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