When Burning Man moved into the Central Market district, they made a lot of noise about how they were going to use the 10 Principles to transform the area. I’m still looking forward to the day I can write that story.
When Reallocate project [freespace] moved into the area, renting a vacant lot for a month for $1, and Gifting it to the community – with the values of Leave No Trace, Decommodification, Civic Responsibility, Radical Inclusion, Radical Self-Reliance, and I’m sure others…they also made some noise about the transformation.
And, in the spirit of Get Shit Done, they did 119 events in their first 30 days.
We paid attention, covering it at the start of the month when they announced a “Burner Hack“, and the end of the month when they took it to the next level, raised their Indiegogo campaign and brought the Cargo Cult Kontainers in. [freespace] is a project based on Burner values designed to gift something back to the underprivileged. A Temporary Autonomous Zone, designed to Leave It Better (as LIB’s motto goes).
I’m pleased to say that thanks to the innovation of Mike Zuckerman and his team, and the entrepreneurship of the Bay Area Burner community, [freespace] has been a huge success. So much so that they’re about to present it at the White House, as Champions of Change. Tune in live at 7am PST tomorrow (Tuesday) to see them present their ideas to The Man.
Marc Roth, profiled by VentureBeat in the story Homeless to Hacker: How the Maker Movement Changed One Man’s Life, has launched the Learning Shelter there, and their last hackathon was attended by more than 40 people. Homeless people, the unemployed, anyone who wants to learn can come in for free and learn all kinds of skills. Whether or not the new skills help them get a job immediately is beside the point: they’re engaging in a positive and uplifting thing, surrounded by positive and uplifting people. This is the way that someone’s situation can change: to do something in the day that they can feel enhances their lives, instead of wallowing in the gutter in a helpless drug coma. Prescribing more Prozac, or giving them $5 for “the bus ride home” or “gas”…is like giving a sandwich to a starving dog. There will still be starving dogs the next day, what changed? Teach someone to fish, and they never have to be hungry again. Restore someone’s dignity and self-respect, through camaraderie and shared experiences…well, to me anyway, that’s what community is all about. That’s the beautiful potential power of the Burning Man vision, and the Temporary Autonomous Zone vision. Recivilization.
With cities like Detroit, Vallejo, and Stockton going bankrupt…this country needs solutions that can provide economic therapy. The art at [freespace] invigorated the entire project, creating a focal point for innovation and “The Shock of the New”; the respect and love and good souls inside made it something special. [freespace] have achieved so much already, who knows what the next few weeks will bring for them.
This is the power of Burners to make the world a better place. The 10 principles, at work, in the Default World.
Come on BMOrg, instead of sending out copyright infringement notices for pictures you don’t even own, you could be doing this too…and you have WAY more resources. Use all those Burner bucks for the good of everyone, there’s enough to go around in this huge community of contributors. We’re in the Maker world now, the Sharing economy.
WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, July 23rd, the White House will honor 15 leaders
and organizations as open government and civic hacking “Champions of Change.” As
entrepreneurs, innovators, organizers, and community leaders, these “Champions of
Change” have made a tremendous positive impact by building high-tech tools to help
health workers and disaster-response crews better serve communities; piloting
innovative programs to involve traditionally disengaged communities in local
governance; using new technologies to enhance government transparency and
collaboration; and more.
When presenting his new management agenda earlier this month, President Obama
said, “… We the people recognize that this government belongs to us, and it’s up to
each of us and every one of us to make it work better…We all have a stake in
government success — because the government is us.”
The White House Champions of Change program was created as part of President
Obama’s Winning the Future Initiative. Through this program, the White House
highlights individuals, businesses, and organizations whose extraordinary stories and
accomplishments positively impact our communities