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Posts tagged ‘community network’

The Rise of Cities

city coast sunset panorama ourpangea

A city, full of lights and history and splendor, often acts as the hub for life. Whether they are world-lifting megalopolises such as the mighty Chicago, or deeply-rooted hyperlocal sanctums like OurPangea’s very own Austin, cities provide the essential focus for living in our modern age. We live, learn, work, play, and create our future in these whirlwinds of activity and humanity. They form the basis of tightly-knit communities and are the outgrowth of centuries of human progress since time immemorial. Young people flock to cities to begin their adult lives, and return their contributions to the rest of society.

America’s growth as a nation can be directly tied to its cities. According to the 1790 census, 95 percent of the people lived in the countryside, and most of the rest were in small villages. The mid-1800s brought rapid growth for industry and ushered in the era of modern cities dotting the Northeastern seaboard, but it wasn’t until the 1920s that urban populations outnumbered rural ones. These days almost all Americans live in cities from Helena to Houston, Portland to Providence, San Francisco to San Angelo, scattered all across the country.

Cities foster the connections of neighborhoods and districts both in cities of millions or a few hundred, creating a sense of community broader than that of family and deeper than that of nation. People come together to define the city’s community with diversity and familiarity in ways that other interactions can never quite compare to.

This is why OurPangea’s goal is to provide a comprehensive community network for a city. We want to take advantage of the community archetype that a city offers and be able to use it to connect people to themselves and each other in ways that have never been done before online. We will create our global city and our local city together, bringing youth and experience, novelty and tradition, and collaboration together to create a hub for life like the cities we love.

Using OurPangea Within Our Universities & Educational Departments

university campus quad student spotlight

Universities are society’s greatest resource and crowning achievement. They are at the center of cultivating and crafting knowledge, philosophy, research, health, and art. Most importantly, though, they are hubs of community, sparkplugs of innovation, and the vibrant center of thousands upon millions of lives, ideas, and creations. It is for this reason that OurPangea decided to begin its groundwork mission here, at the University of Texas. UT’s own slogan states it plainly: “What starts here changes the world.” This message could also apply just as easily to the concept of any university – a strong, cohesive community of like-minded and similar individuals dedicated to learning and broadening their perspective of the world. Additionally, each university community consists of dozens of sub-groups in the form of student clubs, fraternities, sports teams, classes, and even personal social circles. In short, a university is the perfect place to kickstart a new initiative connecting these communities and helping them grow. To fully document and present all the possible communities within a university could take lifetimes! But for now, we will explore some of the more immediate and relevant ideas OurPangea is currently exploring alongside dedicated members of university communities to impact the future of education.

In the real world, any community is inherently the sum of its parts – What happens within each community defines what it truly is. Using the above example, sub-groups within a college or university interact and those interactions combine to form how the greater community is perceived.  On a smaller scale, the students within each group are the lifeblood of the entire community of learning and living. Students create and define university culture. Groups of students within residence halls, within majors, or within clubs and groups all create their own communities in the context of the larger university community. A University would benefit from every students interaction because everything will impact what their greater community ‘is.’  And students using OurPangea have the power to shape what their community looks like easily through their day to day interactions.

In a practical sense, OurPangea might be a professor’s greatest tool. The system allows a teacher to create a group for each of his classes and facilitate discussions outside of the classroom. OurPangea would also lead to greater class cohesion to help break down barriers between students and create that unified class community, bridging together perspectives from wide-ranging student groups and individuals alike.

When the scale goes up to the level of an entire university, all the smaller community organization really starts to culminate. OurPangea allows for universities to construct their own identities, using both the “big picture” and every tiny detail that comprises them. A university would express its large-scale goals with it, down to each department and how that department is contributing to the university. From there, departments could construct their goals for each individual professor, class, and student. The university would be able to create the identity online it truly is in real life, and manage community groups, large and small. Using this, alumni could look back and interact with the university, or prospective students could explore as if being a new member of the community. The unique interactions of the professors and students contribute directly to what makes each class, each department, and each university unique, and this will be reflected in the communities that they build together through OurPangea.

Why You (And I) Need OurPangea Pt. I

Over the last few weeks as I’ve been working with OurPangea, venturing out into the field to find and develop connections with a unique, deep-rooted community, one question has consistently come up.  It is an extremely important question, vital to the very foundation of this entire project, and without a proper answer OurPangea would never succeed.

“Why do I need it?” they ask. Why do I need OurPangea? What’s the worth to me? To my business, to my life, to my future, my family, friends, community? Why should we care at all?

I will attempt to answer this question over the coming weeks, through blog postings and developments of ideas we have thrown around in the OurPangea meeting room. Our last several sessions have been extremely productive in brainstorming and progressing our strategies for the future of the company. The most important goal has been defining and answering that question: Why do I need OurPangea? Why do you need it? Why would anybody need it at all?

The answer is not simple, and would take a comprehensive essay spanning back thousands of years to retell the psychological development of group theory across human history from caves and fire to spaceships and cat pictures on the Internet. But I am no psychologist, or much of a historian. I think the approach would be much more interesting as told from the perspective of someone who sees the limitless potential of a fantastic new way of thinking. It’s an old adage from a thousand children’s books – the power of friendship and working together can make all the difference in the world. It does seem a little simple, but its applications are everywhere. Marriage is a team effort, as are business efforts and creative endeavors. Sports teams have it in their titles, even. A group is always greater than the sum of its parts because of the synergistic togetherness of teamwork.

hands in teamwork colorful culture smile

Right now, the Internet does not use teamwork in any way. Facebook is about the individual, emails are one-on-one contact, and everything is designed to give the singular you, the user, your singular personalized best experience. While that is good, it misses on a vital aspect of human experience in community, togetherness, and teamwork. OurPangea is a tool to create those communal aspects while not losing the individual personalization that made the Internet what it is today. We seek to create a community of creators, thinkers, workers, achievers, and believers, and to bring those people together in a strong community of friendship and teamwork.

That is not only why OurPangea needs us, it’s why we need OurPangea.

A New Perspective

The world is, in so many ways, connected. It is connected through worlds within worlds of its own. Worlds of art, worlds of culture, worlds of history and anthropology. Worlds of cities and skyscrapers, of forests and oceans, where all the known and unknown forces of the universe collide to create a force greater than life itself. It is connected through worlds of people, sharing themselves with one another and with all these worlds. This intangible connection is the greatest of them all.

new perspective frame ourpangea open-road

Through the course of human history, we have always sought to effectively communicate and connect with others on any meaningful level we could. It began with writing, the shared knowledge of the creative and philosophical arts, and has continued today to the marvels of the Internet and social networking. It is with great excitement, then, that I have joined the OurPangea team. OurPangea is an attempt to create these connections in bold new ways to improve how we interact, both online and in “real life”. Specifically, it is a new type of network – not a social network, but a Community Network. It will focus on recreating and improving our social model so that we can more easily share and connect with one another and create a better world for all of our communities.

In my personal opinion, I strongly believe that the mission behind OurPangea is something to strive for. With the help of communities everywhere from humble beginnings at the University of Texas to the entire world combined, it can become a revolution in the way we think, feel, and act as a world community, transcending the way we connect to one another and to our communities. Communities are made up of individuals, and individuals are a sum of their communities. This synergistic notion is the key aspect driving OurPangea forward. It is my belief that OurPangea’s mission will come to fruition when communities learn to interact with one another in an organic, collective way, and it is also my belief that this ideal is not very far off. From an idea to a tool to a website to a social movement, OurPangea represents the limitless potential of our communities and the individuals that populate them. It is my hope that this mission succeeds, because it is a mission that is desperately needed for the continued growth of humanity. I will do my absolute best to help this movement get off the ground because it is a cause I believe in, and more importantly it is a cause everyone can believe in. Together, we can combine all of our distant self-continents into one unified, collective (yet still individualistic) whole. We can create our own resurrection of Pangea.

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