The smell, sound and buzz of the city surrounds and immerses me as I weave through Wellington's streets and laneways on my bike. Heading to appointments or just going for a ride refreshes my mind and lifts my soul. It's just like that first cup of coffee in the morning that brings out that satisfied grin as you look to the day ahead. The ideas begin to buzz and possibilities awaken.
In 17th an 18th century England, coffee houses became the place where new ideas were shared and evolved. With the coffee house came the age of enlightenment. It was a time of social upheaval and liberation. Ideas traveled and evolved quickly bringing with them major shifts in philosophy, science and religion. Today we share ideas quicker than ever before. The internet has changed the flow of ideas to a torrent. They come at us from all directions, from every corner of the earth. Businesses pop-up and grow into multi-million-dollar companies overnight, all on the strength of a new idea. Communities of like minded people can find each-other and be forces for good without needing to be in the same town, let alone continent.
As I ride my bike through the city, I meet people. I stop and talk to them. I'll see a fellow business owner and yell out - we'll chat for a minute and perhaps decide to collaborate on a project. Next I'll bump into a customer and tell them about the idea I just had. A few blocks later I'll see someone I haven't seen for a while, she has an idea that she's excited about and shares it with me. When riding through the city I will often stop and interact with 5-6 different people, sharing ideas at every stop. Its so fluid and so natural and because the ideas are local and come from real relationships, real handshakes, they already have an authenticity to them that can be hard to decipher over the net. It's real. When I return to the shop I buzz with a new set of ideas to work on.
Cycling is the new coffee house for creative cities, bringing vibrancy and interaction to the street. The mixing and mingling of ideas among our creative and business communities is hard to value highly enough and happens so quickly and easily in a creative and compact city like Wellington. So get on your bike and start creating, linking and innovating with all our city's talent!