Radical Experimentation

The Burning Man Project’s Social Alchemist, Bear Kittay, has just given a TEDx talk in Stockholm, Sweden. He talks about harnessing creative energies to address social inequity.

Burning Man’s Bear Kittay asserts the need for “Radical Experimentation” for humanity’s survival and thriving in the 21st century and challenges governments and philanthropists to adopt a new approach to creative empowerment.

As a Social Alchemist for Burning Man, Bear has worked closely advising Burning Man’s CEO and has represented the organization on six continents while pioneering new initiatives to instigate trans-national network collaboration. While acting on the belief that cultural evolution and technological innovation are inextricably linked to personal transformation, Bear’s creative, iconoclastic nature throughout his career has helped him build an extensive network of funders, operators and sector experts in countless mission-driven enterprises globally. As a founder of Organizer.com, Music for Democracy, and advisor to several venture-backed startups, Bear has raised over $20 million in funding.

So what does this mean for Burning Man’s future? Will we see some “experimentation” (which, despite Bear’s claims, is a noun, not a verb)? Will BMOrg introduce some innovation in the way Burning Man is put together and run each year, beyond just the bizarre ticketing system and themes beginning with CAR? Can Burners come up with ideas to make the world a better place – and will BMOrg take the risks to try them?

Or will it continue to be the same every year – just add virgins, taxes, and rules?

Some highlights:

“Let’s reimagine civilization…let’s co-create a community”

“When the fixed outcome of an experiment turns into an identity, the identity turns into an institution, the institution turns into dogma – and we’re right back where we started.”

“The hippie movement, the green movement, Occupy, Burners – it’s so easy to fall into the trap with identifying so much with one solution that happened in the past, that it becomes who we are and limits us”

“The Internet is an umbilical cord, we’re all connected – we are all learning, adjusting and calibrating into this new macro-organism…this new participatory identity and way of life is fundamentally different”

Best practices in transparency that we have access to every day transform how we view the world, allocate our resources and time, who we feel we are in the context of others”

“Democracy is transforming from the idea of voting to becoming constantly part of an evolving real time conversation”

“We must develop the cultural and social technologies to properly leverage these moments we’re going to have in our evolution to create the better world we want to see”

“How do we unlock our real genius in society? Support those who are not neuro-typical…Gifted minds need to be nurtured.”

Think you might be gay? Go try it! Are you an artist?…go make some art…what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? We’ve got to break our taboos, we have to break off our shackles…that’s what it’s going to take to move humanity forward” 

“I challenge those who are professional investors or exited entrepreneurs or philanthropists to break your models…let’s prioritize in investing in more things like Burning Man”

 The Modern Iconoclast...'Calm down. Things will work out.'