Rhizae Renewal Collective (part of Bloom Baltimore) in collaboration with the 6th Branch (a veteran’s group) and with the support of Re-Build Johnston Square (community association) and grant funding from The Pollination Project are working to bioremediate a lead-contaminated lot which has 1200 ppm of lead in the soil. This is 4 times over the national safety standard of 400 ppm of lead. Sunflowers, however, are lead extractors and in combination with mycorrhizae (underground fungal root networks)- the plants and fungi make a powerful team! We are working to remediate this lot with sunflowers and mycorrhizae to build healthy relationships in the soil, which are the foundation for healthy community relationships above ground! Currently, we are in conversation with Re-Build Johnston Square to have a mural painted on the house next to the lot. This space holds the promise of being a yearly sunflower garden for residents!
— Robin Gunkel, Lead Organizer with Bloom Baltimore Doctoral Candidate in Sustainability Education Prescott College
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
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.
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”.
This September, with the buzz of Pollination still pulsating in our hearts, the Bloom Network team set out to Planet Home – a weekend long edutainment experience in San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. Planet Home brought together thousands of individuals and organizations in the VILLAGE to amplify solutions to the planet’s greatest environmental challenges. The gorgeous backdrop for the experience was comprised of thought-provoking art and music, and the focus was a good dose of environmental awakening through workshops, talks, and incredible exhibits. The event also included VISIONS – an exclusive summit, as part of the Planet Home program, inviting “world business leaders and global thought leaders to discover actionable environmental solutions.”
The Bloom Network team took the opportunity to network with potential collaborators, reconnect with allies and supporters of our work, and take in the creative collective that was brought together by Planet Home, an EQ event. We also wanted to take the opportunity and extend a warm invitation to attendees to join Bloom Network at an Unofficial “Afterparty”. With the invitation of Sean Stevens, on Sunday evening we moved the festivities to the heart of SF, atop the home of an incredible emergent creator space he’s working on. Momentum ∞ [Momentum Infinity] brings together artists and makers for co-creation and exploration – a perfect space for us to stew in the radiance we’ve been absorbing.
Some 30-40 open minds came through the backdoor of Odd Job – a craft cocktail bar downstairs – ascended the stairs of the co-working space, and stepped through a portal of opportunities on the roof. The Bloom Network team took the chance to invite our guests co-create on the rooftop space with us. We brought pillows and notebooks, puzzles and markers, and asked our guests to help us create the space they’d like to play in. Our backdrop was the warm late-summer air, twinkling city, and the magical blooming techno flower of Sustainable Magic.
The result was a warm gathering of minds, sharing their experiences, brainstorming new connections and re-meeting each other for the first time. The event was a welcome continuation to what started at Pollination, furthered at Planet Home, and continues to this day with the work Bloom Network is doing to connect and co-create a billion acts of regeneration.
New relationships blossomed with experts in fields from solar to finance, from art to technology, movement building, indigenous leadership networks in the Amazon, and permaculture. The conversations that sprouted continue to inspire us!
We invite you to stay connected with us through our newsletter, and stay tuned for updates as our network grows and changes the world. It can’t happen without you!
by Hannah Mitchell – Bloom Network Community Lead, (Miss Hannigan)
Following Bloom Network’s Pollination event, I headed to Burning Man and made sure I saw the Terran Collective* (hosts of one of the Pollination Labs) speaking as a panel at the camp of Burners Without Borders**.
I was blown away by the poise and clarity with which all the members of the Terran Collective spoke. Their assuredness intertwined with vulnerability was a powerful thing to witness.
After their panel, I found Clare and asked how it was that she was able to speak with such coherence. Clare immediately responded that it was from the deep knowing that she was held, supported and trusted within her collective. This gave her the strength to do more than what she would be able to individually.
While we have become adept at embracing self-healing and restoring our individual resonance, building a close-knit team and working together in a healthy way remains a sticking spot for many of us. So diving deeper with Clare, we discussed further about what Terran Collective had discovered in working together to build collective resonance as a small working group.
Clare’s Tips on Building Collective Resonance
Being committed to your own healing and self-work is crucial. It’s difficult to work with people who are unwilling to look into themselves and work through trauma and other issues that arise.
Knowing Each Other
Meet in person – eye to eye, heart to heart. It is very important to meet face to face and to look each other in the eye. This means your energies will integrate better and the trust and collective resonance will grow. (Maori phrase: “kanohi ki te kanohi”).
Get to know each other’s stories, triggers and traumas. As scary as that sounds, it’s important to hear and share your life experiences with each other and how that has affected you.
Understand each other’s stories and hold each other. More than just knowing, it’s important for all members to understand how people’s life experiences have affected them. Then, when you see someone from your collective reacting to something, you understand the traumatised place it’s coming from. This makes it easier and more productive to counter-balance and lean into the situation to help
Commit to “having each other’s back”. Everyone needs a few people they can truly rely on. To be able to fall back on when times are tough, and who will stand up for you in your time of need.
Create shared goals and work towards them together. It’s hard to achieve anything without a clear idea about where you are going and what your goals are.
Work out how to be accountable to each other. Each group will have their own way of keeping each other accountable to the work you are committing too, both in the goals you have set and in the personal work you commit to. Being accountable also extends to the commitment you make to your group and being there for each other.
All of these aspects work together to be able to form a healthy, well-functioning and supportive group. This then leads to the ability to be able to speak coherently and confidently like I witnessed at Burning Man. When you are held and supported by a trusted group the possibilities of what you can do together are profound. Truly, most change happens when we have groups functioning like this.
Photo Above: Terran Collective including Tibet Sprague, Kelly Erhart, Neha Sharma, Clare Politano and Aaron Brodeur at Burners Without Borders theme camp, Burning Man 2019.
*Terran Collective are a Bloom Bay Area Chapter, and hosted one of the Pollination Labs – focussing around trust, and building a measurement tool that could be used to track it. Follow this link to the Terran Collective website: http://www.terran.io/
**Burners Without Borders are also partnering with Bloom Network to deliver trainings to Burners and Bloomers in 2020.
This Sunday, June 16 at 6:30pm we will meet at Elixart to carpool to Coyote Lookout together for a hike! Please bring snacks or dinner if you’d like to picnic at the lookout. Since it’s Father’s Day, we’ll have a loose conversation theme of talking about things we’ve learned from our fathers and grandfathers.
Next Meetup: Wednesday, July 3 2019 Pioneer Park in Nevada City, meet by the bandshell
7pm Gather 7:30-8:15 Skillshare 8:15-9:00 Project Support Session
Swarm Organizing is a form of community leadership for organizing collaborative action, empowering individuals to create what they want to, with a loose general shared direction.
As our local Bloom chapter grows, people have expressed interest in coordinating everything from permaculture projects to a more vibrant local economy, to bringing together deeper support for new families. This training will help us learn some techniques so that we can work on multiple projects together, without having too rigid of structures or hierarchies. Swarm Organizing is designed to encourage mass participation in social movements.
Here are some materials if you’d like to read about swarm organizing ahead of time: ++Rick Falkvinge’s book Swarmwise. It’s a short read! Rick is the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, one of 70 Pirate (Political) Parties in the world.++Here’s Rick giving a video presentation at the Institute for Cryptoanarchy in Prague: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gssuv8oWTXY
Following on from our last meetup where we learned the structured process tools of Sociocracy, this month we’ll learn about swarm organizing! We’ll find both helpful as we move into doing regenerative actions together.
Here are some materials if you’d like to read about swarm organizing ahead of time:
Rick Falkvinge’s book Swarmwise. It’s a short read if you’d like to read the whole thing this month! Rick is the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, one of 70 Pirate (Political) Parties in the world.
Project Support: Mushrooms for Regional Wellness with Erik English
Erik is interested in catalyzing fire prevention, soil building, food sovereignty and job creation project in the Yuba Watershed based on innoculating wood chips with mushroom mycelium. He doesn’t yet directly know the people he would need to talk with to explore how this could be effective and to organize a test plot. We will also need to discuss possible drawbacks and cautions.
You can help him so far by inviting people to this meetup who are mushroom experts, fire fighters, gardeners, people who make wood chips, people who know about carbon sequestration and carbon credits, permaculture nerds, Nevada County Economic Resource Council, policy people, and anyone else you’d like to invite. It will also be important to discuss terraforming work like this with Nissenan people who have lived here for much longer, as well as make sure that regional economic benefits from this project directly contribute to their sovereignty and wellness.
Erik will give a short talk about his vision, followed by a group workshop session to talk through community insights and possible next steps.
This month’s skillshare is led by Thomas Spellman. He’s sharing about sociocracy, so that when we make decisions together as a group, we have a solid process to follow so each person can be heard and our discussions can be effective.
Schedule for the night: 7pm gather 7:30pm skillshare and discussion 8:30pm community networking
Many thanks to everyone who came to our first two meetups so far!! It has been a tremendous delight to share our visions and passions all together. People have shared about their work with soil and water health, food sovereignty, local media, solar, support for parents, and more. We are building community to support each other in community for vibrantly healthy, regenerative local economy and wellness.
In May, we decided to also do a hike with a potluck picnic, once a month on a Sunday evening. We’ll start that in June, since we all got our email intro later than was helpful (sorry about that!). Every first Wednesday we host a skillshare and mutual support night at Elixart. Many thanks to them for opening their space for us to build momentum together.
Lastly, if you want to be one of the 2-3 people who shares about something they would like support with at our July 3 meetup, please let us know!
Below you’ll find more info about Bloom Network. Hope to see you on June 5 at Elixart!
Much love and with regards to all your dreams and the love flowing through your hands and hearts,
Magenta and Raking Bloom Yuba Watershed
About Bloom Network
Bloom Network is a global in-person social network that utilizes online tools to collaboratively work toward regenerating our planet. www.bloomnetwork.org
Join fellow entrepreneurs, activists, artists and visionaries to connect, share info & resources, and collaborate toward improving the regenerative well-being of our communities, ecosystem, and the world.
Like William Gibson once wrote, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed”.