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Monthly Archives: March 2014

March 31st | Posted In Entrepreneurship

Curious About Coworking

Coworking has taken our city by storm.  Coworking differs from traditional “working” in that various individuals and organizations share the same work place. In addition to providing smaller and leaner organizations (and various sole proprietors) an affordable workspace, coworking, according to advocates, allows for the cross pollination of ideas.

I took the time to speak with founders and staff members of three successful coworking spaces to grab insight into this “movement” and see where Philadelphia stands. Each space made their presence known and are making an impact every hour of every day in this city and beyond.

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March 30th | Posted In Entrepreneurship

Fishtown’s Im-press-ive Publisher

hand

We’ve been told that print is dead. Newspapers are in a panic, periodicals flounder, and ebooks are touted as “the future” of reading. However, in a nondescript space on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, The Head and the Hand Press is challenging that notion with an innovative model for what a publishing house can be.

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March 26th | Posted In Millennial

Millennials at Work: Young and Callow, Like Their Parents

The headline says it all.  This week, American Public Media’s Marketplace is teaming up with the Gray Old Lady to produce a series of stories about the economy.  The first: “Millennials at Work: Young and Callow, Like Their Parents“. You should read it (or, do like I did, and listen to the Marketplace podcast).

Socrates complained about Plato’s generation, and Plato complained about Aristotle’s, and Aristotle complained about Alexander and so on. One generation grousing about the next reads like the Book of Chronicles.  And when I one day complain about whatever we’ll call the next generation (Post Millennial? Gen Z?), I’ll be a hypocrite just like people who complain about my generation. Just a few years ago, Gen Xers were shiftless, lazy and disengaged. Before them, the Baby Boomers were too busy really listening to Aoxomoxoa to worry about jobs. Of course, we tend to think quite highly of the Greatest Generation, but they were probably known as the Greatest Disappointment to WWI vets. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that young people are brash and lack experience.

Fact is, humans are hard wired to look for causal reasons for why things are and to make contrasts between themselves and the Other. We accept narratives rather than think critically, especially when those narratives explain our own superiority. The tired narrative that millennials were coddled as children by soccer trophies for participation makes a ton of intuitive sense, but not any actual sense. if the little trophies we got – and threw out – really made us complacent with mediocrity in anything, you’d think it would manifest itself most in sports; just talk to any young Phils’ fan about the upcoming rebuilding year and you’ll see where you can stick your complacency.

Perversely, the old guard loves to say how easy this generation has it compared to them. Next time you hear someone complain about “Kids these days”, just remind them they didn’t have it as bad as these Four Yorkshiremen. Then tell them to shut up.

March 25th | Posted In Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

Gross Clinic

Isn’t quizzo the greatest?  Whether you are a New Deck purist who spells it with just one ‘z’, or prefer to win “adult” toys at a round of Kinky Quizzo, you can’t help but to love the thrill of being the only person at your table who can name Pennsylvania’s state mammal‡.

To celebrate my love of quizzo (which is one of the reasons #whyilovephilly), I give you a Philly-focused trivia question every Tuesday.  Answers after the jump.

This week’s trivia question:  St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, located just on the other side of City Avenue in Wynnewood, announced recently that it was selling some of its art collection, including paintings by Thomas Eakins, famed author and namesake for the Oval.  Eakins most famous work is probably the one shown above, The Gross Clinic, which is NOT named that way because of how icky surgery is, but after the doctor leading the clinic, one Samuel D. Gross.  The Gross Clinic depicts an actual class at one of Philadelphia’s med schools – can you name which one?

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March 24th | Posted In Philadelphia

YIP Ideasmiths Podcast – Episode #001 – Marc Wilken

In our ongoing attempt to bring you the voices of young Philadelphia, we’re trying a new approach: actual voices.

Welcome to the YIP Ideasmiths Podcast, where we explore the stories of the young people behind some of your favorite projects, events, and organizations in the area. In our inaugural episode we talk with Marc Wilken, Concessions Manager at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation about the genesis of 2013’s new public park space, the Oval.

This is an experiment we’re trying – if you like it and want to hear more, let us know by rating us and commenting on iTunes, or by sharing on Twitter and Facebook. And if you know a local young leader with a great story to tell, send us an email at ideasmiths@yiphilly.org. We’ll be capturing these in mixed media between the podcast and written posts. The podcast will be available soon via iTunes.

The Oval kicks of 2014 in a co-debut with Philly Tech Week called Arcade at The Oval, Friday April 4th, from 7:00-10:30 p.m. (rain date Sunday, April 6th). For more information: http://2014.phillytechweek.com/events/Arcade-The_Oval

Then, visit The Oval for Farm Festival, Thursday, April 17th through Saturday, April 19th. Additional information about Oval events can be found at the links below. The Oval’s lead sponsor this year is PNC Bank.

www.theovalphl.org

https://www.facebook.com/TheOvalPHL

Instagram @TheOvalPHL

March 22nd | Posted In Citizenship

All Aboard the Citizen Advisory Committee Train

septa

Septa Logo

Millennials are flocking to the nation’s cities and giving up their cars in droves. Let’s face it: if we had to choose between buying a car or a smartphone, chances are lots of us would choose the phone. Why? Because we—especially those of us who live in Center City—have a plethora of options for getting around, including walking, biking, car-share, rideshare, Uber, and public transit.

It’s no wonder that SEPTA ridership is at an all-time high. Public transit is cheap, convenient, and you never have to look for parking. With a smartphone, the transit routes and schedules are always at your fingertips. And you can email, Facebook, and tweet to your heart’s content without having to worry about getting a ticket for texting while driving.

With so many millennials taking transit these days, it’s time for us to make our voices heard to improve the public transportation system. What’s the best way to do that? By applying to be part of SEPTA’s Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC advocates on behalf of customers in the five southeastern Pennsylvania counties served by SEPTA – Philly, Bucks, Chester, Delco and Montco. Philadelphia is currently looking for Philadelphia residents to join the CAC.

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March 21st | Posted In Philadelphia, Politics

Rage Against the Democratic Machine

Ratm_demotape2

On March 11, the City of Philadelphia held a special election to fill the vacant at-large seat on City Council that was formerly occupied by Bill Green. Green resigned from Council in order to become Chairman of the School Reform Commission. State Representative Ed Neilson ran unopposed and received the unanimous support of the voters.

What’s that you say? You vote in every election and you didn’t hear about this race? Don’t worry, the Democratic ward leaders made this decision for you. But you will be given the chance to certify their selection on May 20, when the formality of an actual election takes place. If past is indeed prologue, you will confirm their choice, because in this town the Democratic machine reigns supreme.

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March 19th | Posted In Millennial

18 People Who Gave New Meaning to “Better Late Than Never”

Well guys, I gave it some thought, and I’ve realized that I don’t want to be an attorney.  Unfortunately, I only gave it some thought after three years of law school and two years of practicing law.  So now, on the wrong side of 30, I’m trying to start a new career.

While I’m floundering, my friends all seem to be enjoying unmitigated success.  Perusing Facebook or LinkedIn is like navigating an ego minefield – at any second, a friend’s promotion can explode across my computer screen, demolishing whatever pathetic sense of accomplishment I had from finishing yet another cover letter.

At times like this, its useful to remember that history is rife with individuals who stumbled down a dead-end career before finding success elsewhere or didn’t take off until later in life. Even though millennials aren’t supposed to care about the past, I can’t help but feel better after reading about these folks who gave new meaning to the cliché “better late than never”.

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March 18th | Posted In Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

pew

Isn’t quizzo the greatest?  Whether you are a New Deck purist who spells it with just one ‘z’, or prefer to win “adult” toys at a round of Kinky Quizzo, you can’t help but to love the thrill of being the only person at your table who can name the state fossil of Pennsylvania‡.

To celebrate my love of quizzo (which is one of the reasons #whyilovephilly), I give you a Philly-focused trivia question every Tuesday.  Answers after the jump.

This week’s trivia question:  It’s no secret that we are big fans of the Pew Charitable Trusts and its subsidary, the Pew Research Center. We pour over all of their reports (ok, all of their reports about millennials or Philadelphia, or both). The Pew family has been pretty good to Philadelphia, and their name is ideal for really awful puns (see above), which I absolutely adore… but who were the Pews?  And where did all that money for their charitable trusts come from?

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March 14th | Posted In Policy

Mayor Announces Public Policy Case Competition

Mayor Michael Nutter has announced the Philadelphia Public Policy Case Competition.  The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in the Greater Philadelphia area.  The winning team will be whoever responds best to this question: What can the City of Philadelphia do to further attract and retain millennials?  

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March 14th | Posted In Philadelphia

There are a lot of reasons #whyIlovephilly, it turns out

Final logo

Valentine’s Day #whyilovephilly day was a month ago today and, in case you were wondering, it was a huge success.  PhillyLoveNotes crunched the numbers and provided a bunch of great graphs showing just how popular our favorite hashtag is.  Make sure you check it out.

The highlights: just over 2,000 users posted just under 4,000 tweets, which were seen by over 3.2 million twitter users.  There were tweets from every continent except for Africa (C’mon Africa, where’s the love?)  And when you look at the day’s word cloud, showing the most popular words in all those posts, you see things like bike, beer, Kelly, Passyunk, music, walk, art, food, jawns.

Know what you don’t see?  Cheesesteak. You also don’t see, for that matter, other tired cliches like Rocky, soft pretzels or rabid sports fans. In turns out we love Philly for the things that make it livable and youthful, like great restaurants, places to bicycle, and vibrant neighborhoods. Amazingly enough, we’re not raving about an old movie and sandwiches.  These aren’t the things that make people move here or even visit (unless you have your own Food Network show, you have no business visiting a city just for its regional delicacies).

Unlike Santa and Sixers wins, #whyilovephilly doesn’t come just once a year, so keep showing your hometown pride on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

March 11th | Posted In Entrepreneurship, Nonprofit

Fulfilling a #Dreamcup

A_small_cup_of_coffee

It’s a classic question that has been used in a variety of situations, whether breaking the ice in a classroom, passing the time on a road trip, or filling the awkward silences of first dates: If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

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March 11th | Posted In Philadelphia, Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

Declaration

Isn’t quizzo the greatest?  Whether you are a New Deck purist who spells it with just one ‘z’, or prefer to win “adult” toys at a round of Kinky Quizzo, you can’t help but to love the thrill of being the only person at your table who can name all five of the D1 football colleges without the word “University” in their names‡.

To celebrate my love of quizzo (which is one of the reasons #whyilovephilly), I give you a Philly-focused trivia question every Tuesday.  Answers after the jump.

This week’s trivia question:  Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence here in Philadelphia, including its most memorable line “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all mean are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  It’s believed that he cribbed that last part (“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” from a famous 17th century English philosopher.  Can you guess who?

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March 10th | Posted In Philadelphia, Policy

Philadelphia Freedom

preambleHere in Philadelphia, there is a reverence for the nation’s historical documents, as befits a city with such a deep and abiding connection to them. Visitors touring the historic district are unlikely to miss the preamble to the Constitution, emblazoned on the front of the eponymous center.

This connection makes victimless crimes stand out in stark relief to some of us who live here in the Cradle of Liberty. The Declaration of Independence adopts the clear stand that the state shouldn’t interfere with the pursuit of happiness. Yet today Pennsylvania lags behind our neighbors in Washington and Colorado by continuing to deny freedom to people who want to pursue the happiness in the form of marijuana.

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March 4th | Posted In Philadelphia, Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

Isn’t quizzo the greatest?  Whether you are a New Deck purist who spells it with just one ‘z’, or prefer to win “adult” toys at a round of Kinky Quizzo, you can’t help but to love the thrill of being the only person at your table who knows what the “S” in Ulysses S. Grant stands for‡.

To celebrate my love of quizzo (which is one of the reasons #whyilovephilly), I give you a Philly-focused trivia question every Tuesday.  Answers after the jump.

This week’s trivia question:  During his first inauguration speech, Barack Obama made a huge mistake when he said “Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.”  What was it?  (Hint: I’m not a birther, and the answer has nothing to do with the Articles of Confederation.)

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March 3rd | Posted In Philadelphia

The Week That Was

Young Involved Philadelphia is dedicated to cultivating civic engagement among our generation.  To that end, we’re introducing a new, regular blog feature: The Week That Was.  TWTW is a collection of last week’s biggest stories, for the busy young Philadelphian who might not find enough time to read a newspaper every day.

Look for TWTW every Monday or Sunday.

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