TRIM TABS

Although grand projects and events are important, it is the small, almost unnoticed actions of millions of people that build societies and drive progress. A successful hub requires lots of people doing something they want to do, no matter how minor it may seem. When people begin to combine creative ideas a hive of activity forms, generating a larger whole for everyone to enjoy.


Hub Synergy

Stoke in Staffordshire did not become known as ‘The Potteries’ across the World just because of the abundance of coal and clay. It was the entrepreneur and artists, along with the skills of craft people, who spotted potential to make things, innovate and build global businesses.

Successful hubs are built upon numerous skill sets, many of which have little in common yet when combined, unnoticed synergies build whole new exciting opportunities. This is why all people should be encouraged to follow their passion and see where it leads. Having a hub where many people are pursuing their passion only increases the likelihood of their idea becoming reality. 

Success From Insignificance

Entrepreneurs and artists share a common trait, honing in on seemingly insignificant things that the rest of the population tend to miss. The architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist, Buckminster Fuller with his ‘Trim Tab’ analogy capture this beautifully…

“…thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary—the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab. It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go. So I said, call me Trim Tab.” — Buckminster Fuller (Wood, 2013)

We Are All Trim-Tabs

Everyone is a trim-tab, yet the constant drive for growth means too many good ideas are shelved before they begin because ‘it will not scale’ or people lose confidence in themselves. This is where a safe hub space can work best, encouraging people with an idea to slow down and take their time and see how their bit impacts the greater whole.

Activism

Not only artists and entrepreneurs are important, activists are crucial in challenging the conventions and big social issues of the day, which ensures a healthy, forward looking society develops and flourishes. See Elizabeth Garrett Anderson for more. 

John M

Image: Courtesy of Metadesigners.org | Prof. John Wood

Fuller, Buckminster, (1972), taken from Wood, John, Metadesigners.org, glossary, Trim Tab [online at: https://metadesigners.org/tiki-index.php?page=Trim-Tab-Glossary

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