I’ve been a lazy blogger of late, but not because I’ve been ignoring my kibbutz project. Anything but. The last month or so has been a hectic swirl of activity. I’ve been pounding my keyboard to finish a draft of the book by the end of the year. (Increasingly unlikely, although I’m pushing 140,000 words now.) I’ve been preparing for another research trip to Israel, which I’m very excited about. (I leave in less than a week; details to come.) And I’ve been writing and rewriting and practising a talk, linked to my research, for the upcoming TEDxVictoria conference this Saturday, November 19.

The 15-minute talk is called “Kibbutzing Your ‘Hood”. Without giving too much away, I will try to distill the wisdom of kibbutz design—the “architecture of hope” upon which these communities were built—and apply it to our own cities and neighbourhoods in North America. Some of the ideas I hope to bring together and share: the link between kibitzing and kibbutzing; the secret family history that joins Israel’s famous socialist communes and the suburbs of North America; the unexpected social effects of unfenced open spaces; the importance of “third places”; how to calculate your neighbourhood’s “K.Q.”; and how the tools of micro-media can help communities turn positive gossip into enduring myths that will sustain them into the future. 

Or something like that.

That’s the teaser. Come on down (I think tickets are still available), if you live in Victoria, to what should be a fascinating roster of speakers and performers and discussions. I’m thrilled to be part of this event—and to sneak a little kibbutz philosophy into the audience’s imagination.

As part of the TEDx mandate, online videos of each talk will be posted. I’ll add a link to my session as soon as it’s up.