MegaPlaza in MultiContext


A visit to my LinkedIn page just taunted me with the reminder that it’s been over sixty days since I took the time to record a thought here.  Not that I’m a manic blogger, but that’s a long lapse.

It wasn’t for lack of thoughts.

The last eight weeks have seen a lot of change, with little time for public reflection.  I made the rough decision to leave a great job, moved from the bottom to the top of the West coast, married an amazing woman in the company of wonderful people, gallavanted around Central America and returned to dive head first into a wide-open new opportunity.  After years of annual moves and biweekly travel across oceans and deserts, these two months have been like a climactic montage of radical context changes.

There’s always an awkward balance of humor and discomfort in the collision of contextualities.  Honduras was full of them.  A bright Re/Max For Sale sign 12.5 miles up a dirt track road in Pico Bonito, teetering in front of a thatch-roof hut under a power line patched inside a plastic Fanta bottle.  The shell of a shopping center under construction next to a scraggy field full of impoverished cows breathing visibly around exposed rib lines.  Suppose they appreciate the irony of the Wendy’s being erected on the corner, an anchor brand of the shiny new MegaPlaza?

Should I?

As a strip mall anywhere in the developed world, this sight would have barely registered in my memory; a vaguely depressing blur in a scenery of suburban banality.  But here it seems jarringly out of place, offensive to my expectation of a secluded tropical island honeymoon destination.  Its unlit neons burn with an endemic injustice, just the latest signs in a long legacy of radical income disparity that dates to pirate ships and carries through to private yachts.

Those first reactions are soon challenged by further explorations of context.  What about all the job creation?  And who am I to say that Roatan’s middle class and visitors shouldn’t enjoy the occasional Frosty?  What right do I have to expect a culture of poverty just because I’m disillusioned with culture of quickserve gluttony?

This isn’t a blog about political economy and I won’t rant further about the moral merits of Central American development strategies.  The point is, living in MultiContext forced me to think long and hard about MegaPlaza.  Had I expected it, I never would’ve thought twice.


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thoughts at the collision of business, brand and creativity

I'm Ryan Cunningham. I help companies and culture play nice with each other. At CREATURE we call this Brand Strategy, a term that carries a nice halo of reliability and structure. Here, I'm just another guy who thinks about the world and writes it down from time to time.

The result is a pile of knowledge to be used in, and for, the future. Feel free to sift through the heap for useful connections.

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