What is a Jane’s Walk? It’s an open-ended concept

After two years of organizing Jane’s Walks, and a third year of organizing under way, I have a good sense of what a Jane’s Walk is.

What it is is aptly vague and open-ended.

Long Branch Jane’s Walk, May 2012. We began the walk at Marie Curtis Park. Peter Foley photo

I like that.

I do, and I don’t, have a clear sense of what Jane’s Walk is about.

Legacy of Jane Jacobs

I know that such a walk is a way to celebrate the legacy of Jane Jacobs, who was not an academic.

What that legacy is, I don’t know. It’s interesting to read what people say with regard to it.

What I don’t know is what Jane’s Walk is in reality. The rhetoric speaks of making the world a better place, in some way. What that way is, I don’t know.

Social Innovation, as in Centre for Social Innovation

Jane’s Walk is associated with a concept called Social Innovation. In practice, what does social innovation, as contextualized by this term, entail?

Open-ended

To sum up what I’m saying, a Jane’s Walk means different things to different people. The match between rhetoric and reality, with regard to Jane’s Walks, is unknown, at least to me.

To put it another way, the concept has an open-ended quality that appeals to me.

Leading a Jane’s Walk

You can lead such a walk in many ways. I like the concept that it’s a conversation not a lecture.

A lecture can easily be repurposed as a Jane’s Walk. But a Jane’s Walk can also be presented as a conversation, and it can indeed function as one.

In practice, it’s possible, with regard to a Jane’s Walk as a conversation, for the rhetoric to match the reality.

Conclusion

I also like the fact that with Jane’s Walks, I’m not certain what I’m getting into.

Much of the best things in life can occur when I don’t know what I’m getting into. Under such conditions, something about a situation drives me forward.

Goods things happen when a person steps forward, gets started on a new project.

Each Jane’s Walk I get involved with is such a new step, a step into the unknown.

By way of conclusion, I see a Jane’s Walk as a networking device. Any group of people, whatever its form or qualities, can serve as such a device, and often does.

It can serve to open up doors to information, insights, and connections that might otherwise not be available to a person.

 

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