Mel Brennan

VP - Programs and Initiatives
Westminster, MD, United States

About Mel

Bio

The Lead and Curator for TEDxBaltimore in 2011, Mel Brennan is formerly a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology at Towson University (MD, USA) and is currently Vice President of the Y of Central Maryland as well as the founder of CitizenLife and Community - the Wellbeing and Citizen Toolspaces of the Laurelove Group.

Having received degrees in political science and history from McDaniel College, Mel's doctoral work took place at the University of Stirling (SCOTLAND, UK), with a focus on human rights and Olympiads. He is co-author, with Prof. Grant Jarvie and Dr. Tony Hwang, of SPORT, REVOLUTION AND THE BEIJING OLYMPICS, from Berg (2007). He is also author of THE APPRENTICE: TRAGICOMIC TIMES AMONG THE MEN RUNNING - AND RUINING - WORLD FOOTBALL (Amazon/Kindle). He has been interviewed by Australian, Canadian, French, Dutch, German, Japanese and British television, radio and new media concerning global sport governance and corruption, and has written several articles addressing the role of sport citizenship in democratic societies. Prior to his current work Mel worked in the highest levels of sport and location-based entertainment with organizations such as FIFA, CONCACAF, the Walt Disney Company, SEGA, Dreamworks SKG and several others. Mel lives near Baltimore, Maryland with his wife, Laurel, and his three children, Jain, Kai and Mel IV.

An idea worth spreading

What if we turned culture and content on its head, and built a citizen tool-space that gave us our republic in real-time, that gave us democracy delivered? That allowed us to live an authentic citizen life?

I'm passionate about

Authentic and actionable information by which people can make great decisions to make their worlds work for most people, most of the time, while in every case looking out for the most vulnerable...

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

192744
Mel Brennan
Posted over 3 years ago
James Howard Kunstler: The ghastly tragedy of the suburbs
Huh? Less than 10% of life in most suburbs is sustainable. I love the earth, and as a result love the USA too, but what do you actually mean when you submit that "...The American suburb is very alive and functioning nicely..."? I simply do not understand that statement, maybe we disagree on what these words mean. I live in in the most sustainable part of one of these unsustainable suburbs, and I can tell you that, in our case, we are a space where people really had no clue how they were going to eat when the trucks that brought the food to the supermarkets decided that gas was too expensive. Chemicals to make the lawn look green, no sidewalks because nothing is within walking distance, no relationships with neighbors, no ability to produce food, no plan for development other than the "the developer with the most money/best political relationships gets to define space" model...which of course sucks...what is sustainable, what is going well with the suburb model of development we engaged after WWII? Madness.
192744
Mel Brennan
Posted over 3 years ago
Implement a TED-style Open-democracy social-networking Website for gov, citizens, voting on issues, bills, elections, local, state, National
Agreed. And, it also must have a mechanism for the propagation of authentic and actionable information. How do mitigate spin without structure enabled towards those ends? Some framework, itself transparent and assault-able, must also accompany the open nature of the experience and toolset, about which we agree. Does require some innovation to both manifest IDEO-esque design thinking and to bridge the remaining digital divide, but not as much money as one might think. Seeing this is movement-driven, and not money-driven, is probably the best model, in my view. I do think that saying to the local Papa Johns, "Hey, you can contribute and partner too" isn't anything other than inclusive.
192744
Mel Brennan
Posted over 3 years ago
Implement a TED-style Open-democracy social-networking Website for gov, citizens, voting on issues, bills, elections, local, state, National
Working on this right now...but it won't be through the government. CitizenLife.com: We. The People. Offering the tool-set for anyone to live a citizen life, through PC and mobile functionality. Republic in real-time, democracy delivered. From entering an address and getting one's representatives, local to global, at the click of a button, but also what they did today, to organizing for activism, service and/or volunteerism with like-minded persons around the globe, CitizenLife will be possessed of an elegant yet intuitive drilldown on data provided not just by reps and gov't themselves, but by "Melvin's Hellions," a student-driven effort to be present and hold gov't accountable during the workday. Interested in helping? Fire off a communique to melvingbrennan3rd@gmail.com!
192744
Mel Brennan
Posted over 3 years ago
Is there a difference between being a citizen and being a consumer? Does it matter?
Its more than semantics, in my view. Citizenship is about being possessed of authentic and actionable information by which one can make the informed decisions to make America better and fit America into an interdependent world. Being a consumer is to participate and/or persist in a process of economic consumption. One way of seeing and being inthe world gives primacy to the act of consumption, another locates that act within all kinds of other considerations, in fact reduces it to one of a spectrum of things one might do in the course of making the nation and the world. Is that a distinction that makes a difference?