The Future is in Doncaster

Chris Brogan and Rob WilmotI spent some time in Doncaster in the United Kingdom with the legendary Rob Wilmot. What I saw was a bunch of people who had a great sense of what all this social media stuff would be able to accomplish for business, for education, for the community at large. It’s the best kind of story, because I see it often in towns and cities just like Doncaster, which is in the Yorkshire area of the UK, in the north. What I know is this: we think of cities and communities from the perspective of the past. Doncaster used to be about coal, about railways, about whatever was before. But now? It’s a place where the future is happening.

Chris Brogan and Cameron from Cameron Rawson is the publisher and founder of TechLeash. He’s bright, entrepreneurial, and driven. In a place where all his fellow schoolmates are thinking about what jobs they might eke out, what schools they might attend, how they might shape their future, Cameron is creating a technology-focused media property. He’s recently started an Internet radio show to go with his “print” publication. Where? In a city where coal mining was taken away. In a city where the future was stripped away.

When I travel, I’m asked quite often, “Where have you been that you love?” My answer is always a bit of a surprise: Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, St Louis, and now Doncaster.

Bawtry in YorkshireI love places like Doncaster and Pittsburgh and the rest because they are full of bright people reinventing the world. I spent a week with the brilliant Rob Wilmot and the future-minded Cameron Rawson, and several other incredible people reinventing the world. While others gripe and moan about what’s missing, what’s gone, what has been denied, the people of Doncaster are inventing new futures.

That’s what matters.


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