One Spark

Posted June 07, 2011 by Dennis Eusebio

It’s simple. Whoever tells you that you have to move from Jacksonville in order to be successful lacks vision. We have always possesed the raw materials to make this city an amazing place to live, work and more importantly grow. Jacksonville just needs a spark to get things going.

One Spark is a group of passionate people fostering a culture of starting, building and scaling new businesses and projects. It’s a project I’ve recently been working on with the incredibly talented Elton Rivas and Varick Rosete. Our aim is to answer the most common question asked in Jacksonville “Why haven’t you moved?”

The short answer is that we see in the potential of this city. We would rather be the ones making it better than just move to an already established city like New York, Chicago, etc. We don’t intend to make speeches or run for some kind of office; we will make it happen by actually doing something.

While this is a tall order, here’s some initial steps One Spark is focusing on.

*One Spark will establish a network of people who can help each other move forward one step at a time

One of the benefits of being a smaller city/community is that everyone is just one or two degrees of seperation from each other. We can easily help the community by just referring someone in need to someone that can help.

Need a place to hold your next art show? We can introduce you to someone who has a space to rent at a discount. Need some help with your new tech startup? We can introduce you to both mentors and capital. The right people are here in town, One Spark just needs to connect the dots.

Sometimes it’s just that simple.

*One Spark will focus the energy and activity so that everyone can pull in the same direction through a central location and philosophy

Part of Jacksonville’s problem is its sprawl of not just land, but ideas and consensus. We’re all having the same basic conversations, but there is no central brand or movement to follow that encapsulates the needs of everyone involved.

We need a central philosophy void of politics and division that unites everyone under the same mission. We then need to focus that energy into actionable initiatives so that things actually get done.

We also need a central location to act as the hub of progress. With Jacksonville being so spread out, we need a space that acts as the HQ of this type of progress. Co-Work Jax will be that location. It’s a collaborative work environment that encourages people of different disciplines to interact and share ideas with one another. An initiative being pushed forward by Elton Rivas and Ron Hubbard, this will space will be vital to the movement.

*One Spark will encourage a culture of action, discourage empty complaints and complacency

Complaining and complacency have reached an all-time high over the past 5 years. It’s lazy, and it requires absolutely no effort or thought.

It’s the negative energy that leads to people bringing down other people trying to make a difference, and it’s a poison that will kill this community.

The point of One Spark is not to make a statement, it’s an invitation. Either join us to make Jacksonville better, or try to do it better. Either way, the community wins. There is no room for complaining or talk; we only value people who are doing things. This is the culture we need to encourage; this is what will lead to solid, consistent progress for all.

So this sounds great, but where do I start?

All it takes is to share your ideas with the local community. You’d be surprised how many in the community share your interests and can help you move that project along. Don’t stop there, find ways to collaborate with others based on your experience and abilities. The One Spark website will facilitate these interactions and will hopefully serve as the hub of these types of interactions.

Check out beonespark.com for more details.

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