Putting the ‘Think’ Back in Think Grand

Published Monday, January 21st, 2013 by Dave Woods

Think Grand turned two years old in December. As the founder of Think Grand, I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of what we’ve accomplished together during this time!

However, an anniversary like this is a good time to reflect on what's worked, what hasn't, and implement some improvements where necessary. That's exactly what this Topics article is all about. It’s time to propose some important changes to Think Grand.

Now don't worry… We aren't going to stray from the founding principles that made Think Grand a success. We're still going to be "cheerleaders" for Escondido. We're still going to be a grassroots movement open to ALL people and viewpoints, no matter how diverse or divergent. In addition, our one and only rule will always remain the same: Stay constructive at all times.

So what is changing... hopefully?

The one lament I have about Think Grand is that our movement hasn't produced as many big ideas and as much problem solving as I had originally envisioned. Our focus to this point has been almost exclusively on good news and positive stories about Escondido.

Let's be clear: Staying positive is a great thing, and we're not going to stop doing it.

But let's also acknowledge facts: Our community still faces a number of problems and hurdles. We can't turn a blind eye to the negative. We need to talk openly about issues, hear all viewpoints, and work together towards solutions just as frequently as we celebrate things that are already working well.

In short, we need to put the 'think' back in Think Grand.

Now this sounds great, but...

I’ll be honest and perhaps a bit blunt… During the first two years of Think Grand’s existence, NOTHING has frustrated me more than the frequency with which people will contact me concerned about a community problem and say "Dave, what is Think Grand going to do about this?"

Good question, what IS think Grand going to do about this!?!?

Only you can answer that question because Think Grand isn't just about me as the founder of the movement. It's about me, YOU, and ALL of us working together.

Remember: Think Grand is NOT a foundation, think tank, or government agency. It's a volunteer movement. We have no budget and no employees. I may be its founder, but I'm only one person in a city with roughly 150,000 residents. We all need to chip in.

What this community needs is YOUR voice, YOUR best ideas, and YOUR volunteer spirit. The only way to put the 'think' back in Think Grand is for you to help in creating both positive and thought-provoking content for both our Facebook page and our Topics discussion forum.

Here are some ideas for how you can help:

  • Organizing a community event? Send me the details and I'll post them online.
  • Opening a new business in Escondido? Send me your info and I'll feature your opening date and business info on our Facebook page.
  • Curious what the community thinks about a specific topic? Write up a brief, multiple-choice survey, and I'll post it as a poll on Facebook.
  • Just tried a new Escondido restaurant that you love? Write a review and I'll post it as a Topics article.
  • Have an inspiring story about a local person or organization? Share it with the world by writing an article for Topics.
  • Have an opinion about a tough issue involving our local economy, city government, or elected officials? Write it up in a constructive, solutions-oriented way and I'll post it in Topics.
  • Have a big idea to solve a problem that has plagued Escondido for years? Describe it in words, pictures or video, and I'll post it as an article in Topics.
  • Want to organize a volunteer event but need volunteers? Send me the details and I’ll put out a digital call for help.

These are just a few ideas. The possibilities are endless.

But make no mistake… These are just possibilities. Without your help, they will never become reality.

In fact, without sufficient help, Think Grand may be forced to scale back or disappear altogether. Quite simply, no one person has the time or the resources to do absolutely everything in a volunteer movement. Even with unlimited amounts of time, if one person is doing all the writing and starting all the conversations in a digital forum, then that forum becomes nothing more than one person's blog.

That's no help to a community as diverse as ours. Escondido needs more than a bunch of individual voices in separate forums. We need to work together. We need to function as the problem solvers and idea people for this community.

Escondido needs us. We've accomplished a lot these last two years, but we can do even more together. Let's make Think Grand the digital community forum it was always meant to be.

To lend your voice, simply send me a message describing how you would like to help:

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