Whither are we going?
by Andrew Samtoy
People have been asking me recently where I see Cash Mobs going. I’ve never been a good judge of how successful this movement was going to be – at our first mob, we wanted just one person who we didn’t know to show up, and that was how we were going to judge our success. We never, ever could have predicted that things would take off like this. This whole ride has been thrilling and crazy and incredible, and we’re incredibly thankful for it.
I did have a few thoughts thought today, though. First, I hop all of these Cash Mobs help reorient consumer buying behavior toward locally-owned stores. There are all sorts of economic benefits to buying local, so I won’t expand on that here.
Second, it has been incredible to see people taking responsibility for their communities. It has been especially rewarding to get emails from people who have never held any sort of leadership role or participated in any community organization but who want to organize Cash Mobs, and, over the course of just a few days, to hear about their success and growing sense of confidence and accomplishment. I really hope that the organizers take more active roles in their communities – continuing to organize, to speak, to build a sense of camaraderie – even, perhaps, running for elected office. It has also been exciting to hear of people meeting at Cash Mobs and becoming friends, or business partners, or even going on dates. The second rule at a Cash Mob – to meet three new people – is proving extremely successful at forming face-to-face networks inside communities.
Third, I hope that people have fun at these – that they remember that they can give up control once in a while, that they can relax, that they don’t have to keep a tight grip on their time and their lives. I hope we’re introducing people to new stores, neighborhoods and communities that they didn’t know existed in their cities. And I hope they are coming out of this with an increasing sense of the amazing diversity of people and places where they live.