Thriving communities are sustainable, diverse, resilient, integrated, active and holistic. Here is a roundup of ten experts discussing emerging currencies in building thriving communities for the transformative era.
 

Makerhoods: Creating Economic Opportunity through Communities
Avi Telyas | TEDxJerseyCity
Makerhoods.org was founded to reduce this barrier by constructing urban work/live and mixed use developments specifically designed for low to moderate income entrepreneurs. Coupled with a business development support system, a Makerhood community is structured to offer meaningful self-employment for an urban population with few alternate opportunities for work. 


Sustainable Community Development: From What’s Wrong to What’s Strong
Cormac Russell | TEDxExeter
How can we help people to live a good life? Instead of trying to right what's wrong within a community Cormac argues we need to start with what's strong. We need to help people discover what gifts they have and to use those gifts to enrich those around them.


Take A Street and Build A Community
Shani Graham | TEDxPerth
How well do you know your neighbours? Suburban life is often isolating and rarely a true community experience. This is not the case in Hulbert Street. Shani Graham helped lead a sustainable-living revolution that ultimately resulted in strong neighbourly relationships, the fences pulled down and the establishment of a street festival. In this talk, she explains how it happened.


Build A Strong Community
Sue Sturm | TEDxCrestmoorParkWomen
Don and Sue share a belief in the importance of giving back to the community, and are each involved in several volunteer organizations. They have invested approximately $30 million in University of Denver's Sturm Hall, the Sturm College of Law, and numerous other endeavors to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at the University. They have funded efforts to expand educational opportunities for low- income children including the start-up of approximately a dozen charter schools across Colorado and Wyoming. In the area of affordable housing they have provided capital for the development of revolving loan funds to assist low-income households with children to achieve the American dream of homeownership. In addition, they have funded a wide range of civic and cultural activities including public radio and television, the Denver Art Museum, Bravo! Vail Valley, and many others. 

Building Sustainable Communities and Their Worldwide Network
Hiroyuki Sato | TEDxKyoto
In today’s world people have come to expect foods and products from across the globe to be readily and locally available. However once upon a time our lives were lived much closer to the land upon which we stood. Hiroyuki Sato, the CEO of AMITA Institute for Sustainable Economies Co., Ltd. seeks to re-establish our ties to our local environments. He has been making his goals a reality since 2011, when he began working with AMITA’s Tohoku Office. There, he has helped create an environmentally sustainable community that includes renewable energies, resources and food based on the local natural sources. It is Hiroyuki’s hope that as we re-focus our energies on building locally and environmentally sustainable communities, we also reinforce our ties with each other to create a richness of spirit that goes far beyond money.

Walk With Me – A Community Development Effort
Yasser Payne | TEDxWilmington
Dr. Payne aims to break down stereotypical barriers and images of Black and Brown people in the criminal justice system, so that transition back in the community and opportunities for upward mobility are successful. Dr. Payne’s work is centered on humanizing those in the criminal justice system and getting undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty, service providers and/or everyday residents to work more closely with those in the criminal justice system.


Building Resilient Communities: A Moral Responsibility
Nick Tilsen | TEDxRapidCity
Thunder Valley CDC is a community development organization that is working with the local grassroots people and national organizations in the development of a sustainable regenerative community, that creates jobs, builds homes and creates a National model for alleviating poverty in America’s poorest communities. Nick is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation and the founding Executive Director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. Nick has over 15 years of experience in working with non-profits and Tribal Nations on projects that have a social mission.

The Urgency of Intersectionality
Kimberlé Crenshaw | TED Talk
Now more than ever, it's important to look boldly at the reality of race and gender bias — and understand how the two can combine to create even more harm. Kimberlé Crenshaw uses the term "intersectionality" to describe this phenomenon; as she says, if you're standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you're likely to get hit by both. In this moving talk, she calls on us to bear witness to this reality and speak up for victims of prejudice.

Architecture That’s Built to Heal
Michael Murphy | Ted Talk
Architecture is more than a clever arrangement of bricks. In this eloquent talk, Michael Murphy shows how he and his team look far beyond the blueprint when they're designing. Considering factors from airflow to light, theirs is a holistic approach that produces community as well as (beautiful) buildings. He takes us on a tour of projects in countries such as Rwanda and Haiti, and reveals a moving, ambitious plan for The Memorial to Peace and Justice, which he hopes will heal hearts in the American South.

Buildings That Blend Nature and City
Jeanne Gang | Ted Talk

A skyscraper that channels the breeze ... a building that creates community around a hearth ... Jeanne Gang uses architecture to build relationships. In this engaging tour of her work, Gang invites us into buildings large and small, from a surprising local community center to a landmark Chicago skyscraper. "Through architecture, we can do much more than create buildings," she says. "We can help steady this planet we all share."