TED Conversations

Tom Tresser

Illinois Institute of Technology

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Should artists, creatives and TEDsters run for local office?

Richard Florida and others have written about The Creative Class. Is there Creative Class consciousness? What do all TED talks and TED talkers and TED attendees have in common? Is it enough to trigger political participation? Are artists leaders - that is, do we (you) have a set of values, experiences and talents desperately needed in public life. Hell yes. If you are reading this, run for local office and bring those skills and values into government. Before it's too late.

Read my argument in a slim manifesto you can download for free from Lulu @ http://tinyurl.com/AmericaNeedsYou.


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    Jul 8 2011: We should all know by now, that Lawyers are the very Last persons to put into public office.
    Artists ect may not be much better. Businessmen, Capitalists, would make the best politicians.
    I take too long to think things over. I like succesful business people. No Liberals or Socialist of any ilk.
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      Jul 8 2011: Another way to approach the issue of "Who should serve?" might be to ask what sorts of values and skills do we need from our elected officials. Take a look at Studio Thinking at Project Zero at Harvard - where Howard Gardner has been researching creativity and multiple intelligences for decades. http://pzweb.harvard.edu/research/StudioThink.htm and the "Eight Habits of Mind" - http://pzweb.harvard.edu/research/StudioThink/StudioThinkEight.htm. This is along the lines of Design Thinking that some business and design schools are advocating for business success. Remember the old saw attributed to Einstein - "You can't solve the problems of the world with the same mindset that created them." I think we need new thinking, new ways on BEING from our leaders - in business and politics. The current crop have taken us to the edge of financial and environmental melt-down.
    • Jul 13 2011: I can't quite condone judging every liberal or socialist as inept at business right off the bat. Yes, a lot of our liberal politicians and other leaders have truly screwed things up. That doesn't mean that they're all inept, though. This would be a lot more stable post if I could think of some good ones, but none come to mind right now. Maybe that's telling, but hey, I like to pretend optimism.
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        Jul 13 2011: I was in business 35 years. Learning Capitalisim at the feet of the Masters.
        Think of the leaders we want and need, as people who realize where the Tax Dollars come from. Cater to the Tax Payers.

        Tax payers, Capitalists, are People who put other people to work. That is the strength of a productive, Free, econmy.

        Then, there are the Liberals and Socialists who would spend us broke, buying votes from the underachievers by spending our Tax Dollars on the un-employable, underemployable and the downright poor in mind that made the wrong choices in life.
        Buying those Democrat votes with Tax dollars and using the "Straw man" of the "Filthy Rich" as a whipping boy to gain favor with the underachievers.

        Certainly there is some Tax Dollars for the totally inept as in 'Born with problems' but not a penny for the illegals and the ones who made bad choices.

        IMHO this would be the "Skill set" for the "Who Shall Serve" questions.
        Next, Definate penalties for Liars as a 'First rule' the "Who Shall Serve" applicants.

        You can see now if we had Integrity and Responsibility in any public official since Harry S Truman, we'd not be in the Trouble we are in now.
        • Jul 13 2011: Mr. Hopkins, I completely agree with you that responsibility and integrity have been lacking in many of our public officials, that deficit spending on entitlement is beyond out of control, and that our economy isn't capitalizing on some of its greatest strengths. However, I'm not sure that simply advocating putting people with business backgrounds in positions of power in governance is the only or the best solution.

          Just looking at the economic crisis, I can't see that people notable for their success in business are particularly notable for their morals. The rise of corporate culture in government is also concerning to me; while in certain corporations there is an Atlas Shrugged-style spirit of innovation, productivity, and justice, in many others, there is also a malaise of red-tape bureaucracy and greed--for a concrete example, look at Transocean's refusal to acknowledge any kind of wrongdoing or help with the cleanup following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Do we want a government that can't admit its mistakes--even when they have cost lives and livelihoods--for fear that it might have to spend money?

          Perhaps the point we can both agree on, however, is that there should be more TEDsters in positions of governmental power?
        • Jul 13 2011: Also, to address your point about illegal immigrants, I read this brief editorial from Bloomberg Businessweek a few days ago--you may not agree with it, but I found it very thought-provoking!

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