Cue The Future

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"I'm living in the future, so the present is my past" -Kayne West

Gambit Article

I’ve been quoted in the cover story of this week’s Gambit.

Here are the excerpts.

“One of the few non-architects in the room, Tyler Willis, 19, was surfing in Portugal when Katrina struck. Thoughts about how he could help would not leave his head, Willis recalls, and he was prompted to action after being challenged via email by an ex-girlfriend, who asked him, “If you have all these ideas, why don’t you go there and do something with them?”

A friend forwarded to Willis an email invitation explaining Rethinking New Orleans. “I didn’t know what to expect, I was worried it wasn’t even going to be worth the bike ride,” he says a week after the meeting. “But I was impressed by the knowledge everyone brought. It wasn’t just a bunch of people bitching and getting drunk.”

Willis was most impressed, he says, with the ideas for preserving the city’s distinct neighborhoods and the culture of each. A native of California, Willis is enjoying his transition to life in post-Katrina New Orleans. “The atmosphere seems a lot different from what I hear it used to be, with lots of negativity and [an] almost fatalistic approach to things,” he says. “But I’ve experienced none of that. The energy I feel here now is positive.”

Despite concerns about a lack of cohesion among the far-flung grassroots groups and their varied approaches to rebuilding New Orleans, activists are making inroads, holding meetings, generating new ideas and sustaining the passion that propelled them to action in the first place.

Tyler Willis created a Web site, www.projectneworleans.info, that includes information on an online math tutoring program, hotmath.com, that he says has great results in helping students. Citing education as critical to rebuilding what Willis labels the “New City of Hope,” he has started lobbying local school officials on behalf of the program. He says he has gotten good responses, especially from the proposed charter schools.”
here’s a few corrections

1 – It was a phone call from an ex-girlfriend, who was significantly more supportive then that sounds. Quite frankly I wouldn’t have done it without a kick in the pants from her, and she allowed me to bounce ideas off her and moan about how much some of the work sucked. Less of a “Challenge” and more of an influence.
2 – Blake invited me through IM… I wish I could say I didn’t say “bitching and getting drunk” but that sounds suspiciously like me. I guess I should work on my cynacism a bit. Sorry everyone involved, especially Blake. PS – the wine was Fantastic.
3 – I’m not a Native of California, I was born in Missouri and spent most of my life in Ohio. I do like California quite a bit, but I wouldn’t wanna ignore my roots. ;)
Aside from that, I’m still very excited. I hope this will give me a bit more traffic and visability – At this point donations are going to be what makes or breaks what I can do here.
Check out my website (www.projectneworleans.info)

About the Author

Tyler Willis is the Vice President of Business Development at Unified, which builds enterprise marketing technology for brands and agencies.

This blog is about how the future will affect technology, marketing, and the things we care about most. Learn more about Tyler.

Speaking

Tyler is a featured speaker and instructor for The American Marketing Association, and is a popular speaker on topics related to social marketing and how technology is changing our lives.

Recent engagements:
- South by Southwest
- American Marketing Association
- TMP Directional Marketing Client Summit

Email for Speaking Requests.

Lightweight Update

I write infrequent (quarterly at most), semi-formal updates of what I'm doing and thinking.


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