Educar+ Education, Culture and Social Currency in Brazil

Educar+ Education, Culture and Social Currency in Brazil

by Flávia Gonçalves Macêdo
reposted from Bloom’s member forum

Dear all, I would like to ask a little space and support to share two projects I am involved in and really proud of and also to share a bit of my story.

I am Flávia, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I am the co-founder of an NGO called Educar+. I first joined it in 2017 when it was just a social project where we gathered a bunch of books, volunteers, and kids from favelas. I was driven there by my intention to make a difference in the lives of children of color like me but who did not have the opportunities I had; and also because I did not grow up in a favela so I knew nothing about the reality of their experiences to judge or propose any solution, I needed to know it up close.

So I did, I went there and expanded my bubble. I came to know a childhood completely different from mine, with harsh and violent realities, with many ‘I can’t’ and ‘I don’t want to’ but with a lot of cleverness, joy, and rhythm. It was all very physical, precocious, and real, there was little room for fantasy and imagination.

That’s why I started as a volunteer reading books, then I came back with my own stories, then I created the elephant Tobias and the magical world of Elefantópolis, then I gave an audiovisual workshop and encouraged them to create their own stories, and more recently, during the pandemics, we’ve developed a Game with virtual pedagogical support. Here are some photos of me during this journey ( https://www.instagram.com/p/CFqHmQAJcO0/?utm_sou… ).

Last week we registered as an NGO, it was a great achievement as we are a group of young women with a lot of willingness to give our best to our communities and presenting other perspectives of future for our kids, but with no business background. Our fundraising has been always punctual with donations of goods and services by our volunteer network. And to change that we are doing our first crowdfunding to support the work of two of our women leaders, they also live at the favela and are more actively working with the kids, and also to support the completion of the Game with have developed.

The proposal of this Game is to develop self-directed learning tracks as we go through four main topics (self-knowledge, citizenship, environmental consciousness, and futurism). So each kid has their own tutor, who presents content and challenges around the topic, then kids are rewarded in a social currency as they complete the challenges. They are introduced to a monetary system that is abundant to them and circulates only within the community, and through it, they can have access to goods and services from local entrepreneurs. The main goal of the Game is to provoke questioning ( who they are, how they behave as a community, how their community is interacting with Gaia, and how are we designing our future) and to tricker their curiosity and encourage self-learning practices.

That’s why I am here, to request support in our Game’s crowdfunding ( benfeitoria.com/GameEducarMais ). There are only 2 DAYS LEFT until the end of the campaign so I am currently talking to everybody about it on a last attempt to get closer to our goal. And as an international community, your contribution may have a multiplication power as our Brazilian currency is so devalued.

Besides the beauty of the work we’ve been doing in Educar+, this crowdfunding is additionally special because the contribution made can be reimbursed in a social currency called MUDA. It’s also the currency that is rewarded to the kids and circulates in their local community and a project I am also part of.

Muda is a network created by a group of artists, teachers, hackers, and dreamers that has it’s own non-convertible social currency and seeks to encourage cultural, educational, and socio-environmental actions (such as Educar+) by experimenting with alternative economies based on joy and abundance. We have more than 700 users in our blockchain platform and more than 100 offerings from various places in Brazil.

Here are both projects’ Instagram, which is our main communication platform.

Educar+ – https://www.instagram.com/projeto.educar.mais/

Muda – https://www.instagram.com/mudaoutraseconomias/

Unfortunately, most of our communication is in Portuguese. I am really starting now to communicate these projects throughout the globe.

But if anyone is interested in knowing more about any of the projects I would love to talk about them and clarify any question. I am already grateful for the attention and any support that might come from this post.

Bloom Zoom

Bloom Zoom

hands in a circle planting

Did you know that Bloom Network is entirely based on collaboration? Rather than circumscribing existing groups under one umbrella, Bloom members collaborate with each other to create well-being in their communities.

One way to illustrate this is to share what Bloom core team members are hosting with our Zoom account! Bloom itself hosts a monthly community call to bring together diverse movement leaders to share information and resources with each other. Hannah Mitchell, the Community Support person for Bloom who is based in Whangarei, New Zealand, hosts local Cub Scout meetings, “art church”, regional Burn events, and more. Dani Gennety, a Technology Community Relations manager with Giveth focusing on how to use technology to support grassroots causes, uses the Zoom to host everything from fundraising meetings, to a decentralized hot tub party, to knowledge shares among movement leaders, and even to help coordinate building a literal bridge.

Bloom members enjoy specially convened sessions to workshop their projects and receive peer development support from people working on similar initiatives as them, or with similar goals. Together we help each other develop ideas, be creative, and resource our projects with what they need to be effective in the world.

Truly 21st century interactive TV.

Come play! Learn about what network activities are happening each month via our email Love Letter, or register as a member to participate in the full collaboration spaces across Bloom Network.

Distributed Manufacturing // Bioregional Production – August 2020 Theme Call

Distributed Manufacturing // Bioregional Production – August 2020 Theme Call

With panelists Kevin Carson, senior fellow of Center for a Stateless Society & author of The Desktop Regulatory State
Josephine Watson, a researcher organizing regional food system networks
Lorenzo Kristov who facilitates transitions to localized renewable energy grids.

2020 has been a year of impetus for localised production to start happening, and we have seen across the USA, and indeed the world, people with 3D printers creating much needed Personal Protection Equipment for their local hospital using open source designs. We have also seen a surge of interest in and support for regional food systems. This emergence is known by a few names, distributed manufacturing, localised or bioregional production. Our August call discusses theoretical and real world examples of this work. For a fuller version of the text head to the truncated minutes here.

Localized production is a form of production that gives people control over their own livelihoods and the material preconditions for life. It keeps materials, production and consumers within the local context of a bioregion. It uses less materials and has less overheads compared to traditional mass production. It follows a ‘just-in-time’ production model and doesn’t need to invest in marketing or shipping because consumption stays close to the point of production. Because it has evolved in a resource constrained context, needing to extract maximum value out of every unit of input, localized production usually has less waste and tends not to engage in planned obsolescence.

‘Common Space’ or the ‘commons’, is often discussed with distributed and relocalized manufacturing. This is because capitalism purports the artificial idea of abundant materials that are ‘free’. Common space means the local economy is reintegrated into the natural surroundings and production is oriented towards local resources and watersheds and what it can handle. There is more incentive toward things like circular economies, recycling materials, cradle to cradle design.

Open Source is a big part of micro-manufacturing. It actively facilitates the rapid diffusion and use of knowledge, cooperation and collaboration with no monetary exchange. This more agile response can rapidly change and adapt. When new innovations arise they can continue to be shared rapidly, because there’s no intellectual property and other legal monopolies to create barriers.

Examples of Open Source production: Open Source Ecology and their Global Village Construction Set uses open source 3d printers that can be built for $500 worth of materials. Routers, cutting tables, laser cutters, drill presses, farm and construction machinery that can be built for less than $1,000, much cheaper than their commercial counterparts. It is now possible to build a garage factory in six months, instead of building giant factories with million dollar mass production.

 “The old mass production economy is like a T-Rex floundering around in a tar pit. It’s just dead.” – Kevin Carson

Open Source Ecology’s DIY farm machines

Every aspect of the regenerative movement would like to see more citizen and community participation shaping the policy and the law that governs the way they live. Bioregional conversations are at the core of this and are going to be important in our future.

Whenever we’re talking about bioregional distributed manufacturing in a farming context, we are talking about giving communities agency over the food that they’re eating, which is such an intimate part of our lives… working towards a feedback loop, that connects with the way communities would like to eat and how they would like to have relationships with their land” – Josie Watson, Northeast Healthy Soil Network

Bioregional conversations can be tricky without a level of coordination and shared values. Josie shared about the response of the Northeast farmers to the pressure of the government subsidizing monoculture growing. This flow of cheap food to the Northeast is making it tough for local and organic growers. Many collectives, associations and networks have sprung up at local, regional and state levels to address this problem. Inadvertently, multiple movements have formed without communicating with each other, and each of them hold a piece of the puzzle they are trying to solve.

The Northeast Healthy Soil Network was formed focussed around Healthy Soil, to help bring all these groups together, because healthy soil  is a common goal across the organisations.

“We wanted to incorporate working with soil as a living complex entity with millions of microbes. This is something that was not studied during the Green Revolution. We didn’t ask how the soil system lives and breathes and functions. We need to relearn and embrace these things rather than focussing on pure food output”. – Josie Watson

You can read more about the Northeast Healthy Soil Network here 

a map of 1/3 of the Northeast bioregional food system actors

Often State policies and ownership models need to be changed to achieve bioregional success. Lorenzo Kristov has been working hard at shifting State structures to allow local energy planning and production to take place at the neighbourhood level. This planning would be tailored to the energy needs of that neighbourhood. The plan also utilises existing energy companies to provide funding and expertise to teach local neighbourhoods how to plan and run their own power grids and/or develop resilience requirements when the grid goes out. Shifting ownership models enables the revenue that would normally flow to monopoly structures to stay in the neighbourhood.

“Rethinking how we do energy becomes a critical enabler of just about everything else we want to accomplish… When I think of bioregional, I think of the many local communities and neighbourhoods that participate in that bioregion. Part of this transition is to go beyond the economic dogma of the individual household as the unit of analysis, and shift to a neighbourhood as the core unit of analysis”. – Lorenzo Kristov

Lorenzo firmly believes that neighbourhoods, and the relationships that people have in them, are crucial to the next step of bioregional production. In those relationships we can develop collaborative projects that make our neighbourhood better and stronger. Neighbourhoods is where we will start to create the alternative to what’s happening. Lorenzo encourages us to get out and build relationships with the people that live around us, and see what projects flow from that.

“Neighbourhoods are seeds for creating a successful way around the extractive dysfunctional systems we have now. Rather than obliteration, of seeing the systems failing and going through their end of life and self-destructing, we can view them as compost, which becomes fertilizer to grow the new thing.”  – Lorenzo Kristov

There were mutual calls to make sure that people of colour and Indigenous nations’ leadership is visible in helping lead the way in these transitional times. It is recognised that it is a difficult time to reach out to Indigenous communities and ask for aid and research when they’re so financially strapped. But we know that Indigenous groups throughout the world are bastions with the most important knowledge about how to steward ecosystems. Josie reminded us that the United Nations perpetuates this idea that members of Western academic institutions are the ones to create global policy and law. Media groups need to bring Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour leaders to the forefront and put spotlights on their knowledge and projects.

The FAO has a project called World Agricultural Watch (WAW), which is creating a database of collected knowledge and setting members of indigenous groups who are willing to engage as the experts that they are.

Bloom’s wiki article on local production lists more projects who are actively working in the areas described in this blog.

Predictions for the next 15 years

2020 has sprung upon us an incredible number of Black Swan events; no one could have foreseen that and the incredible impact they have had. There is also no way of anticipating what other unforeseen crisis events are going to happen over the next 15 years.

In the last 15 years we have had two major recessions, both of which were the worst at that time that the United States has been through since World War Two. Kevin expects to see more of these tumultuous events over the next 15 years. There has also been an arc of movements like Arab Spring, then Occupy, the anti-pipeline movement and Black Lives Matter movements. Large left-wing movements are on the rise, as are right-wing ones. The municipalist movements across Europe are interesting trends to watch as well, and these are expected to continue. 

“We’re going to see continuing chronic unemployment and underemployment. That makes it a matter of necessity to turn to all these economic alternatives that we have all talked about today”. Kevin Carson

All the panelists agreed, there is a lot of work to be done, but it can be done. Moving from thinking in the old mass production capitalist mindset is what needs to be shifted, and necessary relationships and economic alternatives need to start being understood and worked on by more people. 

Being Part of Bloom Network allows you to be part of this process. Sign up for our newsletter, and consider being a financial contributor to help regenerative culture ripple around the world.

Additional Comments of Interest

Kevin’s Observations about Federated Cooperatives around the world:  

  • The Mondragon system and the Antigonish both have a federal structure with their own financial arm that provides capital for enterprise incubation.
  • New municipalist movements are springing up all over Europe, in Spain formed by post-M15 and activists, Barcelona and Madrid.
  • Bolonia has had a really strong cooperative economy for the last couple of decades.
  • In the United States, Cooperation Jackson, and the Evergreen project in Cleveland which was influenced to some extent by the Mondragon system.

Anarchism is something Kevin Carson is well known for, so we asked him “How does anarchy sit with bioregionalism?”

“The importance of distributed manufacturing and relocalized economies leads to anarchism in a sense, at least that’s true the kind of anarchist model that I subscribe to. How real localization takes shape, will inform the direction that post-capitalist and post-state transitions are going to take. We are seeing commons-based institutions (like community gardens, neighbourhood workshops, local currencies, co-housing projects for sharing costs and risks, pooling income and localizing energy production) forming out of necessity right now and these are basically the seeds of a successor society. But they are forming out of sheer necessity for survival rather than any particular ideological motivation. I think it is important for anarchism as an ideology to be moving in the same direction that people are spontaneously moving in already out of material necessity and do things to facilitate that”. – Kevin Carson

Cover image by Ane Eline Sorenson and David Hodgson

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.

Community Call Videos

Community Call Videos

Greetings blooming ones,

Here are a few recordings from Bloom’s monthly Community Calls. To view the whole archive, join as a member of Bloom. We ask for a small monthly subscription to help cover costs of coordinating these calls and instigating regenerative actions around the world. You’ll find blogs and wiki posts related to most calls on our website under the resources section.

Future Economies 2020 with Shavaun Evans, Nathan Schneider, and Manual Maqueda

Protocols for the Decentralized Web, with Pospi of ValueFlows

Mitigating Climate-Related Disasters with Sister Pat Bergen and Kyle Leach.

Bloom team receives award for Top 100 Marketing and Advertising Leaders

Bloom team receives award for Top 100 Marketing and Advertising Leaders

Bloom Network’s ECO (executive creative officer), Magenta Ceiba, was recognized as one of this year’s Top 100 Marketing and Advertising Leaders, by MADcon, a global gathering of brilliant minds that are passionate about marketing.

This has been a team effort developed over thirteen years of relationship-building, creating, and sharing with each other as an international network. Many talented designers, artists and marketing brains have contributed, including:

Hannah Mitchell, Boris Iskhakov, Sobey Wing, Brandon Ancier, Meg Rivers, Maya Zuckerman,
Mira Melaluca,Jessica Perlstein, Matthew Howell, Kristin Maher, and Andrew J. O’Keefe,

as well as many local Bloom organizers whose events, art, and networking expertise connecting different social movements in their regions, all contributed to our collective sense of aesthetic and communications strategy. Together we hope to help match the huge public interest and need there is for regenerative solutions, with the tens of thousands of initiatives around the world who have been building them for decades underground and in tiny pockets of subculture.

It’s clearly time… to Bloom!

You can participate in the fun by becoming a member of Bloom as we develop our cooperative approach to this, or by contributing a donation to help us get started. While we have our strategy dialed in, we haven’t yet lept through the portal to our first round of funding to help this all pop off. Once we start having budget for staff, you will experience the most wonderful monkeywrenching marketing alternative that the world is thirsting for.