My CNU. #19 - The Best Ever.


Our usual programming is going to be a little disrupted again this week as I get caught back up from being in Madison. In the time I have I'm going to focus on the podcast and getting some of the audio spliced and edited for you. In the meantime, here's some brief highlights from CNU 19, what many long-time attendees have called "the best Congress ever".

Wednesday - NextGen 8

Show up early to meet my peeps. Start off with the Jens. Extend a hand - get a hug in return. Welcome back. Then there's Karja, Edward, Eliza, Matt, Russ, Ian, Jed, Dan, Mike...what a group.

Kristin Jeffers - the Black Urbanist - confirms my hunch that she would be both smart and eloquent. James Rojas was likewise. And who is this Payton Chung? The dude knows his stuff and had a lot of important things to say. What a strong opening act.

Incremental Urbanism. I liked Will Dowdy when I met him last year. This year, I would put him on a short list of Top Young Professionals Worth Watching. He's challenging everyone to see the word the way it is. Refreshing.

Open Source. Is there any problem we can't solve? I'm inspired to work on our Minnesota Chapter of CNU and to go and reach those students. 

Then there's Ethan Kent. Again, I knew he was smart. I knew he was insightful. I knew he had something to say, but I was blown away. Amazing talk. He joins Will Dowdy on my short list of TYPWW.

Thursday - The first full day

Open Source gets its just props and is placed front and center. Love it. And love the CNU Board members participating. Only at CNU can a new, New Urbanist sit down with a founding, New Urbanist and have a valuable conversation. That says something. A lot of things, actually.

Agrarian Urbanism. I love that we are working on this.

The Conservative Caucus lunch. Or should I say, the First Annual Conservative Caucus lunch. A great success, and a work plan to boot. Stay tuned.

Mike Lydon - succinct and passionate. The first, uncommon at CNU. The latter, not so much. I admitted off-line to Mike that I was currently a "No way. No how" when it came to cycling. Used to cycle a lot, but circumstance has put my bike on the rack. To follow up on a promise to Lydon, it comes down this week. First a tune up. Then my commute changes.

And, of course, Petcha Kucha at the Project Lodge. Way too much fun. Thanks Edward, Matt and Karja.

Friday - Glaeser

Edward Glaeser was awesome. Just incredible. That talk was worth the entire cost of admission.

Then to Member's Choice and the high honor of being asked to speak to my peers. Thank you, all.

Speed Kills - cutting edge insights from brilliant practitioners is another reason CNU is not to be missed. What could be better than an engineer who has read the engineer manual and found that it doesn't say what the engineering profession all assumed it did. Now there is a powerful insight.

Saturday - The Great Debate

An Open Source session with new and old friends then a wrap on Open Source with the Jens. The conclusion: O.S. is one of the great strengths of CNU. We're going to do all we can to plus it again in 2012.

Bikability. I love the passion here. And the experience. They make me want to try it for myself.

Urban Agriculture. Steve Mouzon is one of my favorite New Urbanists, and I even got some tips for my own yard. 

And the debate, which turned out to be two interesting speeches. Check out the video on CNU's website.

Lots of goodbyes followed by a long drive home. Can't wait until next year.

 

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