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Tamsin Smith
Tamsin helps architect and realize good ideas that matter to the world. She works with individuals, companies, and non-profits to form creative collaborations that advance pro-social impacts. She is the founder of SlipStreamStrategy.Com and was President of (PRODUCT) RED, an initiative that she launched with founders Bono and Bobby Shriver, to engage regular consumers and brands in the fight against AIDS in Africa. She lives in San Francisco with her two kids, several surfboards, and towering piles of poetry.

Entries by Tamsin Smith

The Poetic Host

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2016 | 5:11 PM


Exquisite Corpse is a method of rough assemblage invented by the Surrealists, in which collaborators sequentially string words or pictures together to form a novel whole. If you're looking for ways to celebrate April as Poetry Month, why not host an...

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A Role Worth Perfecting

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 9:27 PM


Regardless of geography, ethnicity, economic status, or level of education, all human beings are united by a desire to matter. We are social creatures. We want to be respected and acknowledged for the contributions that we make and the dreams that we carry....

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Collaboration is Cumulative

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 2:48 PM


All hail You people with the cleverer hands, our supplanters In the beautiful country; enjoy her a season, her beauty, and come down And be supplanted; for you also are human -- Excerpt from Robinson Jeffers "Hands"

Each summer, the

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Just Messages

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 5:33 PM


I have mixed feelings about what is surfacing on my Facebook feed this week. I don't want to turn away from what is there, nor from what is absent. I understand that digital display doesn't render emotion inauthentic; for many it...

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Poetry On the Wing

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 6:04 PM

I wonder why we come again and again
to these places where footpaths suddenly end. 

excerpts from "Chasms" by Radcliffe Squires

Honest poems invite return again and again. They beckon sly surrender to the unknown, each in their own fashion. And, as if by tribal rule, one can never enter...

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Disrupt Thyself

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 10:47 AM

"The emotions -- love, mirth, the heroic, wonder, tranquility, fear, anger, sorrow, disgust -- are in the audience." - John Cage -- composer, music theorist, artist, writer, disruptor

It took John Cage's 4'33" of non-action at the piano to illustrate that silence isn't what we thought, nor...

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Errant Messages

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 3:17 PM

"Errant Messages" : Sculpture by Lynn Whitford

The word "errant" in modern times connotes delinquency, a straying from the proper path or program. Romping through history, however, "errant" in its archaic form suggests a wanderlust driven by the search for adventure. Did...

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Scoring Angel Energy

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 8:38 PM

"The taste of sweet blueberries and the word 'Barcelona' make me happy... "

Such a lucid notion: "The taste of sweet blueberries and the word 'Barcelona' makes me happy" -- just lie in the echo of that for a moment. It captures all that is most tender, effortless, thrilling and true about life's apotheosis. It stirs the mystery of the senses and the power of language up into one singular wave of joy.

Like all great verse, the line is a conjurer, uncoiling the imagination of the listener, calling us out to play. It has the capacity to transport, regardless of whether one translates "sweet blueberries" as a metaphor or an actual memory, or whether "Barcelona" evokes stirrings of discovery, admiration for those who play the beautiful game or simply melts like music in the mouth.

In this case, the line represents pure possibility for its authors, as well as for their audience. It was written by a group of eight to 11-year-olds, who participate in America SCORES Bay Area. The program serves urban kids six days a week with enrichment programs that inspire them to be healthy, confident contributors to their community. Empowered with soccer balls, writing workshops and service learning, America SCORES kids get inspired to see the beauty of potential in themselves, their world and the people around them.

Through an ongoing partnership with ASCAP, the premier music-makers collective, 20 or so lucky kids each year work with an ASCAP songwriter to make an original recording. This year's magical pairing involved two days at E.R. Taylor Elementary in San Francisco and an afternoon performing and recording at Tarpan Studios with Narada Michael Walden.

For 30 remarkably fruitful decades, Narada Michael Walden has been writing and producing hits for Top of the Pops artists, including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Jeff Beck, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, George Michael and Steve Winwood. He's not only put out two collections of his own music, but has performed with everyone fro B.B. King to Mick Jagger. And through his own foundation and as Music Director for the Rainforest Foundation Concert at Carnegie Hall, Narada Michael Walden lives the spirit of music's power to transform.

For this project, he asked the kids to riff on what feels good to them. The result was a song "Having Fun Tonight," with lines like the one I opened with and others that capture the universal sensation of feeling free and happy and golden -- "love inside my heart boom boom beating crazy."

The kids wrote from a place of freedom, untethered from the embarrassment and self-censorship that so often crushes creativity in young minds. Wonderful teams from both America SCORES Bay Area and Tarpan Studios encouraged the kids to be exuberant and it worked, even for the shyest. Music takes down our buffers, it reminds us to laugh, cry, play, and love, again and again.

Coach Manny called it "Angel Energy." Could anything be more profoundly potent? What a gift to share. So, here's to a chorus of: "Everybody's getting' down and being free." Here's to these bright, shining poet-athletes. Here's to kind and authentic leaders like Coach Manny, Narada Michael Walden, and ASCAP Producer Sue Devine. And here's to a first dream called "Barcelona."

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

- e.e. cummings

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From Her to Eternity: A Playa Portrait

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 1:43 PM

Of the countless works of creative wonder dotting the Playa at Burning Man 2013, there is one piece that stood out for me as supreme. Marco Cochrane's steel and wire sculpture -- "Truth is Beauty" -- is a soaring triumph. It is grace. It is humility. It is...

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Digital Dexterity for Deeper Social Impact

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 8:42 AM

Maybe we shouldn't just be talking about digital dexterity, but we should be providing digital dignity to all.....

The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) is unique in many ways. Perhaps the most notable distinction is that UN Foundation is the vision of our founder entrepreneur Ted Turner, who instilled in...

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Gathering Gadflies

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 4:03 PM

There are no bystanders at the Aspen Leaders Action Forum. The small group, text-based seminars are designed specifically to draw personal, real-life responses from the global leaders who attend. This Socratic approach to interactive discussion isn't simply a format; it goes to the core of the Aspen Institute's...

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Helping Hands Make Healthy Hearts

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 3:38 PM

It's a bitter pill to swallow that nearly 6 million children around the world have congenital or acquired heart defects and no access to care. The good news is that most of these kids can be saved, allowing them to grow, dream, and play into adulthood. But the challenge we...

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Of Yodas and Yo-Yos

(1) Comments | Posted July 12, 2013 | 8:00 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

The tagline for TED is Ideas Worth Sharing. Platforms like The Huffington Post make it that much easier to do so. Sometimes the content is such...

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Prisms of Possibility

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2013 | 11:07 AM

Janet Echelman's sculpture in Amsterdam in 201. Photo: B. Visbeek

"Yet the absence of the imagination had / Itself to be imagined"

So declares Wallace Stevens in his poem "The Plain Sense of Things." What I take from these words is that whether...

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Larry King Heart to Heart

(1) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 10:14 AM

Much has changed since 1988, when Michael Jackson topped the billboard charts, Ronald Regan occupied the White House, and Mikhail Gorbachev launched perestroika. Then as now, Larry King's interviews have illuminated the notable personalities, popular culture, and geopolitics of our times. It was also back in...

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Where Social Impact Meets Professional Identity

(2) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 1:50 AM

April 25 is World Malaria Day and I'll be speaking on a panel about the power of grassroots supporters in spreading the buzz about the UN Foundation's Nothing But Nets Campaign. A week or so later, I'll be keynoting the Bay Area Leadership Summit of...

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First Kisses of Rock + Lit

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 3:01 AM

The second coming has arrived. All bang, no slouch. Meet Issue Two of Radio Silence. It's everything one could want from a magazine uniquely dedicated to literature and rock & roll. This latest brilliant love child mixes everyone from David Remnick talking Bob Dylan, to Jim White riffing...

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Baghdad Valentine

(0) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 11:16 AM

Valentine's Day -- I should probably linger long on the topic of romantic love. Yet somehow such thoughts leave me feeling a bit selfish and small at the moment. Don't get me wrong: I am a fan of the tender touch, the expansive dreamy possible. It's just that far too...

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2013 Ways of Looking

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 5:41 PM

The start of a new year seems a good point at which to turn one's orbit around. Art is my prism -- a way of looking out to look in. Proximity to another being's inner struggle with, search for or celebration of the ineffable breeds an intimacy too difficult or...

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Tower of Song

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 10:02 AM

The urge to ****. It comes on strong and wild, and it fills you from tip to toe. It may take you in the shower, when you're tipsy in a crowd or on top of a mountain with no one else in sight. The surrender is sublime, and so easy....

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