Creativity & Community in Philadelphia

As I spend my time exploring Philadelphia I’ve noticed our city has a vibe unlike anything I’ve felt in the past.

When experiencing our city, everyone I encounter seems to share these feelings, which only helps amplify vibrant energy and propel things forward.

Feelings of excitement; of unlimited potential; of creative invention; of supportive community, and perhaps most importantly, collaborative innovation.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes Philadelphia feel this way, and I haven’t quite figured it out yet. Part of me attributes it to the fact that the original founders once lived here, working together and striving to create a better way of life for themselves and those around them, and this sense of ambition and collective duty still lingers today.


Philadelphia has a flourishing tech startup community that drives innovation, but we also have many other creative outlets such as NextFab Studio, CultureWorks, Hive76,The Hacktory and IndyHall, to name a few.

My sister, a new theater major at Temple, has told me about the electricity and creativity of Philadelphia’s theater community and that for the first time she’s considering Philadelphia the place to be, rather than New York. That’s awesome to hear, especially given one of the main reasons I moved home to Philadelphia after living in Los Angeles was so I could be a part of her life as we continue to grow and explore the world.

I can’t help but wonder where our city is headed and what will be accomplished over the next 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 years. It feels like the skies the limit and that we all have the potential to become a part of something vital, that helps make the world a better place (whatever that means to you).

I’ve always been a reader and lately I’ve been enjoying the topic of human creativity and how our brains operate. Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” The more you experience life, the more you have to connect. I do this by exploring my city, constantly reading and learning, meeting interesting people and continually living in the moment. This noticeably helps my subconscious relate new experiences to familiarities of the past, which sometimes results in the treasured “ah-ha!” moment.

I had one of those this morning while thinking on recent conversations about bringing a new, global event to Philadelphia.

I started thinking that by bringing people together – the makers, creators, doers, dreamers, explorers, designers, entrepreneurs, and so on – conversations would take place where knowledge and experiences are shared, giving each exchange tremendous potential for creative output. Problems begin to be identified, followed by discussions on how to solve them. This leads to the strengthening of community, which helps fosters inspiration. When inspiration encourages action, new things are created, which is what drives our society forward, increasing quality of life for everyone sharing our planet.

I’ve recently identified a personal mission: Make cool shit while helping construct a better world.

Admittedly vague, but I’ve already begun exploring ways of bringing people together with the goal of fostering inspiration, creativity and collaboration, and encouraging people to take action. This is something that my boss wholeheartedly believes in, and I’m continually reading it in the press.

In order to advance our society, we need to start making things again, and there’s no better time then now. Stay tuned and hopefully something awesomely inspiring comes out of this.


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