Bloom Network Governance Whitepaper

Bloom Network Governance Whitepaper

Bloom Network’s governance whitepaper summarizes ten years of R&D across eleven countries.  Throughout, we describe social and technical practices we have found effective for bioregional governance and rebalancing unjust power dynamics of today’s centralized governance and finance systems. These are shared as modular governance pieces that networks can adopt or plug in with. This paper includes an outline of the first three phases of our technical DAO.

Keywords: bioregional governance, cross-sector finance, federated cooperatives

Read the paper here.

Music in Bloom

Music in Bloom

One of my dreams is to be able to find amazing music and art through Bloom Network. I don’t know how common this is, but I find it difficult to find music with lyrics I can relate with. At the same time, I love pop music and how tight the production is. So, I’ll start sharing some of the music I’ve found that feels related to Bloom(ing).

I like to listen to traditional music from all over the world, and hear the land and culture and cosmovisions expressed through it. I’m an ex-classical pianist and have released a couple of very weird records as a vocalist with electronic sample artist Wobbly. As an extended technique vocalist, I appreciate hearing the different vocal styles innovated across the globe over time. It’s infinitely inspiring to be part of Bloom Network and learning from people all over the world about the creative healing work they do in their communities. My love for Earth is connected with the way I listen to music. My intention here is to share that love with you.

To kick off this series, here are three artists whose lyrics send me, and a gorgeous instrumental album of music from Iran and Syria:

Born I

Website: http://bornimusic.com/

Also check out the remix by East Forest:

Bio:
Born I is a Ghanaian-American rapper, known for his work as a multi-genre artist. He has created a catalog of music that includes several Hip Hop, EDM, House Music and hybrid releases. Serving an audience with big ears, Born I’s lyricism and positivity resonates with fans across the hip hop and electronic music spectrums. His songs have been noted by Diddy, and he is a frequent collaborator with top electronic artists. His vision of “unity through art” is what pushes him to constantly break down genre barriers in the music industry. Born is also a mindfulness practitioner and teacher and he incorporates those themes into both his life and his music.

It’s Cosmic (William Padilla-Brown)

Websites: Mushrooms: https://www.mycosymbiotics.net/
Music: https://soundcloud.com/itscosmic

Bloom did an epic interview with William in 2019: https://bloomnetwork.org/bloom-podcast-william-padilla-brown-ep-5/

Bio:
William Padilla-Brown had the opportunity to grow up traveling, living in England, Taiwan, Mexico, New York he now is back in his hometown of New Cumberland, PA. He is a social entrepreneur, citizen scientist, mycologist, amateur phycologist, urban shaman, poet and father to his beloved 3-year old son, Leo. Leaving high school at age 16, Will pursued a non-traditional, independent approach to learning and actively promotes alternative education. He holds Permaculture Design Certificates from Susquehanna Permaculture and NGOZI. In 2014, he established Community Compassion, a nonprofit focused on radical sustainability, based in New Cumberland, PA. In 2015 he founded MycoSymbiotics LLC – a mycological research and mushroom production business. He has raised over 30 types of mushrooms and 6 types of algae. He is driving mycological research in the areas of food production, mycoremediation, and medicinal value. Will educates children and adults alike about topics ranging from nutrition to mushroom cultivation, having led workshops and various programs all over the country. Will is proud to be a contributing editor for Fungi Magazine, the foremost Mycological periodical.

Yaima

Website: https://www.yaimamusic.com/

Citadella was written as a universal call for peace, love and hope. Inspired by the Citadella Monument in Budapest Hungary. The Citadella sits high on a hill, overlooking the cities below as a guardian- calling out for peace and as a reminder for all those who gave their lives for freedom, independance and the prosperity of Hungary. The frequency of true love is as hopeful as The Spring. Yet love can be bittersweet as the complexities of being human obscure this simple truth. When we are able to find Harmony, it amplifies and strengthens the frequency of love- sending the vibration out to the earth to break down conceptual walls, allowing us all to see with the eyes of compassion and unity. The complete heart begins with a simple wish… to love.

Lyrics:

Bittersweet the telling,
Love so true Untold.
Rising through the Sapling,
Commence the Spring of Hope.

Ojala Primavera
La Guardia Citadella
El Corazon completo
Llego de un deseo
Hopefully by Spring,
The guardian Citadella-
The complete heart,
Arrives with a wish.

Two tones design the harmony,
One left, and one on right.
Reverberating Frequency
Pass through the walls tonight.

Ojala Primavera
La Guardia Citadella
El Corazon completo
Llego de un deseo

Yaima Bio:

The Yaima Music Project is a Cascadian Folktronic Duo based in Seattle WA (2014-Present), featuring Multi-Instrumentalist & Producer Masaru Higasa and Vocalist Pepper Proud. They’ve often been described as timeless and unmistakable, offering a balanced synergy of both the masculine and feminine expression. Their melodious soundscapes showcase instruments from all over the world. Inspired by the Majesty of Nature, their musings encompass the listener with driving and revitalizing organic rhythms, transcendent electronic production, warm soothing female vocals and heartened lyricism. Their intention is to create a bridge between Nature and Humankind, an expansive experience that encourages growth and graceful passage for the hearts and minds of their listeners. The name YAIMA emerges from two sources: one from the Mapudungun language meaning “that which water runs through” and the other from the culturally preserved Yaeyama District of Okinawa Japan. Over the last 5 years YAIMAs music has been reaching the ears and hearts of listeners from all around the world.

Quieter Than Silence

Website: https://www.roots-revival.com/quieterthansilence

Bio:

“Quieter than Silence” is an international, multicultural, independent project of the Roots Revival Cultural Association.

“Quieter than Silence” was born from a story of friendship, beyond stereotypes and political conflicts, between an Iranian – Mehdi Aminian and a Syrian – Mohamad Zatari in Bucharest. The project grew, when Leila Soldevila Renault (France), Behnam Masoumi (Iran) and Zabih Vahid (Iran) accepted the invitation to join them.

“Quieter than Silence” is rooted in Syrian, Persian and Sufi music cultures, applying various rhythmical and timbral elements throughout the process.  This makes it a unique artistic repertoire and difficult to attribute to any particular geographical identity.

The ongoing conflicts around the world and the current tragedy in Syria in particular, contemporary existential issues, mystic Sufi literature and poetry, and the various musical traditions from around the globe are the main inspirations in this album and its new approach to composition, rhythm and melody. Musically, it is a synergy between different instruments including ney, setar, oud, kamancheh, percussion, double bass and vocal.

“Quieter than Silence” is not a political statement, rather an aesthetics response to the current political climate.

This album is a dedication to the wandering Syrians, who are suffering from distress and grief. It is a compassionate gesture and a protest against all the empty noise in the world.

Why “Quieter than Silence”?

What is this metaphor we call silence? In our music, silence does not want to abstain from utterance. On the contrary, it wants to render the intentional or imposed state of muteness on the way to universal consciousness and to sublime awareness. This music intends to create a space beyond silence (“Quieter than silence”), of the complete dissolution of speech.  Speech that has been emptied of meaning in an ever noisier and aggressive world. A world where less than ever is being done to revive the human dignity trampled under never ending consumerism, wars, conflicts, nationalism and their consequences. This is an era where words and communication have lost their primary function.

This project makes the symbolic journey of returning to nothingness, a tabula rasa of existence in order to invest sounds with a new creative power, worthy of dialogue.

Recent Developments in Bloom ;)

Recent Developments in Bloom ;)

Phew, it has been a fast-paced month at Bloom. Here’s a shortlist of recent development work:


We applied for three funding programs! 

Bloom is currently entirely volunteer run. We have approximately $200/mo coming in through memberships, which goes toward paying our communications subscriptions and monthly fiscal sponsor fee. We haven’t yet filed for our own tax-exempt status because the hybrid entity we want to create is fairly complex and we need a lawyer’s help on it. In my ideal world, our primary entity is a cooperative that is a digital-based smart organization, as that will allow the most flexibility with how we collaborate internationally and locally across the world.

I also had the privilege of creating a pitch deck for the Thriving Resilient Communties Accelerator, of which Bloom Network is a member. I presented it to philanthropists and foundation managers, along with colleagues Ryan Rising and Ben Roberts, and projects within this year’s accelerator program presented as well. It was so inspiring I kept crying. Canticle Farm in Oakland is doing incredible restorative neighborhood ecology, spirituality, and restorative justice work. The East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is mindblowingly brilliant and tactical. And NorCal Resilience Network runs a regional fractal of the Thriving Resilient Communities Accelerator.

I learned to my dismay that the East Coast US is not less into acronyms than the Bay Area, in fact it seems more into them. And for the first time I heard someone, Naomi Joy Smith, vault completely over that issue and suggest a totally made up phrase for a coalition: Tralo Scali instead of TSLC.

There have been two new local Bloom requests, from Uganda / East Africa and Philadelphia. The Philly Bloom is the first from our first wave of chapters to come out of the woodwork since we separated from Evolver. Often former organizers have seemed to be waiting until momentum picks up again, as it’s easier to bring people together when the network has a sail going. A sail, not a sale, see what we did there?

With Philly, and Columbia Missouri, the mother leaders’ kids are now old enough that they have more time again to organize. Bloom Northeast US is now forming – at the moment it’s just me collaborating with regional food/soil/justice organizers here, but holy moly they have a far-along regional food system governance network forming. Our next step is to point to some of their documentation through Bloom, while we talk through hosting some convenings in February 2021.

Oh yeah, I wrote the first draft of Bloom’s governance whitepaper for bioregional governance last week. Soon to push that around to some other movement leaders as early reviewers and to contribute. Christina Bowen is helping critique the structure, as it’s currently a combination of research findings, a list of modules needed for federated cooperatives, technical specifications for participatory budgeting processes, and examples of leadership inclusion and vetting which are important.

Last week I was in a work session with other members of the Global Regeneration CoLab, on frameworks for bioregional regeneration. I was in a breakout with Isaac Kinney, a citizen of the Yurok Nation on the Trinity River in California, and Mauricio Nunez based outside of Cusco, Peru. They each had beautiful descriptions of how their cultures define bioregions or something like it. The Yurok view themselves as intimately connected with Hawaii, East Asia, and all the way up to the Arctic with how their water flow goes. Mauricio shared how the Aztec viewed trade of resources, energies, and capital in a region, as ayni, mita, and minka. They traded across elevations, with people bringing crops from the mountains down to the valley, bringing their herds of animals along with them and naturally fertilizing the valley crops as they exchanged. He was so excited that recently with the pandemic forcing people to rely on each other and not tourism, that for the first time in a long while a herd of 50 horses came down to the valley in this way through trade. Mauricio runs a watershed restoration program with trans-national government funding to utilize regenerative agriculture and similar methods to keep healthy groundwater stores and climate health in the region. He described a similar program in Bolivia that he prefers because it is run completely bottom-up rather than from a government, and because it is based in the concept of reciprocity. Isaac Kinney is working on creating a regional economic-ecological association to support the Yurok nation’s well being, and to protect it through asserting native leadership with the regional resources. He’s also part of a Native Jurisprudence collective. One thing I’m keen to follow up with him on is how to practice reciprocity with Native knowledge, as he mentioned Indigenous people being taken advantage of and not reciprocated to when they share their knowledge systems and Native science.

Hannah and I have gotten the new Bloom onboarding materials ready enough for now, though we want to further simplify them. I’ve created a member login portal for our website (a very simple one – in the future we want to use sovereign identity sign-on). And I made a beautiful version of the Bloom Organizers Wiki, making it easier to navigate around our various resources for event production, action ideas, conflict resolution, brand materials, flyer design, meditations, etc etc. I’m very happy about how easy it is to make beautiful UX without knowing code. I’m interested in trying Web Flow and similar setups.

Caroline Savery, a cooperatives development consultant whom Bloom wants to work with to develop our cooperative, has invited us to attend an incubation course on platform coops, hosted by the Platform Cooperativism Consortium and Mondragon.

Christina Bowen who will be on Bloom’s Community Call on May 18 (2020) and I dropped in one-on-one outside of contract work together for the first time. She is working on Socialroots and Team Earth (sic), and we’ll be continuing to collaborate on mesh platform design, encouraging people to use open collaborative tools but not build walled garden platforms. We need platforms that are interconnected and modular, using shared protocols.

I’m working on an article about the latter, as I have strong informed opinions about why that is important, and why we should not waste time trying to build anything remotely like the interface of Facebook. I also want more fun expressive tools such as flexible currency and valuation mechanisms, and custom emoji sets :). As I wade deeper into decentralized development communities, I’m finding I’m not alone in having almost OCD-like obsessions about how collaboration through the internet can be. It makes me sad that so many people spend time scrolling angry at their screen because of how the platforms are designed, instead of being mutually empowered to make beautiful, just communities in the real world together with nature. 

I also had the privilege of creating a pitch deck for the Thriving Resilient Communties Accelerator, of which Bloom Network is a member. I presented it to philanthropists and foundation managers, along with colleagues Ryan Rising and Ben Roberts, and projects within this year’s accelerator program presented as well. It was so inspiring I kept crying. Canticle Farm in Oakland is doing incredible restorative neighborhood ecology, spirituality, and restorative justice work. The East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is mindblowingly brilliant and tactical. And NorCal Resilience Network runs a regional fractal of the Thriving Resilient Communities Accelerator.

I learned to my dismay that the East Coast US is not less into acronyms than the Bay Area, in fact it seems more into them. And for the first time I heard someone, Naomi Joy Smith, vault completely over that issue and suggest a totally made up phrase for a coalition: Tralo Scali instead of TSLC.

There have been two new local Bloom requests, from Uganda / East Africa and Philadelphia. The Philly Bloom is the first from our first wave of chapters to come out of the woodwork since we separated from Evolver. Often former organizers have seemed to be waiting until momentum picks up again, as it’s easier to bring people together when the network has a sail going. A sail, not a sale, see what we did there?

With Philly, and Columbia Missouri, the mother leaders’ kids are now old enough that they have more time again to organize. Bloom Northeast US is now forming – at the moment it’s just me collaborating with regional food/soil/justice organizers here, but holy moly they have a far-along regional food system governance network forming. Our next step is to point to some of their documentation through Bloom, while we talk through hosting some convenings in February 2021.

Oh yeah, I wrote the first draft of Bloom’s governance whitepaper for bioregional governance last week. Soon to push that around to some other movement leaders as early reviewers and to contribute. Christina Bowen is helping critique the structure, as it’s currently a combination of research findings, a list of modules needed for federated cooperatives, technical specifications for participatory budgeting processes, and examples of leadership inclusion and vetting which are important.

Last week I was in a work session with other members of the Global Regeneration CoLab, on frameworks for bioregional regeneration. I was in a breakout with Isaac Kinney, a citizen of the Yurok Nation on the Trinity River in California, and Mauricio Nunez based outside of Cusco, Peru. They each had beautiful descriptions of how their cultures define bioregions or something like it. The Yurok view themselves as intimately connected with Hawaii, East Asia, and all the way up to the Arctic with how their water flow goes. Mauricio shared how the Aztec viewed trade of resources, energies, and capital in a region, as ayni, mita, and minka. They traded across elevations, with people bringing crops from the mountains down to the valley, bringing their herds of animals along with them and naturally fertilizing the valley crops as they exchanged. He was so excited that recently with the pandemic forcing people to rely on each other and not tourism, that for the first time in a long while a herd of 50 horses came down to the valley in this way through trade. Mauricio runs a watershed restoration program with trans-national government funding to utilize regenerative agriculture and similar methods to keep healthy groundwater stores and climate health in the region. He described a similar program in Bolivia that he prefers because it is run completely bottom-up rather than from a government, and because it is based in the concept of reciprocity. Isaac Kinney is working on creating a regional economic-ecological association to support the Yurok nation’s well being, and to protect it through asserting native leadership with the regional resources. He’s also part of a Native Jurisprudence collective. One thing I’m keen to follow up with him on is how to practice reciprocity with Native knowledge, as he mentioned Indigenous people being taken advantage of and not reciprocated to when they share their knowledge systems and Native science.

Hannah and I have gotten the new Bloom onboarding materials ready enough for now, though we want to further simplify them. I’ve created a member login portal for our website (a very simple one – in the future we want to use sovereign identity sign-on). And I made a beautiful version of the Bloom Organizers Wiki, making it easier to navigate around our various resources for event production, action ideas, conflict resolution, brand materials, flyer design, meditations, etc etc. I’m very happy about how easy it is to make beautiful UX without knowing code. I’m interested in trying Web Flow and similar setups.

Christina Bowen who will be on Bloom’s Community Call on May 18 (2020) and I dropped in one-on-one outside of contract work together for the first time. She is working on Socialroots and Team Earth (sic), and we’ll be continuing to collaborate on mesh platform design, encouraging people to use open collaborative tools but not build walled garden platforms. We need platforms that are interconnected and modular, using shared protocols.

I’m working on an article about the latter, as I have strong informed opinions about why that is important, and why we should not waste time trying to build anything remotely like the interface of Facebook. I also want more fun expressive tools such as flexible currency and valuation mechanisms, and custom emoji sets :). As I wade deeper into decentralized development communities, I’m finding I’m not alone in having almost OCD-like obsessions about how collaboration through the internet can be. It makes me sad that so many people spend time scrolling angry at their screen because of how the platforms are designed, instead of being mutually empowered to make beautiful, just communities in the real world together with nature. 

Climate change, on one hand, is an invitation to come into deeper connection with nature. I’m happy to stand strong in demonstrating that connection together with you all, through storytelling and solidarity.

Lead with love,
Magenta
Executive Creative Officer (ECO), Bloom

cover photo by Meg Rivers, who recently contributed a set of flower photography to add to Bloom’s stock photography that network members can use

Announcement: Bloom Network a Finalist in Ledger’s 2nd Open Call

Announcement: Bloom Network a Finalist in Ledger’s 2nd Open Call

Bloom Network is happy to announce we are a finalist in Ledger’s 2nd Open Call, part of the Next Generation Internet Initiative.

Ledger is a #venturebuilder allocating up to €200k #equityfree to develop #humancentric solutions using #decentralized#technologies  such as #blockchain #DLT #peertopeer #datagovernance #privacybydesign #citizendatagovernance.

LEDGER is a European project financed by the European Commission. They are looking for 32 Minimum Viable Products and Services, in order to achieve new models that preserve citizens’ digital sovereignty, where data is a common good owned by citizens and wealth created by data-driven platforms is equally distributed.

Based upon our last ten years of research and development, Bloom Network’s proposal for this program is to build open source peer-to-peer economic modules using smart organization tools to support the emerging market of regenerative enterprise.

Specific to this moment of collapse, Bloom is connected with groups working around the world on a) open source supply chains, b) regional food resilience, and c) mutual aid societies. All of these groups are using Google Sheets + Facebook, and none are connected to each other. We want to support them with distributed ledger tools and use this opportunity to switch to more data sovereign and open collaboration systems.

On a technical level, these are some of the modules we will create, using established P2P governance software including Aragon and Autark’s Open Enterprise suite:

  • Local budgeting: the ability of local chapters to automatically receive a percentage of membership dues
  • Participatory budgeting among members of the cooperative
  • Cross-sector finance: bridging the funding gap to the grassroots sector which is inherently decentralized, by using decentralized project management software to empower efficient mobilization across organizational boundaries

These are some of the needs we’ve identified that we plan to address during the program:

  • The ability to collaborate across different movements and industries, without the intermediation of centralized corporations, and with data sovereignty
  • Greater visibility of regenerative initiatives, including peer-to-peer technologies, to the general public
  • Restorative justice governance: improving the ability of historically marginalized groups to have power and voice in decisions about where funding is allocated and what programs are developed

The modules we create will be both technical using existing decentralized governance and project management software, and also social, documenting the social processes and leadership methods that Bloom Network has found effective over the past ten years across our 100+ local chapter networks.

Our goal is to set up and test digital infrastructure for an international distributed cooperative that can be used and adapted by other networks. Through the Ledger program, we would receive support in selecting existing P2P privacy-protecting technologies to utilize, as well as business support to actualize the research and development we’ve done in the emerging market of regenerative enterprise, to support equitable post-pandemic economies.

Read more about The NGI Initiative: An Internet of Humans, and check out Ledger’s website to learn of more NGI projects they are supporting.

Bloom Logo Mythology – The Tracer

Bloom Logo Mythology – The Tracer

Like dropping a pebble into a pool, the actions you take every day to make the world a healthy place ripple out into your communities. Bloom’s logo is an illustration of the interconnectedness of our relationships with one another and our surroundings.

It’s also a wi-fi symbol on its side, signifying peer-to-peer relationships for sharing wisdom and resources together.

We don’t have an app yet, but eventually there will be a touchable Tracer icon, beckoning you to press the Bloom button to play a real-life story and watch it come to life around you. Everything about Bloom’s “brand” presence is designed to connect you with communities in real life who are making our towns and the planet more wonderful, nurturing places to be.

Stay tuned to read about our process of designing the logo!