May 03, 2008

Meet my friend Noel: global explorer and NYC cabbie

Noels_cab When you've spent nearly a year traveling the world, to every continent, who wouldn't want to be a NYC cab driver?

Noel "noneck" Hidalgo is a bit of an enigma, and I was lucky enough to work with him earlier this year in the preparation for the LIFT08 Open Stage. At that point he had just come back from his On The Luck Of Seven project:

for seven months, he will traverse the seven continents, dive into the seven oceans, and attempt to visit the seven ancient wonders of the world.

He used a variety of social media to capture his adventures: video and audio podcasts, and amazing Flickr photo feed, a wiki to coordinate his travels, couchsurfing to coordinate his bed/sofa/floor arrangements, Dopplr to let his friends know he was coming, Twitter to keep his news up-to-date, and Facebook to pull it all together.

Well, he's at it again, life-blogging, filming and Flickring his weird and wonderful life as a newbie New York cab driver, from shaving off his fine mane of hair for the job, learning the ropes and taking the test, the hidden costs, and heading out for his first day in his first cab. You can listen to him interviewed on NPR's Bryant Park, too.

For me, it's a great example of the interest that's in everyone's daily lives, when you look carefully enough. Would your students know how to write interestingly about what might be considered 'mundane'? And why do companies still persist in telling me that most of their business is not 'of interest' to customers, and therefore not for blogging/filming/recording, when most people would have said that a taxi driver's life wasn't of interest to them when they were trying to get from A-Z?

Noel's just finished his first week on the job and is discovering just how much cabbies make - about $10 per hour. He's certainly changed my tipping patterns:

now the road journey begins. over the next few months, i will continue to push myself to do things i've never done - see things i would never dream - fulfill the promise made to family and friends from around the world - and figure out a way to worship the all mighty dollar in ways only a hard working capitalist can. "welcome to my cab. where would you like to go?"

Well, Noel, if you're able to pick me up from JFK on July 6th for the Empire, I'll bring the Leica... ;-)

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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