Episode 1: Introductions

2010 January 4
by admin

icon for podpress  Episode 1: Introductions [25:19m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Episode 1: Meet the people behind Making a Dent and why they are passionate about Phoenix.

Featuring Bully Bjorn, Mark Dudlik, Jose Gonzalez, Nina Miller,  and Derek Neighbors.

10 Responses leave one →
  1. January 5, 2010

    This was excellent. I really enjoyed hearing the different insights and viewpoints here, and having Derek’s “I grew up here” perspective really is a valuable element in the mix. I am very much looking forward to hearing more episodes.

  2. January 5, 2010

    The west side gets a bad rap from people who look at the “historical” perspective, but the rapid expansion of metro Phoenix (and the fact that the majority of people who live here are not natives) makes that perspective completely outdated. Besides the fact that Honeywell, Cox, American Express, are pretty large successful companies planted in the Northwest valley, the uprise of Scottsdale as a small business center put west/east dwellers within the same travel distances of their jobs. The consistent exclusion of the west valley is short sighted.

  3. January 5, 2010

    It’s encouraging to hear such a thoughtful and honest conversation. I heard the need to collaborate and coordinate across sectors and cities. We are at a decision point on whether to become a true MegaRegion or just a big, sprawly place.

    I hope these thought leaders will support the campaign for a Creative Economy kicking off this spring: http://www.creativeeconomyaz.com/
    If ever we had an opportunity to advance our arts and culture sector this is it – and it is a chance to grow our capacity to attract and retain creative talent.

  4. January 5, 2010

    Cool show! I enjoyed listening.

  5. Bill Binder permalink
    January 6, 2010

    This is much needed. Thanks all.

  6. January 6, 2010


    great group and a good start.
    phx has plenty of awesome going on, but I think most people aren’t aware of it. :-\

    i think a good member of the panel would be the guy who brought an assault rifle to the Obama speech. y’know, to represent the Phoenix that the rest of the country sees. ;-)

    it doesn’t show up in Google Listen yet, but I’ll manually subscribe (that’s a big deal)

  7. January 10, 2010

    I finally made time to listen to this. Nice discussion. I just subscribed to this via iTunes so I can take it with me on the train. I look forward to future installments. Question for future discussion: What exactly is the “creative class”? That phrase gets thrown around all the time, but it seems to mean whatever people want it to mean. Is the creative class a specific group of professions, or is just a state of mind?

    On the debate about the extent of fiscal crises, I think it’s incorrect to say it’s limited to half a dozen states. I can’t think of any city or state government anywhere in the nation that isn’t reeling from the economic downturn. We’re facing profound challenges, but we’re hardly alone in them and don’t deserve to be made a poster child, as we have by some in both the local and national media.

    Attracting more people to the metro area may have value since it adds critical mass to support various activities; however, more people doesn’t have to mean more sprawl — at least not to the same extent it did in the past. There are so many opportunities for infill development and higher density for those who desire it. The major pitfall of land development in Phoenix is that developers have assumed that everyone wants a suburban lifestyle. When I moved here at age 23 in 1989, I would have loved to live in an urban environment, but there were few opportunities then to do so. If I were in the same position today, I’d have a lot more choice in terms of a more central location with higher density and greater access to transit. Continuing to cultivate more urban lifestyle options seems to me the best strategy in attracting and retaining people who add value to the community. I’d much rather see that than a merger with Tucson into one consolidated metro area.

  8. January 10, 2010

    Thank you for having this discussion. I enjoyed the informed conversation. I’ve been in Phoenix since 1982, but I’v just started to like it a few years ago and burgeoning creative, thoughtful, entrepreneurial, local centric scene is why.

  9. January 18, 2010

    Great discussion.

    Nice point about Glendale, Avondale and the rest of the valley. We really do put quite a bit of emphasis on Phoenix and THEN the East valley.

  10. January 28, 2010

    Hey, all!

    Thank you so much for listening and for all of the feedback. My apologies for being delayed in jumping in and responding.

    @David – Re: The Creative Class

    I totally agree that it’s a term that gets bandied about with little understanding of what it means or consensus on what it means.

    Back in the early days of my Twitter adventures, people would post links to blogs with references to the creative class. They’d primarily refer to the creative class as tech folks and the like.

    Derek would see references to the creative class and wonder why they were primarily focused on bohemians (artists, musicians, etc.): (http://derekneighbors.com/2009/11/no-creative-left-behind/)

    Turns out the creative class, according to Richard Florida (whose definition is the one we’re generally going off of) includes tech folks, artists, and more:


    “Florida describes the ‘Creative Class’ as 40 million workers – 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, and breaks the class into two broad sections, derived from standard SOC codes data sets:

    * Super-Creative Core: This comprises about twelve percent of all U.S. jobs. This group is deemed to contain a wide range of occupations (e.g. science, engineering, education, computer programming, research) with arts, design, and media workers making a small subset. Those belonging to this group are considered to “fully engage in the creative process” (Florida, 2002, p. 69). The Super-Creative Core is considered innovative, creating commercial products and consumer goods. Their primary job function is to be creative and innovative. “Along with problem solving, their work may entail problem finding” (Florida, 2002, p. 69).

    * Creative Professionals: These professionals are the classic knowledge-based workers and include those working in healthcare, business and finance, the legal sector, and education. They “draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems” using higher degrees of education to do so (2002).

    Additional to these two main groups of creative people, the usually much smaller group of Bohemians are also included in the creative class.”

    I don’t quite remember the exact discussion as it pertains to the cities affected by current economic conditions (We recorded that in November and I haven’t listened to Episode 1 since it was first published), but I agree that there isn’t anyplace that hasn’t been affected.

    I do think, though, that Phoenix is in a particularly precarious position. As a city, I think Phoenix has made some significant strides toward becoming a vibrant, urban metropolis. I believe there’s the danger of trying to make up for budget deficits and the like by gutting the financial support for the services and efforts that have positively contributed to those developments. (Nick Bastian’s thoughts on impending cutbacks on light rail service: http://raillife.com/blog/2010/01/22/cut-cut/)

    I understand that realistically cuts have to be made but my concern is with the slowing or stopping of some of the momentum that has been achieved.

    All of that said, I agree on your point of making the valley a poster child. Whenever I see the hashtag #PhoenixDepression, it irks me.

    In regards to merging with Tucson, I won’t speak for Derek (because I believe he mentioned Phoenix and Tucson becoming a mega-region.) but I understand it as not merely merging with Tucson via sprawl as much as a mega-region developing over time because both cities / regions have generated significant economic activity and partnerships & the like growing from there.

    This Richard Florida article, I’m sure, will shed some more solid insights:


    Thanks again for all the thoughts!

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