As we begin 2012, a presidential election year, I am reminded of eight years ago when I worked as a field organizer in three rural counties in Maine. Organizing the local committees to think nationally while acting locally required strong diplomatic skills, and in many ways, communicating between multiple stakeholders to convene around one key objective involved finding the bridge across divergent view points and rallying behind clear solutions, not rhetoric. A quick glance across the political blogosphere today unveils more rhetoric than solutions, and more character killing than a deep discovery of all the possibilities open to us. There is hope, however, in the solutions-offering writers, like this guest opinion piece in the Seattle Times, where Jamie P. Merisotis discusses opportunities for helping Washington state residents get college degrees.
Furthermore, through the innovation of companies like Lucky Ant and the enabling of crowdfunding, 2012 presents a possibility for new start-ups to become reality.
My hope and dream is that 2012 is a year of bridges and a year of opportunities. Arguing policy and criticizing character are both toxic practices. We should expect more from each other, for the architecture of the future lies within us individually and within our communities.