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Posts tagged ‘collaboration’

OurPangea As A Team

OurPangea is built by people. And transforming an idea into reality is a process, a fun one. What I’ve learned is that it’s a process best done by a team.

two cats teamwork fence gray white

Teams are interesting. Everyone brings their strengths, but also their weaknesses. It’s a matter of figuring out how to motivate everyone towards a single goal and helping each member apply themselves in that direction. Celebrate strengths and help with weaknesses.

Networking around Austin has opened my eyes to the wonderful diversity of people, but what strikes me most is that everyone has something that makes them happy. It’s incredible how diverse these things can be, and it makes me wonder how many people out there share the same interests with me? If only we had OurPangea to help.

While networking around Austin has opened my eyes to the granularity of people, the granularity of people has opened my eyes to the similarities. Austin is a weird place. So weird they probably take that as a compliment… There are so many people here, but at the root of everyone lies the same hopes and fears. It’s kind of wonderful.

At the root of OurPangea, we hope that each user finds a similar experience. That of difference and acceptance. When everyone is working towards the same goal, in this case representing culture we will have to accept the differences along with the similarities, both strengths and weaknesses.

Teams are interesting because of their diversity. United toward a single goal we learn from the strengths of others and hope to improve our weaknesses. It’s an interesting experience where we learn the value of others, but most importantly we learn how to value others.

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What Does Culture Mean To Community?

What does culture mean to community? Everything.

hand signals illustration multi-color community

“Culture” is defined as the “customary beliefs, social norms and material traits of a particular social group.” It comes from the latin word cultura, meaning “growing” or “cultivation,” which makes a great deal of sense when you consider the origins of our own cultures and how they evolve over time.

Culture is both a personal and collective experience. Our cultural experiences and identity grow from the communities we are a part of. It starts at home and spirals outward as we interact with the world around us. As a people, we derive our values and world views from the people and communities closest to us. Whether those values come from your parents, your teachers, your friends or from iconic cultural figures, the values we take away from our communities all profoundly impact the way we see and experience life.

That’s why community is so important.

The sharing of cultural values is undoubtedly give-and-take. We learn from others as others learn from us. While community might start as a relatively small group, people continue to expand their communities and the cultures that exist within those communities as their lives go on. This type of sharing helps us gain a greater understanding of each other, which is a necessary step in bringing us together.

Whether we define our communities as our families or our hometowns or our country, our cultural values will always be shaped by those communities while also holding those communities together. As we strive toward a global community it’s important that we remember this and discover the things that we all have in common. From our perspective at OurPangea it’s  mutual understanding and common values that play a huge role in what can ultimately bring us together and make the world a better place.

The Importance Of Teamwork

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As important, and as brilliant, as every single person has the potential to be, nothing can quite change the world like a good team. Two heads are always better than one, of course. The core of OurPangea can be traced to this simple root: teamwork. We’re bringing people together as teams to form communities. Those communities are joining as teams to further their goals.

Think about some of the lauded most teams the world has seen. John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Laurel and Hardy, Siskel and Ebert, Abbot and Costello. Batman and Robin, Simon and Garfunkel, Venus and Serena Williams. These teams don’t even have to be limited to two – vastly different groups such as Rush, the Three Musketeers, and of course the Three Stooges prove that otherwise.

Some of these great teams are entirely fictional. Some create art for us to enjoy, some excel in sports to entertain us. Some create music, others art. Some work together to create new worlds of technology for us to explore. Where would we be today without the revolutionary teamwork of Bill Gates and Paul Allen, creating Microsoft and changing the world? Who could forget the incredible beach volleyball dynasty of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings, who dominated the Olympics and the sport for more than a decade, becoming one of the most dominant, dynamic duos in any sport ever? Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein becoming perhaps the defining element in creating a unique and modern American musical identity? Or Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, as they created one of the most beloved fictional characters of all time, the great Mickey Mouse?

But the most important thing surrounding all of these great teams is that they work best with another person. Every friendship, marriage, relationship, partnership, negotiation to ever exist revolves around two (or more!) parties coming together to use teamwork, always becoming more than the sum of its parts. The synergy and magic of collaboration is what drives these teams forward, feeding off each other and sharing ideas back and forth to find that the world can be a better place when you reach the hand of togetherness to another.

When two people, or two groups, work together with an idea on any level – person to person or culture to culture – the result changes both parties forever, and creates a wholly new idea. Lennon and McCartney’s “A Day in the Life” or “Eleanor Rigby”; or Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s creation of the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and hundreds of beloved characters; or Michael Jordan’s groundbreaking six championships he shared with Scottie Pippen, could never have happened with just one of them. Both members of each tandem contributed in their own unique ways, creating works of music, art, and sports that were not only a mix of each, but also with their own new identity born of collaboration.

Who knows? Maybe someday soon we can add Ari Franklin and Noah Simon to the esteemed list above, for their creation of the potentially world-changing OurPangea (I’d be more than happy to take second billing, of course). It’s been a privilege to work with these two, and watch the creative process explode in action as we all strive our hardest to help collaborate with the world.

The World is Shrinking!

hand world ball holding

With the world becoming more global than ever before, it’s no surprise that advances in technology have spawned great successes in connecting and sharing communities from everywhere imaginable. Collaborators from all over the world share ideas together in ways never before imagined from big to small. A conversation between China and Florida, speaking of events happening in Europe. Australia video chatting with Spain, showing each other products originally made in Canada. These are occurrences that happen every second of every day. Historians used to call the “The World Shrinks” period when explorers traveled the earth, colonizing new lands and bringing brand new cultural influences to each other – but it could be argued that these days, the world is shrinking faster than ever.

Whether it’s music, science, sports, education, news, or any interest, people from all over the world have found new ways to share them. Bands like OSI collaborate on their music worldwide between Turkey and New York. European soccer leagues contain brothers in arms from Africa, America, and Argentina simultaneously. In the world of online gaming, it’s not uncommon to see Brazilians, Koreans, Americans, and Europeans teaming up to take down a computer-powered baddie.

Each of these instances, even though they are broadly different, contains the exact same absolute core philosophy – they are multinational, multicultural collections designed to come together to accomplish a common goal. They have realized the strength that diversity brings, with different perspectives and insights to share. The differences present in this diversity only prove to make a stronger alliance, exploring unique perspectives and creating entirely new shared perspectives. When cultures interact in ways they do, the world permanently changes. People become closer than ever before, they learn new things and drastically different perspectives enter their mainstream. To them, the world seems a little less expansive than before – and a little smaller, a little more familiar.

At OurPangea, we want to help inspire that same sort of global connection to you. We want to inspire you to seek out someone far across the world, and share with them the handshake of global friendship. We want to help you feel like the world is getting smaller, because you have explored the mysteries that intrigue you, and everything that used to be so far away is now immediate, familiar, and right in your backyard. We want to create this global community, individualized for you and you and everyone, so that we can better help to understand, connect, and share with our peers – whether they are streets, cities, nations, or oceans away from us. Because if our world shrinks enough, and we find such great diversity within the world community we now call our backyard, we will discover that the world, as small as it is, is still bigger than anyone could have ever possibly imagined.

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