What happens at ‘N’

IT IS SUNDAY, 11.20AM, here in Hanoi just west of the Botanical Gardens. Not too hot, and I have one hour to get all the information together for everyone who is registering for ‘N’ Hanoi. I’m going to share the meetpoint, now confirmed, and set everything up for everyone who is making a commitment to […]

Guest post: ‘Skipping the awkward get-to-know-you-phase’

GUEST POST from a guest of ’16N,’ our international conversation series of salons: ‘When we met, it was like we didn’t have a long awkward get-to-know-you phase, it was easy to chat and talk about less usual things.’

Frictionless, boundless at the edges of frontiers

SURE FEELS WEIRD TO BE BLOGGING AGAIN. I swore when the laptop got stolen there would be an end to it. The blogging, I mean. The whole idea that you throw things into the aetherspace (which feels like wilderness, but is even more ambiguous and vaporous and vacuous and all of those things that beg […]

What George Bernard Shaw said about circumstances and how it connects to ‘N’

PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS BLAMING their circumstances for what they are, said George Bernard Shaw. “I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the ones who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.” Sixteen of us are making ‘N’ Phnom […]

Readying for Phnom Penh ‘N’

THINGS ARE GETTING ORGANIZED AND IT’S A RELIEF, in a big way, to see that this idea has what we in design like to call “legs.” The thing is, you throw a lot of things around for twenty years and finally something feels like, yeah, that’s it, that’s the thing that is the thing. I […]

What’s normal? by ‘N’ Phnom Penh

NORMALITY. A quality that can only exist in reference to other things – the past, other people, abstracted rules. A quality of the self-conscious ‘I’ rather than the present ‘I.’ As a substitute for balance, it’s a quality forever at war with itself.

There’s something cool about you

The only TED talk I would point you to, ever. Brene Brown on the Power of Vulnerability. YOU GROW UP IN YOUR TEENS THINKING, “I gotta be more ___.” So people will like me. So people will think I’m cool. Teens are always going through that, aren’t they? And that was the thing a couple […]

Pushing back on the Culture of Maybe

FLAKY. IFFY. TOO MANY CONFUSING WAYS OF INTERPRETING A BLANK STARE. Arrgghhh. Too much. Too much of too much wondering if that’s a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ It’s probably just a ‘maybe.’ And given all this new urban vocabulary about how easy it is to talk about that thing that happens when someone doesn’t do what […]