Last June we handed out over 10,000 nametags in an effort to make NYC a friendlier place for a day. It was an incredible day of joy as thousands of new connections were made and a whole swath of the city thought about their neighbors in a slightly different light. (Watch the video! Sign up to do it with us this year!)
In August of last year I received an email out of the blue from a small town in Brazil. Carol Balboni, an administrator at a high school in Sorocaba, shared a story that warmed my heart completely:
Hello, Dear Michael!
Enclosed you will find footage of our Nametag Day here in Brazil. We were so inspired by your amazing idea that we decided to have our own here in our school – Colégio Objetivo Sorocaba. It was such a fantastic day here for us, everyone wearing a tag and making conversation with “strangers” we see everyday. We hope you continue invading our hearts with this wonderful feeling by promoting this event every year. We surely will try from this end!
Lots of love,
Yes! This is what we meant when we said we wanted to redefine how cities work, how we see each other, for just a day. Nametag Day was built to spread, and it’s wonderful to see that others are being inspired by our message. I remember at the time that I was sitting in the back seat of a car. I quickly downloaded the attached video and it brought tears to my eyes. Ideas can inspire and bring joy, and this video is proof to me:
Then, this past March, I received another email from Carol, with warm wishes and an announcement that last year’s event was such a success they are doing it again this year. She said “thank you so much for your idea, it has been such an inspiration for us here at our school.”
So now there are two cities participating in Nametag Day. You can do it too. Just come hang out with us and hand out nametags or receive a nametag — or celebrate on your own, in your city. Be sure to let us know on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Email what you’ve been doing.