I’ve been following the Los Alamos Daily Post Facebook discussions about a slogan/logo/brand for Los Alamos, and I’ve been impressed by the great ideas and opinions. It seems that Los Alamos is undergoing an identity crisis. Who are we? What are we all about?
I would like to point out that most of the ideas for a slogan tie the community to LANL. As many pointed out in previous Daily Post conversations, Los Alamos is more than LANL. It is art, health and outdoors, small business, volunteers, senior citizens, parents, youth activists, and so much more. Let LANL tweak “live exponentially” or even “where discoveries are made” for their vision statement if they like. Perhaps the community needs something that more broadly exemplifies its personality.
But there’s another point I want to make, one that addresses the bigger picture that I am seeing – Los Alamos wants a change of perspective, and today, with the Internet, the whole community can be involved in that change. Every individual has a voice and a convenient place to express their opinion, when they have the time, not only at scheduled meetings and events. Planning, arguing, making connections, and doing can begin with online discussions and sharing ideas. Why do we hang onto old and ineffective ways of doing things?
It’s happening already with these discussions on the LA Daily Post Facebook page. I have learned so much reading all the posts — mainly that there are many perspectives we need to consider when we try to define who we are as a community. It seems the time is ripe to pull our resources together and really effect change.
So let’s make the most of it. Let’s open up these discussions to everyone and work toward solutions we all can be happy with. Give everyone a voice — with guidelines and structure –create buy-in and a sense of ownership for our town. I think it’s an exciting idea, to involve the whole community in defining itself, a grassroots effort that grows as more residents become involved. I bet we will all learn that the community is even more than we thought it was.
We could use a systems approach, like the schools and LANL profess to use, and start discussions/share ideas on Facebook, have public online forums, set up committees, use online survey tools like Survey Monkey, etc. The Internet will be our primary tool.
What is already working well in Los Alamos? What isn’t? What gaps do we see and can we fill them? We can determine these things ourselves; we don’t need to pay a company outside of New Mexico to do it.
This approach would serve better those like me who wish to avoid divisive political processes where only a few make the decisions. And it costs next to nothing to do. Involve the whole community, resulting in a truer picture of what our town is and perhaps a stronger town spirit. Use free tools like the Internet and community volunteers with creative ideas and expertise to save money. It won’t happen overnight but in the end, I think it will be more meaningful and rewarding to everyone. It might even be fun.