It happens here: Consumer-centric Innovation in Charlotte and beyond

2 minute mindmap: New Year’s Resolutions by Nheeda Enriquez

Closing out week 2 of the whole resolution thing, I thought I’d throw in a quick 2 minute mindmap.  One of my resolutions is about working more with my hands, as I wrote about for Charlotte Viewpoint, but this mindmap is a simple brain dump on another related resolution: to eat better. Creating this helped me realize that I should put my vitamins in a place that’s easy for me to remember to take them.

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Can Charlotte get smarter through creativity? by Nheeda Enriquez

flickr photo credit: benrybobenry

flickr photo credit: benrybobenry

The friendly folks at Civic By Design and Charlotte Viewpoint are hosting what promises to be an interesting, interactive “mini-conference” on Thursday, October 15th at 6pm called Making Charlotte Smarter.

I’ll be checking it out, and I’ll also use it as an opportunity to peek at the brand-spanking new Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Uptown.

Registration is only $20 and can be found here.

Charlotte goes back to school! Hyperlocal news you can use by Nheeda Enriquez
flickr photo credits: NIOSH + michael mx5tx

flickr photo credits: NIOSH + michael mx5tx

I’ve been cooking up an article for Charlotte Viewpoint about the role of social media in delivering hyperlocal news for Charlotteans.  One of the examples I reference is a company called, which is simply an application that provides service updates on commuter lines through text messages posted by fellow commuters.

With yesterday as the official first day Charlotte-Mecklenburg students (begrudgingly) return to their classrooms, I thought about how that concept might also be helpful to the parents (and other locals stuck in the related traffic.)

I noticed that April Bethea of the Charlotte Observer encouraged parents to tweet their “first day of school” stories and pictures for all to enjoy.  Also entwined are concerns about the spread of swine flu in schools, and I can imagine Google’s Flu Trends serving up data, in real time, to local parents deciding whether or not to send their child to school on a particular day.

Hyperlocal news delivery is quickly evolving all around us.  Where else in our lives will it sneak in?

A viewpoint about Charlotte by Nheeda Enriquez

flickr photos combined: ioupioute & jameswillamor

flickr photos combined: ioupioute & jameswillamor

“Wow! You’re practically a native,” is a phrase I’ve heard (and stolen) about the few individuals that have lived in this transplant town for over five years.  Natives have seen Charlotte’s role as banking center transform the city, and they often describe Uptown as a center of crime and tumbleweeds just ten years ago.

I assign the “Native” label to Charlotte Viewpoint, an arts + culture publication where a smattering of leaders and local visionaries contribute thoughtful columns and stunning photos.  It definitely stands out in an era of fragmented new media and 140-character upstarts.  CV’s founder and publisher Mark Peres says this is intentional:  “When everyone else goes wide, you have to go deep.”

The magazine’s mission is to spread ideas so that Charlotte leverages its own creative class to define its future, rather than continuing to consume the outputs of other cities.  We’re all wondering what lies ahead in the next chapter: will we fall into secondary-city status or become a new hub of energy/medicine/transportation/new business model innovation?