Tikkun Olam Through Social Media
How one man is rebuilding Detroit.
A Jewish concept, tikkun olam, or repairing the world, has made profound changes in the world. To some, it is the basis of their Judaism. To others, it’s a piece of the puzzle. No one can say that tikkun olam is not a universal good.
Bean started an organization called Motor City Connect (MCC) with the goal of helping people network better. LinkedIn, LBN, BNI (Facebook wasn’t used for business back when MCC was founded, and Twitter didn’t yet exist) and the countless other networking portals were not cutting it for Bean.
Teaching people how to network in person and online have been part of his life’s work. Over the last five years, MCC has taken on a number of pet projects, including blood drives, working with Motor City Blightbusters to tear down abandoned houses and helping raise money for the Friendship Circle walk.
This year, Bean wanted to step it up a notch. Being a believer in the law of attraction and the laws of metaphysics, he wanted to do something for the Metro Detroit area as a whole. He asked his network, consisting of tens of thousands of people on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the MCC website, to use the hashtag #313Dlove on March 13 at 3:13 p.m. to show Detroit some love.
Bean’s connections made good on his request. Not only did they (we) come through for him, we came through for the region. His hashtag was trending worldwide, meaning if you logged onto Twitter from anywhere in the world, you would see #313Dlove on your homepage. If you clicked that link, you would see people posting messages about the beauty of all things Detroit. From Woodward to Belle Isle, to sports, food, Downtown and the suburbs, people were posting the things they loved about Michigan.
The big question is: Did this make anyone money on March 13? I don’t know the answer to that, but I believe that it brought attention to the great things happening here. It was one more step that we, as a region, took in spreading the positive message our hometown has to offer.
Now, I am not saying this was a deciding factor, but within 30 days of the #313Dlove campaign, Twitter corporate announced that it is opening up an office in Detroit at the M@dison building, the home of Detroit Venture Partners, Detroit Labs, Ludlow Ventures and other Detroit-centric technology companies.
Hell, I will say the #313Dlove campaign was a contributing factor. Just try to prove me wrong!
When speaking to Bean, his passion comes through clearly.
“The #313Dlove that was shared on March 13 was just the beginning. We are working hard to make this initiative one that positively changes Detroit from the inside out once and for all. Stay tuned.”
As someone in the commercial real estate business who works on deals in Detroit on a regular basis, I am excited for this. Attention is coming here on a national level. It is no longer a few optimists hoping for something good. Whole Foods and Twitter are among the first, but they are not the last national companies coming to the city. This is good for everyone.
For Bean, this was not the beginning nor end of his campaign for tikkun olam. This was another chance for him to spread his message and place another brick on the road to a recovered region.
Benji Rosenzweig is a commercial real estate broker, blogger, father, husband, Detroit advocate and musician. The order of those things changes daily. Read him at www.BenjiUnSpun.com.