When I started this blog, back in June, I did a public request for assistance to help me find a good title. Suggestions flowed in, and Mez Dispenser was by far the best (as suggested by Ryan McLaren). The best ideas are often just out of reach and can only be found with a little help from some friends.
And so, I once again ask for your help. This time I need to name a book. And I need to name it fast. While the book is in its infancy and won’t be in stores until late summer, there are other deadlines (such as industry catalogues), which are impacting our timeline in a significant manner. My title deadline is tomorrow. I have 24 hours to name a book, and you can help me.
First, let me tell you a bit about the book. It’s being published by Coach House Press and I’m co-editing the book with Alana Wilcox and Christina Palassio. The collection of essays is the sixth, and final, edition of the uTOpia series which began in 2005. The series, so far, represents a comprehensive collection of great ideas for a better city. From environment, to culture, to architecture, the series is a manifesto for an ideal Toronto. This final book shifts the focus away from the ideas themselves to the ‘how’ of city-building. How do cities work? How do people engage as citizens and how do we interact with the myriad of institutions (City Council, bureaucracy, funders, the media, etc) that make up a city?
In my opinion, there are no shortage of great ideas in this city. What we’re lacking is a general awareness of how to actually get things done. Essentially the book is an exploration of how civic engagement works and how to get ideas off the ground. The uTOpia series was born out of a general feeling that anything was possible in TO. Now it’s time to get deeper. We need more than a feeling. We need more than ideas. And most importantly, we need a title for this book.
We’ve been brainstorming, and have come up with some ideas. Some are ok. Some are horrible. I know, deep down, there is a perfect name out there for this book. You can help us find it. Please add your ideas in the comments section. Later today or tomorrow, I’ll post a poll and we’ll all vote on our favorite.
The name should summarise the key themes of taking ideas to the next level, being engaged, and making a difference. We don’t want it to sound activisty, or academic, or preachy or earnest. It should be fun, but serious.
The title can have a tagline, but ideally should also stand on it’s own two feet. Here are some brainstorm ideas, in random combinations of title / tagline:
More Than a Feeling
The art of civic engagement and
the journey of turning ideas into action
How to Build a Better City
Building a Better City
City-Building for Dummies
I am Citizen
How you can change your city
The Tools of Engagement
Let’s get Physical
Moving for Change in Toronto
Let’s get Engaged
Taking it to the next level
Ok. It’s your turn. Leave your ideas below. Don’t be shy. There’s no such thing as a bad idea in a brainstorm. (Well, there is. But no one will say anything…)