Would you like to see what the San Antonio of the future will look like? I can actually show you. How you ask? Well to answer that question, let me tell you a short story.
Just over a year ago I was introduced to a firm called Duarte. They are who some would call the world's leader in storytelling. I began to work with them to help us figure out what the story of The 80/20 Foundation would be and through that work we were able to set a course for the foundation's philanthropic mission.
Growing up in the inner city of San Antonio I can honestly say I have never met anyone that was the best in the world at anything so I was pretty nervous to meet the Duarte team. I went online and researched everything I could about the company. Finally I came across the video below, a TEDx talk that the owner, Nancy Duarte, gave about the structure of great communicators.
So if you don’t have 18 minutes to spare for the video below, I will give you the executive summary here. In her TED talk, Nancy dissects Steve Job’s iPhone unveiling speech and Dr. Martin Luther King’s "I have a Dream" speech.
As she analyzes these two world changing orators she points out the anatomy of what every good communicator does. In each of these speeches both Jobs and Dr. King take the audience by the hand, walk them through the status quo, that is, the current state of the world, and then both paint a picture of what could be the new bliss.
So what does this have to do with the future of San Antonio? The answer is that in my work at the 80/20 Foundation I get pitched regularly on projects that people are doing for a wide range of things. A park here, a building there, a program to come, etc.
What started to stick out to me was that every time someone would pitch a capital campaign, they always came armed with architectural renderings. Meeting after meeting the organizations would come into my office, tell me about the lowly state of San Antonio today, and then dazzle me with renderings of the new bliss embodied by their particular project.
The 80/20 Foundation, however, does not invest (for the most part) in capital campaigns. We are more interested in what is going on inside the buildings than having our names on the outside.
Still, as I sat there looking at all of these beautiful renderings I began to get very excited about my hometown. Looking at future buildings, parks and sculptures, that is the San Antonio I want to live in.
I also thought it was unfair that I was one of the few people seeing these plans simply because I represent a grant foundation. If people I grew up with or people I once worked with at Rackspace could see the same renderings, I told myself, they would be just as excited about the new San Antonio as I am.
So, in true entrepreneurial fashion I decided to do something about it. The 80/20 Foundation set out to find every project and rendering we could get our hands on to put together in one report, and show it to the citizens of San Antonio.
Some of these are ideas that we have been pitched at The 80/20 Foundation, some we have discovered on The Rivard Report and most via The Downtown Blog. We've worked with a new site that we are happy to share with you in tandem with its creator, Todd Morey, with this article. For continued updates on projects that are happening in the urban core please check out www.urbantonio.com.
So, without further ado, I would like to paint for you the San Antonio new bliss. Open the report below and see what the San Antonio of tomorrow will look like today.
This is the city I want to live in. I hope you will think so too.
Lorenzo Gomez works for The 80/20 Foundation. He is also an SA2020 board member, the founder of the nonprofit technology blog eSamaritan and former ten-year Rackspace employee. You can follow him on Twitter at @lgomez123.