Having started my post-college life in the web-based tech start-up scene of Santa Monica, I’m intrigued to find myself amidst a whole new breed of entrepreneurs: Social Entrepreneurs. The terminology around these concepts are somewhat vague and unclear, as people in different regions and sectors disagree on the nuances, but that’s besides the point. I found that while I might not be one who cares about saving the world, I get along very well with people who do.
Last night, the LA Here and Now event was a perfect example of that. Twenty or so people met in an old train cart attached to the legendary Formosa Cafe in Hollywood to talk about how to make the city of Los Angeles a better place.
It was a casual event, but there was something about the atmosphere that reminded me of the scene where the students are meeting in a small cafe to plan a revolution in Les Misérables. People were there because they wanted to be part of something.
One difference though, from the french revolution, is that we were including the city in our revolution. Who said you can’t cooperate with the existing government to plan a revolution?
Rebecca Verdolino, Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the Mayor’s Office, was one of three people who prepared something to share with us during this gathering of minds. She spoke of public/private partnerships and how they work, which is relevant to LA Here and Now, because the second initiative of the lead organization is an open data initiative for cities in the Los Angeles area.
I wrote about an open data initiative for Santa Monica a few months back, it’s actually happening and I get to be a part of it. If you’re interested in helping out, let me know.