Going and Doing
I notice that I have two distinct modes of operation. Going and Doing. Going to a destination where I need to do something and Doing something at the place I arrive at. These are the two basic sub-routines that manage my existence.
Sometimes, when I am busy, I will arrive somewhere in the house and not know why I went there.
“Why am I standing next to the fruit bowel?”
When I go back to the bathroom I remember that we keep hand cream on the window sill behind the fruit bowel. Because my mind was busy it started thinking about something else. Only when I arrived did it try and recall the reason for the trip.
Maybe you have similar experiences?
Maybe it’s a glitch in the human programming?
What I take from this is, that at a fundamental level, we do indeed have some distinct modes (going and doing) in which our brains and bodies co-operate.
To and Through
What happens if we scale up these modes to a larger scale of Going and Doing? For example, travelling to a place or travelling through a place? How do we behave on journeys (outside the home this time) to other places? Does it differ from how we behave when we arrive? Will it make a difference to what we do if we are just passing through?
I see people;
- On trains travelling to Brighton & Hove City. They are sleeping, reading, watching screens. Some are working – they seem more agitated.
- Out and about in Brighton & Hove City. They are active, enquiring, exploring, participating, enjoying.
- In transit. They are getting an early night, looking after basic needs such as hunger, using the spare time to study or passively listen to a device.
Synthesis and an Idea
Let us suppose for a few minutes that it is true that the human control system has two fundamental modes of operation. It can tell the body to go to a place that it consciously wants to visit. And then it can do other things until it has arrived, at which point it will need to return to the task.
How might that innate behaviour impact the way that we interact economically with our surroundings?
If ‘doing’ is something we do when we ‘arrive’ – then we won’t do those things while we are in transit. For example; we go out for the big meal when we arrive, we spend money on entertainment when we have met up with the friends that we are joining at our destination.
Transit Hub or Destination?
So, is the City of Brighton & Hove a transit hub or a destination?
How would it score as each of these if we invented some way to measure that?
What are the differences between a good hub and a good destination?
If we ‘zoom out’ a bit on the map, then we can see transport links that meet in Brighton:
– A23 & the mainline railway – to/ from all points North but notably Gatwick and London
– A27 & regional railway – to/from all points East and West
– Ferries at Newhaven, Folkestone, Portsmouth, Southampton – to/ from the European Continent
– Gatwick Airport & Heathrow – to/from a global list of international cities
Brighton starts to look more like a destination than a transit hub.
Transit Hub opportunity
But back in the BnBs, speaking to guests, there is some evidence of Brighton being a step on a journey, a stop-over, not the principle destination for some percentage of the tourist population.
If that is true;
a) Could Brighton & Hove City be a better transit hub than it is today?
b) If it became a better transit hub than it is today what economic benefit would that bring to the City?
Key point: We interact economically with our environment both when we are travelling and when we have arrived: Going and Doing. These patterns of behaviour may be intrinsically different. Places might not be exploiting all the economic opportunities if they only operate in one mode.
I have ~15 hours a week which I can use to support people to understand and improve their business situation.