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Creating Hopepunk

 

My Perfect World

What if we designed our communities around the idea of maximizing “peak-experiences” for all residents; where a chance to have a creative or social “deep dive” was just around the corner. And what if opportunities to benevolent self-actualization helping were part of the fabric our daily lives.

What if our physical security and well-being was not dependent on government assistance or the whims of a fickle market driven economy. What if the neighborhood was the safety net, a safety net that knew best what was needed in a neighbor’s time of need.

What if we designed communities with the idea that options for cerebral engagement — engagement that would stimulate the mind, cultivate curiosity and engender hope — were omnipresent even in people and places no one thought it would exist.

What if the streets of your communities became mixing pots of serendipity — places where curiosity was bred and benevolence toward random strangers was the norm.

What if engagement and well-being was how a community measured itself, not obtuse economic activity often distorted through one-dimensional rose-colored glasses. Rather than focusing wholly on jobs for “hard-working folk,”we create paths for “hard thinking” people. What if we fixated on what we“could,” rather than what we “can’t” — making our communities even better than they already are.

A what if getting up in the morning was a chance to experience and nurture our hope … and help others do the same.

This is my Perfect World.

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The Community Conscience

It’s not enough to improve each Resident individually and just assume the collective will follow. We need to intentionally revamp the civic space they reside in along with it. We do that by creating community norms and expectations that stress empathy and generosity throughout the Front Porch network using nudges (both embedded in Front Porch communication and Neighborhood-sponsored), Front Porch and community-wide executed volunteer causes and whatever traditional and web3 tactics we can come with. In the Deleuze and Guattari rhizome model, this phenomenon is called the Body Without Organs. I call this our community’s conscience. A Melvin’s Neighborhood community will have a conscience of benevolence, empathy and well-being — as well as operating with high bar designed for action, not just discussion. This is the embodiment of Hopepunk. I've compiled a philosophy and list of tenets that should be used for all Nodes on the Melvin’s Neighborhood network. Each Node must personalize these though to the strengths and needs of their community.

 

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Hopepunk

In literature, Hopepunk is an approach in which characters choose to fight to make things better, and are motivated by noble intentions. Hopepunk is a reaction to decades of dystopian nihilism often driven by inequality and corrupt ineffective institutions. It explores how goodness and optimism can be acts of rebellion in themselves. A Hopepunk narrative is driven by fierce caring and the will to fight for something good. The worlds described in Hopepunk works are not utopian or even necessarily idealistically hopeful. It is expressed in the ways characters approach issues. Hopepunk is the very definition of Melvin's Neighborhood. It's the balance of building on the potential of each individual to create a collective movement that is rooted in self-efficacy, agency and ground-level action.

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Melvin Cards

Melvin Cards is Melvin’s Neighborhood’s way of spreading goodwill. We all encounter people in our daily routine that we just want to go over and give big hug to. These are the people who are especially nice at the restaurant you went to for lunch; or those people who give up their seat on a bus for someone not as able. The list of what these “positive people” do is limited only by the size of their hearts. These are the people that are the backbone of your community.

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