Am I a fascist of optimism?

CBC commentator, new media personality and consultant Jesse Hirsh responded to a TorCamp email list posting I left about an upcoming event I’m facilitating. In his reply, he claimed that I exclude, discourage, edit or otherwise censor critical dis…

CBC commentator, new media personality and consultant Jesse Hirsh responded to a TorCamp email list posting I left about an upcoming event I’m facilitating. In his reply, he claimed that I exclude, discourage, edit or otherwise censor critical discourse at events that I facilitate.

Actually Mark, it means I know that you’ll exclude any critical discourse as
not being constructive or solutions-oriented.

On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 3:35 PM, Mark Kuznicki <mark.kuzni@gmail.com>wrote:

> This event may be of interest to TorCampers. It’s about the digital media
> industry and community in Toronto and how to propel it into the future.> Disclosure: I’ve been hired by CDMN to facilitate. So you know it’ll be
> good. 😉

Is Jesse alone? I don’t think he is. I take Jesse’s statement seriously. Not that I can’t handle criticism of my work, or imagining that somebody out there might just not like me. I’m ok with both of those.

My concern is that the success of my work depends on dialogue, and dialogue requires critical insight and reflection as an ingredient. People like Jesse are great additions to these kinds of dialogues. But are they put off by the friendly, positive and solutions-oriented language that I use? Is my approach too touchy feely for them?

I often go back to the mantra I coined for TransitCamp in my work today: “This is not a complaints department, it is a solutions playground.”  Is this mantra of playful seriousness off-putting for people who are serious, intellectual and are looking for a good debate?

What is the right balance between, roles of and relationship between criticism and co-creation?

If you have some thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

Presenting @IgniteWaterloo on November 25th

Mark KuznickiChangeCamp: How the Social Web is restoring community Mark Kuznicki discusses the role of the public and of govenment in today???s interactive world of Twitter, Facebook and other two-way media. Mark Kuznicki is an independent consultan…

Mark Kuznicki
ChangeCamp: How the Social Web is restoring community
Mark Kuznicki discusses the role of the public and of govenment in today???s interactive world of Twitter, Facebook and other two-way media. Mark Kuznicki is an independent consultant based out of the Centre for Social Innovation Toronto. His work uses participatory events and social media to encourage citizen participation in public policy, social change and innovation problems.

If you’re in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, come and say hi!