How is burner culture transitioning to regenerative projects?

Bloom’s monthly theme is about sharing our platform with our partners, and this month we brought Bloom and Burner networks together to mutually share intelligence around regenerative projects. Some burners shared about the regenerative projects they are involved in, we heard an update on how the 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap has progressed in the past year and Molly Rose chatted about the amazing Covid-19 response happening through Burners Without Borders.

This was the beginning of a long term goal to share our platform with other organisations that Bloom Network partners with, to boost the signal and solve problems together by jamming often.

Access to audio and video recordings

Wiki about this call:

Details of projects shared

Christopher Breedlove, Director of Civic Activation for Burning Man, International

Leave No Trace has been the primary example of Burning Man’s environmental commitment, and has a good track record. But looking forward, BM recognises that Leave No Trace means something very different in the future.

Burning Man’s 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap has an aim of being able to measure with math and science that is better for Burning Man to be on the planet, than not to be on the planet. The plan, released July 2019, outlines this journey through three goals:

1) No Matter Out of Place – Handling all waste ecologically, (completion goal 2–4 years), 

2) Be Regenerative – Create a net positive ecological and environmental impact. (completion goal 5–8 years),

3) Be Carbon Negative – Remove more carbon from the environment than we put into it. (completion goal 8+ years). 

It is believed that the carbon footprint of That Thing in the Desert is around 100k tons per year (historical carbon is not included). Because Burning Man is cancelled this year, they have to wait until next year to complete a planned piece of research, building a comprehensive carbon map of the event. 

The LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch is a multi-disciplinary challenge that seeks to attract entries of regenerative infrastructure that is both an artwork and functional. This is a great opportunity to do some creative R&D onsite as well as forming the foundations of Fly Ranch. There are 5 categories, with 2 winners per category – who will all be given a space on the ranch and a stipend to make the visions become reality. Submissions are due 31 October 2020.

Will Heegaard, Footprint Project, USA

Will Heegaard has worked with Black Rock Solar and now heads the Footprint Project, providing rapidly deployable, clean energy resources in first response to disasters and recovery phase situations (eg Tennessee Tornadoes). Will had just dropped off a solar trailer in Florida, and was enroute West to move other solar units before the wildfire season. Will knew 2020 would be busy, but of course had no idea what was going to hit the world. “It’s fantastic that communities are rallying around mobilizing clean energy versus traditional energy after disasters.”

Footprint Project plans to keep building portable and mobile solar kits as fast as possible and deliver systems to as many ‘problems’ they can find, as long they have a mobilized network of volunteers. People wanting to help with the Footprint Project can sign up to volunteer and donate on their website. Will is also keen to hear about storage ideas for the units in the NorCal area.

Molly Rose, Burners without Borders, USA 

There has been an outstanding response from burners resolving Covid-19-related crises in their hometowns. For the past 3 months weekly Community Roundup Calls have been held to profile these projects. Over 80 projects have been presented in this time, as well as continuing to strengthen and build networks within the community. This great example of the burner “do-ocracy” spirit can be read more about on the new BWB project search engine and get involved via their Facebook page.

Lumi Ricardi, Positive Postits, Australia

A heart of hearts has been created in Canberra, Australia, with Positive Postits. This street-connective art uses postit notes with positive messages written on them to foster a sense of connection and hope within neighbourhoods. Lumi and other Positive Posters have ‘drawn’ a heart across north Canberra, picking suburbs to post the notes on lampposts and walls in the shape of a heart. The project has even been picked up by the local radio station. Lumi hopes that people in other cities will take up the idea, so many ‘heart of hearts’ can pop up around the world. Watch Lumi’s tutorial videos on the website, or connect through the Positive Postits FB page.

Hannah Mitchell, Northland Burn, New Zealand

Sharing a vision for a new kind of burn, Hannah (Community Support for Bloom Network), outlined how she wants to use the Burn concept to create a Burn 2.0. Her dream is to create an immersive festival experience of a temporary city which embodies a 50:50 collaboration with Maori, the local indigenous people of Northland, New Zealand. There are 4 proposed pillars of this Burn, Ti Tiriti o Waitangi (the founding document of NZ), Regenerative Culture, Whanau/Family Friendly and ‘Beyond the Burn’. This vision is in research phase, because there is a lot to learn before approaching Maori communities with a meaningful proposal. Some great work is being done by Maori in the area that Hannah lives around “Papakaigna” design (pre-European villages). You can also find out more about other interesting conversations happening in New Zealand in this blog.

Magenta Ceiba, Bloom Network 

Magenta rounded out the call with talking about the regional and international regeneration and resilience coalitions that Bloom Network is connected to and works with on a regular basis.

“What’s great about these coalitions is that they highlight the importance of climate justice and economic equality as important aspects of regenerative cultures”, says Magenta. This is important to Bloom because it is common to think that ‘regeneration’ is focused on the environment. Regenerative culture is also about connecting multiple different social movements that are needed to shift our society as well. 

“Yes, we need to regenerate our ecology stat. But the means through which we’ll do that is by regenerating our social and societal fabrics to be healthy ones”. 

Alongside that Bloom is creating media structures that support constructive dialogue and action. One goal is to flip the mainstream narrative away from fear and disempowerment, frozenness… which ultimately involves changing our media structures and providing alternatives to the current social media networks (because they can be unhealthy and unhelpful). Bloom is in the process of building its own DAO – Decentralised Autonomous Organisation – to create a cooperative that works both locally and for international collaboration. 

Here are some of the incredible networks Bloom works in coalition with:

Two people were invited but were not able to make the Community Call. Their projects are: 

#FarmNextdoor by Carl Freedom, at Freedom Farms, New Zealand. Researching how to build micro-local vegetable farms and customer-base in the suburbs (in New Zealand the typical house has 1.4 acre land). 

Regenesis Reno with Gordon Gossage, USA. Connecting people, place, and potential and inspiring Western Nevada to flourish by co-creating a sustainable, equitable, and regenerative community.


Burning Man 2030 Sustainability  Roadmap – 


BWB links

Covide-19 response projects:

Covide-19 response FB Page:

BWB Bay Area Working Group: 

Positive Postits –

NORTHLAND BURN – Rebuilding Kainga Book –