It’s hard to believe that we’ve wrapped up the first installment of our Lunch for Good series, with the finale event happening yesterday at the very top of San Francisco’s Spear Tower. What a view!
It seems that Chris, Myles and I were just brainstorming this get together, and now here we are a few months later having completed a really compelling set of events. Watching the interest grow has been really motivating, and yesterday’s group of nearly 100 attendees just showed how eager our social media and tech community is to effect change. The Lunch for Good series also got an excellent piece of news coverage in PC World today titled ‘Techies Gather for a Lunch to Save the World.’ The article recaps our entire three part series, with a special focus on our ‘Common Ground’ topic from Wednesday.
In the process of building Lunch.com, we’ve focused on a handful of principles, which were the direct inspiration for the themes discussed throughout Lunch for Good. I knew all along that the topic of Finding Common Ground would be my favorite, considering it’s at the core of what we’ve created with the Similarity Network. As the series progressed, we started with the basic fundamentals of Promoting Responsible Participation, then built from there into what we could do with that type of accountable engagement. Which brought us to Sparking Critical Thought in online contribution, with the goal of more thoughtful and thorough online conversation, making us collectively smarter and more engaged. Finally, in that state of increased participation and higher quality contribution, we culminated with the true game-changer: Finding Common Ground — the biggest payoff and most exciting topic so far.Considering the pretty undeniable benefits of helping people to find common ground with one another, the conversation turned quickly to how to enable people to bring it to the surface. There were several insightful ideas, ranging from semantic analysis to “life timelines.” One thing struck me most though. While most agreed technology can’t replace our human will to engage and interact, it was clear everyone saw infinite ways that tech can foster and facilitate the process. As I mentioned in my recent post on Mashable, it’s unlikely that we’ll all start proactively analyzing the Twitter streams or Facebook Fan Pages of everyone we come across to learn that we share a love of Cherry Coke and Seinfeld before passing judgment about each other. As a Web entrepreneur, I’m tasking myself as well as my colleagues in the industry, to foster these types of connections through innovation. We need to take full advantage of the current landscape of social media to put common ground at the forefront of our online interactions.
I extend my sincere thanks to everyone who joined us for these events, and look forward to our next sessions. Also, to Chris and Myles, my co-producers, a huge thank you for helping to make this a reality. You two are amazing. There’s a Twitter List of the attendees available, if you’d like to follow those who were there. Many have asked when we’ll host more — and we’re talking now about plans for the spring. Stay tuned at twitter.com/lunchforgood for updates!