Foglio's Field Notes

Leif Utne's random rants, musings and meditations

Archive for June 2009

I’m Going to the Tällberg Forum!

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TF09I am thrilled to say that in just two weeks I’ll be in Sweden attending this year’s Tällberg Forum, a prestigious conference on sustainability that takes place in Sweden every summer. This invitational gathering brings together 450 leaders in government, business and civil society from around the globe, from Rwandan president Paul Kagame to human rights activist Bianca Jagger, NASA climate scientist Jim Hansen to former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland to InterfaceFlor CEO Ray Anderson, among many others. This year’s theme — “How on Earth can with live together, within the planetary boundaries?” — asks us to “search for the underlying causes of the global crisis, and start the process of envisioning ways out of it.” As the conference website says:

Five dimensions of this challenge will guide our work: the planet, the economy, technology, learning and security/governance/diplomacy. These five dimensions represent inroads into understanding and addressing the global crisis. While strongly inter-related, there is great potential for better understanding and innovation within each. A range of sessions will be available for each dimension during the Forum, where groups of different sizes can engage in prototyping work or open conversation. Many of these sessions are organized in partnership with selected institutions, projects and initiatives who choose to bring their concerns and ideas to the Forum…

The conference asks us to take “the essential but difficult step from ‘systems thinking’ to ‘systems doing’.”

New Leaders Program
Perhaps even more exciting than attending the four-day Tällberg Forum, June 24-29, I’ll also be participating in the Tällberg Foundation’s New Leaders Program (NLP), a three-day intensive just before the Forum, with 40 emerging young leaders between ages 30 and 40. The NLP is a course on looking at global problems from a systems perspective, as well as an opportunity for mentorship and networking. On the third day, when the other attendees show up, the NLP participants get to faciliate the first set of breakout session of the Forum, titled “What We Want to Talk About.”

I’m deeply grateful to the 20 people who have donated more than US$1,500 so that I can attend the NLP. You know who you are.

Reporting from Tällberg — Stay Tuned…
I will be reporting on the proceedings in Tällberg via this blog, as well as posting photos to my Facebook page and shorter updates to my Twitter feed. Please stay tuned, and let me know if there’s anything in particular you want me to look into while I’m there.

Written by leifutne

June 9, 2009 at 1:05 am

Chris Jordan’s Mandala of the Movement

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E Pluribus Unum / The Many Become One

I used the image above to illustrate the previous post, but I realize the caption didn’t really explain its relevance to the OpenWiser campaign. Here goes.

Chris Jordan’s image “E Pluribus Unum (The Many Become One),” depicts the global “movement of movements” described by Paul Hawken in his book Blessed Unrest, as a 50’x50′ mandala. The lines connecting the 108 points around the circle are actually made up of the names of the 110,000+ organizations in the WiserEarth database rendered in 4-point type. Chris is hoping to find a sponsor to commission an installation of the full-size image somewhere in Vancouver during next year’s winter Olympics.

Written by leifutne

June 8, 2009 at 11:48 pm

We Did It! OpenWiser Raised Over $10,000

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(I’ve been meaning to cross-post this here for a week. It originally appeared here. -LU)

E Pluribus Unum / The Many Become One

This little experiment in crowd-sourced fundraising worked! At 9:25AM US Pacific time, we beat our goal of raising $10,000 to help WiserEarth complete development of their API. All told, since April 22, just over five weeks ago, 102 donors contributed $10,319 to make this project a reality. This is a powerful, heartening example of the community coming together to benefit the whole of humanity.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen: to the hundreds who helped spread the word across the social web; to the 28 tech leaders who lent their names to the OpenWiser appeal; to the folks at CivicActions and ONE/Northwest whose matching grants helped build early momentum around this campaign; and most of all the 102 donors who in these tough economic times contributed generously to a project that will truly benefit us all.

The ChipIn donation tool for the OpenWiser campaign is now closed. But you can still support WiserEarth financially.

Much of the work on the WiserEarth API is already done. In fact, a beta version of the API is now available for WiserEarth Organization records. If you would like to get your hands dirty now, you can join the WiserEarth API Developers Group and help with the beta testing and documentation of the API.

Finally, if you are planning to use the WiserEarth API yourself, or just have a creative idea for how it could be applied, we’d love to hear about it. Are you thinking of building a mobile app, a browser plugin, a web widget or tool that lets users browse and display WiserEarth data in new ways? Or perhaps a mashup that mixes WiserEarth data with maps or tweets or some other datasets that support new social change initiatives? Share your ideas in the WiserEarth API Developers Group.

Again, thank you for all you do.

Leif Utne
VP Community Development

Jon Warnow
Internet Director

Written by leifutne

June 8, 2009 at 10:42 pm

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