Burner and Bloomers Blog – June 2020 Theme Call

Burner and Bloomers Blog – June 2020 Theme Call

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: https://bloomnetwork.org/network-partners/



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: 

www.thrivingresilience.org 
https://www.grc.earth/
https://climatejusticealliance.org/
www.economicdemocracy.us 
https://www.permacultureaction.org/
https://neweconomy.net
https://ebprec.org
https://www.theselc.org

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.


LINKS IN FULL  

Burning Man 2030 Sustainability  Roadmap – https://medium.com/@burningman/burning-man-project-2030-environmental-sustainability-roadmap-c79657e18146 

FOOTPRINT PROJECT: https://www.footprintproject.org/ 


BWB links

Covide-19 response projects: https://sites.google.com/view/bwb-project-site/home?authuser=0

Covide-19 response FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/665587950689502/?event_time_id=665587954022835

BWB Bay Area Working Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2026667817560697/ 

Positive Postits – https://www.positivepostits.org 
https://www.facebook.com/positivepostitz/

NORTHLAND BURN – Rebuilding Kainga Book – https://www.bwb.co.nz/books/rebuilding-kainga 

BLOOM LINKS

www.thrivingresilience.org
https://climatejusticealliance.org/
www.economicdemocracy.us
https://www.permacultureaction.org/
https://neweconomy.net
https://ebprec.org
https://www.theselc.org

FARMNEXTDOOR: https://www.freemanfarms.org/blog/2020/2/10/farmnextdoor-launched-on-tv-radio-and-features-in-the-paper 

REGENISIS RENO: https://www.regenesisreno.com

OTHER

www.masksarevital.com
https://www.facebook.com/masksarevital
http://mosaicmomentum.org/
https://longdisaster.org

COVID-19 Support for Indigenous Communities

COVID-19 Support for Indigenous Communities

We’ve been hearing about Indigenous communities who are particularly hard hit by COVID economically and health-wise. Here are links to financially support them if you’re able. If you’re a person who has benefited from the healing traditions of specific Indigenous communities, we recommend you reach out to your contacts with them and ask how you can support. If you know of more links than what we’ve posted below, please get in touch.

Shipibo people in Peru: https://www.gofundme.com/f/shipibo-people-covid19-emergency

Kamëntšá community in Sibundoy, Putumayo Columbia: https://www.circleofsacrednature.org/

Wixarika Nation (Huichol): https://www.gofundme.com/f/wixarika-huichol-fundraiser

A fund that goes to multiple Indigenous communities, via the Morningstar Foundation: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/indigenous-covid-19-relief-fund


Conversations in New Zealand – Part 1

Conversations in New Zealand – Part 1

With New Zealand is entering its 3rd consecutive week with no reported Corona-19 cases, conversations around the island nation are rising about how to use this time as a spring-board into a better and more just society.

Since April 15, young local councillors Tamatha Paul (Wellington City Councillor) and Thomas Nash (Greater Wellington Region Councillor) have been convening panel discussions with some of New Zealand leading researchers, thinkers and politicians covering a range of topics, which all have Ti Tiriti o Waitangi* at its heart, (*the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document).

As the Covid-19 lockdown closed everything in NZ down, the inspiring meetings and conversations that Tamatha and Thomas were having in real life ground to halt. They decided to regenerate those conversations in the digital world, creating a weekly panel called “The Aotearoa Town Hall”.

“Being on council means that you hear from awesome people all the time, locals with deep knowledge, high-level experts, people working hard in the community. We wanted everyone to be able to access the korero” says Tamatha.

“We know there can be no change without constitutional transformation, and this only comes from spreading the knowledge and having conversations”.

Conscious that only a certain type of people engage with the current political system, they wanted to find other ways to share about how change can come through leveraging off Ti Tiriti o Waitangi, as it is the foundational document that NZ laws can give effect through.

Aotearoa Town Hall Part 3: A New Economy with Kate Ranworth

Some panel topics have covered Economics (with guest Kate Raworth author of Doughnut Economics), Universal Education and Income, Public Health, Whanau (Family) Focussed Responses, Climate Justice and Transportation and Urban Design.

“These conversations show how Ti Tiriti o Waitangi is relevant across all different topics and spaces, and the Town Halls show an alternative reality if it underpinned everything. These conversations are keeping people motivated and pushing for change”.

Aotearoa Town Halls are shown through Facebook live, Monday 7pm New Zealand time:
https://www.facebook.com/aotearoatownhall/

or

via Tamatha’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/tamathax

A big thanks to Tamatha Paul for taking time for this interview.


Te Reo Maori words frequently used in the Town Halls (www.maoridictionary.co.nz)  

Rangatahi Maori – a younger generation Maori leader

Aotearoa – a name for the land also known as New Zealand

Korero – conversation, discussion, information

Mahi – work, life mission, occupation, activity

Kaupapa – agenda, topic, purpose, plan.

Tupuna – Ancestors

Iwi – tribal groupings

Hapu – larger kinship groups, subtribe, (also means pregnant)

Whanau – Extended family, (also means to give birth)

Whenua – Lands, territory, (also means placenta/afterbirth)

Kai – food

Papa kāinga – extended family villages, with clusters of dwellings, communal areas and food gardens.

Finance Update

Finance Update

This is a snapshot of Bloom Network’s current finances.

We currently receive an average of $200 per month in monthly memberships, and $50 per month in donations through our community calls.

This covers our communication software fees, with $50/mo going into our bank account per month at the moment.

Our account balance is approximately $100. Magenta pays our communication software fees, totaling approximately $200 per month, and then receives reimbursement from Bloom Network after our fiscal sponsor issues the requested amount from donations.

Our current available revenue streams include: member fees, event ticket sales, sponsorships, grants and private donations, and Pollination Labs clients.

Bloom Network has primarily been operating as a volunteer community. Magenta contributes 40 hours per week, and Hannah Mitchell contributes 10-20 hours per week. More volunteers are starting to show up, contributing on average under one hour per week each. Current working groups people can join are listed here. Local chapters also have volunteer teams and operate within their own organization entities.

In order to continue to be of service and to grow our purpose of helping more people find and participate in regenerative culture practices, Bloom Network needs to raise startup capital so we have a consistent paid team. Magenta is going to run out of runway in September 2020.

Our goal is to raise a total of $500,000 in order to become revenue positive and self-sustaining in 2022. We have been applying to equity-free funding programs and accelerators this year. One thing we’ve been finding is that it’s hard to raise capital for Bloom Network because it’s such a complex system, and doesn’t really fit into anyone’s categories of what they fund. This is interesting, because we have specifically designed our business framework to address the institutional and cultural gaps that have humanity in a bind when it comes to climate change, inequality, etc. As of June, we are pursuing two more specific pathways: setting up Bloom Network’s DAO, and fundraising for a more specific program, Pollination Labs.

To produce our first Pollination conference in 2019 and establish our membership model, Bloom worked with several contractors on a deferred payment basis. The total amount contributed was approximately $130,000 in labor, with a remainder due of $92,700.

We are also currently deliberating if it is best for us to close our current organization entity, a non-profit filed in California, and switch over to a simple LLC. We’ve been having a hard time finding grants, because we are a whole-systems organization and not working on a singular vertical. Local chapters are more able to find grants for specific projects, but for the system administration layer that Bloom does, nonprofits appear to not be a good fit for us. The last grant we received was in 2018 for $8,344 from Threshold Foundation via the Thriving Resilient Communities Collaboratory, and prior to that $13,000 in 2014. Bloom Network began as Evolver Social Movement via a donation from Sean Parker in 2008 for $250,000. That empowered the organization to rapidly scale to over 100 chapters in 11 countries, however due to leadership struggles among the Evolver corporation, that momentum was stifled and the local chapters decided to separate from the company to become a peer-led network. It also is looking like forming our organizational entity as a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), which is what we really are in the physical world, is the path of least resistance, most understanding, and mutual support. Some of our operations will require a state-anchored entity on an ongoing basis.

If you are interested in joining Bloom’s finance team, or you would like to make a financial contribution, please get in touch with Magenta.

Introduction to the Decentralized Web – May 2020 Theme Call

Introduction to the Decentralized Web – May 2020 Theme Call

Featured guests for this call were Christina Bowen, co-founder of Digital Life Collective, and John Light, Head of Governance at Aragon.

Recording of Intro to DWeb – May 2020 Theme Call is here.


Farmers, artists, and activists often ask Bloom Network about how to get started with the decentralized web and blockchain technologies. This call was our kick-off to a year-long introductory series to help people learn about it. Our first call looked at what the decentralized web is, and the potential for supporting regenerative culture projects.

On the call we asked “How well do you know the D-Web?” One third had no idea, the majority had clarifying questions and a handful work on decentralized web projects or Bitcoin. This discussion, even as an introduction, ended up being more technical than we expected. So we plan to make introductory videos over time that are accessible to noobs who are curious and want to start diving in.

How does Structure and Governance work on the D-Web? We learned that most people don’t know how the current internet is governed and delivered through hardware, various companies and protocols working together. The current web is vulnerable to censorship, monopolization, and extractive third party companies which use and sell your data (and labor) for profit.

The decentralized web “locks the web open”. You can choose to block content you don’t want to engage with, control your data, and external companies are less likely to determine what you see through surveillance capitalism or state propaganda. Ultimately, the D-Web provides incredible creative possibilities for peer-to-peer economic interactions and regional production networks.

“When we have highly centralized, inappropriately centralized power in our body, we call it cancer. But that’s kind of the paradigm for how companies work.”

Christina Bowen


It’s important to know that the Decentralized Web involves a lot more than just the money aspect, aka cryptocurrency. All other parts of online life can be decentralized, like file storage (CoBox is an example), and social networks (Scuttlebutt is an example).

What is Bitcoin? John Light gave a helpful introduction to what Bitcoin is, and how decentralized protocols work. Bitcoin is a purely digital currency. It’s decentralization means that there’s no single company or entity that’s in control of Bitcoin. It’s run by a volunteer network of computers all over the world that talk to each other using the Bitcoin protocol, the same way that computers around the world can send messages to each other using the email protocol, smtp. Bitcoin is a similar protocol but for creating and sending money. It’s considered part of the decentralized web, but it can also be used on traditional websites.

Caveat – if you are starting to explore the D-Web, the usability is a bit like using IRC in the early 90’s. Most projects don’t have fancy user interfaces (yet) and the set up is clunky compared with today’s internet and mobile apps. The decentralized web makes huge strides forward in usability for non-techies every year. But it’s still not easy.

“What about financial transactions for sex trafficking, or murder for hire?”
Safety concerns are of course, an important topic. Read John Light’s response in his blog.

What financial models are used for decentralized projects? Sometimes with open source development, the company derives financial benefit from how the broader software ecosystem uses the code. Some companies use digital coins or ICO’s, some nonprofit companies eeeeek along with chronic underfunding. Peer-to-peer crowdfunding is starting to become more common. People can contribute monthly amounts to a project, which covers the developers’ sustainable living (like Patreon but no company-in-the-middle fee). GitCoin is one project that facilitates this. You can program it to work for decentralized governance communities, too, which we’ll describe in more detail below.

What is Holochain? Within the decentralized web, there are many different development ecosystems, blockchains, and protocols, and not all of them talk with each other. Flavia from Brazil asked for clarification on what Holochain is. Christina described that instead of a blockchain where you have kind of like a giant spreadsheet that everybody can write to, but nobody can edit; with Holochain it’s more like how neurons work, where not every “node” in the chain can transact with each other, depending on if the two nodes are in an aligned state or not. It uses less server time, which means less electricity is needed to power it. Dat protocol is another facet of the decentralized web that was discussed. Decentralized web isn’t a noun, it’s more like a bunch of very varied decentralized web technologies, and works like a verb.

John Light works for Aragon, which currently runs on the Ethereum blockchain (Ethereum is like a decentralized global computer – people build ‘Dapps’ on it (decentralized apps)). Aragon has made the world’s first digital jurisdiction. It’s a programming environment for decentralized organizations. This is where peer-to-peer governance, and a huge array of specific governance agreements can be programmed, and automated or made more secure through ‘smart contracts’. Sometimes these kinds of organizations are called DAO’s – decentralized autonomous organizations. A more accurate term is smart organizations or programmable organizations. On Aragon you can set up an organization in 30 seconds, compared to several months and the thousands of dollars it costs to incorporate in the U.S.A., for example.

What about Democracy? Another governance innovation happening thanks to blockchain technologies is liquid democracy, where one can delegate their vote on an issue to someone they trust to be knowledgeable about it. One can then change who their delegate is, or reclaim their own voting connection on any given issue, at any point in time! At Bloom we believe these technologies will make digital-age business easier, and also that they have important possibilities for more constructively managing migration. This is increasingly going to be important for humanitarian purposes due to climate disasters and political destabilization. We are working to teach folks about the decentralized web now, to be prepared together and have enough capacity to utilize these tools when they are needed at a large scale.

“How can we actually decentralize power, intentionally disperse power throughout the system? A honeycomb, instead of these hub and spoke networks of power that we have?”

Christina Bowen

Who owns the data? As John Light described, with the decentralized web, your data is no longer controlled by a centralized company, like Facebook, or Dropbox or Google. Instead, the data is fully in your control and the specific people that you choose to share your data with, and there is a resilience built into it. Decentralized file storage protocol works by chopping up your file into little pieces and these are shared across many different computers. Even if one of those computers disappears, you can still reassemble your file.

What would you do if you lost your ability to access Facebook overnight? It is possible for Facebook to arbitrarily decide one day to boot you off their platform, (this happened to Bloom’s director in 2009, as she was determined “not a real person”). Not only do you lose your data (photos, posts), but perhaps more importantly you’ve actually lost all your connections to other people and groups through that platform.

Decentralized web tools give you the ability to control your data, who sees it, and control your relationships with other people directly – peer to peer. Organizations no longer have to rely on centralized platforms like Facebook, in order to collaborate with other people.

The decentralized tools are building infrastructure that could lock the web open, and they’re asking us to confront power at an essential time as the human race together. A platform where the users have a voice and have decision-making power is a platform of and for the people. We can use this technology to imagine the power structures we want to see, and we can explore these different kinds of power. For example, you can have nested or interwoven hierarchies like in nature. It’s about power and it’s about having agency.

The conversation went further down several rabbit holes. Indeed some people get into exploring these technologies because it is the land of infinite rabbit holes. To summarize a cliff we dove off head first together about ethics and technology, here’s a final quote from Christina:

“Can we wrap ourselves around the questions that our technology poses to us quickly enough to keep up with exponential growth as humans to wrangle the questions that we actually need to be wrangling about these futuristic scenarios that are coming way faster than we expect? That requires interdisciplinary conversations of policy and law and all sorts of experts coming together around these questions.”

Christina Bowen

Test cases in regenerative cultures that will benefit from using decentralized technologies:


1) Bloom is building a federated cooperative for its members (individuals and organizations) to more directly share value with each other, and to connect business better with the bioregions whose life flows sustain us.

2) Some communities are successfully using tokenization to support the flow of goods and services where money is scarce. Tokenization, in blockchain terms, is the process by which “values” are transformed into a digital asset. Grassroots Economics is working in Kenya, South Africa, and Congo – communities are designing their own community currencies, represented as tokens on their POA blockchain (Proof of Impact). It’s helping everyone see the exchanges happening and understand better how to support each other. At Bloom we’ve gotten requests from Indigenous coalitions in the Amazon and Turtle Island asking for how they can use blockchain tools for better local economic sovereignty and regional resource governance.

3) Christina shared the idea that wealth can be measured as flow rate rather than a centralized amassing of currency. There are many finance communities working on better measurements for regenerative impact and on changing how funds structure their investments. Global Regeneration CoLab and Crowd Doing’s Systemic Change group are two of them we’re connected with.

Resources shared on the call:

Outcomes from producing this call:

Our presenters John Light and Christina Bowen got to know each other better from different corners of the dweb development ecosystem.

Danielle Gennety started a working group for designing how to best bring visibility and recognition to contributors to Bloom’s wiki. (Dani is a co-founder of Bloom who works with Giveth, a decentralized philanthropy software company.) This is an international team of about five people, who want to share human and business protocols they’ve found healthy for nomadic communities and ecovillages. This group is also looking into tokenization, where contributors would receive some form of exchangeable credit for use of their work.

Christina Bowen is anchoring a working group in Socialroots.io with a handful of diverse regenerative makers, to test out a way to have cross-network visibility of what each network’s strength is, and what they are currently finding constructive to exchange among each other.

Both of these working groups will likely influence future sessions of Bloom’s ongoing series on this topic, Open Mesh Platforms. Click here to see the tentative schedule and register. And become a member of Bloom to join our central collaboration space in Hylo (and many more benefits).

Many thanks to all our guests on this call, and we look forward to continuing to connect together!

For love of the mycelium,
Magenta

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