Radical cooperation

This morning, as I feast on Ben and Jerry's Cheesecake Brownie ice cream for Sunday Brunch (caused by my fixation on Sunday morning political shows about the Iowa Caucus tomorrow), about 1,500 miles away in Rapid City, South Dakota, a group of colleagues and friends are getting together to continue to explore ways they can transform a section of Downtown Rapid City through the newly-formed East of 5th District

It brings to mind a Politico article we passed around at The Numad Group this week about how America's dullest city got cool. Read the full article here... it's a must-read

Cities don’t, as a rule, change their identities. They might accentuate a characteristic they already possess, but plow horses don’t become thoroughbreds. So how did Des Moines pull off the urban equivalent of a Triple Crown win?

Call it radical cooperation.
— from "How America’s Dullest City Got Cool" by Colin Woodard

Radical cooperation.

That's what is happening East of 5th.

People are banding together, asking questions, coming up with ideas, listening to their neighbors, meeting new people, and uncovering tangible ways in which they can cooperate--ways in which they can take the very best of Rapid City thinking and transform an area of the downtown that represents some of the very best that South Dakota has to offer.

It's not about what they can get from each other... it is about how they can contribute to the greater good.

It's also not about changing the district... it is about honoring East of 5th's unique identity and finding ways to promote the vitality of the creative, innovative and progressive community.

The people of East of 5th are doing this work from the ground-up, engaging people across the district--from the entrepreneurs who have started coffee shops and dance classes to students and administrators at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. For this Bostonian who travels to Rapid City often, it is exciting--energizing, actually--to see what is happening. It gives me new ideas on how to engage in my neighborhood association in Beacon Hill--on what we can collectively do together to make the places we live and work and play great.

I may live in Boston, but I am proud to be a member of East of 5th. (You can join too or support their work with a donation here.)

I can't wait to hear about today's gathering, and to support whatever it is the group decides to do, together, next.

You can read more about the group in this article by the Rapid City Journal here.