UnreasonableI was talking with a good friend last night about ‘the state of things.’  We tend to veer off into lofty conversations on issues that matter to us, and it’s often quite productive for me.  Last night was one of those nights.  While we talked, I remembered a program I ran across called the Unreasonable Institute – they are looking for 25 of the world’s most outrageous minds to encourage and enable to do great things.  The question that came to mind was – do we have to create things that are ‘unreasonable’ to get noticed or attract attention?  Has the status quo stifled our thinking to the point that we have to go far outside the norm to capture the imagination of our audience? I suspect this might indeed be the case.

It seems more and more non-traditional thinking is breaking through in all segments of society – in business, in government, in development, etc.  The fact that this is being celebrated is encouraging and reinforces that we’re actually in a very transformative period right now.

Last night as we talked about some of the opportunities on the horizon, I shared that I recently read a book my cousin Whitney gave me to check out called The City in 2050 published by the Urban Land Institute.  Pretty incredible stuff here – I highly recommend you read it if you are interested in urban planning, architecture, future development and related topics.  The book highlights some very thought provoking insights into a likely urban model for the future.

While we were talking, I Googled the initiative on my iPhone and jumped over to the ’2050′ page to see how well they were connecting.  What I saw was an incredible opportunity to spread this message much further than it’s being spread right now.  The opportunity that jumped out at me was under the ‘Enter the Dialogue’ section.  If you click on the Creating Blueprints – Enter the dialogue link, it takes you to a page with a paragraph and an email address.  Most of us in the social media space would agree that an email link does not typically qualify for encouraging dialogue, thus the opportunity!  To be fair, ULI does have general links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn from their home page.

Perhaps identifying initiatives like this one that are well established but lack a thorough engagement strategy and helping them connect with key audiences through social channels is a business model in and of itself.  Could working with ULI and other non-profits to help spread the word about initiatives that matter to the world without a pure profit motive be considered unreasonable?  I bet most people would say it is.  I wonder what the Unreasonable Institute would say?

What do you think?  Is being unreasonable a good strategy?  If so, what are some of the unreasonable ideas that you have for yourself or your business?  Do you find this kind of thinking is encouraged or discouraged in your organization?

By the way, if you are interested in applying to the Unreasonable Institute, you better hurry – the clock is ticking! 14 days and counting until applications are due.

Photo credit: iStockPhoto