Who’s The Best Burning Man Talker?

In 2011, BMOrg announced their change to a non-profit on a mission to save the world. Since then, we sure have seen a lot of panel discussions and jetsetting from Larry & Co. I guess what they’re doing must be working, since they claim 160,000 people wanted to go to Burning Man this year. The well-crafted pop culture campaign mixing print media, references in The Simpsons and other mainstream shows, celebrity endorsements from P.Diddy and politicians and Generals, has all combined to make it harder than it’s ever been before for Burners to go to Black Rock City. We’re hearing reports that many camps have been absolutely decimated this year by the Hellish ticket situation, even if they were on the list. And it can only get worse, not better.

Not to worry, we’re told: “just be After-Burners now“. A bit too old, a bit too jaded, don’t really care if you can’t afford a ticket any more, just look back fondly on your time there – and make way for the starry-eyed virgins and cashed-up yuppies to arrive. The borg wants new minds to mold.

Clearly, there’s no need for any more promotion. So, junkets. Panel discussions. Is it promoting regionals? Is it asking for donations?

The mission of The Burning Man Project (from Guidestar):

Burning Man Project provides the infrastructural tools, educational programs, art programs and other frameworks that allow people around the world to apply the 10 principles of Burning Man in many communities and fields of human endeavor.

And, buried within their new web site (to find it I clicked Menu, The Culture, Philosophical Center, About Us – a faster way would be Menu, The Network, About Us):


The mission of the Burning Man organization is to facilitate and extend the culture that has issued from the Burning Man event into the larger world. This culture forms an integrated pattern of values, experience, and behavior: a coherent and widely applicable way of life.


The Burning Man organization will bring experiences to people in grand, awe-inspiring and joyful ways that lift the human spirit, address social problems and inspire a sense of culture, community and personal engagement.

So, is that working? Are We The Burners, through this our community vehicle, bringing experiences to people, and inspiring awe? Are the ambassadors representing us and our values, or speaking for themselves?

See for yourself and please let us know in the comments.

Who gave the best talk? Who best represents Burner values to the world? We report, you decide…

Harley Dubois at The Feast, 2014

Crimson Rose, 2009

Crimson Rose, Panel Discussion, 2014

Will Roger, 2014


Bear Kittay TEDxTokyo (and Robot), 2014

Bear Kittay TEDxBlack Rock City – 2014?

Bear Kittay TEDxOaxacaca, 2013

Bear Kittay TEDxStockholm, 2015

Larry Harvey, TEDxBlack Rock City, 2011

Larry Harvey, Charlie Rose 2014

Larry Harvey, Le Web London 2013

Larry Harvey, John Perry Barlow, Le Web London 2013

Marian Goodell, TEDxBay Area 2014

Marian Goodell, TEDxTokyo, 2014

Chip Conley and Marian Goodell at the Commonwealth Club, 2014:

Larry Harvey, Marian Goodell, Jenn Sander, Kelly Anders in Paris, 2013:

Danger Ranger, San Mateo 2014

Burner Julia Wolfe, age 9

What do you think, Burners? Should we donate so there can be even more promotion of Burning Man, so it gets even harder to get tickets?

Who is representing Burner values to the world the best?


Well Deserved

WellDeserved.Me, the latest San Francisco startup, has found a way to monetize the unmonetizable. Sign up now for the beta.

This video made me think of AirBnB listings at Burning Man.

Screenshot 2015-03-13 01.20.08


It’s sort of like what Mass Mosaic, Burners with a world-changing idea to create abundance, are doing in real life: Gifting to Create a World of Plenty.

There’s more SF humor in the Broke-Ass Stuart story Things That Only Happen in San Francisco.


2015 Temple Design Revealed

promise in the desert2015 temple coppertemple model
It’s the Temple of Promise. In the midst of a carnival of chumps, suckers, and rubes. Nestled within the 100-foot high Temple structure will be a very Bohemian grove of trees.

temple of promise trees

Looks like it should provide great shelter in a dust storm, especially with that copper cowling. I think it will sound amazing from the inside.

From the Temple of Promise Facebook page:

The Dreamers Guild is a new collective of builders, artists, caretakers, and dreamers. We are honored that our first project as a team will be to build the Temple for Burning Man in 2015. Temple of Promise is brought to you by dreamers including:

  • Jazz Tigan: Artist/Designer
    Dan Swain: Architect
    Jason DeCook “Woodshop”: Build Lead
    Todd Evans: Project Manager
    April M. Jones: Communications Lead
    Gloria Beck: Volunteer Lead
    Douglas Smith and Jordan Rose: Architect Design Team
    Mark Day: Documentarian/Videographer
    Leori Gill: Bookkeeper, Photographer
    Scooter Wilson: Lighting Team
    Dylan Modell: Crew Support
    Communications and Fundraising Team: Dave Slater, Elaine Noble, Melissa Kirk, Sharma Hendel, more.
    Kevin Byall: Grove Lead
    Kenji Aragaki: Fire Pits Lead
    —————————————————————The Temple is a Journey
    Everyone who comes to Black Rock City is on a journey. We were inspired by the idea that the Temple could support, enrich, and deepen this journey through its very design. To this end, our offering first presents an immense skyward reaching spire but immediately invites you deeper, offering a transformative path as it gradually twists and tapers to an imminently human scale.

    The Temple Serves
    Our offering provides solemn spaces for individual contemplation as well as the
    capacity to accommodate larger gatherings of both remembrance and celebration. Traditions and rituals make the Temples of Burning Man truly singular – they are secular, ephemeral, and defined by the participation of their visitors. Our offering recognizes and cherishes these elements while seeking to interpret in a unique way.

    The Temple Listens
    The Burning Man community engages deeply with its Temple, coming to this place of sanctity with many different needs, carrying many different burdens. We view the Temple experience as a conversation with the space and feel the primary role of the Temple is not to speak but to listen. This guiding principle has been a touchstone informing every aspect of our design process.

Matthais Pliessnig’s designs inspired the Temple Crew

 From Voices of Burning Man:

For four years in a row, the temples of Black Rock City have been palatial, romantic, classical in design. Time’s up. Some members of the 2015 Temple crew worked on the enchantingly abstract, boundary-pushing Temple of Flux five years ago, and they have brought that same fluid, organic inspiration to this year’s design: the Temple of Promise.


The Temple of Promise is a guide. It’s a calming hand, and it’s a listening ear. Nestled in its center is a grove of trees. It’s no tower or pyramid or other such shape dictated by logic alone. It is no less a temple for its lifelike forms. It is more.

Scattered amidst the flow of the Temple area, wooden sculptures shaped like stones form a soft boundary. The tapering spiral of the main structure provides shelter and quiet. The lobed spire at its opening will tower 97 feet high. The tail of the building curls into a circle around the open-air grove, a container well suited for gatherings. The trees will be bare at the beginning of the week, but participants will leave their messages on strips of white cloth, which they will hang from the trees like the leaves of a weeping willow.


Here’s some of the previous work of this Temple Crew that members of this Temple Crew have participated in as part of other crews:

Image: Neil Girling/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Temple of Flux, 2010. Image: Neil Girling/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Trojan Horse, 2010. Image: Sharona Gott/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Trojan Horse, 2011. Image: Sharona Gott/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: The Tablehopper/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Anubis, 2012. Image: The Tablehopper/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Alien Siege Machine, 2014. Image: John Tock/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Alien Siege Machine, 2014. Image: John Tock/Flickr (Creative Commons)