Tom Di Francesca
Considering, that Halloween is coming up, I was going to write about some great Halloween related Web sites. But that has changed. Something significant has occurred and something even more significant is about to happen, and so I’d like
to share that with you.
I’ve mentioned the “WhyNot?” Web site a couple of times recently. The URL is
but before you decide to jump over there, let me update you on that endeavor.
First of all, shortly after I mentioned the “WhyNot?” Web site, the co-authors (two Yale University professors) of the book, on which the Web site is based — sent me a copy of their book.
I’ve enjoyed reading it very much. It has stirred up some creativity that had lay dormant inside of me for some time. I believe the book could do the same for you. Just hop on over to
and do a search on “WhyNot?” Order the book and then dive right into it.
Last week, while reading the book a thought came to me. The thought was, why couldn’t the very same system and method of problem solving used on the Web site, be used on solving community related problems?
Take a community — Clovis for example — list the biggest pressing issues involved in the success and prosperity of our town, and then provide a venue in which all of us citizens could offer positive solutions and ideas. I was excited about the concept and so, in the middle of the night, I e-mailed the authors of the book.
Believe it or not, one of the authors, Barry Nalebuff, responded to me within the hour. Barry was quite excited about the idea also. After some further correspondence, Barry decided to create a “Clovis” category on the “WhyNot?” Web site.
Within the “Clovis” category, there are already several topics available for discussion. I’ve sorta “primed the pump” by offering up some suggestions — a way of getting others to respond and to begin using their creative energy.
Barry tells me that if the citizens of Clovis respond to this project in a positive way, that he will create an entire Web site just for Clovis.
He also said that what we do could possibly be used as a model for communities all over the world. Barry also said that because he has connections with National Public Radio (NPR), he could possibly get them to provide coverage for this endeavor.
So, the ball is in our court. Go to
At this moment in history, we the citizens of Clovis have the opportunity to make a significant difference in our community and quite possibly the world. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about that opportunity.
Finally, what we don’t want on the Web site is a bunch of complaints, whining, or criticism. What we need are constructive ideas and solutions. If someone doesn’t agree with a suggestion it’s fine to say that, but we don’t need name calling or insults. If we don’t think an idea is any good we can suggest ways to make it good.
Remember, the world will be watching us.
Tom DiFrancesca III is a freelance columnist and a resident of Clovis. He can be reached at