It’s August 15, 2017.

The topic for this month’s mindshine was chosen long ago, and guests were invited well before the tragedy of Charlottesville came into play. Yet, we gathered only a couple of days after the impactful events in Virginia. The conversation around our table this month ranged from frustration to hope, anger to excitement. It inspired thoughtful, peaceful action. This is what mindshine is all about – safe and open conversations.

Filament-mindshine-Penn-EngebosePenn Engebose

Manager, Lakeside Animal Hospital | Encourager of Entrepreneurs | Lover of Biking | Committed Volunteer

“When I came out in 1973, I remember thinking that was like the best time in the world to be gay, because, the times they were a changing. The second wave of feminism was going, rights for gays and lesbians were going to be just around the corner, and I was so excited about that. It did seem like we moved in a positive way for many years. And then, all of a sudden we kind of reversed. The thing I think that has struck me, really deeply is that we have done a really good job with technology, but we haven’t changed in social issues. Instead of trying to put some money into getting black men to work, we continue to do the prison thing. We’re not moving forward in any social issues. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who thinks, why aren’t we changing in this way? I’m in a sad, sad place about it.”

filament-mindshine-Evan-PrimakowEvan Primakow

Owner, Grayshark Technology | Husband & Dad | Emerging Technology Buff | Politics Junkie

“I see a future where there will be European countries and even Asian countries where people don’t work anymore, because the country has made itself so wealthy through automation that it just sends all of its citizens a check to live off and do what they need. Universal income is what it’s called, and it’s going to happen eventually. Technology is going to get to the point where we don’t own cars – we’re going to get out our phone and call an Uber, and a car with no one in it is going to come to your house, and drop you off where you need to go, and then it’s just going to drive off and get the next person. It’s going to revolutionize trucking – Uber, Amazon…they’re testing self-driving trucks. That’s the future we’re looking at if our politicians don’t let Europe and China have that future ahead of us. Instead of fighting for coal jobs and dead industries, they need to retrain people how to install solar panels and prepare them for the fact that there’s not going to be a cashier at McDonalds in 10 years! We need to take the money that automation is giving – the profits that CEO’s are making from productivity, and put it into education, and into infrastructure so that when people can’t work, the safety net is there.”

Filament-mindshine-Kelly-AndrewKelly Andrew

Chief Ideas Officer, Filament | Small-town girl turned Milwaukee-home | Lake Michigan lover | Former Fundraiser

“The reason that I have a business is because of technology, and the need for independent businesses to survive, to move forward, to be online and have a presence and get customers that way. Yet, nothing has changed when it comes to storytelling and the fact that we need a connection, we need to feel something. It’s becoming more and more important to communicate a personality in a brand, and to care about people. When it comes to sales and selling, that’s what people connect with, and that’s why people spend money. I think it’s interesting that the times have changed enough that we have to have specially planned dinners like this to sit with no cell phones and talk to each other. I’m glad that technology has gone where it’s gone – it’s only going to give us more possibility and advantage – yet there’s still something so foundational and so fundamental about human connection and story.”

Filament-mindshine-Barb-HeinenBarb Heinen

Owner, Joyful Eats | Holistic Nutrition Consultant | Farmer’s Market Aficionado | Slow Food Advocate

“I’m so hopeful, because I feel like there’s so much that is changing, and it sometimes takes my breath away because it’s changing so fast, and we can’t control it (nor should we). I feel like we are being asked more than ever to show up in our whole personhood! To be there, to tend. To hold sacred humanity in all its pieces. It’s really exciting. I think some of the ugliness is actually because of this really positive, hopeful change. The times are changing and we all need to do our part to remain human, and remain vulnerable, and to show up, and to speak our truths and to go there, to the places we have been able to leave under the carpet. For a lot of people, the times are changing – it’s a grand opportunity, and they’re taking it.”

Filament-mindshine-Katy-CoreyKaty Corey

Director of Collaboration, Filament | Peace Corps Alum | Community Advocate | Queen of the Garden

“I’m kind of obsessed with the new “X-ennial” – people born in 1977-1983 between Gen X and Millennials. I have this very strong memory of going to college (this is probably why I hated college!) and being behind every other Marquette student in terms of technology. I didn’t have a laptop. I didn’t have access to wifi. Throughout college, professors would always say that I was personalizing things. One professor said I had – “A lot of heart and no substance” – a D+ paper. And he wasn’t wrong. I didn’t know how to access information. I was so afraid of trying to find it. My job is now about writing – and it’s so easy to check your spelling and so the research, yet blogging is a voice that is personal, and often needs a lot of heart. What was once my forbidden skill (writing emotionally) – it’s coming back into play, with technology, and they’re being combined at the right time.”

Filament-mindshine-Tiffany-HerreraTiffany Herrera

Milwaukee Native | Dedicated Volunteer | Animal-lover & Pitbull Mom | Passionate Advocate

“My argument is that times haven’t changed at all. What has changed, is that we are well aware of how shitty it all is. Yes, I can say that my gay brothers and sisters can get married, and my black friend and my white friend can get married. I’m happy about that. However, are black people still slaves? Absolutely. A person might not own them, but they’re enslaved in poverty, and enslaved in the judicial system, and enslaved by the police. As a woman, can I own property? Sure I can. Am I still a second-class citizen? Absolutely. People lost their minds when it was announced that the next Dr. Who was going to be a woman. There’s no way that Dr. Who could be a woman. We just had someone at Google say that he was better at his job because he’s a man. Am I, as a Mexican woman, still a second class citizen? Absolutely. I’ve still had people ask if I was born here, and how I learned English so well. I grew up in freaking Milwaukee, can’t you hear that!? So, have times changed? No. The KKK never went away. What has changed is that they’re not going to wear their hoods anymore. So I’m angry. Very, very angry. I’m stuck there. What’s going to happen when a white woman gets mowed down in the street by a Nazi in 2017? What are we going to do?”

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