John Jay’s TEDx Portland talk on the creative community.

John Jay
Executive Creative Director
  • Video
    • Git Kai Village, China
    • In order to pay respect to our parents, we decide to visit the village in China where came from.
    • I visited my grandparents house. Dank, dark, not far from collapse.
    • We stopped at my great grandparents graves: two mounds of dirt in the forest beyond the village. There is no tombstones, no way for anyone to know who lived there.
  • This is a story of transformation
  • Born in a Chinese Laundry
    • grew up in the back
    • my dream was to have a living room, a sofa, a bedroom
    • no heating, no insulation
  • Learned to speak english by watching tv, seeing automobile commercials.
  • Video: evacuating building, in response to Japan earthquake.
  • This lost generation, who lost its soul, has found its soul.
  • We were renting trucks, and getting boxes of diapers and food.
  • Instead of waiting for clients to tell us what to do, we were driving north to deliver supplies.
  • In Japan, Japanese poster saying: “instead of emphasizing with us, focus on your work. that is what will revitalize the coast and town.”
  • In China, going through a transformation.
    • pictures of different buildings, new design.
    • new green city being build
    • every 4 months, China is building a new city the size of Chicago.
    • China has a 162 million bloggers. [photo of elderly woman blogging]
  • Cultural transformation happening in Portland
    • partly because The Creative Corridors of this city. There are many.
    • Ace Hotel, Powells, W+K, Zeba Design, 511 building, China Town, College of Oriental Medicine. Forming a creative corridor through the middle of Portland.
  • Grove Hotel: on the corner of the entrance to China town off Burnside.
    • The Grove will redefine the concept of a hostel. Affordable for all of the young people who are coming here to be part of the creative community. But they can’t find anything afforable.
    • Community: a communal kitchen to inspire creative.
    • Young chefs who can’t afford restaurants, young artists, all on the ground floor through retail space. The upstairs, 70 rooms for international creative community. 
  • Portland’s Creative Corridor has international influence. 
  • Some cautions…
    • Creatives are often the least willing to take risks. Be willing to take some personal risks. Take that job in China, don’t worry that you don’t speak the language.
    • The speed of change demands reinvention in order to stay relevant.
    • “Comfort” is our greatest threat. 
      • It’s the biggest threat to our ability to transform. This creativeness that is in Portland right now, it will eventually move on to some other city. We need to capitalize on what we have now. 
  • See the opportunity for transformation you have in your community and this city and act on that.