloo region as a bit of a backdrop for just a way of setting the stage for what cities should be and how we should be building them very differently and what that means to everyone who lives in the city.

Sara: I love this concept inside the book that, well, first of all, it explores that joy is practical, but how do we define joy?

Sara: And then we kind of go from there and down a beautiful journey with examples of things that have worked in other cities, things that maybe used to work back in the day.

Sara: Why are these things changing?

Sara: But what I love is the cities shouldn't be built around a business.

Sara: The city should be the community that is self sustaining, gorgeous that people want as their third place.

Sara: And correct me if I'm wrong in this idea and that big business should be coming to you, they should come to this community that you've created.

Sara: This should be a place that you want to spend your time, that it's not here's, the giant tech or the giant business or whatever.

Sara: And now all the people come and now we're all coming close to here so that we can work here.

Paul: Yeah.

Paul: There is a bit of a flip starting to happen in society.

Paul: And I think you are right.

Paul: I'm not sure I've thought about it quite the flip that you're doing to it.

Paul: But that's the great thing about writing a book.

Paul: You write a book and you put it out there and all of a sudden people start telling you things and you start learning about your topic from how people look at what you've written, which I think is beautiful.

Paul: But yes, I think in the past, people chose where they live based on where they could get their jobs in a very blunt fashion.

Paul: But now things are shifting.

Paul: They're shifting because we're especially places like Waterloo region, we're quite deep into the innovation economy and the innovation economy.

Paul: All of a sudden they need people from all over the world.

Paul: And as we've known, going through this COVID experience, all of a sudden working from home or choosing where you want to work or choosing what city you want to live in doesn't necessarily have to line up perfectly with where the job is.

Paul: And I think there is a flip now so that businesses in the innovation economy are sort of focusing on where are the people that we need.

Paul: And maybe we should be setting up shop where they are as opposed to trying to get them to come where we are or maybe we don't care where people live.

Paul: All of those things sort of flip the whole business development model of cities a bit on its head, and we're just at the beginning of that with the potential of it flipping it on his head much more as we go forward.

Paul: And I believe in the book, we said, I know Scott says this all the time, that the cities that are joyful, the cities that produce joy, the cities that uplift people's human spirit, are the cities that are going to win in the future, because that's going to be the thing that draws business into communities.

Marshall: The book, for me does a beautiful job of bridging the past with the present.

Marshall: And there's this little paragraph on page 81.

Marshall: I remember it talks about how in the history of Waterloo region there have been these Thomas Edison types, and the names you list are Kaufman, Krug, Breithaupt, Bauer…

Marshall: And I thought, wow, that's really something to see those names all together in one paragraph.

Marshall: And it really speaks to something that we hear these names in a singular way sometimes.

Marshall: But it was really smart to put them all together like that and say.

Paul: Take a look at this.

Marshall: Have you ever considered this, these people that paved the way for what we're enjoying today?

Paul: Yeah, it is interesting, isn't it?

Paul: In full disclosure, I spent ten years at Research in Motion in charge of global brand and brand strategy.

Paul: And in that time, I was traveling around the world to many places, and BlackBerry was the hot thing.

Paul: First of all, a lot of people assumed we were an American company.

Paul: And then when we told them, well, we're from this place called Waterloo Kitchen or Waterloo.

Paul: Oh, really?

Paul: Okay.

Paul: No idea what that was.

Paul: And I would say, well, are you familiar with Crown Royal?

Paul: Oh, yeah.

Paul: Well, that's where Crown Royal came from.

Paul: Are you familiar with Hush Puppies Shoes?

Paul: Oh, yeah.

Paul: Well, that's where that came from.

Paul: You're familiar with Bauer skates and a handful of other names.

Paul: And they're going, my God, what goes on in that town that you keep creating these things?

Paul: And we talk about that in the book because it goes back to a section that was really about the importance of creating an identity for a community, something that everyone can say, yes, this is us and that it continues to be us, even though everything changes around this.

Paul: This still is sort of part of our DNA and what we will use to figure out who we want to become in the future and that it gets articulated in a way that everyone can feel part of it.

Paul: And so we were sort of looking at this wonderful history that you outlined of these businesses and these people, and we saw them as brilliant, creative problem solvers.

Paul: If you're a brilliant business person and have created a big industry or an Empire, or smart business.

Paul: There's a lot of creativity that goes into that to solve problems in a way that no one has done before.

Paul: We sort of suggested that that is sort of part of our DNA.

Paul: And maybe people look at sort of Montreal or Vancouver as a creative place, but we're actually a very creative place, too, if you sort of associate that with creative problem solving.

Paul: And we should be proud of that.

Paul: We should celebrate that because you attract what you celebrate.

Paul: And if we want to remain that way, if we want to use that element of our DNA to move forward, we should try our best to celebrate that.

Paul: And so part of our part of our joy experiment projects and one joy experiment was to sort of tackle the idea of, well, what is our cultural DNA and what is our identity?

Paul: And we sort of threw out the phrase the creative capital of Canada, which is truly an audacious phrase.

Paul: But why not be audacious?

Paul: Because, as you say on that page, which 84, which I have my book beside me, but I'm not going to check to make sure you're right.

Paul: We do have that creative element to who we are.

Paul: And you see it today, not only in the tech, but in advanced manufacturing and in other areas where it's continuing.

Paul: And we should sort of say we have a responsibility to continue that creative lineage into the future.

Paul: It'll evolve into something slightly different.

Paul: We're not going to be continuing to make shoes and tires.

Paul: We don't do that anymore.

Paul: But now we're making software and who knows what we'll be doing in the future.

Paul: But that's pretty cool that we have that now.

Paul: Are we great at celebrating it?

Paul: I think maybe that's the next frontier for us.

Sara: When you talk about celebrating, I can see behind you you've got one of the foot pedals for the Singer installation.

Sara: Now, is this the one that you see online that you messed up?

Sara: Maybe, I think on your Instagram, you said I messed up one of them.

Paul: Yes.

Sara: So that piece in itself, which I'd love for you to describe for our listeners, is a celebration of the roots of where we came from.

Sara: Do you want to talk about that installation, which I know isn't necessarily related to the joy experience, but it's related to celebrating our path through public art spaces?

Paul: Yes.

Paul: Well, I think it is a joy experiment in that it's definitely an experiment, what I refer to as the infrastructure for the human spirit.

Paul: It's not just a mural that's colorful and brightens, a dark alley.

Paul: It actually has something to say about us.

Paul: It has something to it's a tool that, as I say, we can use to define who we want to become in the future.

Paul: Now you say, well, how does a piece of art to do that?

Paul: So let me sort of back up and describe it.

Paul: This is a piece of public art, a large piece.

Paul: It would be twelve, four X five foot panels that will go up two and a half stories in the atrium lobby of Glove Box, which is a new office complex in downtown Kitchener on Victoria Street.

Paul: Big glass building that if you drive by, you've probably noticed it.

Paul: And part of the building was the old Huck Glove factory.

Paul: And I was working on this project down in their basement and found an old Singer sewing machine foot pedal and said, I don't know what we're going to do with this, but we're going to do something.

Paul: And that was probably close to three years ago.

Paul: And as the idea of the atrium came up, and what are we going to do with a giant wall that big?

Paul: I began to play with this sewing machine foot pedal, which for those who don't know, it literally gave power to the sewing machine because it was sort of on a lever and that you pushed it back and forth and that moved the sewing machine.

Paul: So it was sort of the engine of our part of the engine of our industrial past made by someone actually using their legs to do this.

Paul: And I thought, well, it's a very small element of our very big past, but there's something beautiful about using that as a symbol for our past, because when you celebrate the smallest thing, it's the most inclusive thing you can do, because by celebrating the smallest, you celebrate everyone and everything that went in to that success.

Paul: We sort of have a tradition around here of celebrating the names that we just talked about, and then we don't really have a way of taking that down to the whole community level.

Paul: And the other thing that we have a tradition of in this community is we take some of the old machines from our industrial past and give them a nice clean black coat of paint and put them out, and that's sort of acknowledging the past.

Paul: This is what we had here.

Marshall: It is.

Paul: Oh, it's different.

Paul: Okay, that's interesting.

Paul: But the job of really creating an identity and celebrating what we need to attract more people today and in the future is we have to interpret the past.

Paul: We have to sort of say, so what about this thing?

Paul: My goal was to try and ironically take a piece of machinery, but turn it into something very big, bold and colorful.

Paul: And so what we have is this four X five foot, twelve panel large piece of art that is a repetition of that sewing machine pedal in bright colors, almost in a sort of stained glass window effect or patchwork quilt.

Paul: And it's really meant to say this was the smallest element, but it's who we are.

Paul: And so there's many of them.

Paul: And there's something beautiful when you see the word singer, which is on the foot pedal twelve times going up the wall, it's a lot of voices in an ironic way.

Paul: And so I called the piece Chorus and I speak to it as this is how we operated in the past in a collaborative way.

Paul: And here we are taking that past and turning it sideways and making it bright and bold and colorful and anything but sort of a black and white view of the past.

Paul: Because that element of collaboration and inclusiveness is what we have to take with us.

Paul: We have to use that to help us where we need to go.

Paul: It looks celebratory and it allows us to celebrate this thing.

Paul: So to me, it's an example of taking something as well have a piece of art that sits there or a mural that brightens something, but this turns it into infrastructure for the human spirit.

Paul: This turns it into something that can inspire us, that can define us, that we can all look at and say, okay, that's who this community was.

Paul: I'm in there somewhere in that sort of big maze of lines and colors, and we have to remain collaborative as we move forward.

Paul: So is it a Joy Experiments?

Paul: Is it a Hip development Joy Experiments?

Paul: No.

Paul: But Scott and I never intended the Joy Experiments to be just about hip projects.

Paul: And that's why we sort of list and describe what we view our Joy Experiments from all around the world and why we will likely someday down the road have the Joy Experiments podcast and I'll be on the other side of this microphone and asking other people questions.

Paul: The Chorus piece of art will likely be up sometime in February or March of 22, I believe if I don't screw any more of the panels up.

Marshall: I'm excited for that podcast for you.

Marshall: This leads into what I want to say, but in chapter three, and I really marvel at this idea that in chapter three, you and Scott do an amazing job establishing this link between joy and creativity.

Marshall: And when you learn something about yourself through somebody else's writing, I think that's always such a powerful thing.

Marshall: And what I realized and I've kind of talked to Sarah about this long way, but this chapter really did it for me.

Marshall: It has to do with the fact that two and a half years ago, when I reconnected with Sarah and we began a podcast, I knew there was a void in my life.

Marshall: I knew there was something missing and had been missing for a long time.

Marshall: I couldn't have told you what it was and it would have taken a long time to kind of reveal itself.

Marshall: But what it was at that point, for whatever reason, I was not being a creative individual.

Marshall: And as a chapter talks about creativity can be in any part of your life.

Marshall: Creativity can be in trying to endure maybe a wedding party that you don't want to be at or something or lots of situations like that.

Marshall: But for me, that chapter at least spoke to this idea.

Marshall: That the joy that I'm experiencing now in early 2022, no question.

Marshall: You taught me this, Paul, is that that is directly linked to this podcast and what I'm taking from this podcast and how it feeds me energy, and I could put that energy back into it.

Marshall: And it is clear as day to me now, only now, after reading your book in chapter three, that that's exactly what was missing two and a half years ago in my life.

Marshall: So first of all, thank you for that.

Marshall: And two, at some point in your life, you must have discovered that somewhere in the way that incredible link between joy and creativity.

Paul: Well, that was quite a statement.

Paul: So thank you for saying it.

Paul: It's kind of enlightening when someone says that about something that you've done and that what they get out of something.

Paul: It makes it this is the reason we do these things and the beauty of that.

Paul: So you've sort of thrown a few things at me and let me sort of take this sort of in stages going back to this idea of the creative capital of Canada, which was sort of our identity experiment that we talked about in the book, one that we learned a lot from and learned how to do experiments better, from which we also talk about in the book.

Paul: But at the core of that, people would say creative.

Paul: I'm not creative.

Paul: Well, why?

Paul: Because.

Paul: Well, I don't paint and I don't play an instrument or I don't write a book or whatever.

Paul: And a lot of people associate creativity with the output.

Paul: Well, I didn't make a painting.

Paul: I didn't write a book.

Paul: I didn't compose a song.

Paul: Natural fact.

Paul: Creativity is the mental process.

Paul: The output is everything from a podcast to a beautiful garden to a clever way of helping your child do a school project to a multi-billion dollar company.

Paul: Those are all outputs of creativity.

Paul: And it's really just the process of trying to look at things from different angles and different sides and then putting something together to either solve a problem or to express something or to do something that wasn't there before.

Paul: I suspect that the elements of the podcast that gives you the joy is the collaborative nature between the two of you and how you both bring things together.

Paul: And then all of a sudden something starts to happen that you didn't sort of quite know before.

Paul: So I think a lot most of your audience.

Paul: Well, everyone in your audience is creative.

Paul: There's a beautiful book that we quote in our book called How to Fly a Horse.

Paul: And it debunks the idea that creativity is an exclusive thing belonging to people who wear funny hats and crazy clothes and have Eureka moments all the time.

Paul: No such thing.

Paul: There is no such thing as Eureka moments.

Paul: It's a lot of hard work.

Paul: And in the book, they say creativity is like throwing a baseball.

Paul: We can all do it now.

Paul: Some people can do it a heck of a lot better than others, but we can all do it.

Paul: So the one message I want to part to everyone is that creativity is something we all have.

Paul: And the more you do it, the more you work at it, the better you get at it, just like throwing a baseball.

Paul: And certainly I'm going to plug our book, The Joy Experiments, but I'm also going to plug the book How to Fly a Horse.

Paul: It's pretty good in that field.

Paul: Now, you mentioned sort of my own personal experiences with creativity.

Paul: That could be a podcast all into itself.

Speaker UNK: Yeah.

Paul: But I think throughout my whole life, I've been a kid or a person who was really good at connecting dots that most people didn't see, partially because my brain wandered sideways as opposed to straight ahead.

Paul: The interesting thing about that, because I'm an old person now, but when I was a kid, people were impressed by that skill.

Paul: Wow.

Paul: Kid day dreams a lot, and he's got to get that under control.

Paul: But this kid can sort of see laterally and it's going to go places.

Paul: Then when I was raising my own kids, some of those traits which my kids had were viewed as problems.

Paul: And they have Add and they have this and they have that.

Paul: And all of a sudden the catalog of issues and a catalog of almost treated like you had a disease as opposed to your creative.

Paul: And I think not only do we Rob people of their skills and Rob society of what they can do, but we Rob people of their happiness and the joy a little bit.

Paul: So I think we should be acknowledging that we're all creative and we should sort of delve into and explore that, because that will, again, sort of lift up this wonderful thing called The Human Spirit, because the book talks a lot about now is the time where we need more invention than ever.

Paul: Not to sound too grim, but if we're going to survive on this planet, we're going to have to get really good at inventing new things, and that's going to take everybody's help.

Paul: So the good news is creativity comes when people are feeling invigorated and feeling excited about something and enjoy is one of the sometimes it's an output, sometimes it's an input to creativity.

Paul: And I'm starting to wander now, so I'm probably going to stop answering your question.

Sara: Well, that's all we do on this show is we wander.

Sara: We totally wander.

Sara: I had a little thought there when Marshall and I were talking about this podcast and how it actually pulled us both out of a creative hole that we didn't know we were in.

Sara: We were in a darkness because we're both pretty optimistic people, pretty positive people, I think.

Marshall: And Paul made me realize that I was certainly using my creativity when it came to my kids school projects and trying to help.

Sara: And so drawing and writing them at home or note every single day of their school.

Marshall: Right.

Marshall: So I always draw the idea that I wasn't being created at all, but I didn't have any big meaty collaborative projects going on.

Sara: And what I was going to say is, in addition to the fact that we receive a great amount of joy from this podcast that we make together, this piece of art, this body of work that we're creating.

Sara: When I sit here every week and we talk to a new person, I feel like Marshall and I are sitting with our past and future guests together.

Sara: I feel like they're with us on this journey, which I never thought could be possible, really, I feel like everyone's here with us and that's a community that we've accidentally created because we said to each other, hey, we should record our conversations.

Paul: Yeah.

Marshall: The timing of reading this book, The Joy Experiments, it's almost like it feels so serendipitous.

Marshall: It's like this is exactly the book I needed to read at this moment.

Paul: I think it's the book everyone should read at this moment.

Marshall: I know nothing about co writing, though, with someone.

Marshall: I know what it's like to hand over your writing to somebody and have a proofreader and rejig things and tweak some things and send it back.

Marshall: And I know all about that.

Sara: Isn't that what Editors do it?

Marshall: Yeah.

Sara: Sorry, Editors.

Sara: I'm just kidding.

Marshall: I know nothing about coal writing a book and how two people pull that off.

Paul: Well, I knew nothing about writing a book when I started this.

Paul: I was pretty good creative person, pretty good writer.

Paul: But my thing was like, I can write a couple of words, a couple of lines.

Paul: I can write a great paragraph.

Paul: That's about it.

Paul: In my Research in Motion years, I named BlackBerry bold.

Paul: I named it bold one word, and it wasn't even a noun.

Paul: And one of our carriers was screaming at us saying that you can't call it that.

Paul: We're not going to take the product because it's not announced.

Paul: You can't do that.

Paul: Well, we decided we'd do it anyway.

Paul: And that was a good thing.

Paul: And then I wrote the headline for it B bold.

Paul: So that was the extent of like, okay, I'm exhausted after writing two words.

Paul: Be bold.

Paul: Bold.

Marshall: You're a minimum, right?

Paul: So then the idea of writing a book and then how do you co write a book?

Paul: First of all, how do you get to the point of deciding to write a book?

Paul: So I want to talk about Scott's vision for some of this stuff.

Paul: Hip does a lot of interesting projects, and part of it is bringing the craving the sculpture meander for down at Gaslight Square in Cambridge.

Paul: And a lot of people might have been hearing about the steam launch program that will be coming to Waterloo and various other things that Hip gets involved in because they really care about community.

Paul: The other word.

Paul: We've been talking about the idea that community, and there's a whole chapter in our book called Community is a New Faith, and I think it's a really important chapter.

Paul: So Scott was saying we need a manifesto.

Paul: And I said, well, okay, to me, manifestos are kind of corporate poetry.

Paul: And you write about a couple of lines and you make it sound really good and maybe you put it on a coffee mug and you're all set.

Paul: But none of that was really touching anything.

Paul: And we went back and forth of what sort of what are the words and what is the shape of it?

Paul: It was a struggle to find something.

Paul: And at that time, I was reading a book by Rahm Emanuel, who was the former Mayor of Chicago and a former chief of staff for Bill Clinton, and he was writing a book about it was called Nation City.

Paul: And he was writing about why he did the things he did while he was Mayor of Chicago.

Paul: And his belief was that cities are taking on a new role internationally.

Paul: Cities are going to be where the solutions are.

Paul: And I completely agree with him on that, by the way.

Paul: Anyway, so as I read this book, I said to Scott, I said, well, maybe I think you should write a book.

Paul: I think it should be it shouldn't be a manifesto, and it shouldn't be a fancy brochure should be a book if you want the community to start to understand what you're trying to do, if you want the stakeholders within the community to sort of say, oh, I understand your motivations now.

Paul: Now I know how to participate with what you're doing.

Paul: So we decided, okay, let's have a book.

Paul: And Scott said, well, we need a writer, so we need to find ourselves a writer.

Paul: And I'm right here.

Paul: I can hear what you're saying.

Paul: I'm standing here.

Paul: How about me?

Paul: And so I always believe that writing a book was impossible for me, and it turns out I was wrong.

Paul: But what I did learn is it's very hard.

Paul: That's the one thing I learned.

Paul: It's extremely challenging.

Paul: But our relationship is one where Scott and I, first of all, we had worked through many of these projects.

Paul: So it wasn't like we were starting from scratch on stuff.

Paul: So we would have lots of conversations, and I would grab the conversations and organize them.

Paul: And so it sort of became that sort of role of me organizing the thoughts as we went through this.

Paul: And then at one point, very generously, Scott said, yes, this is a book about it was sort of starting off as a book about what Hip was doing.

Paul: But a lot of these are your thoughts.

Paul: So why don't we why don't you not just be a ghost writer, but we will co write it?

Paul: I think there's a beauty in our relationship that we can just sort of work through this stuff.

Paul: Did I write more words than Scott?

Paul: Yeah, probably.

Paul: But these are Scott's visions, and some of them are mine.

Paul: And it's just a mashup of stuff.

Paul: And it becomes kind of like a good team where players know their position and once they know their positions really well, their positions become irrelevant, and you just sort of work through it.

Paul: And that's what we were able to do with this.

Paul: And it's interesting because it took about a year and a half to write, and then it felt like it took a longer just to get the Dang thing printed.

Paul: But that was just our impatience.

Paul: And finally when it was all done and Scott had a copy and I had a copy, and you mentioned how beautiful the book is, and it really is a lovely book.

Paul: The design team did a great job, and it's a hardcover book.

Paul: And Scott sent me a little text with a picture and a shorter picture of the book beside a can of beer in a backyard somewhere.

Paul: He says, this is what I'm doing.

Paul: This afternoon and I went, shoot, I should try and do something like that, too.

Paul: So I ran off to Langdon Hall and sat in that little bar they have in the back area and had a glass of wine by the fire and just started looking at reading the book.

Paul: And like 8910 months go by between when you read it.

Paul: Now it's here and it's not even like it's yours anymore.

Paul: It's like you're reading this guy.

Paul: I didn't even remember writing that.

Paul: And it was a lovely experience, I have to say that.

Paul: And you talk about the book serendipitous it's at the right time.

Paul: And oddly, I felt that, too, in a way that I didn't feel while I was writing it.

Paul: Afterwards.

Paul: Time goes by and I'm reading, I go, oh, yeah, I'm hearing so many people talking about this.

Paul: Mark Carney in his book Values is talking about the very similar sort of things we're talking in the Joy Experiments and Zeta Cobb from Fogo Island Inn.

Paul: When she talks, she said, yeah, we are connected into something here.

Paul: But I didn't kind of really get that at the time.

Paul: And this idea you talked about your podcast almost being like a community you're creating.

Paul: And I think if you do a word, how many times does the word community come up in the book?

Paul: It's probably like a gazillion times.

Paul: And because that really is the important thing at the end of the day is community that gives you joy.

Paul: And the book really talks about what infrastructure do we need to create, whether it's identity building or whether it's a different approach to public spaces or whether it's funding youth stuff or whatever else.

Paul: This is the infrastructure of Joy that will create communities that will give people a sense of connectivity, the inspiration to collaborate more and to do more at a time when most of us no longer go to Church, no longer belong to the glee clubs or the bowling clubs or much else.

Paul: And at a time when our technology, the digital technology of our day and social media is designed to divide us, it's embedded right into how it works.

Paul: It's designed to give you your view of the world over.

Paul: By doing that, it divides us because it gives everyone the sense that their reality is the only reality out there.

Paul: So this idea of community is extremely important because my premise in Scott’s premise and the book’s premise is the way we're going to stop the divide is by creating a strong sense of community in cities.

Paul: It's cities where we're going to solve that problem.

Paul: It's not going to be national governments.

Paul: It's not going to be the folks in Davos, Switzerland.

Paul: The divide in society is going to get solved at the city level because everything else is too big, too divided, even amongst itself.

Paul: It's too rigid and too old to tackle that issue.

Paul: What if Joy was a practical objective for city building anybody here doesn't want to sign up for joy?

Paul: I think most of us do.

Paul: Okay.

Paul: If we can agree to that and if we can start to have the same language, we have the same words, then we can start a productive discussion about building the type of city we want for the future.